Technical Standards

The technical standards set forth by the University of Dubuque Master of Physician Assistant Studies program establish the essential qualities considered necessary for students to be admitted to and successfully complete the program. These standards ensure graduates possess the intellectual ability to learn, integrate, analyze and synthesize data. MSPAS students must meet all technical standards upon matriculation and throughout enrollment in the program. In the event a student is unable to fulfill these technical standards with reasonable accommodation, the student will be subject to dismissal. MSPAS students must be fully able to perform the essential functions in each of the following categories: 

Observation
A candidate must be able to:
  1. Observe demonstrations and visual presentations in lectures and laboratories.
  2. Observe patients accurately and completely both at a distance and closely.
  3. This standard requires functional vision, hearing, and somatic sensation.
  4. Perceive verbal and nonverbal communication, speak intelligibly, and observe patients in order to elicit information.
Communication
A candidate must be able to:
  1. Elicit and transmit patient information in oral and written English to members of the healthcare team.
  2. Communicate effectively and sensitively with patients.
  3. Possess demonstrated reading skills at a level sufficient to accomplish curricular requirements and provide clinical care for patients.
  4. Be capable of completing appropriate medical records and documents in the written and electronic form in a thorough and timely manner.
Sensory and Motor Coordination and Function
A candidate must:
  1. Possess motor skills sufficient to directly perform palpation, percussion, auscultation, and other basic diagnostic procedures.
  2. Be able to execute motor movements required to provide basic medical care. Examples of basic medical care include but are not limited to: airway management, placement of catheters, suturing, phlebotomy, application of sufficient pressure to control bleeding, simple obstetrical maneuvers, etc. (Such actions require coordination of gross and fine muscular movements, equilibrium, and functional use of the senses of touch and vision).
  3. Be able to manipulate equipment and instruments to perform basic laboratory tests and procedures.
  4. Be able to transport themselves from one location to another in a timely fashion in order to facilitate patient care responsibilities and necessary to receive educational training.
Intellectual-Conceptual, Integrative and Quantitative Abilities: Problem solving is the critical skill demanded of Physician Assistants. This requires that students have the ability to measure, calculate, reason, analyze, and synthesize.
A candidate must:
  1. Be able to incorporate new information from peers, teachers, and the medical literature in formulating diagnoses and plans.
  2. Be able to independently access and interpret medical histories or files.
  3. Identify significant findings from history, physical examination, and laboratory data.
  4. Provide a reasoned explanation for likely diagnoses and prescribed medications and therapy.
  5. Recall and retain information in an efficient and timely manner.
  6. Possess the ability to use their intellectual capacity, exercise good judgment, and promptly complete all responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis under potentially stressful and/or emergency circumstances.
Behavioral and Social Attributes
A candidate must:
  1. Be able to accept criticism and respond by appropriate modification of behavior.
  2. Be able to develop mature, sensitive, and effective relationships with patients and colleagues.
  3. Have a high level of compassion for others with sufficient interpersonal skills to interact positively with people from all levels of society, all ethnic backgrounds, and all belief systems.
  4. Be able to adapt to changing environments and to learn in the face of uncertainties inherent in the practice of medicine.
  5. Be able to use supervision appropriately and act independently, when indicated.

Meeting the technical standards is required but does not guarantee a student's eligibility for the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE). Students must also meet the expectations of the program's accrediting agency, Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA).