The Indiana University Physician Assistant Program faculty has specified the following non-academic criteria ("Technical Standards") which all applicants/physician assistant students are expected to meet in order to participate in the IU Physician Assistant Program and the practice of medicine.
The applicant/physician assistant student must be able to participate actively in all demonstrations and laboratory exercises in the basic medical sciences and to assess and comprehend the condition of all patients assigned to him or her for examination, diagnosis, and treatment. Such observation and information acquisition usually requires the functional use of visual, auditory and somatic sensation.
The applicant/physician assistant student must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients in order to elicit information, describe changes in mood, activity and posture, assess non-verbal communications, and be able to effectively and efficiently transmit information to patients, fellow students, faculty, staff and all members of the health-care team. Communication skills include speaking, reading and writing, as well as the observation skills described above.
The applicant/physician assistant student must have sufficient motor function to elicit information from patients by palpation, auscultation, percussion and other diagnostic maneuvers, be able to perform basic laboratory tests, possess all skills necessary to carry out diagnostic procedures and be able to execute motor movements reasonably required to provide general care and emergency treatment to patients.
The applicant/physician assistant student must be able to measure, calculate, reason, analyze and synthesize. Problem-solving, the critical skill demanded of physician assistants, requires all of these intellectual abilities. In addition, the applicant/physician assistant student must be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and to understand the spatial relationships of structures. The applicant/physician assistant student must have the capacity to perform these problem-solving skills in a timely fashion.
The applicant/physician assistant student must possess the emotional health required for full utilization of his or her intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, the prompt completion of all responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients, and the development of mature, sensitive and effective relationships with patients and others. Applicants/physician assistant students must also be able to tolerate taxing workloads, function effectively under stress, adapt to a changing environment, display flexibility and learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of many patients. Compassion, integrity, concern for others, commitment and motivation are personal qualities which each applicant/physician assistant student should possess.
*Adapted from the Indiana University School of Medicine Technical Non-Academic Standards