Jump Start: Primary Medicine for Allied Health Professions

We provide you with an organ system approach to studying for your primary medicine board exams.
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  • Lectures 57
  • Length 11 hours
  • Skill Level Expert Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
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About This Course

Published 12/2013 English

Course Description

This course is appropriate for medical professionals, or current students of medical professional schools, that requires an understanding of general/primary medicine. Such professionals include and are not limited to: Physician Assistant, Advance Practice Nurse (Nurse Practitioner), Dental students, Medical Students, Podiatry students, and Optometry students.

If you're not sure this course would apply to you, feel free to review the topics covered in the curriculum, and if you believe it covers your area of study, and I have yet to mention your field above, please let me know.

As a practicing PA, I have working knowledge of the content required for the licensing exam. However, the information presented in this course is applicable to any medical professional who requires a strong foundation in primary medicine.

For each body system we will review:

·The history and physical exam findings for a specific disease

·Disease epidemiology and pathogenesis

·The lab work/imaging that would be ordered and the expected abnormalities

·The treatment options and preventative measures (when applicable)

After each organ system has been reviewed, you will be presented with a short quiz to test what you have learned. Reinforcing your knowledge with questions similar to those seen on the PANCE (Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam) and PANRE (Physician Assistant National Recertifying Exam) will not only test your knowledge, but also show the areas you may need to focus on independently.

A quick review of the basics of the history and physical exam, commonly tested labs, important EKGs, and specific imaging modalities are touched upon as well.

The final portion of the course will help you create a study plan and motivate you to maintain your study pace, and help you feel confident before taking the exam. After all, your medical license depends on your success.

What are the requirements?

  • A student, at the minimum, must be currently enrolled in any medical professional schools, including but not limited to: Physician Assistant, Advanced Practice Nurse or Nurse Practitioner, Medical (MD/DO), Podiatry, Dental, Optometry.
  • A student may also be practicing mid-level providers (PA/NP), allied health professionals, or any individuals with unlimited prescribing power in the medical setting.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • In this course, you will be taught how to study to succeed in your primary medicine board exams whether you're a Physician Assistant, Nurse Practitioner or another allied health professional.
  • You will review the most emphasized topics in the certifying and re-certifying exams.
  • You will review disease history, pathology, work-up, treatment and prevention so that you can tackle questions with confidence.

Who is the target audience?

  • Physician Assistant students at any year in their training.
  • Practicing Physician Assistants (PAs) preparing for their re-certifying exam.
  • Nurse Practitioner students at any year in their training.
  • Practicing Nurse Practitioners preparing for their recertification, especially in Family Practice, Adult, and Gerontological practices.
  • Medical students at any year in their training.
  • Podiatry students at any year in their training.
  • Dental students at any year in their training.
  • Optometry students at any year in their training.
  • Any of the above (or any not listed) students/professionals that are required to take a licensing exam or re-licensing exam based on primary medicine.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Let's Get Started!

Hi, I’m Megan Steel, your course instructor. I am a practicing Plastic Surgery and Primary Care Physician Assistant who graduated from Seton Hal University’s Physician Assistant Program.

In this first edition of the course, I will review every body system from the Cardiovascular System to the Behavioral System and each section will cover several topics within each discipline.

For each disease topic I will review pertinent epidemiology, etiology, pathogenesis, symptoms, physical findings, diagnostics, treatment, and prevention when applicable.

In addition to lecture material, I have also provided outlines on the topics covered, as well as additional outlines not covered in lecture topics but part of that specific body system.

After each body system section, you will be prompted to take a quiz. In total, there are over 125 questions provided in this course that will make you not only confident in your knowledge, but guide you to topics that still require emphasis in your personal study.

I am a very dedicated Physician Assistant that is eager to not only be a better clinician, but to help other medical professionals when sitting for their licensing exams and maintaining their knowledge in clinical practice.

Section 2: At the Heart of it all - The Cardiovascular System
Cardiovascular Introduction

Hypertension is a bread and butter diagnosis that must be well understood to succeed on your general medicine licensing board exam.

