Goals and Competencies

Department/Program: Master of Science in Medicine, Physician Assistant
Assessment Coordinator:
Department Chair: David Areaux, MPAS, PA-C, chair and program director
Lead person (or team):
Date updated/submitted: January 2021

MISSION

The Department of Physician Assistant at Western Michigan University is dedicated to educating competent, caring physician assistants to practice primary care medicine in all areas of society.

GOALS

  1. The Western Michigan University Physician Assistant Program is dedicated to educating high quality, competent, and caring physician assistants to practice primary care medicine in all areas of society.

  2. The Western Michigan University Physician Assistant Program is committed to developing physician assistants who exhibit professionalism in all aspects of health care.

  3. Graduates of the Western Michigan University Physician Assistant Program will demonstrate an understanding of how to utilize evidence-based medicine in the management of patients.

  4. Graduates of the Western Michigan University Physician Assistant Program will effectively communicate with patients and other health care team members.

  5. Graduates of the Western Michigan University Physician Assistant Program will be able to work effectively with physicians and other health care professionals as a member of an interdisciplinary team.

  • Learning Outcomes

    Our program learning outcomes are as follows:

    Student Learning Outcomes (Instructional Objectives) Competency
    MK CR/PS CS/TS PROF ICS
    Obtain a detailed history congruent with the patient's chief complaint X   X   X
    Acquire a comprehensive medical history with sensitivity and respect for the unique health concerns of the patient X   X   X
    Demonstrate knowledge of expected physical, cognitive and/or behavioral milestones for given sex and age of patient, with respect to performing a patient exam X   X   X
    Perform a focused physical exam based on patient's chief complaint X   X    
    Summarize and articulate pertinent patient data in a concise and accurate manner to preceptor of record, faculty member, or other provider X   X   X
    Formulate a differential diagnosis based on common concerns seen when delivering primary care to patient of any age X X      
    Understand when to order and how to interpret laboratory and diagnostic tests for initial evaluation of common medical concerns X X X    
    Develop appropriate treatment plans for common concerns seen when delivering primary care to patients of all ages; to include medication therapies, lifestyle modifications, non-medication interventions and specialist referrals as necessary in order to meet the medical, surgical and emotional needs of each patient X X      
    Develop and record patient progress notes in the specified clinical setting X X X    
    Know how to develop plans for appropriate timing of age specific preventive medicine/health visits X X      
    Demonstrate effective communication, providing appropriate and timely guidance and education to the patient X       X
    Evaluate a patient and identify signs and symptoms that signal common complaints or processes X X X    
    Demonstrate proper professional appearance and attitude, ethical conduct and respect for patients, families and the healthcare team       X X
    Demonstrate a positive attitude toward learning, being attentive to instruction and open to guidance       X X
    Demonstrate an awareness of role and limitations       X  

    LEGEND:

    • Medical Knowledge (MK)
    • Clinical Reasoning and Problem Solving (CR/PS)
    • Clinical Skills and Technical Skills (CS/TS)
    • Professionalism (PROF)
    • Interpersonal and Communication Skills (ICS)
  • Long Range Timeline and Leads

    Our timeframe for assessing each outcome, and the people leading the assessment are as follows:

    Outcome #

    Timeframe

    Lead

    #1 End of semester
    End of program
    Annually
    Instructor of Record (IOR)
    Program Director (PD)
    Director of Clinical Education (DCE)
    #2 End of semester
    End of program
    Annually
    IOR
    PD
    DCE
    #3 End of semester
    Annually
    IOR
    PD
    #4 End of Semester
    End of program
    Annually
    IOR
    PD
    DCE
    #5 End of semester
    End of program
    Annually
    IOR
    DCE
    PD
    #6 End of semester
    End of program
    Annually
    IOR
    DCE
    PD
    #7 End of semester
    End of program
    Annually
    IOR
    DCE
    PD
    #8 End of semester
    End of program
    Annually
    IOR
    DCE
    PD
    #9 End of Rotation
    Annually
    DCE
    PD
    #10 End of semester
    End of program
    Annually
    IOR
    DCE
    PD
    #11 End of semester
    End of program
    Annually
    IOR
    DCE
    PD
    #12 End of semester
    End of program
    Annually
    IOR
    DCE
    PD
    #13 End of semester IOR
    PD
    DCE
    #14 End of semester IOR
    PD
    DCE
    #15 End of semester IOR
    PD
    DCE
  • Assessment Methods

