The graduate competencies represent the knowledge, interpersonal, procedural
skills, professional behaviors, clinical reasoning and problem-solving
abilities required for graduation from the UT PA program.
The competencies were informed by the
PAEA “Core Competencies for New Physician Graduates” and the Association of
American Medical Colleges 2014 “Core Entrustable Professional Activities
for Entering Residency.” These are guidance document for medical curriculum
developers and educators that combines knowledge, skills and abilities
associated with the recognized competencies necessary for practice readiness of
new PA graduates and medical students to enter residency.
The faculty of UT’s PA program review, revise and approve the program competencies annually. This process ensures that
the competencies are representative of current standards of medical care and
education and are reflective of the PA program’s mission and goals.
Centered Practice Knowledge:
Graduates will be
able to recognize healthy versus ill patients in the context of the patients’
lives and determine the stage of illness — preventive, emergent, acute, chronic,
rehabilitative, palliative and end of life. Graduates will demonstrate the ability
to utilize up-to-date scientific evidence to inform clinical reasoning and
skills considered essential for entry into PA practice and become certified in
BLS, ACLS, PALS and PhTLS (see program defined critical skills list).
In various practice
settings and types, apply standard of care by utilizing clinical judgement,
appropriate literature and the medical decision-making process to evaluate
diverse patient populations across the lifespan. Gather essential and accurate
information through history-taking, physical examination, ordering and
interpretation of diagnostic tests. Develop a differential diagnosis, determine
a diagnosis and apply an evidence-based treatment plan that incorporates
The evaluation of patients
includes exercising cultural humility to understand the environmental
influences, cultural norms, socioeconomic factors and beliefs that contribute
to their individual status.
Organize and prioritize care of the patient by recognizing healthy
versus ill health states, discerning the presentation as preventive, emergent,
acute, chronic, rehabilitative, palliative and end of life across the
Develop therapeutic relationships with patients to counsel and
educate them and their families, empowering them to participate in their care
and enabling shared decision-making.
Collaborate with patients to address issues of ongoing signs,
symptoms or health concerns that remain over time without clear diagnosis
despite appropriate evaluation and treatment that may include additional
referrals or second opinions.
Use information technology to search common medical databases to
locate, appraise and assimilate evidence from scientific studies to inform
clinical reasoning and clinical judgement to individual patient problems.
Apply knowledge of community, human genetics, molecular biology,
anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology and pharmacotherapeutics to the clinical
evaluation of patients to determine healthy versus ill status.
Society and Population Health:
Graduates will be able to 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.
Recognize the cultural norms, needs, influences, socioeconomic,
environmental, structural disparities and other population-level determinants
affecting the health of the individual and community being served.
Apply principles of epidemiological sciences to the identification
of health problems, barriers to health, risk factors, treatment strategies,
resources and disease prevention/health promotion efforts for patients and
Health Literacy and Communication:
Graduates will be
able to communicate with patients as partners who engage in shared decision-making
and who communicate, interpret and express themselves as individuals with
unique personal, cultural and social values.
Communicate effectively, avoiding discipline specific terminology,
with patients, families and the public, as appropriate, across a broad range of
socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds so that they can understand and make
meaning out of the information conveyed to them.
Communicate effectively through written, electronic and spoken
word with colleagues within one’s profession or specialty, other health
professionals and health-related agencies to ensure safe and effective exchange
of patient information.
Demonstrate insight and understanding about age specific human
responses to illness, injury and/or stress that allow one to develop and manage
Demonstrate sensitivity, honesty and compassion in difficult
conversations (about issues such as death, end-of-life issues, adverse events,
bad news, disclosure of errors and other sensitive topics) in a culturally
Utilize interpreters and other communication devices to
communicate in an effective, equitable, understandable and respectful way,
showing a responsiveness to diverse culture health beliefs and practices,
preferred languages and health literacy.
