PA Program Competencies

The PA Program designed student competencies that are program-specific but take into consideration the ARC-PA standards, the 4 Org PA Competencies, and the PAEA Graduate Student Competences. At the end of the PA program curriculum, the students should be able to achieve each of the following competencies in order to graduate from the PA program and be able to practice with the appropriate knowledge and skill level of a new PA graduate.

Wagner PA Program Competencies
  1. Elicit a patient-centered problem-focused and comprehensive history taking into account cultural awareness and social determinants.
  2. Perform a problem focused and comprehensive physical examination recognizing normal and abnormal health states.
  3. Using the history and physical exam findings, develop a differential diagnosis for both acute and chronic medical conditions of a patient.
  4. Order and interpret appropriate lab and diagnostic studies to assist in the diagnosis and management of patients.
  5. Formulate a diagnosis which integrates clinical presentation, results of diagnostic tests and cultural and environmental aspects.
  6. Possess knowledge of pharmaceutical agents including indications, contraindications, dosing, side effects, drug interactions and costs to patients.
  7. Develop management strategies by collaborating with the patients for acute and chronic conditions for patients across the life span.
  8. Foster preventive care including age-appropriate screening, immunization recommendations, patient education, behavioral modifications.
  9. Perform patient education which considers the cultural aspects of health care.
  10. Appropriately foster patient advocacy when working with patients of all ages.
  11. Perform clinical procedures common for a practicing PA and educate patients regarding procedure, side effects, follow-up care, and informed consent.
  12. Embrace the value of interprofessional team care which improves the quality of healthcare.
  13. Apply critical thinking and medical decision-making strategies to all aspects of patient care.
  14. Practice evidence-based medicine by practicing life-long learning strategies.
  15. Utilize medical knowledge of acute and chronic conditions including etiology, genetics, anatomy/ physiology/ pathophysiology, incidence, risk factors, clinical presentation, differential diagnosis, and treatment strategies to effectively manage a patient across the life span and with end-of-life care.
  16. Embrace the role of a physician assistant.
  17. Communicate effectively with patients and families by utilizing patient centered interpersonal skills that incorporates mutual respect with the patient.
  18. Accurately document patient encounters, orders and referrals to other specialty care providers.
  19. Effectively present patient information to supervising physicians and other health care providers.
  20. Utilize the concepts of public health and global health to improve the quality of patient care.
  21. Incorporate patient safety strategies that reduce medical errors and encourage quality improvement in medical care.
  22. Embrace professionalism in all aspects of clinical practice incorporating accountability, altruism, confidentiality
  23. Possess a thorough understanding of medical ethics utilized in medical care.
  24. Recognize emergent medical conditions versus non-emergent medical conditions by appropriately triaging patients.