The role of the physician assistant demands intelligence, sound judgment, intellectual honesty, the ability to relate with people and the capacity to react to emergencies in a calm and reasoned manner. An attitude of respect for self and others, adherence to the concepts of privilege and confidentiality in communicating with patients, and commitment to the patient’s welfare are essential attributes.
Candidates admitted to the program must have the following:
Have the academic ability to master a large volume of technically detailed information and be able to synthesize and use these data to solve complex clinical problems. This information must be acquired in a short and intense period of study, which requires well-developed study skills, a high level of motivation and may require considerable personal and financial sacrifice.
Have the mental, emotional, physical ability and stamina to complete the program on a full-time basis in the required sequence. Possess the emotional maturity and stability to approach highly stressful human situations in a calm, safe and rational manner.
Have well-developed oral and written English language communication skills.
Be comfortable with the role of a dependent practitioner operating under the supervision of a licensed physician, while simultaneously feeling comfortable with the large amount of responsibility that goes along with the delivery of patient care in sometimes remote locations.
Display strong ethical integrity consistent with working as a health care professional.
Have the minimum physical abilities in the areas of sensory function, hand-eye coordination, and neuromuscular control to competently perform the technical activities that are a critical part of the program curriculum and profession, including: physical examination; performance and interpretation of diagnostic studies such as blood tests, EKGs and x-rays; surgical assisting (standing, sitting and holding arms in one position for long periods of time); performing common procedures such as casting, suturing and venipuncture; and lifting and transferring objects weighing up to 25 lbs.