Technical Standards for the PA Program


All students must be able to perform the technical skills listed below for successful completion of the Morehouse School of Medicine Physician Assistant Program.

1. Observation

  • Observe demonstrations and conduct experiments in the basic sciences.
  • Observe a patient accurately at a distance and close at hand, noting non-verbal as well as verbal signals. This ability requires functional vision, hearing, and somatic sensation.

2. Communication

  • Relate effectively with patients, conveying a sense of respect, compassion, and empathy. A student must be able to communicate clearly with and observe patients in order to elicit information, accurately describing changes in mood, activity and posture, and perceive verbal as well as non-verbal communications.
  • Communicate with patients, their family members, and the health care team through oral, written, and electronic forms.

3. Sensory and Motor Coordination or Function

  • Demonstrate sufficient sensory and motor function to perform a physical examination utilizing palpation, auscultation, percussion, and other diagnostic maneuvers.
  • Execute prompt, precise, and appropriate responses to provide general and emergency care to patients.
  • Manipulate equipment and instruments to perform medical procedures required to attain curricular goals and patient care (e.g. needles, stethoscope, ophthalmoscope, tongue blades, intravenous equipment, gynecologic speculum, and scalpel).
  • Perform basis laboratory tests (urinalysis, complete blood count, etc.), and diagnostic and therapeutic procedures (phlebotomy, arterial blood gas drawings, lumbar puncture, arthrocentesis, etc.).

4. Cognitive, Integrative and Quantitative Abilities

  • Conceptualize, integrate and qualitatively analyze information derived empirically and rationally for problem solving and decision-making.  This includes abilities to reason, calculate, analyze, measure and synthesize information in a variety of settings, including those that may be urgent with increased transient stress and distractions. 
  • Comprehend three-dimensional relationships and spatial relationships of structures, including anatomical structures.  
  • Collect, organize, prioritize, analyze and assimilate large amounts of technically detailed and complex information within a limited time frame. This information will be presented in a variety of educational settings, including lectures, small group discussions, and individual clinical settings.

5. Behavioral and Social Attributes

  • Demonstrate empathy, integrity, honesty, concern for others, good interpersonal skills, interest and motivation as these personal qualities are all required during the educational training process and in patient care.
  • Demonstrate cultural competence in all encounters with peers, patients and their families.
  • Possess the emotional health required for full use of their intellectual abilities, that include the exercise of good judgment, prompt of all educational and clinical responsibilities, and the development of mature, sensitive and effective professional relationships with patients and member of the medical team.
  • Possess adequate endurance to tolerate mentally and physically taxing workloads and adapt to changing environments, display flexibility and learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of many patients.
  • Demonstrate cultural competence in all encounters with peers, patients, and the families.