Physician Assistant Studies

Technical Standards

The Physician Assistant Program follows the College of Medicine and Life Sciences: Minimal Technical Standards for Admission, Matriculation, and Graduation Policy

(A) Policy statement.
The University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences (UT COMLS) PA program is committed to equal opportunity for all qualified applicants and students. This policy states the minimal technical standards for admission, matriculation, and graduation expectations
(“Standards”) of all UT COMLS medical students. The Standards provide information to allow a candidate to make an informed decision for application.

(B) Purpose of policy
UT COMLS PA program admits and matriculates qualified PA students. UT COMLS expects all applicants and students to meet certain Standards. In adopting these Standards, the UT COMLS PA program believes it must ultimately keep the safety of the patients who may be
involved in the course of the student's education as well as those patients to whom its graduates will eventually provide care as its highest priority. The Standards reflect what the UT COMLS PA program believes are reasonable expectations of PA students (and eventually physician assistants) in learning and performing common medical treatments and procedures.

A PA must have the knowledge and skills to function in a broad variety of clinical situations and to render a wide spectrum of patient care. In order to carry out the activities described below, students must be able to consistently, quickly, and accurately integrate, analyze,
and synthesize data. Students must possess, at a minimum, the following abilities and skills: observation; communication; motor; intellectual, conceptual, integrative, behavioral and social. These abilities and skills comprise the categories of UT’s College of Medicine and Life Sciences
PA program Minimal Technical Standards for Admission, Matriculation, and Graduation and are defined below.

(C) Scope
This policy applies to medical students in the College of Medicine & Life Sciences PA Program.

(D) Standards:

(1) Observation: Candidate/student must be able to acquire a defined level of required information as presented through demonstrations and experiments in the basic sciences including, but not limited to, physiologic and pharmacologic demonstrations, microbiologic cultures, microscopic studies of microorganisms, and tissues in normal and pathological states. Teaching and learning methodologies include but are not limited to didactic, team based exercises, case based discussion as well as clinical experiences in the health care setting, with standardized patients as well as in simulation laboratory. Candidate/student must be able to demonstrate proper skills for evaluation and treatment integration. They must be able to assess a patient accurately, to acquire information from documents, obtain information from patients and other sources and to analyze information presented via paper, films, slides or video or electronic, and to interpret x-ray and other graphic images,
and digital or analog representations of physiologic phenomenon (such as EKG). In any case where a candidate’s ability to observe or acquire information through these sensory modalities is compromised, the candidate/student must demonstrate alternative means and/or abilities to acquire essential observational information. 

(2) Communication: Candidate/student must be able to make observations and communicate with patients in a timely manner in order to elicit and acquire appropriate information, perform a complete or a focused physical examination, as well as describe changes in mood, activity, and posture, and interpret nonverbal cues. Candidate/student must also be able to communicate effectively in oral and written format with staff and faculty members, the patient, and all members of the health care team.

(3) Motor: Motor demands include reasonable endurance, strength, and precision. Candidates/students must demonstrate the ability to elicit information from patients by palpation, auscultation, percussion and other diagnostic manual maneuvers. Candidates/students during and at the end of their training must be able to provide general care and emergency treatment to patients and complete tasks such as airway
management, placement of intravenous catheters, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, application of pressure to control bleeding, suturing of simple wounds and the performance of simple obstetrical maneuvers in a timely manner. A candidate/student should be able to do basic laboratory tests (based on curriculum requirements) and carry out diagnostic procedures and interpret studies (for example cardiac, pathologic and radiological studies). Such movements require coordination of both gross and fine muscular activity, equilibrium, and functional use of the senses of touch and vision. In any case where a candidate/student’s ability to complete and interpret physical findings because of motor skills is compromised,
the candidate/student must demonstrate alternative means and/or abilities to retrieve these physical findings.

(4) Intellectual, Conceptual, Perceptual, Integrative, and Quantitative: These abilities include comprehension, communication, measurement, calculation, reasoning, analysis, and synthesis in a timely manner. In addition, candidates/students must be able to demonstrate comprehension of three dimensional relationships and to understand the spatial relationships of structures. Problem solving, the critical skill demanded of physicians, requires all of these intellectual abilities. A candidate/student will need to synthesize information effectively both in person and via remote technology.

(5) Behavioral and Social Attributes: Candidates/students must be able to demonstrate utilization of their intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, and the prompt completion of responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients, and the development of mature, sensitive, and effective relationships. Candidates/students must be able to tolerate physically demanding workloads and to adapt to changing environments, to display flexibility, and to learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in clinical problems of patients. Compassion,
maturity, honesty, ethics, concern for others, interpersonal skills, interest, and motivation are all personal qualities that will be assessed during the admission and educational processes.

(6) Note for Candidates/Students with Disabilities: UT COMLS PA program is open to the possibilities of human potential and achievement by providing reasonable academic accommodations for students with documented disabilities, as defined by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) as amended.

Candidates are urged to ask questions about the program's technical standards for clarification and to determine whether they can meet the requirements with or without reasonable accommodation. Questions may be directed to the Program Director or the Office of Student Accessibility and Disability Services. Revealing a disability is voluntary; however, such disclosure is necessary before any accommodation may be made in the learning environment or the Program's procedures. Information about disabilities is handled confidentially. Reasonable accommodations will be made to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. These require program and institutional approval. Requests for accommodations must be submitted in writing, allowing sufficient time before matriculation for action on these requests under the Nondiscrimination based on Disability policy (3364-50-03).

Last Updated: 7/19/23