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Technical Standards

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Technical Standards for the Master of Science in Physician Assistant Practice

Candidates for admission, participation in aspects of training, completion of course of study, and graduation must possess essential skills, abilities, and characteristics. These essential requirements include minimum physical and cognitive abilities, and sufficient mental and emotional stability. Candidates are required to perform satisfactorily throughout the entire curriculum and must meet all requirements for graduation. For the purposes of this document, the term “candidates” means candidates for admission to the program as well as Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science Physician Assistant (PA) students who are candidates for retention, promotion, or graduation.

It is the societal responsibility of the PA Program to train competent healthcare providers who are able to demonstrate extensive knowledge, technical skills, and critical thinking. The PA Program intends for graduates to become competent generalists. The categories described below address these concepts and are referred to as technical standards required to achieve these expectations, satisfactorily progress through the program, and graduate. These categories include: observation, communication, motor function, intellectual-conceptual (integrative and quantitative) abilities, and behavioral and social attributes. Candidates who have questions regarding these technical standards, or who may need to request reasonable accommodation(s) to meet these technical standards are encouraged to contact the ADA Coordinator (information detailed below).

I. Observation

Candidates must acquire a defined level of information presented in the form of demonstrations and experiences. Examples may include: dissection of cadavers, examination of specimens during anatomy, and simulated patient encounters. Utilizing skills obtained throughout the curriculum, candidates must also acquire information from a patient through a complete physical examination.

II. Communication

Candidates must communicate effectively, efficiently, and sensitively with patients and families, as well as faculty, staff, peers, and other healthcare providers. Candidates must be able to obtain a medical history; describe changes in mood, behavior, posture, and activity; interpret non-verbal aspects of communication; document and relay information clearly and accurately; develop therapeutic rapport with patients.

III. Motor Function

Candidates must be able to perform a complete physical exam and basic clinical procedures, following appropriate training by the PA program. Additionally, candidates must also be able to respond promptly to general and emergent clinical situations.

IV. Intellectual-Conceptual (Integrative and Quantitative) Abilities

Candidates must be able to acquire information through a variety of modalities including, but not limited to: classroom instruction; small group, team, and collaborative activities; individual study; preparation and presentation of reports; simulations; and use of computer technology. Candidates must also be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and understand the spatial relationships of structures.

Candidates must measure, calculate, reason, analyze, integrate, and synthesize. Additionally, they must have the ability to formulate and test hypotheses that enable effective and timely problem-solving in diagnosis treatment of patients in a variety of clinical settings and healthcare systems.

V. Behavioral and Social Attributes

Candidates must possess the maturity and emotional health required for: full utilization of intellectual abilities; the use of good judgment; the prompt completion of all responsibilities attendant to the curriculum and to the diagnosis and care of patients; and the development of mature, sensitive and effective relationships with patients, families, other healthcare providers, faculty, staff, and peers. They must display characteristics of integrity, honesty, conscientiousness, and empathy. Additionally, candidates must be able to collaborate, accept and provide appropriate and constructive feedback, and take personal responsibility for making appropriate and positive changes. Candidates must have the physical and emotional stamina and resilience to tolerate taxing workloads and to function in a competent and professional manner under highly stressful situations. They must be able to display flexibility and adapt to changing environments.

The PA Program at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science supports students who qualify for reasonable accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). For further information related to these technical standards, or to request reasonable accommodations, interested persons are encouraged to contact the ADA Coordinator at 847-547-8354 or