PAM 423: Psychosocial/Cultural Aspects of Health Care and the PA Role

Course Description Provides a broad-based understanding of health as it relates to biological, cultural and psychosocial factors. The course incorporates views of human health and disease within the larger natural, cultural and behavioral ecosystems. Comparative studies of different belief systems and non-Western, traditional and alternative medical practices are offered for comment and discussion. The course develops students' understanding of the role of PAs in health care, their scope of practice, the team relationship, and the history of the PA profession. Students discuss concepts in health psychology and behavioral medicine that identify the psychosocial factors contributing to health and physical and emotional well-being. Defenses and adaptations are explored, as related to the types of patients the students will work with. Psychological responses to acute and chronic illness, death and dying, and understanding the psychology of the handicapped are discussed as they relate to the patient and the medical practitioner. An integral part of this course focuses on the theory and method of interviewing. Through role-playing, students learn to deal with the diversity of personality types and cultural backgrounds in the establishment of practitioner-patient relationships. Open-mindedness and a reflective attitude are emphasized in all areas of patient contact, as is the consideration not only of evidence-based approaches, but complementary and alternative approaches as well. In an introduction to epidemiology, students are introduced to concepts in epidemiology and community-oriented to primary health care. Students are provided with the skills to comprehend and perform basic community epidemiology investigation in areas of concern related to primary care medicine (i.e., community health assessment). The fundamentals of epidemiology will serve as the basis for learning how to read and interpret the medical literature.
Credits 3