Technical Standards

Students admitted to the Northern Arizona Physician Assistant Program must possess the capacity to complete the entire curriculum in order to achieve the Master of Physician Assistant Studies degree. 

This curriculum requires demonstrated proficiency in a variety of cognitive, affective and psychomotor skills.  Therefore, all students admitted to the Physician Assistant Program must possess the following abilities and expectations.

  1. Students must be able to observe and participate in all demonstrations and experiments in the basic sciences, including computer assisted instruction.
  2. Students must be able to learn to analyze, synthesize, problem solve, and reach diagnostic and therapeutic judgments.
  3. Students must have sufficient use of the senses of vision, hearing and smell necessary to directly perform a physical examination as well as psychomotor abilities to allow the performance of all skills/tests in the physical exam. Students must be able to perform inspection, palpation, auscultation and percussion.
  4. Students must be able to relate to patients and establish an empathetic, professional and effective relationship with patients.
  5. Students are expected to be able to communicate the results of the examination to the patient and to their colleagues with accuracy, clarity, and efficiency.
  6. Students are expected to possess the ability to work collaboratively with all members of the health care team.
  7. Students are expected to be able to learn and perform laboratory tests and diagnostic and therapeutic procedures.
  8. Students are expected to be able to display appropriate judgment in the assessment and treatment of patients. In addition, students must be able to learn and demonstrate the ability to recognize limitations in their knowledge, skills and abilities and to seek appropriate assistance with their identified limitations.
  9. Students must be able to learn to respond with precise, quick, and appropriate action in emergency situations.
  10. Students are expected to be able to accept criticism and adopt appropriate modifications in their behavior.
  11. Students are expected to possess perseverance, diligence, and consistency to complete the physician assistant curriculum and enter into the practice of medicine as a certified and licensed physician assistant.

If you have any questions regarding these standards or your ability to meet these standards, you should contact the Program Director.