Medical Science Major

College of Arts and Sciences

Degree BS, Medical Science

Department Chair Darci Brown, MSPAS

Faculty

Jennifer L. Arnold, Assistant Professor of Physician Assistant Studies, BS Hahnemann University; BS Arcadia University; MHS Drexel University

Darci L. Brown, Assistant Professor, BS Buffalo State College, MSPAS Arcadia University

Abigail Davis, Assistant Professor of Physician Assistant Studies, BS, MS Marywood University

Stanley J. Dudrick, Professor, BS Franklin and Marshall College, MD University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

Diane McAvoy, Assistant Professor of Physician Assistant Studies, BS King’s College, MS A.T. Still University

Balancing strong preparation in the life sciences with an intensive year of pre-clinical education, Misericordia University’s Bachelor of Science in Medical Science (BSMS) provides students with nationally-normed science prerequisites for pursuing physician assistant education. The program engages students in a sequence of specialized, medically-based courses that provides strong preparation for work in a physician assistant studies program at the graduate level. Freshman students are accepted to the BSMS program each fall in cohorts of 20. To receive the BSMS, students complete a curriculum of 125-131 semester hours.

Faculty teaching in the program include the eminent surgeon and research scientist Stanley J. Dudrick, MD, veteran physician assistants, and gifted researchers and teachers from the university’s biology and chemistry/biochemistry departments.

The mission of the Misericordia University pre-professional Bachelor of Science in Medical Science program is to prepare exceptional students for success in graduate degree work in Physician Assistant studies. Graduates will achieve their maximum potential as able, caring, compassionate, competent, idealistic pre-professionals. The program’s educational environment will promote an ethos of service, responsibility, morals and ethics, a quest for excellence, and an avid desire for self-directed lifelong learning in a spiritually enriched environment, while preparing students to apply evidence-based knowledge.

Program graduates will exhibit honesty, communication skills, talents, dedication, self-discipline, initiative, resourcefulness, and judgment as pre-professional Physician Assistant Studies candidates. Graduates will be dedicated to their patients and communities, showing respect for the dignity, worth, and rights of others, while serving with integrity, accountability, and trust as developing leaders in an evolving profession, and as potential advocates and innovators for augmenting, complementing, and advancing the quality, accessibility, and transformation of the healthcare system.

Progression from the third year of Misericordia University’s Bachelor of Science in Medical Science to the didactic year of the proposed program is open to matriculants of the undergraduate curriculum who have met, or will have met, by the end of the spring semester prior to fall semester didactic year coursework the following pre-requisites:

  • All required science courses, electives, and core curriculum courses completed prior to entrance into didactic coursework.
  • A minimum average of 3.0 in required science courses.
  • A minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0.
  • A minimum grade of C minus (C-) in all courses at the 100 through 400 levels.
  • Completion of 50 hours shadowing a Physician Assistant
  • Completion of 100 hours of community service
  • Maintenance of good academic standing, as defined by the university.
  • No record of university disciplinary sanction.
  • Satisfactory Level 1 Criminal Background Check and Drug Screen.
  • Successful completion of an interview with and positive recommendation from program principal faculty.
  • Demonstration to program principal faculty of ability to meet the following technical standards in timed settings and under stressful conditions:
    • Sufficient capacity for observation in academic, clinical, and other medical settings; functional vision, hearing, and tactile sensation sufficient to observe a patient’s condition and perform procedures regularly required during a physical examination.
    • Sufficient skills to communicate verbally and in writing in academic and healthcare settings.
    • Sufficient motor function to carry out movements necessary for patient diagnosis and care; for free movement in patient care and between facilities and buildings in academic and healthcare environments; physical stamina to complete didactic and clinical coursework.
    • Sufficient intellectual ability to measure, calculate, reason, analyze, and synthesize, in the context of medical problem-solving and patient care.
    • Sufficient emotional health and stability required for exercising good judgment and promptly completing all academic and patient care responsibilities.
  • Students who enter the BSMS program each year are assigned to a cohort that enters the master's curriculum in the senior year. If a student decelerates due to academic difficulty or other personal reasons, and is thereby ineligible to enter the graduate phase with the assigned timetable there is no guarantee that a seat will be available in any other cohort.

Successful transfer applicants will hold a minimum collegiate grade point average of 3.3, having completed at least 15 college credits, have a science grade point average of 3.0, and have a proven record of success in high school and have no disciplinary actions on record. Transfer applicants must successfully complete an interview with Physician Assistant Program faculty to be accepted into the program.

Program Goals and Outcomes

The following are program goals for the Medical Science major, in which students will:

  1. Develop a basic scientific foundation for learning to organize, integrate, interpret, and present clinical data.
  2. Develop critical thinking and evaluation skills.
  3. Develop a basic scientific approach to normal human health and development.
  4. Develop effective communication and teamwork skills.
  5. Promote cross-cultural and socioeconomic sensitivity and emphasize the fundamental importance of ethical behavior in basic scientific and medical practice.
  6. Develop introductory knowledge of the Physician Assistant profession.
  7. Develop knowledge of basic scientific concepts to facilitate understanding of the medical sciences.
  8. Develop a basic scientific foundation for learning to perform a complete human physical examination.
  9. Upon graduation, be prepared to enter an accredited graduate-level Physician Assistant program.

The Medical Science major program goals are realized in the following student learning outcomes:

  1. Recognize the pathology of human disease by system and specialty.
  2. Present orally and in writing a medical history for assigned human patients.
  3. Perform a physical examination on an assigned adult patient.
  4. Present orally and in writing physical examination findings about assigned human patients.
  5. Demonstrate pharmacologic and therapeutic skills appropriate to introductory level Physician Assistant studies.
  6. Display a working knowledge of major anatomical regions and structures of the human body.
  7. With regard to human physiology and pathophysiology, explain interrelationships of function and dysfunction at the molecular, cellular, tissue, organ, and systemic levels.
  8. Recognize the role of genetic factors in health and disease.
  9. Analyze the socio-behavioral aspects of medical practice.
  10. Examine ethical concepts as they relate to practical decision-making and problem-solving in medical practice.