PA Program Learning Outcomes

PA Program Learning Outcomes


The following competencies outline the expected outcomes for the Meharry Medical College Physician Assistant Sciences Program. All didactic and clinical experiences contribute cumulatively to these outcomes.


The MMC PA Sciences Program adopted the following competencies to serve as a roadmap to enter clinical practice as a competent physician assistant.


General Competency Areas: Patient Care (PC), Medical Knowledge (MK), Practice Based Learning and Improvement (PBLI), Interpersonal and Communication Skills (ICS), Professionalism (P), Systems Based Practice (SBP).



Patient Care

The student will demonstrate:


PC 1– The ability to obtain record and present an accurate medical history for patients with commonly encountered medical, surgical and behavioral conditions across the lifespan.


PC 2– The ability to perform, record, and present a thorough physical examination including organ system specific examinations as indicated by patient presentation for patients across the lifespan, with commonly encountered medical, surgical and behavioral conditions.


PC 3– The ability to formulate a problem list and differential diagnosis for patients across the lifespan based upon historical information, physical examinations and laboratory and diagnostic studies.


PC 4– The ability to develop and implement patient management plan that are safe and effective and include preventative, emergent, acute and chronic care for patients across the lifespan.


PC 5– The ability to perform routine technical procedures safely and effectively.


PC 6– Provides screening and preventive care that improves wellness, modifies risk factors for illness and injury and detects illness in early treatable stages.


PC 7– Sound clinical decision making skills in their abilities to order and interpret lab and diagnostic studies for patients across the lifespan using current evidence based medicine.


PC 8– The ability to reason deductively in solving clinical problems.


PC 9– An awareness of health promotion and disease prevention by providing appropriate counseling, patient and family education, related to preventable diseases, communicable diseases, immunization schedules and healthy lifestyles for patients across the lifespan.



Medical Knowledge

The student will demonstrate:


MK 1– The ability to apply knowledge of the normal structure, function and behavior of the body (as an intact organism) and each of its major organ systems to the diagnosis and management of specific medical conditions.


MK 2– The ability to develop a diagnostic management plan for common medical, surgical and behavioral conditions for patients across the lifespan, taking into consideration cost, invasiveness, and sensitivity and specificity.


MK 3– Apply scientific principles to explain etiologies, risk factors, and underlying pathologic processes for preventative, emergent, acute and chronic medical conditions, for patients across the lifespan.


MK 4– An understanding of the principles of pharmacology and therapeutics including indications, contraindications, side effects, interactions and adverse reactions.


MK 5– The ability to counsel and educate patients on preventative care, emergent, chronic and acute disease processes.


MK 6- Demonstrate the ability to evaluate, diagnosis and treat a diverse population of patients across the lifespan.



Practice Based Learning and Improvement

The student will demonstrate:


PBLI 1– The ability to use information and medical evidence to improve quality of practice and recognize medical errors.


PBLI 2– The ability to locate, appraise, integrate and apply evidence from scientific studies/medical literature to their patient’s health and care.


PBLI 3– The ability to explain biomedical information treatment choices to patients and families of various educational and social backgrounds.


PBLI 4– The ability to apply principles of health promotion and disease prevention to patients across the lifespan.



Interpersonal and Communication Skills

The student will demonstrate:


ICS 1– Knowledge of various cultures and belief systems and the ability to communicate with patients of diverse backgrounds to provide culturally sensitive health care.


ICS 2– The ability to work effectively with others as a member of a health care team or other professional group.


ICS 3– The ability to establish and sustain a therapeutic, confidential and ethically sound relationship with patients and families.


ICS 4– An understanding of and the ability to apply the principles of autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence, and justice to ethical decision making.


ICS 5– The ability to provide compassionate treatment of patients, and respect for their privacy, confidentiality, and dignity.


ICS 6– The ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing.




The student will demonstrate:


P 1– Honesty, integrity and respect in all interactions with patients, families, colleagues and others with whom Physician Assistants interact with during their professional lives.


P 2– An understanding of, and respect for, the roles of other health care professionals, and of the need to collaborate with others in caring for individual patients and in promoting the health of defined populations.


P 3– The ability to provide culturally appropriate care.


P 4– An understanding of legal and regulatory requirements, as well as the appropriate role of the Physician Assistant to include not exceeding one’s knowledge and scope of practice.


P 5– An understanding of the responsibility for personal actions during educational experiences and professional duties while maintaining a commitment to excellence and ongoing professional development, abiding by all applicable MMC professionalism policies.


P 6– Professional responsibility as a student by arriving on time to all scheduled events, submitting all assignments on time and maintaining a professional demeanor and appearance.



Systems-Based Practice

The student will demonstrate:


SBP 1– An understanding of funding sources and payment systems that provide health care coverage such that they can practice cost-effective health care and resource allocation that does not compromise quality of care.


SBP 2– An understanding of the utilization of information technology to support patient care and education with application of medical information and clinical data systems to provide more effective, efficient patient care.