Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes & Expected Competencies

The Pfeiffer University Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies program is committed to providing students with a learner-centered educational environment where they will receive the requisite knowledge to provide compassionate, culturally sensitive, patient-centered, evidence-based healthcare in an inter-professional healthcare team.

Student success in achieving the program defined learning outcomes and expectations will be evaluated through a variety of assessment tools such as: multiple choice examinations, inter-professional collaborative group projects, objective structured clinical examinations (OSCEs), reflection journals, clinical performance evaluations and a capstone graduate research project.

The Pfeiffer University Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies program's defined learning outcomes and expectations are based on the Competencies for the Physician Assistant Profession as developed jointly by the National Commission on Accreditation of Physician Assistants (NCCPA), the Accreditation Review Commission for Education of the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA), the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA), and the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA). 

Upon completion of the Pfeiffer University Master Science in Physician Assistant Studies program, students will demonstrate entry-level proficiency as physician assistants in the following domains:

  • Medical Knowledge (MK)

    The core competencies of Medical Knowledge seek to ensure that the Physician Assistant student continually investigates, questions, and pursues new knowledge.

    Competency   Outcomes
    Domain
    MK1 Demonstrate core knowledge about established and evolving biomedical and clinical sciences and the application of this knowledge to patient care KNWG
    MK2 Demonstrate an investigative and analytic thinking approach to clinical situations KNWG
    MK3

    Correlate, integrate and apply the following to common emergent and non-emergent medical, surgical, and behavioral scenarios across the lifespan:

    • History and physical findings and diagnostic studies to formulate differential diagnoses
    • Management of general medical and surgical conditions to include pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic treatment modalities
    • Interventions for surveillance geared to prevention of disease and health promotion/maintenance
    KNWG
    CRP

    *Key for Outcome Domains: Knowledge (KNWG), Clinical Reasoning Problem Solving (CRP), Interpersonal Skills (IS), Clinical and Technical Skills (CTS), Professionalism (PFLM)

  • Interpersonal & Communications Skills (ICS)

    The Interpersonal and Communication Skills core competencies enables the Physician Assistant student to successfully receive and share information; establishing and maintaining a foundation of trust with all parties so that the environment is open and encouraging for honest dialogue.

    Competency   Outcomes
    Domain
    ICS1 Demonstrate interpersonal and communication (verbal, nonverbal, written, and electronic) skills that result in effective information exchange with patients, patients’ families, physicians, professional associates, and other individuals within the health care system IS
    ICS2 Accurately and adequately document information regarding care for medical, legal, quality, and financial purposes IS

    *Key for Outcome Domains: Knowledge (KNWG), Clinical Reasoning Problem Solving (CRP), Interpersonal Skills (IS), Clinical and Technical Skills (CTS), Professionalism (PFLM)

  • Patient Care (PC)

    The core competencies of Patient Care seek to ensure that the Physician Assistant Student develops the ability to actively listen and attain medical histories, diagnose, properly inform and educate, and prescribe and perform necessary procedures in a way that maximizes patient comfort.

    Competency   Outcomes
    Domain
    PC1 Obtain an accurate history and perform a comprehensive physical exam CTS
    PC2 Accurately diagnose and formulate appropriate pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic treatment plans CRP
    PC3 Appropriately select and perform medical and surgical procedures common to primary care CTS
    CRP
    PC4 Provide health care services and education aimed at disease prevention and health maintenance CTS

    *Key for Outcome Domains: Knowledge (KNWG), Clinical Reasoning Problem Solving (CRP), Interpersonal Skills (IS), Clinical and Technical Skills (CTS), Professionalism (PFLM)

  • Professionalism (P)

    The Professionalism core competencies enables the Physician Assistant student to treat all people with respect, compassion, and dignity.

    Competency   Outcomes
    Domain
    P1 Demonstrate a high level of responsibility, ethical practice, and adherence to legal and regulatory requirements PFLM
    P2 Demonstrate sensitivity to a diverse patient population by identifying the socio-cultural, familial, psychological, economic, environmental, and spiritual factors impacting health care and health care delivery; and responding to these factors by planning and advocating the appropriate course of action at both the individual and the community level PFLM

    *Key for Outcome Domains: Knowledge (KNWG), Clinical Reasoning Problem Solving (CRP), Interpersonal Skills (IS), Clinical and Technical Skills (CTS), Professionalism (PFLM)

  • Practice-based Learning & Improvement (PBLI)

    The core competencies in Practice-Based Learning and Improvement seeks to ensure that the Physician Assistant student becomes a life-long learner, develops the skills necessary to evaluate medical research and its appropriate application to the practice of medicine.

    Competency   Outcomes
    Domain
    PBLI1 Critically appraise the medical literature in order to use current practice guidelines and apply the principles of evidence-based medicine to patient care KNWG
    CRP

    *Key for Outcome Domains: Knowledge (KNWG), Clinical Reasoning Problem Solving (CRP), Interpersonal Skills (IS), Clinical and Technical Skills (CTS), Professionalism (PFLM)

  • Systems-based Practice (SBP)

    The Systems-based Practice core competencies focus on the Physician Assistant student’s ability to effectively perform their role as clinicians in diverse healthcare systems.

    Competency   Outcomes
    Domain
    SBP1 Provide advocacy and support geared to assist patients in obtaining quality care as they navigate the complexities of health care delivery systems PFLM
    SBP2 Demonstrate an awareness of and responsiveness to the larger system of health care to provide patient care that balances quality and cost, while maintaining the primacy of the individual patient PFLM

    *Key for Outcome Domains: Knowledge (KNWG), Clinical Reasoning Problem Solving (CRP), Interpersonal Skills (IS), Clinical and Technical Skills (CTS), Professionalism (PFLM)

  • Leadership in Health Advocacy and Social Justice (LASJ)

    Social accountability is an integral aspect of Physician Assistant practice; it has been part of the genetic make-up of our profession from its very beginning. Leadership in health advocacy and social justice encompasses involvement in legislative and community advocacy aimed at reducing health disparities and social injustice.

    Competency   Outcomes
    Domain
    LASJ1 Develop an interdisciplinary plan of advocacy for effective health policy changes that will facilitate health and social equity. PFLM
    LASJ2 Participate in the design and implementation of longitudinal projects that will promote the health of underserved populations. PFLM
    LASJ3 Apply valid, reliable research in advocacy to their current practice PFLM
    LASJ4 Educate community and professional organization leaders regarding existing health disparities and effective strategies to eliminate health inequities. PFLM

    *Key for Outcome Domains: Knowledge (KNWG), Clinical Reasoning Problem Solving (CRP), Interpersonal Skills (IS), Clinical and Technical Skills (CTS), Professionalism (PFLM)