    The program uses the following assessment tools for testing student success in meeting the aforementioned learning outcomes:

    Instrument, Activity, Assignment Purpose How Graded Student Learning Outcomes (SLO) #s
    Case Studies Critical medical thinking Rubric #6, #8, #12
    Diagnostic Skill Project Practical clinical application Faculty reviewed, student self-corrected #7
    End-of-Semester Review Evaluate student performance and professionalism Discussion and observation #11, #13, #14, #15
    End-of-Rotation Exam (EOR) Summative evaluation of knowledge Multiple choice exam #4, #7, #8, #12
    History and Physicals (H&P) Practical clinical application Rubric #1, #2, #3, #4, #7, #8, #9
    Hands-on Diagnostic Skills Demonstrate proficiency of clinical skills Faculty observation, Rubric #7
    Lecture and Lab Exams Summative evaluation of medical knowledge Multiple choice exam, Rubric #3, #7, #12
    Mentoring Evaluation External evaluation of student preparedness Rubric #3, #4, #5, #8, #12, #13, #14, #15
    Mentoring H&P Practical clinical application Rubric #2, #3, #5
    Mentoring Subjective, Objective, Assessment, Plan Note (SOAP) Practical clinical application Rubric #5
    Module Exam Summative evaluation of medical knowledge Multiple choice exam #1, #2, #3, #7, #8, #10, #11, #12
    Online CDC Activity Standardized content Self-evaluated #10
    Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) Practical clinical experience 
    Critical medical thinking
    Faculty observed, Rubric #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #8, #12, #13, #14, #15
    Preceptor Evaluation External evaluation of student preparedness Rubric #1, #2, #3, #4, #6, #7, #8, #9, #11, #12, #13, #14, #15
    Presentation
    (Individual or Group)
    Peer to peer education Student collaboration Faculty observation, Rubric #2, #8, #11
    Role-Playing Student immersion into medical disparity and patient education Faculty observation #8
    Simulated Patient Practical experience Critical medical thinking Faculty observed, Rubric #4
    Subjective, Objective, Assessment, Plan Note (SOAP) Practical clinical application Rubric #1, #3, #4, #5, #7, #8, #9, #12
    Summative Evaluation Summative evaluation of medical knowledge Critical medical thinking Practical clinical application Multiple choice questions, Faculty observation, Rubric #1, #4, #6, #7, #8, #12, #13, #14, #15
    Team Based Learning (TBL) Activity Critical medical thinking Rubric, Multiple Choice Questions #7, #8, #12
    Written Assignment Critical medical thinking Rubric #2, #8
    Written Group Work Activity Student collaboration
     
    Critical medical thinking
    Rubric Rubric #8
  • Learning Opportunities

    The following "curriculum map" illustrates which courses and requirements help students meet the intended outcomes. Each outcome is identified with a number corresponding to the Student Learning Outcomes (Instructional Objectives) listed in section 3, and lists the activity/assignment/instrument type outlined in section 4. Students are introduced to each outcome early in the program (indicated by an "I" on the curriculum map). The outcomes are then reinforced and students practice throughout the program ("R"). Near the end of the program, students demonstrate mastery ("M") and the program collects evidence of that learning ("A").

