PA Studies Program Competencies

Functions and tasks that graduates are expected to perform

(Appendix 3b ARC-PA Standards)

I. Medical Knowledge:

  1. Applies evidence-based medicine and scientific principles to patient care.
  2. Synthesizes information about etiologies, risk factors, underlying pathologic processes, and epidemiology for medical conditions to make accurate diagnoses.
  3. Demonstrates proficiency in performing a history and physical exam; aggregates and analyzes this information to formulate differential diagnoses.
  4. Orders/performs and interprets appropriate diagnostic testing as indicated by history, physical and differential diagnoses.
  5. Manages general medical and surgical conditions from initial presentation through ongoing follow-up using evidence-based treatment guidelines and best practices.
  6. Applies drug therapy that is based on treatment guidelines to medical conditions.

II. Interpersonal and Communication Skills:

  1. Demonstrates a pattern of therapeutic and ethically sound relationships with patients.
  2. Demonstrates professional and respectful interactions with patients, caregivers and members of the interprofessional team (e.g. peers, consultants, nursing, ancillary professionals and support personnel).
  3. Communicates with respect to the culture, socioeconomic circumstances and health beliefs of patients and families to set mutual health goals and provide services most likely to benefit health.
  4. Works effectively with physicians and other health care professionals as a member or leader of an inter-professional health care team or other professional group.
  5. Demonstrates emotional resilience and stability, adaptability, flexibility, and tolerance of ambiguity.
  6. Accurately and adequately documents information regarding care for medical, legal, quality, and financial purposes.

III. Patient Care:

  1. Gathers and synthesizes essential and accurate information to define each patient's clinical problem(s).
  2. Makes decisions about diagnostic and therapeutic interventions based on patient goals and preferences, financial considerations, current scientific evidence and informed clinical judgement.
  3. Develops and implements patient management plans that are safe and effective to include preventative, acute, chronic and rehabilitative care.
  4. Uses technical skills and demonstrates proficiency in medical techniques and procedures to diagnose and treat disease.
  5. Counsels and educates patients, caregivers and families.
  6. Incorporates knowledge of behavioral medicine and psychiatry in management of patient care.
  7. Provides screening and preventive care that improves wellness, modifies risk factors for illness and injury, and detects illness in early, treatable stages.
  8. Uses technology to find evidence-based information to support patient care decisions and patient education.
  9. Advocates for patients, families, and communities to optimize health care equity and minimize health outcome disparities.

IV. Professionalism:

  1. Demonstrates understanding of practice-specific legal and regulatory requirements and the role of the physician assistant as a member of the healthcare team.
  2. Exemplifies qualities such as respect, compassion, integrity, self-reflection, critical curiosity, initiative, accountability to patients, society, and the profession, healthy behaviors and life balance.
  3. Accepts responsibility and follows through on tasks.
  4. Demonstrates understanding of the ethical principles of confidentiality of patient information and informed consent.
  5. Demonstrates respect and consideration for patients' and colleagues' culture, age, gender and abilities.

V. Practice-Based Learning and Improvement:

  1. Incorporates feedback from faculty, preceptors, colleagues and patients into active life-long learning.
  2. Locates, appraises, and integrates evidence from scientific studies related to their patients' health.
  3. Applies knowledge of evidence-based medicine to the critical appraisal of medical research and literature as it relates to the diagnostic and therapeutic effectiveness of diagnostics and interventions.
  4. Identifies personal knowledge and/or skill gaps and utilizes resources to support continued medical education.

VI. Systems-Based Practice:

  1. Integrates with various medical practice models and health care delivery systems.
  2. Identifies forces that impact the cost of health care and practices cost-effective care.
  3. Accepts responsibility for promoting a safe environment for patient care. Recognizes systems-based factors that negatively impact patient care.
  4. Applies the concepts of population health to patient care.
  5. Correctly documents billing and coding for patient encounters.

VII. Health Systems in Nevada:

  1. Works effectively in both urban and rural Nevada health care delivery settings.
  2. Recognizes the barriers to health care experienced by patients in rural and/or underserved Nevada.
  3. Demonstrates patient-centered primary care that is sensitive to the unique demographics of the population of Nevada.

Rev. 10.25.19