Physician Assistant Studies Essential Functions

Physician Assistant Studies students must demonstrate competency in all of the following learning domains:

  • Observation and Sensation
  • Communication
  • 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.


Communication

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.


Motor Functions

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.


Intellectual Capability

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 Proficiency

Students 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 and others

Other Expectations

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 surgical environments.

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)