Together, we’ve got this: preparing you to be a physician assistant
The IU Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS) program is designed to help you succeed as a physician assistant (PA). After graduation, you will be ready to take the national certifying exam necessary to become a licensed PA and have the competencies to practice health care.
The profession has defined the knowledge, skills, and attitudes expected of entry-level PAs at the time of graduation.
All graduates of the IU MPAS are eligible and expected to take the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE), which is offered by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA).
*Attrition rate calculation: Number of students who attritted from cohort divided by the entering-class size.
**Graduation rate: Number of cohort graduates divided by the entering-class size.
The role of the physician assistant is demonstrated in a wide range of organizational and clinical practice settings alongside physicians and other care providers. The acquisition of the following core competencies for new physician assistants is required in the profession.
The elements within each of the competency domains that appear below have been adopted by the faculty of the IU MPAS program to communicate expected entry-levels of performance by graduates.
Clinical reasoning skills and core knowledge about up-to-date scientific evidence to inform clinical reasoning and clinical judgment.
Demonstrate the medical and psychosocial knowledge necessary for both health promotion and prevention of disease across the lifespan. (PCPK1)
Demonstrate the medical and psychosocial knowledge for evaluation and management of a variety of clinical presentations throughout the lifespan. (PCPK2)
Demonstrate ability to locate, appraise, and integrate evidence from scientific studies related to patients’ health problems. (PCPK3)
Recognize and understand that the influences of the larger community may affect the health of patients and integrate knowledge of social determinants of health into care decisions.
Demonstrate knowledge and application of the cultural norms, needs, influences, and socioeconomic, environmental, and other population-level determinants affecting the health of the individual and community being served. (SPH1)
Understand the role of structural disparities in causing illness. (SPH2)
Demonstrate self-reflection of personal and professional limitations in providing care. (SPH3)
Communication skills necessary to engage in shared decision-making with patients as partners in their care.
Demonstrate effective interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills. (HLC1)
Demonstrate effective communication to obtain information central to the patient’s unique personal, cultural, and social values necessary for shared decision-making to devise management plans in accordance with the patient’s values and preferences. (HLC2)
Communicate with patients in a manner that permits the patient to adequately understand their condition and management plan. (HLC3)
Participate in difficult conversations with patients and colleagues. (HLC4)
Teamwork is key to delivering safe, quality health care, in a way that is complementary to the goals of the provider-patient partnership.
Demonstrate the ability to effectively work within an interdisciplinary health care team. (ICP1)
Demonstrate knowledge of when referrals are needed and make them to the appropriate health care provider. (ICP2)
Practice medicine in ethically and legally appropriate ways and demonstration of professional maturity and accountability for delivering safe and quality care to patients and populations.
Demonstrate professional interactions and accountability to the physician assistant profession, patients, families, and health care team. (PLAH1)
Demonstrate knowledge and application of understanding of the physician assistant role including ethical and professional standards regarding the physician assistant profession. (PLAH2)
Demonstrate self-reflection of one’s limits and boundaries necessary to establish self-care. (PLAH3)
Essential knowledge and skills needed to successfully navigate the health care system to deliver high-quality, value-based, patient-centered care.
Appreciate the value of the collaborative physician/PA relationship. (HCFS1)
Understand the different types of health systems, funding streams, and insurance in order to recognize the financial implications to the provision of health care. (HCFS2)
Physician assistants in Indiana are regulated through the Physician Assistant Committee of the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency (IPLA).
Practicing as a PA in Indiana requires the following:
Graduation from an accredited MPAS program
Passing the PANCE
Passing a criminal background check
Approval of license application and required support—including identification of collaborative physician(s)