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Technical Standards

  • Observation - The ability to observe is required for demonstrations, visual presentations in lectures and laboratories, laboratory evidence and microbiological cultures, microscopic studies of microorganisms and tissues in normal and pathological states. A candidate must be able to observe patients accurately and completely, both closely and from a distance. Observation requires functional vision and somatic sensation and is enhanced by a sense of smell.
  • Communication - A candidate should be able to speak, hear and observe patients in order to elicit information, perceive non-verbal communications and describe changes in mood, activity and posture. The candidate must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients through speech, and through reading and writing. Communication in oral and written form with the health care team must be effective and efficient.
  • Motor - A candidate should have sufficient motor function to elicit information from patients by palpation, auscultation and percussion, as well as to carry out diagnostic maneuvers. A candidate should have motor function sufficient to execute movements reasonably required to provide general care and emergency treatment to patients. Such skills require coordination of gross and fine muscular movements, equilibrium and sensation.
  • Intellectual-Conceptual, Integrative and Quantitative Abilities - Problem solving is a critical skill demanded of physician assistants; this skill requires all of these abilities. The candidate must also be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships as well as the spatial relationship of structures.
  • Behavioral and Social Attributes - A candidate must have sufficient emotional health to fully use his or her intellectual ability, to exercise good judgment, to complete all responsibilities, and to attend to the diagnosis and care of patients. A candidate must be able to develop mature, sensitive and effective relationships with patients and colleagues. A candidate must be able to tolerate physical and emotional stress and continue to function effectively. A candidate must possess qualities of adaptability, flexibility and be able to function in the face of uncertainty. He/she must have a high level of compassion for others, motivation to serve, integrity and a consciousness of social values. A candidate must possess sufficient interpersonal skills to interact positively with people from all levels of society, all ethnic backgrounds and all belief systems.

    The administration of the Physician Assistant program recognizes its responsibility to present candidates who have the knowledge and skills to function in a broad variety of clinical situations and to render a wide spectrum of patient care. The responsibility for these technical standards is primarily placed on the Physician Assistant Admissions Committee to select entering Physician Assistant students who will be the candidates for the degree.