PA Program Goals | Saint Francis University
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PA Program Goals

  • From the Accreditation Standards for Physician Assistant Education: SECTION A: ADMINISTRATION A3.12b: "The program must define, publish and make readily available to … students general program information to include: evidence of its effectiveness in meeting its goals.”

    Description of the Profession: The clinical role of physician assistants includes primary and specialty care in medical and surgical practice settings. Professional competencies for physician assistants include the effective and appropriate application of medical knowledge, interpersonal and communication skills, patient care, professionalism, practice-based learning and improvement, systems-based practice, as well as an unwavering commitment to continual learning, professional growth and the physician-PA team, for the benefit of patients and the larger community being served. These competencies are demonstrated within the scope of practice, whether medical or surgical, for each individual physician assistant as that scope is defined by the supervising physician and appropriate to the practice setting. (Competencies for the Physician Assistant Profession, Introduction)

    In keeping with the expectations listed above, graduates will be able to perform the following services in a professional manner that is compassionate, competent and efficient:

    Medical Knowledge: 

    Graduates will have medical knowledge including an understanding of anatomy and physiology, pathophysiology, patient presentation, differential diagnosis, patient evaluation and management, surgical principles, health promotion and disease prevention to be able to provide competent and comprehensive health care. Graduates will be able to demonstrate core knowledge about established and evolving biomedical and clinical sciences and the application of this knowledge to patient care utilizing an investigatory and analytic thinking approach to clinical situations.

    Clinical Competence: 

    Graduates will have the ability to provide effective patient care that includes assessment, evaluation and management to diverse populations across the life-span in an ethical, compassionate and inter-professionally collaborative manner. Graduates will possess the necessary technical skills as well as clinical reasoning and problem-solving abilities to provide equitable and efficient patient-centered care.

    Interpersonal and Communication Skills:

    Graduates will possess interpersonal and communication skills including verbal, nonverbal and written that result in effective information exchange with patients, families, physicians and other health professionals.


    Graduates will be able to demonstrate appropriate academic and professional skills, attributes, attitudes and behaviors necessary to function as a physician assistant. Graduates will possess an understanding of health policies and delivery systems to promote their participation as health care leaders in identifying solutions to community and professional endeavors, including service to people and communities in need, as expressed through the Franciscan tradition.

  • Program Outcomes

  • Medical Knowledge Outcomes
    • All graduates of the MPAS class of 2020 passed the PANCE on their first attempt
    • The 2019 class average on the PANCE was at or above the national average in 8 of 14 organ systems and 4 of 8 task area
    • Students in the 2020 cohort spent at least 56 hours in critical thinking and simulation sessions throughout the didactic year



    Clinical Competence Outcomes
    • 100% of the 2020 cohort passed the summative OSCE, with 96% earning a passing grade on their first attempt
    • All graduates demonstrated competence in a number of clinical tasks, to include interpretation of imaging, lab findings, rhythm strips, EKGs, administration of injections, placement of sutures, and performing pelvic and breast exam


    Interpersonal and Communication Skills Outcomes
    • All graduates completed an extensive research-based Master’s Capstone project and presented their findings
    • Each student developed a sound foundation in medical documentation by composing 10 SOAP notes and 5 hospital admission notes during the didactic year


    Professionalism Outcomes
    • All students successfully completed PA 401:  Introduction to U.S. Health Care which provides instruction in health policies and delivery system
    • 82% of 2020 graduates achieved ratings of good or excellent on professionalism from their preceptors during the clinical year
    • All students completed at least 25 hours of community service during the didactic year