Yale PA Program Technical Standards

Technical Standards

The Technical Standards are the Program expectations for certain knowledge, skills, abilities, professional attitudes and behaviors. Students must verify that they meet the Technical Standards prior to matriculation and maintain them during the entirety of their PA education in the Program. Students are obligated to alert the Program immediately of any change to their status. Students are subject to dismissal if, with reasonable accommodation, they are not able to demonstrate that they can meet the Technical Standards.

Reasonable Accommodation

The Physician Associate Program is committed to creating a respectful, accessible and inclusive learning environment, and recognizes that students with varied types of disabilities can become successful medical professionals. Students who have a disability and need accommodation should initiate discussions with the Resource Office on Disabilities (203.432.2324) as soon as the offer of admission is received and accepted. It is the responsibility of the student to provide the Resource Office on Disabilities (ROD) with adequate information documenting the general nature and extent of the disability as well as the functional limitation in need of accommodation. Evaluation and implementation of an accommodation request is a collaborative effort between the student, the ROD, and the Physician Associate Program.

Should a student have or develop a condition that might place patients, the student, or others at risk, or that may affect their need for accommodation, an evaluation with the ROD may be necessary. An accommodation is not reasonable if providing the accommodation:

  1. poses a direct threat to the health or safety of the student and/or others,
  2. if providing the accommodation requires a substantial modification of an essential element of the curriculum as determined by the Physician Associate Program,
  3. if providing the accommodation lowers academic standards, or
  4. if providing the accommodation poses an undue financial burden on the University.

I. Observation

Students must have sufficient sensory capacity, with or without reasonable accommodation, to observe in the lecture hall, the laboratory, in various patient settings. Sensory skills adequate to perform a physical examination are required, including functional vision, hearing, smell, and tactile sensation. All senses must be adequate to observe a patient’s condition and to elicit information through procedures regularly required in taking a history and performing a physical examination.

II. Communication

Students must be able, with or without reasonable accommodation, to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients and others in academic and healthcare settings. Students must be able to listen attentively and speak clearly, including communications with patients from different social and cultural backgrounds. Additionally, they must be able to effectively communicate in spoken, written, and electronic formats. Students must be able to identify and describe changes in mood, activity, and posture, and perceive non-verbal communication. Students must be able to record examination and diagnostic results clearly, accurately and efficiently using various formats, including electronic platforms.

III. Motor

Students must have sufficient motor function to elicit information from patients through interview, physical exam, and other diagnostic maneuvers, with or without reasonable accommodation. Students must have sufficient motor function to execute movements reasonably required to provide general and emergency care to patients, including but not limited to cardiopulmonary resuscitation, the administration of intravenous medication, the application of pressure to stop bleeding, the opening of obstructed airways, the suturing of simple wounds, the handling of surgical instruments, and the performance of basic obstetrical maneuvers.

Students must be able, with or without reasonable accommodation, to negotiate patient care environments and must be able to move between settings, such as clinic, classroom building and hospital. Physical stamina sufficient to complete the rigorous course of didactic and clinical study is required. Long periods of sitting, standing, or moving are required in classroom, laboratory, and clinical experiences. Because clinical placements use electronic medical records and because the national certifying exam does not provide a paper test accommodation at this time, students must also be able to use computers and other electronic devices, and must be able to take computer-based examinations.

IV. Intellectual-Conceptual, Integrative, and Quantitative Abilities

Students must be able, with or without reasonable accommodation, to learn large amounts of complex, technical, and detailed information for independent problem solving and decision making. They must be able to learn through a variety of modalities including, but not limited to, classroom instruction, clinical settings and simulated environments; small group, team and collaborative activities; individual self-directed study; preparation and presentation of reports; and use of technology. Students must be able to memorize, measure, calculate, reason, analyze, synthesize and report clinical data. In addition, students must be able to recognize and draw conclusions about three-dimensional spatial relationships and logical sequential relationships. Students must be able to read, understand and critically evaluate the medical literature. Students must be able to demonstrate mastery of these skills and the ability to use them together in a timely fashion to formulate accurate diagnosis and management plans.

V. Professional Behavior and Social Attributes

Students must maintain the highest level of professional behavior. Students must possess and demonstrate the emotional maturity needed to participate fully in all aspects of PA training. Students must be able to exercise good judgment in all academic and patient care settings. The student must be capable of responsive, empathetic listening and must possess sufficient interpersonal skill to develop mature, compassionate, respectful relationships with peers, patients, patient families, and all members of the academic and healthcare communities. Students must demonstrate the ability to function effectively and with composure when under stress and in situations that are uncertain, unpredictable, and physically and/or emotionally challenging. Students must be able to take responsibility for their own learning, recognize limitations in their knowledge, skills and abilities, and seek appropriate assistance when limitations are identified. Students must be able to contribute to collaborative learning, accept constructive feedback from others, and always strive towards excellence. Students must be capable of regular, reliable and punctual attendance at all learning events and clinical assignments, understanding that this may require their presence during day, evening, or overnight hours, and any day of the week, often with very early morning reporting times.

VI. Ethics and Compliance with Applicable Law and Policies

Students must be able to understand the basis and content of both general and medical ethics. Students whose performance or judgment is impaired by prescribed or illicit medications, abuse of alcohol or other substances and who cannot meet the technical standards are not suitable candidates for admission, promotion, or graduation. In addition, should a student be charged or convicted of any misdemeanor or felony offense while in the Program, the student agrees to immediately notify the Program as to the nature of the legal issues. Failure to disclose prior or new offenses can lead to disciplinary action that may include dismissal. It is expected that students will maintain a high level of personal integrity, acting ethically and lawfully in their professional and personal lives.