And in addition to the definition, stages, risks, prevention, and treatment, knowing the impact long-standing HTN has on the human body is also paramount. For example, HTN impacts the eyes with Hypertensive Retinopathy, found on physical exam with AV Nicking and Silver/Copper Wiring. In subsequent material, I recommend a thorough search of the detriment HTN has to each organ system.

Supplementary materials for this lecture include a quite lengthy overview of Hypertension and the JNC 7 Express Guidelines PDF.


On your licensing exam you most likely will see a couple of questions involving murmurs and their identification. This lecture goes over several mnemonics and ways to think about murmurs that will help you identify the answer quickly and appropriately.

--Keep in mind the movements that make murmurs louder and softer:

1) MVP gets louder with a patient squatting

2) Tetrology of Fallot gets louder with a patient standing

3) Aortic Stenosis gets louder with a patient sitting and leaning forward

4) Aortic Regurgitation gets louder with the patient sitting, leaning forward, and exhaling

5) Mitral Stenosis gets louder when the patient is in Left Lateral Decubitus position

--Treatment of some of these murmurs are as follows:

1) Aortic Stenosis/Regurgitation - Valve Replacement

2) Mitral Stenosis - Valvulotomy

3) Mitral Regurgitation - Valve Replacement

Finally, remember that some murmurs, especially regurgitant murmurs, may require prophylactic antibiotics to prevent endocarditits and recurrent rheumatic fever.

The supplementary material for this lecture is a reiteration of the Cardiovascular Physical Exam as outlined by "Guide to Physical Examination and History Taking" - Bates 9th Edition. Additional information on MVP and Mitral Stenosis can also be found in the downloadable materials section of this lecture.


Acute Myocardial Infarction is a can't miss diagnosis and requires a knee-jerk treatment plan. I attempt to make this a breeze with helpful tips, mneumonics and combining information that helps connect the dots from AMI to angina and topics in between.

Additional outlines that cover the almost the entire remainder of the Cardiovascular System within the NCCPA Content Blueprint (which is the topic list expected of Physician Assistants to be competent with in order to pass their licensing exam) are attached here.

Happy Studying!


This quick lecture reviews the three main types of cardiomyopathies:




Happy Studying!

12 questions

Multiple choice quiz for the cardiovascular system.

Section 3: Just Breathe - The Pulmonary System
Pulmonary Introduction

Another topic that is a mainstay in general medicine licensing exams is Pneumonia. There are many types of pneumonia, pathogens that cause pneumonia, and varied treatments that all should be ironed out before you sit for your exam. This lecture will touch upon the basics of pneumonia and emphasize key words that can help in quickly and efficiently choosing the appropriate answers to questions.

Additional outlines within the topic are attached.


This lecture briefly discusses the causes, signs, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of COPD.

Note the Obstructive pattern seen on Spirometry as promised in my lecture:


This lecture will review the two main types of Lung Cancer - Small Cell and Non-Small Cell.

Each subsequent type is then explained in detail as far as presentation, late sequelae, and treatment recommendations. Additional documentation has been attached to this lecture.

And remember...no smoking!

Below is a quick summary of SCLC and NSCLC histology and commonly associated characteristics:

12 questions

This quiz will test a variety of topics within the topic of the pulmonary system.

Section 4: You can stomach it - The Gastrointestinal System
Gastrointestinal Introduction

Under the content blueprint of the NCCPA are the characteristic pathologies associated with the gallbladder.

1) Acute Cholecystitis

2) Chronic Cholecystitis

3) Cholelithiasis

Other less common pathologies are also briefly discussed in this lecture such as Alcalculous Cholecystitis.

Disease history, physical, and diagnostic testing is reviewed as well as necessary treatment options.

Below is an additional outline for your reference.


This lecture reviews Appendicitis, a commonly presented surgical emergency and tested topic on general medicine licensing exams.

An outline for the topic has also been provided below.



Irritable Bowel Disease is another staple to the exams that hold a special emphasis in gastrointestinal pathology.

Both Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis are explained in detail, and their differences are clearly defined so that you will be able to approach questions with confidence.

An outline has also been attached to this lecture for you that reiterate the information discussed.

...I apologize for the scrubs worn in the video, I just had a 10-hr day in the operating room and couldn't bear to get up off the couch once I finally sat down!

