Physician Assistant StudiesEssential Functions
Physician Assistant Studies students must demonstrate competency in all of the following learning domains:
- Observation and Sensation
- Motor Functions
- Intellectual Capability
- Behavioral and Social Proficiency
Observation and Sensation
The PAS student must possess sufficient visual, auditory,
and tactile sensation to receive appropriate information in the
classroom, laboratory, and other educational and clinical settings.
Sensation must be satisfactory to receive verbal and nonverbal
communications from patients and others, and to perform inspection,
auscultation and palpation techniques during the physical examinations.
The PAS student must be able to speak, hear, and observe
patients, family members, and other clinicians. This includes expressive
and receptive modes of verbal, nonverbal, and written communication.
The student must have the ability to accurately assess receptive
communication in order to make appropriate and timely responses. The
student must be able to communicate attentively, effectively, and
sensitively to others.
Students must have sufficient strength and coordination
to perform the activities required of a physician assistant. These
include but are not limited to performing a physical examination
utilizing diagnostic instruments and techniques in palpation and
percussion. Students must have sufficient stamina to sit, stand, and
move within classroom, laboratory, examination rooms, treatment rooms,
and operating rooms for long periods of time. The student must have
sufficient coordination to move about patient care environments, and
sufficient dexterity to use common medical instruments.
Clinical problem solving and reasoning requires these
intellectual abilities and encompass those to accurately measure,
calculate, reason, analyze, integrate, learn, and retain information and
make decisions in a timely manner. Students must be able to comprehend
two and three-dimensional structures, and must be able to understand
diagnostic testing and treatment regimens.
Behavioral and Social ProficiencyStudents must possess the ability to establish and
maintain appropriate professional relationships. This includes the
ability to prioritize competing demands, to function in stressful
circumstances, to exercise good clinical judgment, to act ethically, to
be compassionate, empathetic, responsible, and tolerant toward patients
A typical PAS student must be able to fulfill certain
mental and physical demands and performance requirements in clinical and
classroom environments with exposure to communicable diseases, toxic
substances, ionizing radiation, medicinal preparations, hostile
individuals, and other such conditions common to the medical and
Students will also complete major tasks, competencies,
and technical procedures offered during the UTMB Physician Assistant
training program. Concepts to be completed by students include
subjective data gathering and utilization, counseling and patient
education, and objective data collection. Technical skills and skills
related to management of emergency situations and critical evaluation
will need to be performed by every student to successfully complete the
physician assistant curricula.
Download: PAS Student Technical Standards (PDF)