Learning Outcomes & Expectations

The program’s defined learning outcomes and expectations are based on the Competencies for the Physician Assistant Profession as developed jointly by the National Commission on Accreditation of Physician Assistants (NCCPA), the Accreditation Review Commission for Education of the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA), the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA), and the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA).

Student success in achieving the program defined learning outcomes and expectations will be monitored throughout the didactic and clinical phases of the program. The program’s faculty and clinical preceptors will evaluate students through a variety of assessment tools, including but not limited to: multiple choice examinations, collaborative group projects, objective structured clinical examinations (OSCEs), reflection papers, and clinical performance evaluations.

Our graduates will demonstrate entry-level proficiency as PAs in the following program defined learning outcomes:


  • Demonstrate core knowledge about established and evolving biomedical and clinical sciences and the application of this knowledge to patient care
  • Demonstrate an investigative and analytic thinking approach to clinical situations
  • Understand, evaluate, and apply the following to common emergent and non-emergent medical, surgical, and behavioral scenarios:
    • History and physical findings and diagnostic studies to formulate differential diagnoses
    • Management of general medical and surgical conditions to include pharmacologic and other treatment modalities
    • Interventions for prevention of disease and health promotion/maintenance
  • Demonstrate interpersonal and communication (verbal, nonverbal, written, and electronic) skills that result in effective information exchange with patients, patients’ families, physicians, professional associates, and other individuals within the health care system
  • Accurately and adequately document information regarding care for medical, legal, quality, and financial purposes
  • Obtain an accurate history and perform a comprehensive physical exam
  • Perform medical and surgical procedures common to primary care
  • Provide health care services and education aimed at disease prevention and health maintenance
  • Demonstrate a high level of responsibility, ethical practice, and adherence to legal and regulatory requirements
  • Demonstrate sensitivity to a diverse patient population by identifying the socio-cultural, familial, psychological, economic, environmental, and spiritual factors impacting health care and health care delivery; and responding to these factors by planning and advocating the appropriate course of action at both the individual and the community level
Critically evaluate the medical literature in order to use current practice guidelines and apply the principles of evidence-based medicine to patient care
  • Provide advocacy and support to assist patients in obtaining quality care and in dealing with the complexities of health care delivery systems
  • Demonstrate an awareness of and responsiveness to the larger system of health care to provide patient care that balances quality and cost, while maintaining the primacy of the individual patient