    Courses Outcome 1 Outcome 2 Outcome 3 Outcome 4 Outcome 5 Outcome 6 Outcome 7 Outcome 8 Outcome 9 Outcome 10 Outcome 11
    MDSC 6110: The Diagnostic Process I #1, module exam and SOAP (I) #5, SOAP (I) #8, SOAP (I) #12, module exam and SOAP (I) #13, #14, #15, End-of-semester review (A)            
    MDSC 6120: The Diagnostic Process II #1, module exam, SOAP and OSCE (R) #2, OSCE, Mentoring H&P (I) #3, OSCE, mentoring H&P module exam (I) #4, OSCE (I) #5, OSCE, SOAP (R) #6, OSCE (I) #8,OSCE, SOAP (I) #12, module exam, SOAP, OSCE, mentoring evaluation (R) #13, #14, #15, OSCE, mentoring evaluation (R), end-of-semester review (A)    
    MDSC 6130: The Diagnostic Process III #1, module exam, SOAP and OSCE (R) #2, OSCE, Mentoring H&P (R) #3, mentoring SOAP, evaluation (R) #4, OSCE, mentoring evaluation (R) #5, OSCE, SOAP, mentoring SOAP/H&P, evaluation (R) #6, OSCE (R) #8, OSCE, SOAP, mentoring evaluation (I) #12, module exam, SOAP, OSCE, mentoring evaluation (R) #13, #14, #15, OSCE, mentoring evaluation (R), end-of-semester review (A)    
    MDSC 6210: Medical Pathophysiology I #8, module exam and case studies (I) #12, module exam and case studies (I) #13, #14, #15, End-of-semester review (A)                
    MDSC 6220: Medical Pathophysiology II #8, module exam and case studies (I) #12, module exam and case studies (I) #13, #14, #15, End-of-semester review (A)                
    MDSC 6230: Medical Pathophysiology III #8, module exam and case studies (I) #12, module exam and case studies (I) #13, #14, #15, End-of-semester review (A)                
    MDSC 6310: Integrated Medicine I #6, case studies (I) #8, module exam and case studies (I) #12, module exam and case studies (I) #13, #14, #15, End-of-semester review (A)              
    MDSC 6320: Integrated Medicine II #4, simulated patient (I) #8, module exam and case studies (I) #10, module exam (I) #12, module exam and case studies (I) #13, #14, #15, End-of-semester review (A)            
    MDSC 6330: Integrated Medicine III #8, module exam and case studies (I) #12, module exam and case studies (I) #13, #14, #15, End-of-semester review (A)                
    MDSC 6340: Integrated Medicine IV #6, case studies (I) #8, module exam and case studies (I) #10, module exam (I) #12, module exam and case studies (I) #13, #14, #15, End-of-semester review (A)            
    MDSC 6350: Integrated Medicine V #8, module exam and TBL group/case work (I) #10, module exam (I) #12, module exam, TBL activity (I) #13, #14, #15, End-of-semester review (A)              
    MDSC 6360: Integrated Medicine VI #8, module exam (I) #10, module exam (I) #12, module exam (I) #13, #14, #15, End-of-semester review (A)              
    MDSC 6370: Integrated Medicine VII #8, module exam and case studies (I) #12, module exam and case studies (I) #13, #14, #15, End-of-semester review (A)                
    MDSC 6380: Integrated Medicine VIII #7, TBL activity (I) #8, module exam and TBL activity (I) #10, module exam (I) #12, module exam and TBL case studies (I) #13, #14, #15, End-of-semester review (A)            
    MDSC 6390: Integrated Medicine IX #3, module exam (I) #8, module exam and case studies (I) #10, module exam, on-line CDC activity (I) #12, module exam and case studies (I) #13, #14, #15, End-of-semester review (A)            
    MDSC 6410: Procedures and Diagnostic Testing I #7, module exam, diagnostic skill project (I) #13, #14, #15, End-of-semester review (A)                  
    MDSC 6420: Procedures and Diagnostic Testing II #7, module exam, hand-on diagnostic skills (I) #13, #14, #15, End-of-semester review (A)                  