Interprofessional Collaborative Practice and Leadership:
Graduates will be able to recognize that teamwork and the
coordination of care across multiple professions are the keys to delivering safe,
quality, multidisciplinary health care in a way that is complementary to the
goals of the provider-patient partnership while acknowledging that the patient
is at the center of all health care goals.
the full scope of knowledge, skills and abilities of available health
professionals to coordinate and/or provide care that is safe, timely,
efficient, effective, current, equitable and patient centered, including
recognizing when referrals are needed and making them to the appropriate
one’s role and responsibility to patients, families, other health
professionals and health care teams to develop relationships and effectively
communicate with those groups.
relationship-building values and principles of team dynamics to perform
effectively as a member of team in developing strategies to meet specific
health care needs of patients and populations.
how professionals in health and other fields can collaborate and integrate
clinical care and public health interventions to optimize individual patient
and population health.
Professional and Legal Aspects of Health Care:
Graduates will be able to practice medicine in a beneficent manner,
recognizing and adhering to standards of care.
Demonstrate respect for patient
privacy and autonomy, abiding by social media best practice standards and HIPAA
Demonstrate sensitivity and
responsiveness to a diverse patient population, including but not limited to
diversity in gender, age, culture, race, religion, disabilities and sexual
Demonstrate professional behavior
that encompasses the principals of honesty, integrity, empathy and respect,
advocacy, self-awareness, personal accountability, teamwork, responsibility for
learning, balance and avoidance of conflicts of interest, courtesy and
compassion, in a pattern of moral and ethical interactions with others that
highlight the needs of the patient over self-interest.
Recognize one’s limits and establish
healthy boundaries to support healthy partnerships reflecting on personal and
professional limitations in providing care.
Demonstrate knowledge of the PA
profession, its historical development and current trends.
Demonstrate knowledge of PA
licensure, credentialing and laws and regulations regarding professional
Understand the importance of
continuing education to identify, analyze and implement new knowledge, clinical
guidelines, standards of practice, technologies, products or services, and
apply to individual patient care to improve patient outcomes.
Health Care Finance and Systems:
Graduates will be able to articulate the essential aspects of value
based health care and apply this understanding to the delivery of safe and
Demonstrate knowledge of appropriate documentation of care,
coding, billing and reimbursement within various health care systems and
settings, recognizing that health care is a business.
Work effectively in health care delivery systems and settings,
recognizing the impact of health policy on the delivery of care in various
Improve patient safety by participating in quality improvement
activities by identifying system errors and implementing evidence based
Articulate individual providers’ value to the individual patient
and health care team.
(Graduate competencies reviewed and approved summer 2019. Next
revision summer 2020.)
Core Skills and Procedures
The purpose of this list is to provide information regarding the core skills/procedures that the program has identified as those necessary for entry into clinical practice.
VASCULAR ACCESS AND GENERAL SKILLS
- Arterial puncture
- Peripheral IV catheterization
- External Jugular catheterization
- Intramuscular, subcutaneous, intradermal injections
- Foreign body removal from skin, eyes, nose and/or ears
- Visual acuity and color vision screening
- Eye examination (with fluorescein staining)
- Irrigation of the external auditory canal
- Anterior nasal packing
- Doppler assessment of peripheral pulses and/or prenatal fetal heart rate
- Perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation according to ACLS guidelines
- Defibrillation and cardioversion
- Pharyngeal suctioning
- Tracheal and bronchial suctioning
- Endotracheal intubation
- Laryngeal mask airway (LMA) placement
- Chest needle decompression/chest tube insertion
- Urinary bladder catheterization
- Naso-/oro- gastric intubation and lavage
- Arthrocentesis/intra-articular injection of the large joints (knee)
REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH SKILLS
- Collection of urethral, vaginal and/or cervical specimens for STI testing
- Collection of vaginal and cervical specimens for cytologic (PAP) examination
- Aseptic technique
- Surgical scrub, gown and glove
- Administration of local anesthesia and/or digital nerve blocks
- Wound closure with sutures, liquid skin adhesive, steri-strips and/or staples
- Superficial wound incision and drainage and packing
- Wound care and dressing
- Skin punch, excisional and/or shave biopsy procedures
LIFE SUPPORT SKILLS (demonstrated through successful certification process)
- Basic life support (BLS) procedures
- Advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) procedures
- Pediatric cardiac life support (PALS) procedures