Physician Assistant Program

Stats for the Class of 2013

The LMU-DCOM Physician Assistant Program seeks candidates who will be able to serve the needs of society by becoming skilled and effective physician assistants. To that end, LMU-DCOM requires its students to meet certain technical standards to ensure that LMU-DCOM graduates possess a certain level of cognitive and technical skill. The technical standards go beyond the curriculum's academic criteria and apply both to candidates for admission and to continuing students.

Students must be capable of successfully completing the entire LMU-DCOM course curriculum and achieve the Master of Medical Science degree in Physician Assistant Studies. In order to acquire the knowledge and skills to function in a broad variety of clinical situations and to render a wide spectrum of patient care, candidates for the Physician Assistant program must meet the established technical requirements in the following six areas: Observation and Visual Integration; Communication; Motor and Sensory; Intellectual, Conceptual, Integrative and Quantitative Abilities; Behavioral and Social Attributes and General Health.


All candidates for admission to the PA program must have the following essential skills and abilities in order to achieve the levels of competency stipulated for graduates by the faculty, accreditation agencies and the standards of practice as a PA. Some accommodation may be able to be made for some disabilities in some of these areas, but the PA's role in the provision of health care requires that he or she by able to perform in an independent manner that does not compromise patient care.

1. Observation: The candidate must be able to observe demonstrations, visual presentations, lectures, laboratory studies and microbiologic specimens, and experiments in the basic medical and clinical setting. The candidate must be able to accurately observe a patient both close at hand and at a distance; this requires functional use of vision, sensation and smell. Visual integration: Adequate visual capabilities are necessary for proper evaluation and treatment integration, including the assessment of symmetry, range of motion and tissue texture changes.

2. Communication: The candidate must be able to speak, hear and observe patients to gather pertinent data, describe their observations (including activity and function, mood and posture) and be able to perceive nonverbal communications. Candidates must be able to effectively, efficiently and with sensitivity communicate in English with patients, families and colleagues, from different social and cultural backgrounds, orally and in writing, with clarity and accuracy.

3. Motor and Sensory: Candidates must have adequate gross and fine motor function and coordination to elicit information from patients via auscultation, palpation and percussion and to use appropriate diagnostic techniques and instruments to complete movements made to provide routine and emergency medical care, and to perform common diagnostic procedures. Examples include, but are not limited to, performance of cardiopulmonary resuscitation, advanced cardiac life support, administering intravenous medications, suturing of simple and complex wounds, treatment of respiratory distress or bleeding and routine obstetric and gynecologic care, as well as assisting in surgery. Candidates should have adequate sensory skills, including tactile sensory and proprioceptive capability. Candidates will also need to possess adequate visual skills to evaluate and treat patients and to assess symmetry and asymmetry, range of motion and tissue texture changes. Candidates must be able to transport themselves from one location to another in a timely fashion in order to facilitate patient care responsibilities and to receive educational training. Strength, mobility and endurance: The provision of clinical treatment often requires upright posture with sufficient total body strength, mobility and cardiovascular endurance. Candidates and students must be able to tolerate physically taxing workloads.

4. Cognitive, Integrative and Quantitative Skill: Candidates must exhibit skills in problem solving, and critical thinking, measurement, calculation, comprehension of three dimensional relationships and structural spatial relations consistent with medical practice. Candidates must be able to assimilate and learn large amounts of complex, technically detailed information and to synthesize and apply concepts rising from it to create diagnostic and therapeutic plans.

5. Behavioral and Social Skills: Candidates must possess sufficient emotional health to allow them to optimally utilize intellectual, cognitive and reasoning judgment required of medical professionals and must be able to quickly complete all duties and responsibilities commensurate with effective diagnosis and treatment of patients of all ages. Candidates must be able to demonstrate empathy, sensitivity and the ability to quickly establish rapport with patients, exhibiting adequate interpersonal communication skills, compassion, concern for others, honesty and integrity. Candidates must be able to tolerate physically demanding workloads (which may involve nights and weekends), noisy environments, long hours and to maintain composure and emotional stability in challenging and stressful, changing circumstances and to deal effectively with uncertain, possibly emotionally charged, situations. Candidates must be able to accept constructive criticism and respond via appropriate behavior modification.

The PA program at LMU-DCOM has the freedom and ultimate responsibility for selection and evaluation of students, design, implementation and evaluation of curriculum, and determination of who will be awarded a degree and certificate of completion. Admission, retention, program completion and graduation decisions are made based on satisfactory academic and clinical performance and upon nonacademic, behavioral factors which serve to ensure overall success in the PA profession.

Candidates for admission to the LMU-DCOM PA Program will be required, if admitted, to certify in writing that they understand and meet the above technical standards. Candidates who feel that they may not or cannot meet these technical standards will need to contact the Americans with Disabilities Act Coordinator at 423-869-7090 (DCOM 106).

LMU-DCOM will attempt, to the best of its ability, to develop mechanisms by which otherwise qualified candidates for admission can be accommodated; however, the integrity of the curriculum and the need to provide optimal patient care must be maintained in order to ensure that all parts of PA education are delivered to all students.

LMU-DCOM PA Admissions Office
800-325-0900, ext. 6669 (toll-free)
423-869-6669 (direct)