Technical Standards

In addition to scholastic achievements, exam results, and recommendations, candidates for the PA Program must possess the physical, emotional and behavioral characteristics requisite for the practice of medicine as a physician associate.

Yale University School of Medicine Physician Associate Program Technical Standards in the Physician Associate Admissions Process

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Physician Associates must have the knowledge and skill to function in a broad variety of clinical situations and to render a wide spectrum of patient care. Consequently, it is essential that in its admission process, the Physician Associate Program judge not only the scholastic accomplishments and potential of an applicant, but also his/her physical and emotional capabilities to meet the full requirements of the Program's curriculum and to graduate as a skilled and effective healthcare provider.

In assessing an applicant for admission, it is also appropriate that the Program consider any condition that may pose obstacles to the safe application of the applicant's knowledge and skills or prevent effective interaction with patients.

Applicants will be reviewed individually on a case-by-case basis. No otherwise qualified individual with a disability will be excluded from admission. In accordance with University policy and as delineated by Federal and Connecticut law, the Physician Associate Program does not discriminate in admissions, educational programs, or employment against any individual on account of that individual's disability.

In order to complete the program and requirements of the curriculum, candidates for the PA Program must have sufficient somatic sensation and the functional use of vision and hearing to permit them to carry out the activities described in Sections 1 through 5 below.

    1. Observation
      Candidates 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 including functional vision, hearing, smell, and tactile sensation. All these senses must be adequate to observe a patient's condition and to elicit information through procedures regularly required in a physical examination, such as inspection, auscultation and palpation.
    2. Communication
      Candidates must:
      • be able to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients and others in both academic and healthcare settings
      • be able to speak and hear clearly
      • show evidence of effective written and verbal communication skills including the ability to read
      • be able to describe changes in mood, activity and posture, and perceive non-verbal communications.
    3. Motor
      Candidates should have sufficient motor function to:
      • diagnose patients by palpation, auscultation, percussion, and other diagnostic maneuvers
      • execute movements reasonably required to provide general care and emergency care to patients, including but not limited to:
        • cardiopulmonary resuscitation
        • administration of intravenous medication
        • application of pressure to stop bleeding
        • opening of obstructed airways
        • suturing of simple wounds
        • performance of simple obstetrical maneuvers
      • 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.
    4. Intellectual-Conceptual, Integrative, and Quantitative Abilities
      Candidates must be able to:
      • measure, calculate, reason, analyze and synthesize. Problem solving, one of the critical skills demanded of physician associates requires all of these intellectual abilities.
      • comprehend three dimensional relationships and understand the spatial relationships of structures
      • read and understand medical literature
      • In order to complete the Physician Associate Program, candidates must be able to demonstrate mastery of these skills and the ability to use them together in a timely fashion in medical problem-solving and patient care.
    5. Behavioral and Social Attributes
      Candidates must:
      • possess the emotional health required for full utilization of their intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, and the completion of all academic and patient care responsibilities
      • develop mature, sensitive and effective relationships with patients and other members of the health care team
      • function in the face of uncertainties inherent in clinical practice and adapt to changing environments
      • possess flexibility, compassion, integrity, motivation, interpersonal skills, and concern for others