2019-2020 Graduate Competencies

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 UTs 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 programs mission and goals.  

Patient 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 clinical judgment.

PCPK 1
Perform procedural skills considered essential for entry into PA practice and become certified in BLS, ACLS, PALS and PhTLS (see program defined critical skills list).

PCPK 2
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 patient preference.

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.

PCPK 3
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 lifespan.

PCPK 4
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.

PCPK 5
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.

PCPK 6
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.

PCPK 7
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. 

SPH 1
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.

SPH 2
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 society.


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.

HLC 1
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.

HLC 2
Communicate effectively through written, electronic and spoken word with colleagues within ones profession or specialty, other health professionals and health-related agencies to ensure safe and effective exchange of patient information.

HLC 3
Demonstrate insight and understanding about age specific human responses to illness, injury and/or stress that allow one to develop and manage interpersonal interactions.

HLC 4
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 competent manner.

HLC 5
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.

ICPL1
Use 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 professional.

ICPL2
Articulate one’s role and responsibility to patients, families, other health professionals and health care teams to develop relationships and effectively communicate with those groups.

ICPL3
Apply 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.

ICPL4
Describe 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.

PLAHC 1
Demonstrate respect for patient privacy and autonomy, abiding by social media best practice standards and HIPAA policies.

PLAHC 2
Demonstrate sensitivity and responsiveness to a diverse patient population, including but not limited to diversity in gender, age, culture, race, religion, disabilities and sexual orientation.

PLAHC 3
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.

PLAHC 4
Recognize ones limits and establish healthy boundaries to support healthy partnerships reflecting on personal and professional limitations in providing care.

PLAHC 5
Demonstrate knowledge of the PA profession, its historical development and current trends.

PLAHC 6
Demonstrate knowledge of PA licensure, credentialing and laws and regulations regarding professional practice.

PLAHC 7
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 quality care.

HCFS 1
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.

HCFS 2
Work effectively in health care delivery systems and settings, recognizing the impact of health policy on the delivery of care in various health settings.

HCFS 3
Improve patient safety by participating in quality improvement activities by identifying system errors and implementing evidence based solutions.

HCFS 4
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

  • Venipuncture
  • Arterial puncture
  • Peripheral IV catheterization
  • External Jugular catheterization
  • Intramuscular, subcutaneous, intradermal injections

EENT SKILLS

  • 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

CARDIOVASCULAR SKILLS

  • Doppler assessment of peripheral pulses and/or prenatal fetal heart rate
  • Perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation according to ACLS guidelines
  • Defibrillation and cardioversion

RESPIRATORY SKILLS

  • Pharyngeal suctioning
  • Tracheal and bronchial suctioning 
  • Endotracheal intubation
  • Laryngeal mask airway (LMA) placement
  • Chest needle decompression/chest tube insertion

GI/GU SKILLS

  • Urinary bladder catheterization
  • Naso-/oro- gastric intubation and lavage

 ORTHOPEDIC SKILLS

  • Splinting
  • Arthrocentesis/intra-articular injection of the large joints (knee) 

NEUROLOGY SKILLS

  • Lumbar puncture

REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH SKILLS

  • Collection of urethral, vaginal and/or cervical specimens for STI testing
  • Collection of vaginal and cervical specimens for cytologic (PAP) examination

SURGICAL SKILLS

  • 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