Primary Care Associate Program     (2011-2012)

The Primary Care Associate (PCA) Program, cooperatively administered by the Stanford University School of Medicine and Foothill College, prepares Physician Assistants (PAs) to provide primary health care services with physician supervision. Physician Assistants improve the quality of and access to health care for all populations.
The Program’s curriculum emphasizes the skills necessary to recognize and treat common primary care problems that include acute, chronic, emergent or surgical conditions in patients of all ages. Our students are trained to: evaluate the health status of patients; diagnose and treat common illnesses; manage chronic diseases; deliver preventive care; counsel patients about family, psychosocial, and health-related problems. The curriculum fulfills the program's mission to train Physician Assistants to serve medically under-served populations. The curriculum includes lectures, seminars, laboratory groups, technical skills workshops, and clinical preceptorships. Didactic and clinical learning experiences are integrated throughout the whole program. Clinical placements emphasize primary care and include hospital and specialty rotations.
After completing the program, a Certificate of Clinical Proficiency is awarded by the Stanford University School of Medicine. The curriculum prepares graduates to pass the Physician Assistant Certifying Exam (PANCE) required for practice as a Physician Assistant.
Information and applications may be obtained online:
You may contact the program office at:
Primary Care Associate Program
1215 Welch Road, Modular G
Stanford, CA 94305-5408
telephone: (650) 725-6959; fax: (650) 723-9692

Program Learning Outcomes
• The student will demonstrate competency in skills required to provide primary care health services as a physician assistant, with physician supervision.
• The student will demonstrate knowledge of national and state regulations for the practice of the physician assistant profession.
Career Opportunities
Physician Assistants practice in all health care settings, including clinics, private physician offices, hospitals, emergency departments and long-term care facilities. Physician Assistants can also participate in Physician Assistant education, academia and research. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the total number of physician assistant jobs in the U.S. will grow by 50% by 2014. Our program emphasizes employment in rural and inner-city medically under-served communities.
Units required for Major: 127.5
Units required for Certificate: 97.5

Associate Degree Requirements:
• English proficiency: ENGL 1A, 1AH, ESLL 26 or equivalent.
• Mathematics proficiency: MATH 105, 108, 17 or equivalent.
A minimum of 90 units is required* to include:
• All Foothill General Education requirements (30 Units)
• Core courses (97.5 Units)

*Additional elective course work may be necessary to meet the 90-unit minimum requirement for the associate degree.

NOTE: All courses pertaining to the major must be taken for a letter grade. In addition, a GPA of 2.0 or higher is required in all core courses for the degree or certificate.

Program Type(s):

AS = Associate in Science Degree.
CA = Certificate of Achievement.
The program is 21 months in length, presented in seven quarters (with a possibility of extending into an eighth quarter) and leads to a Certificate of Proficiency. Completion of these courses prepares the student for the Physician Assistant National Certification Examination (PANCE). All courses must be taken in sequence.

Program Admission

Academic Prerequisites

All applicants must complete the following courses at a regionally accredited institution in the United States with a grade of “C” or better:
• Human Anatomy with lab (recommended within the last 7 years);
• Human Physiology with lab (recommended within the last 7 years);
• Microbiology with lab (recommended within the last 7 years);
• Intermediate Algebra - one year of high school or one college course or equivalent;
• Introductory Chemistry - one year of high school or one college course;
• English Composition – ENGL 1A or equivalent;
• Introduction to Sociology or Introduction to Cultural Anthropology;
• General Psychology.
NOTE: All course work must be completed by application date.

NOTE: A criminal background check is required by the Program. Drug testing may be required by clinical facilities. Positive results could impact a student’s ability to attend clinics, complete program requirements or gain a license to practice upon graduation. Students are responsible for the cost of the required screenings and tests.

Clinical Prerequisites
A minimum of 3,000 hours of direct patient care experience in the US must be completed by the application deadline. This requirement can be met with 18 months of full-time work experience or equivalent part-time hours (paid and/or volunteer). Hours accrued as a student in a training program cannot be used to meet clinical prerequisites. The amount of direct patient contact and level of patient care responsibility is considered when evaluating prior clinical experience. Successful applicants come from a variety of clinical backgrounds, including but not limited to: Medical Assistant (Back Office), Military Medical Corpsman, Nurse (RN or LVN), Paramedic, Radiology Technician, Physical Therapist, Respiratory Therapist. Other clinical experiences involving direct patient care are evaluated on an individual basis.
Questions regarding General Education and prerequisite requirements can be answered by the Counseling office. To schedule an appointment with the Foothill College PCA Program Counselor call (650) 949-7423.

The Primary Care Associate Program offers a curriculum that emphasizes community-based clinical training in combination with a didactic program. Much of the training takes place in the office of a preceptor - a practicing physician who teaches the student during the course of his/her regular practice. The Program is responsible for providing and approving a preceptor but allows the student to propose potential sites. During the preceptorship, the Program retains responsibility for student training and evaluation.
Preceptorships occur in a variety of clinical settings throughout California. Applicants from the community satellites, if accepted, are expected to do their clinical training in their designated satellite county.

Core Courses: (97.5 units)
PCA 50* Orientation to Primary Care Associate Program (1 unit)

*This course is not part of the Certification of Achievement. It does not prepare the student for the Physician Assistant National Certification Examination (PANCE).

PCA 51A Basic Science/Microbiology/Infectious Disease (2 units)
PCA 52A Anatomy/Physiology/Pathophysiology I (5 units)
PCA 53A Pharmacology I (3units)
PCA 54A Pre-Clinical I (3 units)
PCA 55A Professionalism/Cultural Medicine I (1 unit)
PCA 56A Core Medicine I (6 units)

Fall Quarter
PCA 52B Anatomy/Physiology/Pathophysiology II (5 units)
PCA 53B Pharmacology II (3 units)
PCA 54B Pre-Clinical II (3 units)
PCA 55B Professionalism/Cultural Medicine II (0.5 units)
PCA 56B Core medicine II (8.5 units)

PCA 54C Pre-Clinical III (4 units)
PCA 55C Professionalism/Cultural Medicine III (0.5 units)
PCA 56C Core Medicine III (9 units)
PCA 60A Preceptorship I (4 units)

PCA 54D Pre-Clinical IV (1 unit)
PCA 56D Core Medicine IV (5 units)
PCA 60B Preceptorship II (6 units)

PCA 56E Core Medicine V (1.5 units)
PCA 60C Preceptorship III (7 units)

PCA 56F Core Medicine VI (1.5 units)
PCA 60D Preceptorship IV (7 units)

PCA 55D Professionalism/Cultural Medicine IV (3 units)
PCA 56G Core Medicine VII (2 units)
PCA 60E Preceptorship V (6 units)

General Certificate information
Certificate of Achievement (97.5 units)
Transcriptable: Yes

Certificate Requirements
The Certificate of Achievement is awarded upon completion of the Program Prerequisites and core courses. General education courses are not required.

Academic Year: 2011-2012

Status: Approved
Date Modified: 2011-09-07 09:04:32

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