    MDSC 6430: Procedures and Diagnostic Testing III #7, module exam, hand-on diagnostic skills (I) #13, #14, #15, End-of-semester review (A)                  
    MDSC 6510: Health Promotion and Patient Counseling I #2, module exam, written assignment, presentation (I) #8, written assignments, exam, and presentation (I) #13, #14, #15, End-of-semester review (A)                
    MDSC 6520: Health Promotion and Patient Counseling II #2, role-playing and presentation (I) #8, module exam, role-playing and presentation (I) #11, group presentations (I) #13, #14, #15, End-of-semester review (A)              
    MDSC 6530: Health Promotion and Patient Counseling III #2, role-playing, written assignment, exam (I) #8, role-playing, exam, written group work activity #11, module exam (I) #13, #14, #15, End-of-semester review (A)              
    MDSC 6550: Professional Issues for Physician Assistants I #2, group presentation, exam (I) #8, group presentation, exam (I) #13, #14, #15, End-of-semester review (A)                
    MDSC 6560: Professional Issues for Physician Assistants II #2, group presentation, exam (I) #8, group presentation, exam (I) #13, #14, #15, End-of-semester review (A)                
    MDSC 6610: Pharmacotherapeutics I #6, case studies (I) #8, module exam and  cases (I) #12, module exam and case studies (I) #13, #14, #15, End-of-semester review (A)              
    MDSC 6620: Pharmacotherapeutics II #6, case studies (R) #8, module exam and  cases (I) #12, module exam and case studies (I) #13, #14, #15, End-of-semester review (A)              
    MDSC 6630: Pharmacotherapeutics III #6, case studies (R) #8, module exam and  cases (I) #12, module exam and case studies (I) #13, #14, #15, End-of-semester review (A)              
    MDSC 6710: Advanced Clinical Anatomy I #3, lecture and lab exams (I) #6, case studies (I and R) #7, lecture and lab exams  (I) #12, lecture and lab exam (I and R) #13, #14, #15, End-of-semester review (A)            
    MDSC 6720: Advanced Clinical Anatomy II #3, lecture and lab exams (I and R) #6, case studies (I and R) #7, lecture and lab exams  (I) #12, lecture and lab exam (I and R) #13, #14, #15, End-of-semester review (A)            
    MDSC 6730: Advanced Clinical Anatomy III #3, lecture and lab exams (I and R) #6, case studies (I and R) #7, lecture and lab exams  (I) #12, lecture and lab exam (I and R) #13, #14, #15, End-of-semester review (A)            
    MDSC 6800: Research Concepts for Physician Assistants #13, #14, #15, End-of-semester review (A)                    
    MDSC 6801: Research Methods II for Physician Assistants #13, #14, #15, End-of-semester review (A)                    
    MDSC 6802: Research Methods III for Physician Assistants #13, #14, #15, End-of-semester review (A)                    
    MDSC 6810: Professional Field Experience – Women’s Health #1, Preceptor evaluation and H&P (A) #4, Preceptor Evaluation, H&P, SOAP, EOR (A&M) #6, Preceptor evaluation (A) #7, Preceptor evaluation, SOAP, H&P, EOR (A) #8, Preceptor evaluation, SOAP, H&P, EOR (A) #9, Preceptor evaluation, SOAP, H&P (A) #11, Preceptor evaluation (A) #12, Preceptor evaluation and EOR (A&M) #13, 14, 15, Preceptor evaluation (A), End-of-semester review (A)    
    MDSC 6820 Professional Field Experience - Pediatrics #1, Preceptor evaluation and H&P (A) #3, Preceptor evaluation, H&P, and SOAP (A) #4, Preceptor Evaluation, H&P, SOAP, EOR (A&M) #6, Preceptor evaluation (A) #7, Preceptor evaluation, SOAP, H&P, EOR (A) #8, Preceptor evaluation, SOAP, H&P, EOR (A) #9, Preceptor evaluation, SOAP, H&P (A) #11, Preceptor evaluation (A) #12, Preceptor evaluation and EOR (A&M) #13, 14, 15, Preceptor evaluation (A), End-of-semester review (A)  
