Successful participation in and completion of the PA program requires students to have certain mental and physical abilities, with or without reasonable accommodations or adaptations. Touro College complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and state and local requirements regarding applicants and students with disabilities. The Touro College Handbook for Students and Applicants with Disabilities is available from the Office of the Director of Student Affairs if further information is required.
Physician assistants deliver health care in a variety of settings to diverse patient populations. The role of the physician assistant demands intelligence, sound judgment, appropriate interpersonal skills, and the capacity to react to emergencies in a calm and reasoned manner. Physician assistants and physician assistant students must be able to collect and analyze data, integrate results of diagnostic studies with current treatment standards, and solve problems, all in the course of providing patient care.
Required mental and physical abilities fall into five major categories: sensory, communication, motor, intellectual, and behavioral/social.
- Sensory: PA students must have sufficient visual and auditory ability to observe in lecture-learner, laboratory and patient care settings. Sensory skills required in the performance of complete physical examinations utilizing inspection, percussion, palpation and auscultation include adequate vision, hearing, and tactile sensation.
- Motor: PA students must be able to perform therapeutic and diagnostic procedures in addition to negotiating various health care environments, such as outpatient facilities, laboratories and hospitals. The didactic phase of the program requires extended sitting, in contrast to the clinical phase which requires extended standing and moving about various clinical facilities.
- Communication: PA students must be able to read and understand, write and speak English for effective classroom and laboratory communication. PA students must be able to record and communicate patient information in a timely and effective manner to other members of the health care team.
- Intellectual: PA students must be able to sustain attention, calculate, reason, analyze, assimilate, and recall information. Correlating information to arrive at a reasonable clinical conclusion in a timely fashion is a basic tenet of clinical practice. With rapidly expanding avenues of clinical information, the ability to extract valid, useful and relevant information from the medical literature is also required.
- Behavioral and Social Attributes: PA students must be able to relate and perform professionally in a work environment with other members of the health care team. Recognizing limitations, demonstrating concern for patients and exercising good judgment are also required attributes.