Technical Standards

Applicants must also meet certain technical standards of performance in these areas: observation; communication; motor function; intellectual/conceptual; integrative and quantitative ability; and behavioral and social attributes.

Technical standard requirements are reviewed with candidates during the interview phase of the application process.

The granting of a M.P.A.S. degree to a physician assistant student signifies that the holder is an individual who has satisfied the training requirements for a PA. In this role, the physician assistant can provide medical services under the supervision of a doctor or medicine or osteopathy in accordance with the acceptable laws of medical practice. The services must, for the safety and welfare of the patient, be of the same professional quality that would be rendered by the supervising physician. The physician assistant must have the knowledge and skills to function in a broad variety of clinical situations and to render a wide spectrum of patient care.

The following Technical standards describe those skills and abilities which are generally required of and necessary for students in the Physician Assistant Program to successfully complete the clinical aspects of the Program. Marquette University will provide reasonable accommodations to students with verified disabilities on a case-by-case basis to the extent required by law. Marquette reserves the right to require each student in the Program to satisfactorily perform the essential elements of the Program, including all clinical requirements. The granting of a M.P.A.S. degree to a physician assistant does not guarantee licensure or employment as a physician assistant.

Candidates for the physician assistant profession generally must have somatic sensation and the functional use of the senses of vision and hearing. CandidatesĀ¹ diagnostic skills may also be lessened without the functional use of the senses of equilibrium, smell and taste. Additionally, they must have sufficient exteroceptive sense (touch, pain, and temperature), sufficient proprioceptive sense (position, pressure, movement, stereognosis, and vibratory) and sufficient motor function to permit them to carry out all the activities described in the sections that follow. They must be able to integrate all information received by whatever sense(s) employed, consistently, quickly, and accurately, and they must have the intellectual ability to learn, integrate, analyze and synthesize data.

A candidate for the physician assistant profession must have the abilities and skills of five varieties including observation, communication, motor, conceptual, integrative and quantitative, and behavioral and social. A candidate should be able to perform in a reasonably independent manner.

I. Observation

The candidate must be able to observe demonstrations and experiments in the basic sciences, including but not limited to physiologic and pharmacologic demonstrations in animals, microbiologic cultures, and microscopic studies of microorganisms and tissues in normal and pathologic states. A candidate must be able to observe a patient accurately at a distance and close at hand. Observation generally necessitates the functional use of the sense of vision and somatic sensation. It is enhanced by the functional use of the sense of smell.

II. Communication

A candidate should be able to communicate with and observe patients in order to elicit information, describe changes in mood, activity and posture, and perceive nonverbal communications. A candidate must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients. Communication includes not only speech, but reading and writing. The candidate must be able to communicate effectively and efficiently in oral and written form with all members of the health care team.

III. Motor

Candidates should have sufficient motor function to elicit information from patients by palpation, auscultation, percussion, and other diagnostic maneuvers. A candidate should be able to do basic laboratory tests (urinalysis, CBC, etc.), carry out diagnostic procedures (protoscopy, paracentesis, etc.) and read EKGs and X-rays. A candidate should be able to execute motor movements reasonably required to provide general care and emergency treatment of patients. Examples of emergency treatment generally and reasonably required of physician assistants are cardiopulmonary resuscitation, the administration of intravenous medication, the application of pressure to stop bleeding, the opening of obstructed airways, the suturing of simple wounds, and the performance of simple obstetrical maneuvers. Such actions generally require coordination of both gross and fine muscular movements, equilibrium and functional use of the senses of touch and vision.

IV. Intellectual-Conceptual, Integrative and Quantitative Abilities

These abilities include measurement, calculation, reasoning, analysis, and synthesis. Problem solving, the critical skill demanded of physician assistants, requires all of these intellectual abilities. In addition, the candidate should be able to comprehend three dimensional relationships and to understand the spatial relationship of structures.

V. Behavioral and Social Attributes

A candidate must possess the emotional stability required for full utilization of his/her intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, the prompt completion of all responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients and the development of mature, sensitive and effective relationships with patients. Candidates must be able to tolerate taxing workloads and to function effectively under stress. They must be able to adapt to changing environments, to display flexibility and to learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of many patients. Compassion, integrity, concern for others, interpersonal skills, interest and motivation are all personal qualities that are assessed during the admissions and education process.

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