    MDSC 6830 Professional Field Experience -Surgery #1, Preceptor evaluation and H&P (A) #4, Preceptor Evaluation, H&P, SOAP, EOR (A&M) #6, Preceptor evaluation (A) #7, Preceptor evaluation, SOAP, H&P, EOR (A) #8, Preceptor evaluation, SOAP, H&P, EOR (A) #9, Preceptor evaluation, SOAP, H&P (A) #11, Preceptor evaluation (A) #12, Preceptor evaluation and EOR (A&M) #13, 14, 15, Preceptor evaluation (A), End-of-semester review (A)    
    MDSC 6840 Professional Field Experience – Medical Psychiatry #1, Preceptor evaluation and H&P (A) #4, Preceptor Evaluation, H&P, SOAP, EOR (A&M) #6, Preceptor evaluation (A) #7, Preceptor evaluation, SOAP, H&P, EOR (A) #8, Preceptor evaluation, SOAP, H&P, EOR (A) #9, Preceptor evaluation, SOAP, H&P (A) #11, Preceptor evaluation (A) #12, Preceptor evaluation and EOR (A&M) #13, 14, 15, Preceptor evaluation (A), End-of-semester review (A)    
    MDSC 6850 Professional Field Experience – Emergency Medicine #1, Preceptor evaluation and H&P (A) #4, Preceptor Evaluation, H&P, SOAP, EOR (A&M) #6, Preceptor evaluation (A) #7, Preceptor evaluation, SOAP, H&P, EOR (A) #8, Preceptor evaluation, SOAP, H&P, EOR (A) #9, Preceptor evaluation, SOAP, H&P (A) #11, Preceptor evaluation (A) #12, Preceptor evaluation and EOR (A&M) #13, 14, 15, Preceptor evaluation (A), End-of-semester review (A)    
    MDSC 6860 Professional Field Experience – Family Medicine #1, Preceptor evaluation and H&P (A) #2, Preceptor evaluation and H&P (A) #3, Preceptor evaluation, H&P, and SOAP (A) #4, Preceptor Evaluation, H&P, SOAP, EOR (A&M) #6, Preceptor evaluation (A) #7, Preceptor evaluation, SOAP, H&P, EOR (A) #8, Preceptor evaluation, SOAP, H&P, EOR (A) #9, Preceptor evaluation, SOAP, H&P (A) #11, Preceptor evaluation (A) , End-of-semester review (A) #12, Preceptor evaluation (A) and EOR (M) #13, 14, 15, Preceptor evaluation (A), End-of-semester review (A)
    MDSC 6870 Professional Field Experience – Internal Medicine #1, Preceptor evaluation and H&P (A) #2, Preceptor evaluation and H&P (A) #4, Preceptor Evaluation, H&P, SOAP, EOR (A&M) #6, Preceptor evaluation (A) #7, Preceptor evaluation, SOAP, H&P, EOR (A) #8, Preceptor evaluation, SOAP, H&P, EOR (A) #9, Preceptor evaluation, SOAP, H&P (A) #12, Preceptor evaluation and EOR (A&M) #13, 14, 15, Preceptor evaluation (A), End-of-semester review (A)    
    MDSC 6880 Professional Field Experience – Elective I #1, Preceptor evaluation and H&P (A) #4, Preceptor Evaluation, H&P, SOAP (A) #6, Preceptor evaluation (A) #7, Preceptor evaluation, SOAP, H&P (A) #8, Preceptor evaluation, SOAP, H&P (A) #9, Preceptor evaluation, SOAP, H&P (A) #11, Preceptor evaluation (A) #12, Preceptor evaluation  (A) #13, 14, 15, Preceptor evaluation (A), End-of-semester review (A)    
    MDSC 6890 Professional Field Experience – Elective II #1, Preceptor evaluation and H&P (A) #4, Preceptor Evaluation, H&P, SOAP (A) #6, Preceptor evaluation (A) #7, Preceptor evaluation, SOAP, H&P (A) #8, Preceptor evaluation, SOAP, H&P (A) #9, Preceptor evaluation, SOAP, H&P (A) #11, Preceptor evaluation (A) #12, Preceptor evaluation (A) #13, 14, 15, Preceptor evaluation (A), End-of-semester review (A)    
    MDSC 6910: Clinical Practice I #13, #14, #15, End-of-semester review (A)                    
    MDSC 6920: Clinical Practice II #13, #14, #15, End-of-semester review (A)                    
    MDSC 6930: Clinical Practice III #1, Summative evaluation (M) #4, Summative Exam (M) #6, Summative evaluation (M) #7, Summative Evaluation (M) #8, Summative evaluation (M) #12, Summative evaluation (M) #13, 14, 15, Summative evaluation (M), End-of-semester review (A)        
    MDSC 7100: Research Project/Professional Experience #13, #14, #15, End-of-semester review (A)                    
  • Exit Competencies