9 pages

This brief powerpoint quickly sums up all you need to know about Hemorrhoids - literally a pain in the rear, but a topic that must be well understood to get those "gimme" questions on your licensing exam.

An additional file has been attached for reference.

12 questions

This multiple choice quiz will test your knowledge of the GI system. Only a few of the topics were covered in this section with lectures, so further review of the section is required.

Good luck!

Section 5: Stretch your muscles - The Musculoskeletal System
Musculoskeletal Introduction

Starting off the Musculoskeletal Section I review fractures from head to toe including the eponyms associated and treatment when applicable.

Additional information has been provided.

13 pages

This quick powerpoint reviews the essentials of the orthopedic emergency: Compartment Syndrome. This lecture reviews the Etiology, Symptoms, Signs, Diagnostics, and Treatment for this surgical emergency.

An additional outline is provided to help solidify the information.

Happy Studying!


There are multiple back disorders covered in the Content Blueprint. Several of these conditions are discussed here, from disorders that can't be missed (Cauda Equina Syndrome) and staples of back pain like Herniated Nucleus Pulposus.

Additional materials can also be found attached to this lecture including Lumbar Sprain and Spinal Stenosis.


This rather lengthy lecture covers Rheumatologic Disorders in adequate detail without putting you completely to sleep.

From SLE to Temporal/Giant Cell Arteritis, I will cover a hefty chunk of the field of rheumatology as it relates to the exam in as little as 30 minutes.

Additional PDF outlines have been attached to this lecture for further review.

12 questions

This multiple choice quiz will test your knowledge of the musculoskeletal system.

Section 6: Trusting (most of) your senses - EENT
EENT Introduction

The first lecture of the ENT section is the topic of the eyes. Specifically, I review Glaucoma, Cataracts, and Macular Degeneration.

Eyes are probably my least favorite topic/body part, but in order to succeed in general practice and on the exams, you must be comfortable with diagnosis and treatment of this conditions.

Also be sure to review such topics as: Conjunctivitis (Viral vs. Allergic vs. Bacterial), Retinal Detachment, Hypertensive Retinopathy, Hyphema, Hordeolum, Chalazion, Pterygium, Pinguecula, Corneal Abrasion, etc.

Attached are additional outlines related to the topics discussed.

I hope you enjoy the ENT section!


Second in line for EENT is pathology of the ears. This lecture reviews Acute and Chronic Otitis Media, Vertigo (and most of its subtypes), and Meniere's Disease.

The attachments found below are additional materials to add to your study arsenal.


This brief lecture reviews the basics of Acute Sinusitis:






Sinusitis is an easy topic to review and remember, this should be a breeze for anyone.

20 pages

The Throat portion of ENT is briefly touched upon with this PowerPoint presentation that discusses Pharyngitis and Epiglottitis.

Pharyngitis is not simply just a sore throat, rather there are myriad types of causes that lead to very different diagnoses and treatments. From Diphtheria to GABHS, I will touch upon the most commonly seen and the "can't miss" diagnoses related to the presentation of "sore throat".

Epiglottitis on the other hand is a fairly straightforward diagnosis with an emergent assessment and treatment plan that must be carried out.

*FYI - did you know that one of the most notable deaths caused by Epiglottitis was former President of the United States, George Washington?! I love those little fun facts!

11 questions

This multiple choice quiz will test your knowledge of EENT based on the lectures and outlines and general knowledge you're expected to know for the PANCE.

Section 7: Calm your nerves - The Nervous System
Neurology Introduction

Stroke, or Cerebrovascular Accident, and Transient Ischemic Attack are two neurologic disorders with great emphasis in primary medicine, especially when it comes to their prevention. Please carefully review this lecture and institute these preventive techniques in your own practice to help eliminate the great morbidity and mortality of CVA.

As promised in the lecture, I have provided the 2011 ACLS guidelines for use of tPA in suspected ischemic stroke.

Attached are additional outlines for your reference.


Multiple Sclerosis is an important diagnosis to make in this body system.

Much of what you need to know about MS is covered in this lecture, but for completeness, I have also attached two outlines that will help fill any gaps.



