Curriculum

Work alongside a tight-knit group of PA and MD students. Learn through lectures, labs and hands-on clinical experiences.

In the UNM PA Program, you will move through a rigorous curriculum centered around problem-based learning. In only 27 months, you will be ready to take the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE).

The PA program is fast-paced and intensive. We recommend students do not pursue outside employment during enrollment.

Year One Curriculum

The PA Program starts in mid-June with foundational courses in research and population health. You will then basic exam skills in a shared course with medical students before participating in a weekly clinical experience.

Along the way, you will take didactic courses in a range of medical disciplines. Your typical week will consist of 8-10 hours of lecture and lab with an average of six hours spent in small groups working on problem-based learning.

Phases I Courses

  • PAST 501 FMS I Population Health
  • PAST 502 FMS I Foundations of Research Methodology
  • PAST 535 Clinical Seminar I
  • PAST 540 ICM I Dermatology
  • PAST 541 ICM I Orthopedics

Total Credits: 7

  • PAST 510 FMS I Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine I
  • AST 515 FMS I Adult &Geriatric Medicine I
  • AST 520 FMS I Pharmacology I
  • AST 530 FMS I Clinical Skills I
  • AST 536 Clinical Seminar II
  • AST 542 ICM I Musculoskeletal Connective Tissue (MSCT)
  • PAST 570 Foundations of Medical Science

Total Credits: 17

  • PAST 531 FMS II Clinical Skills II
  • PAST 513 FMS II Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine II
  • PAST 518 FMS II Adult & Geriatric Medicine II
  • PAST 523 FMS II Pharmacology II
  • PAST 514 FMS III Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine III
  • PAST 519 FMS III Adult & Geriatric Medicine III
  • PAST 524 FMS III Pharmacology III
  • PAST 537 Clinical Seminar III
  • PAST 545 ICM II Neurosciences
  • PAST 547 ICM II CV-Pulmonary-Renal

Total Credits: 16

Year Two Curriculum

Nine months of your second year are dedicated to clerkships. Through these clinicals, you will gain hands-on experience with large academic health center inpatient teams and in rural settings to provide health care to underserved populations.

Phases II Courses

  • PAST 560 Clerkship Family Medicine
  • PAST 562 Clerkship Pediatrics

Total Credits: 6

  • AST 525 FMS IV Emergency Medicine
  • PAST 527 FMS IV Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine IV
  • PAST 529 FMS IV Adult & Geriatric Medicine IV
  • PAST 533 FMS IV Pharmacology IV
  • PAST 532 FMS III Clinical Skills III
  • PAST 550 ICM III GI-Nutrition-Metabolism
  • PAST 548 ICM III Infectious Disease
  • PAST 549 ICM III Sexuality & Reproduction

Total Credits: 17

  • PAST 564 Clerkship Emergency Medicine
  • PAST 561 Clerkship Women’s Health & Prenatal Care
  • PAST 563 Clerkship Behavioral Medicine-Psychiatry
  • PAST 565 Clerkship General Internal Medicine
  • PAST 566 Clerkship Elective
  • PAST 600 Program to Practice

Total Credits: 15

  • PAST 568 Clerkship Surgery
  • PAST 575 Clerkship Primary Care
Total Credits: 8
Clerkship Credits: 27

Collaborative, Deductive Learning

As a PA student, you will regularly work in small, problem-based learning groups. In the problem-based learning (PBL) method, your group of eight students will encounter a problem and then launch a student-centered inquiry process.

PBL involves determining what you already know and what you need to learn to advance your understanding of the issue. You will be presented with a case problem that simulates a clinical setting. Working in your group, you will assess the case study and generate hypotheses.

Faculty will guide you without giving away the solution. This model of learning builds individual and collective knowledge and grows your reasoning and communication skills.

Join a PBL Session

If you would like to experience a problem-based learning session, you can sign-up online. Sessions are offered throughout the fall and spring semesters.

PBLs involve small groups—if you are unable to make your registered session, please cancel as soon as possible. No-show students will be ineligible to attend a PBL session for the next six months.