    At the time of graduation, all graduates of the program:

    Exit Competencies

    Competency
    MK CR/PS CS/TS PROF ICS
    are able to gather and assimilate clinical data, prioritize information to create a differential diagnosis and communicate those findings in a clear and effective manner X X X X X
    demonstrate proficiency in critically evaluating medical literature       X  
    demonstrate the ability to evaluate, monitor and diagnose illness, perform therapeutic procedures, and initiate referrals to healthcare resources X X X X X
    understand the importance of the diverse cultural and ethnic heritages of individuals.  Respect and understand the concepts of privilege, patient consent, and confidentiality (HIPPA)       X X
    are able to collaborate as members of the healthcare team, communicate and interact professionally with the healthcare team, patient, family, peers, staff, and community       X X
    are able to develop a problem list and assess the severity of common medical problems.  If required, deliver life support measures jointly or in the absence of other healthcare providers X X X X  
    are able to implement and monitor patient treatment plan and/or prescribe appropriate medication or other treatment modalities X X X X X
    demonstrate clinical reasoning, problem solving, creative thinking skills, and a foundation for life-long learning X X   X  
    are committed to continuing medical education and professional development       X  

    LEGEND:

    • Medical Knowledge (MK)
    • Clinical Reasoning and Problem Solving (CR/PS)
    • Clinical Skills and Technical Skills (CS/TS)
    • Professionalism (PROF)
    • Interpersonal and Communication Skills (ICS)
  • Appendix A

    Western Michigan University Physician Assistant Program Competencies

    Includes competency-specific learning outcomes expected to be achieved at the time of graduation

    The PA profession defines specific knowledge, skills, attitudes, and educational experiences requisite for physician assistants to acquire in order to demonstrate specific professional competencies. These professional competencies include the effective and appropriate application of medical knowledge, interpersonal and communication skills, professionalism, clinical reasoning and problem solving, and clinical and technical skills. Western Michigan University Physician Assistant Program has adopted nationally recognized PA professional competencies with modifications that articulate what the student will develop and advance during PA school, demonstrating competency at the time of program completion.

    Competencies

    Medical Knowledge

    Medical knowledge includes the synthesis of pathophysiology, patient presentation, differential diagnosis, patient management, medical and surgical principles, health promotion, and disease prevention.  Physician assistants must demonstrate core knowledge about established and evolving biomedical and clinical sciences and the application of this knowledge to patient care.  In addition, physician assistants are expected to demonstrate an investigative and analytic thinking approach to clinical situations.  Physician assistants are expected to understand, evaluate, and apply the following to clinical scenarios:

    1. Understand etiologies, risk factors, underlying pathological process, and epidemiology for medical conditions
    2. Identify signs and symptoms of medical conditions
    3. Manage general medical and surgical conditions to include understanding the indications, contraindications, side effects, interactions and adverse reactions of pharmacologic agents and other relevant treatment modalities
    4. Identify the appropriate site of care for presenting conditions, including identifying emergent/urgent cases and those requiring referral or admission
    5. Identify appropriate interventions for prevention of medical conditions
    6. Identify the appropriate methods to detect medical conditions in an asymptomatic individual
    7. Differentiate between the normal and the abnormal in anatomic, physiological, laboratory findings and other diagnostic data
    8. Provide appropriate care to patients with acute and chronic conditions

    Clinical Reasoning and Problem-Solving (Patient Care)

    Clinical Reasoning and Problem Solving includes patient- and setting-specific assessment, evaluation, and management. Physician assistants must demonstrate care that is effective, safe, high quality, and equitable. Physician assistants are expected to:

