Learning Outcomes

Student Learning and Program Success

Program Success in Meeting Goals

Founded in 2016, to meet the educational and healthcare needs of the region, the Physician Assistant Studies Program's inaugural cohort will graduate on May 11, 2018. Beyond first time PANCE pass rates the program will demonstrate success and its commitment to continuous improvement through various measures including: graduation rates, graduate employment, and others to demonstrate achievement of program competencies and student learning outcomes. The data will be used to inform curricular and other program changes to ensure sustained program quality.

Program Competencies

Medical Knowledge
Medical knowledge includes the synthesis of pathophysiology, patient presentation, differential diagnosis, patient management, surgical principles, health promotion, and disease prevention. Physician assistants must demonstrate core knowledge about established and evolving biomedical and clinical sciences and the application of this knowledge to patient care in their area of practice. In addition, physician assistants are expected to demonstrate an investigative and analytic thinking approach to clinical situations.

Interpersonal & Communication Skills
Interpersonal and communication skills encompass the verbal, nonverbal, written, and electronic exchange of information. Physician assistants must demonstrate interpersonal and communication skills that result in effective information exchange with patients, patients' families, physicians, professional associates, and other individuals within the health care system.

Patient Care
Patient care includes patient- and setting-specific assessment, evaluation, and management. Physician assistants must demonstrate care that is effective, safe, high quality, and equitable.

Professionalism is the expression of positive values and ideals as care is delivered. Foremost, it involves prioritizing the interests of those being served above one's own. Physician assistants must acknowledge their professional and personal limitations. Professionalism also requires that PAs practice without impairment from substance abuse, cognitive deficiency or mental illness. Physician assistants must demonstrate a high level of responsibility, ethical practice, sensitivity to a diverse patient population, and adherence to legal and regulatory requirements.

Practice-Based Learning & Improvement
Practice-based learning and improvement includes the processes through which physician assistants engage in critical analysis of their own practice experience, the medical literature, and other information resources for the purposes of self- and practice-improvement. Physician assistants must be able to assess, evaluate, and improve their patient care practices.

Systems-Based Practice
Systems-based practice encompasses the societal, organizational, and economic environments in which health care is delivered. Physician assistants must 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. PAs should work to improve the health care system of which their practices are a part.

Full text available from NCCPA

Program Learning Outcomes

In April 2018 the PA Program Faculty met to discuss the Program Learning Outcomes (PLO). During this meeting the faculty evaluated the outcomes and revised the PLOs, not to eliminate any of the previous 22 PLOs but rather to clarify the PLOs and to ensure each was clear and measurable. The result are 10 faculty revised and approved Program Learning Outcomes. The revised PLOs are effective as of May 2018.

01. Apply basic science knowledge to the medical sciences.

02. Demonstrate competency in clinical procedures performed by Physician Assistants.

03. Demonstrate ability to perform a complete history and physical examination.

04. Demonstrate ability to diagnose disease and create an appropriate treatment plan.

05. Demonstrate the use of Evidence-Based Medicine to effectively diagnose and treat patients.

06. Demonstrate cross-cultural and socioeconomic sensitivity in clinical practice settings involving special patient populations.

07. Demonstrate effective communication skills in a healthcare setting.

08. Demonstrate the ability to collaborate within an interprofessional health care team.

09. Demonstrate ethical decision making in the practice of medicine.

10. Participate in professional societies the promote PA practice and advancement.

Student Learning Outcomes - Effective May 2016 through April 2018.

LO1:    To develop an ability to perform a complete a physical exam and to organize, integrate, interpret and present clinical data in a clear, concise manner;

LO2:    support effective and sensitive communication with patients;

LO3:    apply advanced critical thinking skills to evaluate sources of information;

LO4:    exhibit attributes of engaged citizenship, community service, and social justice;

LO5:    develop effective communication and teamwork skills with health care teams, working in teams and groups to facilitate conflict resolution;

LO6:    provide a comprehensive approach to normal human health and development, both physical and mental;

LO7:    provide explanation and demonstration of skills needed to assess core diseases encountered in primary care;

LO8:    integrate diagnostic assessment skills with knowledge of patient presentation, pharmacology and health care subspecialties to synthesize appropriate treatment plans;

LO9:    promote cross-cultural and socioeconomic sensitivity, confront prejudice, and support development of effective medical practice in a diverse society;

LO10: exhibit competency practicing in clinical settings involving special needs patient populations;

LO11: promote commitment to provide effective, accessible, continuous, comprehensive and personalized health care;

LO12: emphasize fundamental importance of ethical behavior in medical practice;

LO13: promote teaching of patients, community and colleagues;

LO14: participate in generating new and evolving medical knowledge through research and intellectual inquiry;

LO15: apply knowledge of study designs and statistical methods to the appraisal of clinical studies and other information on diagnostic and therapeutic effectiveness and integrate evidence from scientific studies related to patients' health problems;

LO16: develop cutting edge knowledge of the PA profession with abilities to participate as leaders at the local, regional, state and national levels, shaping future policy and legislation to promote PA practice and advancement;

LO17: apply knowledge of basic science concepts to facilitate understanding of medical sciences;

LO18: demonstrate basic competency in basic clinical procedures performed by a graduate PA;

LO19: upon graduation, be prepared to enter the workforce as a gainfully employed PA with excellent job search skills and knowledge to obtain and maintain licensure in any state as a practicing PA;

LO20: collaborate effectively as a member of interprofessional health care teams;

LO21: exhibit the ability and skills to attend and care for patients in emergency setting; and

LO22: exhibit competency while practicing in community health and population health settings.