Program Defined Competencies

Upon completion of the Salus University Physician Assistant Program, a student is expected to have achieved the following Program defined competencies:

   1) Medical Knowledge
  • Identify the signs and symptoms for commonly presenting disease processes.
  • Construct a differential diagnosis for commonly presenting symptoms. 
  • Identify the indications for diagnostic and therapeutic procedures commonly utilized in outpatient and emergency medical settings.
  • Recognize and treat, with clinician collaboration, common medical conditions.
  • Discuss indications, contraindications and appropriate use for commonly used medications.
  • Recognize side effects and drug interactions as they relate to the polypharmacy of comorbid conditions.
   2) Interpersonal and Communication Skills
  • Provide accurate and appropriately formatted documentation for patient history and physical examinations.
  • Present the data gathered in patient encounters in a concise and accurate summary.
  • Establish rapport with patient and family, and demonstrate concern for patient’s welfare.
  • Provide medical education at the patient and/or family’s level of comprehension.
   3) Patient Care
  • Obtain both a comprehensive and problem-focused history.
  • Perform both a comprehensive and problem-focused physical examination. 
  • Synthesize information acquired through all aspects of a patient encounter demonstrating appropriate progression of thought.
  • Manage, with clinical collaboration, conditions specific to the patient’s presentation.
  • Provide appropriate referral for secondary evaluation, as well as community-based resources. 
   4) Professionalism
  • Demonstrate awareness of appropriate professional behavior and insight regarding clinical practice limitations.
  • Demonstrate appropriate rapport with patients, nurses, residents, attending physicians, allied health professionals and ancillary hospital personnel.
  • Accept constructive criticism and demonstrate the ability to improve performance based on that feedback.
   5) Practice-Based Learning and Improvement
  • Utilize current evidence-based medicine in the care and management of patients.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the effects of family/support systems and cultural influences upon disease and health outcomes.
   6) Systems-Based Practice
  • Demonstrate adherence to the guidelines of universal precautions and sterile procedure when required.
  • Approach the use of diagnostic studies and therapeutic management with a cost-effective perspective.