The intent of the program is to develop competent primary care physician assistants (PAs) who can evaluate, manage, and provide satisfactory health care to the general population. Students are expected to complete all academic and clinical requirements of the professional program. The following technical standards specify those attributes that the PA faculty consider necessary for completing the professional education and subsequently enabling the graduate to enter clinical practice.
1. Observation: Students must be able to observe demonstrations and experiments in basic and clinical sciences (including computer-assisted instruction), and must be able to observe a patient accurately at a distance or close at hand.
2. Communication: Students must be able to communicate accurately and with clarity, in oral and written forms, with appropriate respect and sensitivity towards faculty, patients, and all members of the healthcare team.
3. Motor: Students must have sufficient motor function to elicit information from patients by palpation, auscultation, percussion and other diagnostic maneuvers. They must be able to grasp and manipulate tools and equipment, stand, sit, walk and move as needed in a patient care setting.
4. Senses: Students must have sufficient use of the senses of vision, hearing, touch, and smell necessary to directly perform a physical examination.
5. Problem solving: Students must be able to learn to measure, calculate, analyze, and synthesize data to reach diagnostic, therapeutic and surgical judgments.
6. Clinical skills: Students are expected to be able to learn and perform routine laboratory tests and diagnostic, therapeutic and surgical procedures. All students will be expected to perform physical examinations on both males and females.
7. Behavioral attributes: Students must possess the emotional health necessary for full utilization of their intellectual abilities, the exercise of sound judgment, the prompt completion of responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients, and the development of mature, sensitive, and effective relationships with faculty, clinical staff and patients.
8. Judgment: Students must be able to learn and demonstrate the ability to recognize limitations to their knowledge, skills and abilities, and to seek appropriate assistance with their identified limitations.
9. Stability: Students must be able to learn to respond with precise, efficient, and appropriate action in emergency situations.
10. Perseverance: Students are expected to possess the humility to accept criticism, and the diligence to successfully complete the physician assistant curriculum and enter the practice of medicine as a certified physician assistant.
11. Cognition: The physician assistant program is a concentrated and fast-paced program. In addition, physician assistants must often make critical decisions when evaluating patients and must make these decisions in a timely manner. Students must be able to assimilate large amounts of information quickly and efficiently, as well as gather and analyze patient data in a timely manner. Health conditions and/or drugs (prescription, over the counter or "recreational") that alter perceptions, slow responses, or impair judgment are not compatible with success in the program. These may also affect the student's ability to obtain a license or to practice as a physician assistant.
12. Capability: Physician Assistants work in a variety of clinical settings and may be required to stand for extended periods of time, assist in major surgery, hold retractors, place invasive devices, assist in labor and delivery, perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation, perform minor surgical procedures, or help move patients. Therefore, students must be capable of functioning safely, effectively, and efficiently in a classroom, laboratory, or clinical facility without any of the following: a surrogate, intermediate, companion (animal or human), translator, or assistive device that would interfere with or not be usable in a surgical or other patient care setting.
Individuals with disabilities may be provided reasonable accommodations to fully participate in the program, as long as their condition does not interfere with patient care or safety, or lead to a high likelihood of absenteeism.