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Goals and Objectives/Competencies:

The goals and learning objectives/competencies of the program are taken from the "Expected Competencies for the Physician Assistant Profession"
http://www.arc-pa.com/documents/CompetenciesFINAL.pdf
The goals and learning objectives/competencies are as follows:

  1. To prepare physician assistant students with the core knowledge about established and evolving biomedical and clinical sciences, and with the ability to apply this knowledge effectively and appropriately to patient care.
    • Students will be able to recall etiologies, risk factors, underlying pathologic processes, and epidemiology for medical conditions.
    • Students will be able to identify signs and symptoms of common medical conditions.
    • Students will be able to differentiate between the normal and the abnormal in anatomical, physiological, and laboratory findings and in other diagnostic data.
    • Students will be able to collaborate with the health care team in developing and implementing management and treatment plans for general medical and surgical conditions.
    • Students will be able to recall the indications, contraindications, side effects, interactions and adverse reactions of pharmacologic agents and other relevant treatment modalities.
    • Students will be able to identify appropriate interventions for the prevention of conditions.
  2. To promote in students an investigatory and analytic thinking approach to clinical situations.
    • Students will be able to elicit a detailed and accurate medical history and perform a complete physical examination.
    • Students will be able to analyze a chief complaint and to perform a focused physical exam.
    • Students will be able to select and interpret appropriate diagnostic or lab studies.
    • Students will be able to formulate a differential diagnosis, using history and physical findings and diagnostic studies.
    • Students will be able to make informed decisions about diagnostic and therapeutic interventions based on patient information and preferences, current scientific evidence, and clinical judgment.
    • Students will be able to collaborate with others to solve health care problems.
  3. To develop in students interpersonal and communication skills that will enhance effective communication exchange with patients, their families, physicians, and other members of the health care team.
    • Students will be able to use effective listening, nonverbal, explanatory, questioning, and writing skills to elicit and provide information.
    • Students will be able to communicate and work effectively with supervising physicians and other professionals as a member of a health care team.
    • Students will be able to accurately and adequately document and record information regarding the care process for medical, legal, quality assurance and financial purposes.
    • Students will be able to apply an understanding of human behavior across the lifespan in their interactions with patients.
    • Students will be able to provide patient education and counseling regarding physical and mental health, health promotion and disease prevention, normal growth and development, and family planning.
  4. To foster an attitude of professionalism and positive values such as responsibility, ethical practice, sensitivity to diverse patient populations and adherence to legal and regulatory requirements.
    • Students will be able to work effectively with physicians and other health care professionals to provide patient-centered care.
    • Students will be able to recall the legal and regulatory requirements, as well as the appropriate role of the physician assistant.
    • Students will be able to recall and apply the ethical principles pertaining to provision or withholding of clinical care, confidentiality of patient information, informed consent, and business practices.
    • Students will be able to provide care with sensitivity to patients' culture, age, gender, and disabilities.
    • Students will be able to recognize the impact of socioeconomic and ethnic diversity on the availability and delivery of health care.
    • Students will be able to understand their limitations and know when to make appropriate referrals.
    • Students will be able to recognize the responsibility to serve the needs of the community and to provide health care services in medically-underserved areas.
  5. To provide students with the tools to become lifelong learners.
    • Students will be able to apply information technology to manage information, access on-line medical information, and support their own lifelong education.
    • Students will be able to apply knowledge of study designs and statistical methods to the appraisal of clinical studies.
    • Students will be able to locate and appraise medical studies, and integrate evidence from medical studies to patient management.
  6. To produce graduates with the requisite medical knowledge and competencies to pass the national certification examination and successfully compete in the metropolitan-area job market.