Health and Technical Standards
All students enrolled in the Physician Assistant Studies Program curriculum must meet certain health and technical standards in order to fully participate in the educational programs contained in the curriculum. A candidate for the physician assistant degree must have abilities and skills in five areas: Observation, Communication, Motor, Intellectual, and Behavioral. Reasonable accommodations for the educational experience will be made as required by law; however, the candidate must be able to meet all technical standards without accommodation in order to graduate from the Physician Assistant Studies Program. The use of a trained intermediary is not a permissible accommodation, as it requires a candidate’s judgment to be mediated by someone else’s power of selection and observation.
Physician Assistant Students must have sufficient sensory capacity to observe in the lecture hall, the laboratory, the outpatient setting, and at the patient’s bedside. Sensory skills adequate to perform a physical examination are required. This includes functional vision, hearing, smell, and tactile sensation.
For more information, see Procedure 15.410 at https://app.unthsc.edu/policies/Home/AllPolicies.
Observation: Observation requires the functional use of all special senses.
Communication: A candidate should be able to speak, hear and observe in order to elicit information, describe changes in moods, activity and posture, and perceive nonverbal communications.
Motor: Candidates should have sufficient motor function to elicit information by palpation, auscultation, percussion and other diagnostic and therapeutic maneuvers.
Intellectual: Candidates should possess problem solving and critical thinking skills demanded of physician assistants.
Behavioral: Candidates must have sufficient emotional health required for full use of their intellectual abilities in the exercise of good judgment and prompt completion of all responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients in a mature, sensitive and effective relationship to patients. Candidates must be able to function effectively under stress. They must be able to adapt to changing environments, display flexibility, and learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of many patients. Personal qualities which are also assessed during the admission and education process include: compassion, integrity, concern for others, interpersonal skills, interest and motivation.