Physician Assistant Studies: Program Mission, Goals, and Outcomes
Program Mission, Goals, Competencies
The mission of the Physician Assistant Studies Program at Northeastern State University is to graduate qualified and compassionate physician assistants to address the shortage of providers in rural northeastern Oklahoma and among American Indian populations.
The goals of NSU's Physician Assistant Studies Program are as follows:
- The program will graduate students proficient in clinical reasoning and self-directed
learning through a comprehensive curriculum of basic and clinical sciences.
- Confirmation that clinical reasoning has developed appropriately will be assessed by evaluations on objective written examinations, objective structured clinical examinations and by observations of preceptors in the clinical phase.
- Confirmation that students strive for self-directed learning will be assessed by evaluating their ability to access and discuss the medical literature in evidence-based medicine, senior seminar, and by observations of preceptors in the clinical phase.
- The program will produce graduates who demonstrate cultural sensitivity, and respect
for individual differences among colleagues and patients.
- Students will demonstrate understanding of cultural sensitivity and respect through evaluation of interpersonal and communication skills in classroom discussions, writing assignments, problem-based learning activities, and objective written examinations.
- Students will interact in the clinical setting with diverse patient populations. The program will quantify the extent of these interactions through the accumulation of patient logging data and clinical preceptor mid- and end-of-rotation evaluations.
- Graduates will demonstrate a high level of medical knowledge and effectively apply
that knowledge to patient care.
- Confirmation of medical knowledge is assessed through objective written examinations, performance on procedural skills, evaluations from early patient interactions during the didactic phase, a summative examination process and successfully passing the PANCE examination.
- Confirmation that knowledge is effectively applied to patient care by clinical preceptor mid- and end-of-rotation evaluations.
- Graduates are encouraged to provide healthcare to the underserved, rural Oklahoma,
and American Indian populations.
- Confirmation that students attain this goal will be accomplished through analysis of survey data from frequent experiences serving the health care needs of rural and urban underserved populations, and American Indian populations while learning alongside physician and PA role models.
The program will further evaluate this goal by a post-graduate survey given to graduates to determine their job-site location and area of practice. The program will post the success of achieving these goals on this website after the first cohort completes the program.
At the time of successful completion of all elements of the curriculum of the NSU PA Program, and when the degree of Master of Physician Assistant Studies is conferred by the university, graduates will be able to accomplish the following:
- Medical knowledge. Physician assistants are expected to understand, evaluate, and apply the following
in the clinical setting:
- etiologies, risk factors, underlying pathologic process, and epidemiology for medical conditions
- signs and symptoms of medical and surgical conditions
- appropriate screening and diagnostic studies
- interventions for prevention of disease and health promotion/maintenance
- Interpersonal skills. Physician assistants are expected to:
- use effective communication skills to elicit and provide accurate information
- demonstrate compassionate and respectful behaviors when interacting with patients and their families
- counsel and educate patients and their families
- work effectively with physicians and other health care professionals to provide patient-centered care
- Clinical and technical skills. Physician assistants are expected to:
- accurately and adequately document information regarding care for medical, legal, quality, and financial purposes
- locate, appraise, and integrate evidence from scientific studies to support patient care decisions and patient education
- perform an appropriate medical history and physical exam
- perform medical and surgical procedures essential to the specialty
- Professional behaviors. Physician assistants are expected to:
- recognize and appropriately address personal biases, gaps in medical knowledge, and physical limitations in themselves and others
- effectively interact with different types of medical practice and delivery systems
- advocate for quality patient care and assist patients in dealing with system complexities that contribute to health care disparities regardless of socioeconomic status, gender, race, intellect, sexual orientation, or ability to pay
- demonstrate emotional resilience and stability, adaptability, flexibility, and tolerance of ambiguity and anxiety
- commitment to ethical principles
- Clinical reasoning and problem solving abilities. Physician assistants are expected to:
- interpret history and physical findings and diagnostic studies to formulate differential diagnoses and implement patient management plans
- manage general medical and surgical conditions to include pharmacologic and other treatment modalities
- apply knowledge of study designs and statistical methods to the appraisal of clinical literature and other information on diagnostic and therapeutic effectiveness
- apply the concepts of population health to patient care