The third of 4 lectures in the Neuro section is Guillain Barre and Bell's Palsy, two of the most fascinating, usually idiopathic nervous system disorders.

Additional outlines will be provided...as always.


27 pages

This PowerPoint covers both Dementia and Delirium. There are very significant differences between the two, the most obvious being insidious versus acute onset.

Dementia is broken down into both Alzheimer's and Multi-Infarct types, and their differences are also made apparent in this brief PDF.

Additional outlines have been provided for this lecture.

I have also attached an outline for Parkinson's Disease. This is another important condition to understand within the nervous system.

10 questions

This quiz will test your neurology knowledge.

Section 8: Controlling your flight of ideas - The Behavioral System
Behavioral Introduction

Anxiety Disorders are a culmination of not only panic attacks and generalized anxiety, but also phobias and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

In this lecture I will cover the following:

Panic Attack

Panic Disorder

Generalized Anxiety Disorder


Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Treatment varies depending on acute vs maintenance, and bear in mind the motto: "when in doubt SSRI's".

:) I hope you enjoy the Behavioral System more than I do!

39 pages

This PowerPoint presentation will review Mood Disorders such as Major Depressive Disorder, Bipolar Disorders, and their associated treatments and adverse effects of medications used for their treatment.

Please see the files attached for additional information.


Probably one of the few sets of behavioral disorders I find fascinating are the Personality Disorders like Histrionic and Antisocial Disorder.

These conditions have unique behaviors associated with them and often times in practice overlap with one another.

I hope you have as much fun diagnosing your friends and former friends with these conditions as I did when I first learned about them! Haha!

I have also included additional outlines that review Schizophrenia and ADD vs ADHD, other diagnoses within this system that require review.

10 questions

This multiple choice quiz will test your knowledge of the Behavioral System.

Section 9: Don't Hold Back - The Genitourinary System
Genitourinary Introduction

Renal stones are considered one of the most painful things individuals can endure, in addition to Cluster Headaches and giving birth.

Missing this diagnosis next to impossible when you use the diagnostics and history & physical findings described in this lecture.

Please also see the attached outlines for reference. I've also included Acute Pyelonephritis with this lecture for additional information. Enjoy!


This lecture will review Prostatitis, Epididymitis and Orchitis.

As always, signs, symptoms, pathology, diagnostics, and treatment are discussed for each.

Additional outlines have also been provided below.

I have also included an outline on Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, a very common diagnosis among aging men that cause lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS).

Finally, I've added a general GU outline that includes some topics covered here, and others that are not covered in the lectures provided.

Warning: This lecture contains graphic content that is intended only for medical information purposes.


In this lecture I briefly review Prostate, Bladder, and Testicular Cancer.

These diagnoses all have their own very specific findings that should instantly trigger in your mind while either in practice or while taking an exam.

I've also included the outlines associated with this lecture.


10 questions

This multiple choice quiz will test your knowledge of the GU system from the topics covered in the lectures and what is expected of you on the PANCE blueprint.

Section 10: Gettin' Busy - The Reproductive System
Reproductive Introduction

To start the Reproductive System, I have reviewed several of the Sexually Transmitted Infections.

I have also included a PDF file including the topics discussed and additional topics not mentioned in this lecture. Happy Studying!


Cervical Carcinoma rates are low in the United States in comparison to developing countries, mostly due in part to great preventative care.

In this lecture, I review Cervical Dysplasia and Carcinoma.

Additional lectures have been provided to aid in your study.


Complications of pregnancy covered in this lecture are:

  • Postpartum Hemorrhage
  • Premature Rupture of Membranes
  • Abruptio Placentae
  • Placenta Previa
  • Ectopic Pregnancy
  • Dystocia
  • Types of Abortions

Additional study materials have been provided with this lecture.

10 questions

Take this quiz to test your reproductive system knowledge.

Section 11: Hormonal Control - The Endocrine System
Endocrinology Introduction

To start off the Endocrine System I will review two important diagnoses:

  1. Diabetes Mellitus Type 1
  2. Diabetes Mellitus Type 2

Attached to this lecture are several outlines related to this material, as well as a comprehensive outline describing the medications used for Type 2 diabetes. There are myriad options for Type 2 diabetes oral medications, and knowing how to navigate through the options provided are vital to appropriate treatment. As mentioned in the lecture, Metformin is the drug of choice!



