The University of Dubuque Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies Program is preparing clinicians who are educated in all aspects of health care with special emphasis placed on primary care in rural and under-served areas. PAs are medical professionals who diagnose illness, develop and manage treatment plans, prescribe medications, and often serve as a patient's principal healthcare provider. PAs play a vital role in increasing patient access to high-quality care and are able to do this because of their general medical training based on the medical model.

Program Learning Outcomes (PLO)

  • PLO #1: Apply scientific knowledge and skills in patient evaluation and treatment to identify normal and abnormal health states to compassionately and ethically treat common acute, chronic, and emergent conditions across the lifespan.
  • PLO #2: Provide values-based practice and culturally sensitive care.
  • PLO #3: Educate patients and families in a manner conducive to shared decision making in accordance with their personal values.
  • PLO #4: Work interprofessionally within the scope of one's practice, collaborating with appropriate team members to lead, coordinate, and optimize patient care.
  • PLO #5: Provide patient-centered care meeting national standards demonstrating integrity and accountability to patients, society, and the profession.
  • PLO #6: Provide safe and fiscally responsible care across the health care system utilizing evidence-based practice.

Program Competencies (A3.12g)

Clinical and Technical Skills

  1. Elicit an accurate history for comprehensive and problem-focused visits.
  2. Perform appropriate physical exam for comprehensive and problem-focused visits using proper technique.
  3. Convey important features of patient encounters to health care team members through written documentation and verbal communication.
  4. Demonstrate procedural and clinical skills consistent with and essential for current professional practice.
  5. Provide clear, compassionate, professional education to patients and families from diverse backgrounds.

Clinical Reasoning and Problem-Solving Abilities

  1. Formulate appropriate differential diagnoses based on the assessment of the patient.
  2. Interpret information gathered through diagnostic, laboratory, and imaging studies to appropriately diagnose a patient.
  3. Implement patient management plans utilizing evidence based medicine to include pharmacologic therapies, non-pharmacologic therapies, relevant patient education, and referral.
  4. Develop patient centered management plans with sensitivity to culture and social determinants of health.

Interpersonal Skills

  1. Demonstrate ability to communicate effectively with supervising physician and all members of the health care team.
  2. Communicate with respect and honesty to patients, caregivers, and members of the interprofessional team.
  3. Develop rapport with patients and families to inspire positive healthcare outcomes.

Medical Knowledge

  1. Demonstrate knowledge in the medical sciences including anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology and genetics and apply this knowledge in patient care.
  2. Select and analyze diagnostic studies to develop a differential diagnosis and treatment plan for patients.
  3. Integrate etiology, epidemiology, and risk factors to evaluate medical conditions.
  4. Implement and monitor patient treatment plans including pharmacologic and non- pharmacologic therapies, patient education and patient counseling.

Professional Behaviors

  1. Demonstrate honesty and integrity in the practice of medicine.
  2. Effectively work as a team and collaborate with members of healthcare community to optimize patient care.
  3. Respect patient dignity and privacy by maintaining patient confidentiality in written and verbal communication.
  4. Demonstrate accountability and responsibility for actions while recognizing personal limitations.
  5. Demonstrate commitment to lifelong learning and professional development through self-reflection and acceptance of constructive feedback.