The Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS) program at the University of Charleston is a rigorous and intense program that places specific requirements and demands on all students enrolled in the program. The minimum technical standards establish the essential qualities considered necessary for students admitted to this program to achieve the knowledge, skills, and competencies of an entry-level physician assistant. In the event an applicant is unable to fulfill these technical standards prior to or any time after admission, with or without reasonable accommodation (see official UC ADA Statement), the student will not be allowed to enter or progress within the program.
Candidates for admission and students within the Physician Assistant program must possess aptitude, ability, and skills in the following categories:
- Sensory and Motor Functions
- Intellectual Conceptualization, Integration, and Quantitation
- Behavioral and Social Attributes
- Candidates and students must be able to observe and actively participate in all demonstrations and experiments in the basic medical and clinical sciences, including observations made through a microscope and demonstrations made in the classroom using standardized or classmate patient-models.
- Candidates and students must be able to observe a patient accurately and completely both at a distance and up close, noting both verbal and nonverbal signs.
- Candidates and students must possess the ability to comprehend written English at a level sufficient to adequately evaluate technical materials, medical reports, and biomedical texts and journals.
- Candidates and students are expected to be able to communicate, both verbally and in writing, the results of their examination to the patient and to their colleagues with accuracy, clarity, and efficiency.
- Candidates and students must be able to accurately and legibly document observations and plans in a thorough and timely manner.
Sensory and Motor Functions
- Candidates and students must have sufficient use of somatic sensation and the senses of vision, hearing and smell to perform the inspection, palpation, auscultation and percussion components of the physical examination.
- Candidates and students must possess the gross and fine motor coordination skills necessary to learn and perform routine laboratory tests, and diagnostic and therapeutic procedures.
- Candidates and students should be able to perform the physical activities needed to provide general and emergency care for patients. This may include, but not be limited to, activities such as bending, lifting, carrying and running.
Intellectual Conceptualization, Integration, and Quantitation
- Candidates and students must be able to learn to quantify, analyze, integrate, synthesize, solve problems, and reach diagnostic and therapeutic judgments.
- Candidates and students must be able to learn and to demonstrate the ability to recognize limitations in their own knowledge, skills, and abilities and seek appropriate assistance with their identified limitations.
Behavioral and Social Attributes
- Candidates and students must be able to work collaboratively with their classmates to sustain a non-competitive learning atmosphere and with their colleagues and patients to develop collaborative professional relationships.
- Candidates and students must possess the endurance to tolerate physically taxing workloads and to function effectively under stress. At times this may require working for extended periods of time or with rotating schedules.
- Candidates and students must possess the emotional health needed for full use of their intellectual abilities, exercise of good judgment, and prompt and appropriate action in emergency situations.
- Candidates and students must be able to adapt to changing environments and to display flexibility in the face of uncertainties inherent in the training process and the practice of medicine.
- Candidates and students are expected to willingly accept and invite constructive criticism and, if necessary, subsequently adopt appropriate modifications in their behavior.
It is the policy of the University of Charleston to provide reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with documented disabilities. This college will adhere to all applicable federal, state, and local laws, regulations and guidelines with respect to providing reasonable accommodations as regards to affording equal educational opportunity. It is the student’s responsibility to contact the disability coordinator and provide current documentation from appropriate credentialed persons. The disability coordinator is located in room 302 of the Learning Commons (3rd floor of Clay Tower Building) and will assist students and faculty in arranging appropriate accommodations. This is in accordance with Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.