Four of the most common and most important Thyroid conditions are presented in this lecture:

1) Hypothyroidism

2) Hyperthyroidism

3) Thyroid Nodule

4) Thyroid Cancer

Attached are additional study materials for reference.


This lecture completes the last of The Endocrine System:

  • Adrenal Insufficiency
  • Cushing's Syndrome and Cushing's Disease
  • Acromegaly and Gigantism
  • Diabetes Insipidus

Whether the resulting hormonal imbalances are due to iatrogenic causes, tumors, etc. these conditions are described in detail and review what you need to know to feel confident in your diagnosis and treatment.

Adrenal Gland Anatomy:

Pituitary Gland Anatomy and Associated Hormones of the Anterior Pituitary. The Posterior Pituitary releases Oxytocin and Vasopressin (important in Diabetes Insipidus).

10 questions

Test your endocrinology knowledge with this quick quiz.

Section 12: Barely Scratching the Surface - The Dermatologic System
Dermatology Introduction

Lichen Planus, Psoriasis, and Pityriasis Rosea are reviewed in this lecture.

Buzz words, images, and treatment are reviewed for each of these conditions.



Viral skin disorders can culminate into many skin conditions, however the ones reviewed in this lecture are:


Herpes Simplex

Herpes Zoster/Shingles

Condyloma Acuminata


The Desquamation Disorders can be life-threatening:

Steven Johnson Syndrome

Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis

Erythema multiforme (not life-threatening)

Additional outlines provided below, as always!

10 questions

This multiple choice quiz will test your knowledge of the lectured topics and those provided in the outlines of this section.

Good Luck!

Section 13: Blood and Bugs - The Hematologic System and Infectious Disease
Hematology/Infectious Disease Introduction

In this lecture I will review the four main Leukemia types and Multiple Myeloma.

Additional outlines supporting this material have been included below. Also, I have included two additional diagnoses that I typically group within these lecture topics:

  • Hodgkins Lymphoma
  • Non-hodgkins Lymphoma


This Anemia lecture will first start by defining Mirco vs. Normo. vs. Macro -cytic anemias. I will review Anemia of Chronic Disease, Aplastic Anemia, Hemolytic Anemias like G6PD Deficiency, Iron Deficiency, Thalassemia, Vitamin B12 and Folate Deficiency.

Attached is additional information for you to review.


This lecture reviews coagulation disorders on the two spectrums: decreased clotting and hypercoagulability.

  • Thrombocytopenia
  • Von Willebrand's Disease
  • Hemophilia A
  • Hemophilia B
  • Protein C Deficiency
  • Protein S Deficiency
  • Factor V Leiden

Additional outlines have been provided for your personal study.

Happy Studying!

13 pages

This brief PowerPoint lecture reviews Tuberculosis - Primary/Latent and Active Disease. In the ever-changing world of medicine, however, recommendations for treatment of this condition can and have changed since the condition was first found. In light of this, I have provided the link to the CDC website for Tuberculosis, which offers the most up to date information on treatment and epidemiology of the condition.

I have also provided an outline on the topic for your personal study.


This lecture briefly goes over what you need to know in clinical practice and on your board exams for Lyme Disease.

I have also provided a link to the CDC's website re: Lyme.

12 questions

Good luck on this multiple choice quiz testing your knowledge of Hematology and Infectious Disease.

Section 14: Creating Your Own Study Schedule
How to get started
1 page

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Instructor Biography

Megan Steel, MSPA, PA-C, Physician Assistant

As a busy, practicing Physician Assistant in Family Medicine, and formerly Plastic Surgery, I have always strived to advance the profession and help my peers throughout their careers. As a New Jersey PA Foundation board member I participate in the advocacy efforts of the field and rewarding those who make a difference in education, research, and patients' lives.

While initially preparing for the PANCE, I found a lack of varied materials for learning and re-learning the myriad topics covered. As a firm believer in learning through multiple approaches that are easy to access, Udemy has allowed me to help fill the gaps in test prep resources.

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