Program Competencies

Upon completion of the Physician Assistant program, graduates will demonstrate competence in each domain.


  • Learn and apply foundational knowledge in pathophysiology, etiology, risk factors, epidemiology, signs and symptoms, differential diagnosis, diagnostic work-up, patient management, surgical principles, health promotion, and disease prevention for a variety of acute and chronic medical conditions. 
  • Demonstrate foundational knowledge in social determinants of health.


  • Formulate a differential diagnosis for a presenting problem based on an appropriate history, physical examination and diagnostic workup.
  • Locate, appraise, and integrate information from evidence-based studies related to patients’ health.
  • Determine the appropriate interventions and plan for disease management.


  • Select and perform accurate physical and behavioral health examinations appropriate to the patient presentation.
  • Demonstrate basic common medical and surgical procedures skills within their supervised clinical setting.


  • Recognize the importance of coordinating patient care effectively with the health care team.
  • Incorporate patient preferences when determining diagnostic and therapeutic interventions.
  • Advocate for equitable, accessible, high-quality patient care.
  • Apply the concepts of population health to patient care.


  • Effectively communicate with other members of the healthcare team including accurately and adequately documenting information regarding care for medical, legal, quality, and financial purposes. 
  • Elicit information from patients in an organized, efficient manner based on an appropriate differential diagnosis.
  • Educate patients about medical conditions and health promotion and disease prevention principles. 
  • Apply the concepts of health literacy.


  • Demonstrate accountability and integrity in actions and decision making in regards to patients, the profession, the public, and oneself. 
  • Recognize and work within personal and professional limitations.
  • Center shared-decision making with patients and advocate for equitable access to effective healthcare.
  • Commit to lifelong learning and practice improvement.
  • Intentionally collaborate with all members of the healthcare team.
  • Endorse the value of positionality.
  • Contribute to an environment that is safe and free from harassment.


  • Apply the principles of social justice and equity.
  • Recognize and work against systemic structures that contribute to health care disparities.


  • Apply foundational knowledge of health care systems.
  • Differentiate among types of medical practices and delivery systems.
  • Understand the funding sources and payment systems that provide coverage for patient care.
  • Demonstrate stewardship of resources by utilizing cost-effective health care options within high-quality patient care.
  • Identify areas in which the delivery and effectiveness of health care can be improved.
  • Promote a safe environment for patient care and recognize systems-based factors that negatively impact patient care.