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  • Gannon University Ruskin Physician Assistant Program Competencies for Entry Level Practice¬†

    Upon graduation from the Gannon University Ruskin Physician Assistant Program the student will have met the following competencies appropriate for practice as an entry level physician assistant:

    Medical Knowledge*

    Medical knowledge includes the synthesis of pathophysiology, patient presentation, differential
    diagnosis, patient management, surgical principles, health promotion, and disease prevention.
    Physician assistants are expected to understand, evaluate, and apply the following to clinical scenarios:

    • etiologies, risk factors, underlying pathologic process for medical conditions
    • signs and symptoms of medical and surgical conditions
    • appropriate diagnostic studies
    • management of general medical and surgical conditions to include pharmacologic and other treatment modalities
    • interventions for prevention of disease and health promotion/maintenance
    • screening methods to detect conditions in an asymptomatic individual
    • history and physical findings and diagnostic studies to formulate differential diagnoses

    Interpersonal & Communications 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.
    Physician assistants are expected to:

    • use effective communication skills to elicit and provide information
    • work effectively with physicians and other health care professionals as a member of a health care team
    • accurately and adequately document information regarding care for medical, legal, quality, and financial purposes

    Patient Care/ Clinical and Technical Skills*

    Patient care includes patient assessment, evaluation, and management.
    Physician assistants must demonstrate care that is effective, safe, high quality, and equitable.
    Physician assistants are expected to:

    • demonstrate compassionate and respectful behaviors when interacting with patients and their families
    • obtain essential and accurate information about their patients
    • develop patient management plans
    • counsel and educate patients and their families
    • demonstrate clinical skills appropriate for entry level practice
    • provide education aimed at disease prevention and health maintenance

    Professionalism/ Professional Behavior*

    Professionalism is the expression of positive values and ideals as care is delivered.
    Physician assistants must demonstrate a high level of responsibility, ethical practice, sensitivity
    to a diverse patient population, and adherence to legal and regulatory requirements. Physician
    assistants are expected to demonstrate:

    • understanding of legal and regulatory requirements, as well as the appropriate role of the physician assistant
    • professional relationships with physicians and other health care providers

    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. Physician
    assistants are expected to:

    • locate and appraise evidence from scientific studies
    • utilize information technology to manage information, access medical information, and support their own education

    * National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA). Competencies for the Physician Assistant Profession. Adopted 2005. Revised 2012.   

    Adopted 3/2020

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