    1. Gather essential and accurate information about their patients including, medical history, physical examination, diagnostic modalities to identify abnormal findings.
    2. Formulate a comprehensive differential diagnoses and problem list, allowing for a diagnosis and treatment plan to be developed in a cost-effective manner
    3. Develop a treatment plan that includes pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic therapeutic options based on patient information and preferences, up-to-date scientific evidence, and clinical judgment
    4. Provide appropriate medical care in emergent, acute, chronic, rehabilitative, palliative, and end-of-life settings
    5. Develop and carry out patient management plans
    6. Assess patient outcomes to evaluate the accuracy of diagnoses, the effectiveness of therapeutic interventions, patient compliance, and other factors that potentially impact patient care
    7. Provide health care services and education aimed at preventing health problems or maintaining health

    Professionalism

    Professionalism is the expression of positive values and ideals as care is delivered.  Foremost, it involves prioritizing the interests of those being served above one’s own.  Physician assistants must acknowledge their professional and personal limitations.  Professionalism also requires that PAs practice without impairment from substance abuse, cognitive deficiency or mental illness. Physician assistants must demonstrate a high level of responsibility, ethical practice, sensitivity to a diverse patient population, and adherence to legal and regulatory requirements.  Physician assistants are expected to demonstrate:

    1. Understanding of legal and regulatory requirements, as well as the appropriate role of the physician assistant
    2. Professional relationships with physicians and other health care providers
    3. Respect, compassion, and integrity
    4. Responsiveness to the needs of patients and society
    5. Accountability to patients, society, and the profession
    6. Commitment to excellence and on-going professional development
    7. Commitment to ethical principles pertaining to provision or withholding of clinical care, confidentiality of patient information, informed consent, and business practices
    8. Sensitivity and responsiveness to patients’ culture, age, gender, and disabilities
    9. Self-reflection, critical curiosity and initiative
    10. Act within the AAPA’s Physician Assistant “Code of Ethics of the PA Profession”

    Clinical and Technical Skills

    There are certain clinical and technical skills physician assistants possess to provide quality patient care. Physician assistants must utilize technologies and other resources to effectively search, interpret, and appraise the medical literature for answers to clinical questions and evidence-based practices, and integrate and apply newly acquired knowledge into patient care.  Physician assistants are expected to:

    1. Elicit an appropriate problem focused history
    2. Perform a problem focused physical exam
    3. Perform a complete physical exam with consideration given to age appropriate guidelines 
    4. Present relevant finding of history and physical exam to other health care team members
    5. Select and interpret appropriate diagnostic or lab studies
    6. Perform common medical procedures related to specialty of medical practice 
    7. Document all stages of patient care from admission through discharge
    8. Demonstrate proper sterile technique
    9. Develop a differential diagnosis based on patient encounter/complaint
    10. Write appropriate prescription for patient encounter, including weight appropriate dose, route and instructions
    11. Provide patient education and counseling when appropriate
    12. Identify when patient referral is warranted
    13. Effectively utilize both electronic and non-digital medical records to document findings, access clinical information, write prescriptions and orders, and make referrals

    Interpersonal and Communication Skills

    Interpersonal and communication skills encompass the verbal, nonverbal, written, and electronic exchange of information.  Physician assistants must demonstrate interpersonal and communication skills that result in effective information exchange with patients, patients’ families, physicians, professional associates, and other individuals within the health care system. Physician assistants are expected to:

    1. Create and sustain a therapeutic and ethically sound relationship with patients
    2. Use effective listening, nonverbal, explanatory, questioning, and writing skills to elicit and provide information
    3. Appropriately adapt communication style and messages to the context of the individual patient interaction
    4. Work effectively with physicians and other health care professionals as a member or leader of a health care team or other professional group
    5. Apply an understanding of human behavior
    6. Demonstrate emotional resilience and stability, adaptability, flexibility and tolerance of ambiguity and anxiety
    7. Accurately and adequately document and record information regarding the care process for medical, legal, quality and financial purposes
    8. Work effectively with physicians and other health care professionals to provide patient-centered care
    9. Demonstrate caring and respectful behaviors when interacting with patients and their families/significant others
    10. Counsel and educate patients and their families