Physician Assistant Studies Technical Standards | Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center

A student admitted into the TTUHSC Physician Assistant Program must meet basic and essential requirements that are necessary for obtaining employment and performing as a Physician Assistant. The technical standards each student must master include cognitive, physical and behavioral characteristics that are identified in the following:

Observation: The applicant/student must possess the ability to observe required demonstrations, visual presentations in lectures and laboratories, and written and audiovisual presentations. Examples of perceptual abilities include but are not limited to gross and microscopic studies of organisms, cadaver dissections, and various diagnostic tests such as interpretation of echocardiograms, digital and wavelength readings, and graphic or radiographic images. The applicant/student must be able to observe patients accurately and completely, both at distance and closely using functional visual, hearing, and somatic sensation.

Communication: The applicant/student must possess the ability to communicate effectively with patients to elicit information, including nonverbal communications, and describe changes in mood, activity, and posture with immediate assessment of information provided. Individuals must possess the ability to communicate effectively with clinical preceptors and other members of the healthcare team, didactic and clinical faculty, and colleagues. The applicant/student must possess the ability to effectively and sensitively communicate in oral, written, and electronic form with patients and members of the health care team in order to provide safe and effective patient care

Motor: The applicant/student must possess sufficient gross and fine motor function, equilibrium, and sensation to elicit information from patients through customary techniques for physical assessment such as visual observation/inspection, palpation, percussion, and auscultation as well as carry out diagnostic maneuvers and technical procedures involved in the practice of medicine and surgery. Examples reasonably required of physician assistants include cardiopulmonary resuscitation, application of pressure to stop bleeding, venous and arterial punctures, suturing, pelvic and rectal exams, obstetrical maneuvers, and opening of obstructed airways.

Intellectual, conceptual, integrative, and quantitative abilities: The applicant/student must possess the ability to comprehend three dimensional relationships and spatial relationships of structures; and be able to collect, organize, prioritize, analyze and synthesize large amounts of detailed and complex information to apply in problem-solving and decision-making in clinical and educational settings including lectures, laboratories, small group discussions and clinical settings.

Behavioral and Social Attributes: The applicant/student must be able to tolerate physical and mental taxing workloads, function effectively under stress, adapt to changing environments, display flexibility, and function in the face of uncertainty inherent in the evaluation and treatment of patients. The applicant/student must have the emotional health to fully use his/her intellectual ability, exercise good judgment and complete all responsibilities necessary to the diagnosis and care of patients. The applicant/student must possess integrity, compassion, and effective interpersonal skills to interact with patients and members of the health care team with sensitivity to cultural differences. The applicant/student must be able to understand and apply the concepts of medical ethics and demonstrate ethical behavior.

Candidates for selection to the PA program will be required to verify that they understand and meet the essential functions or believe that, with reasonable accommodations they can meet the standards. TTUHSC OP 10.15 complies with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and state and local requirements regarding students with disabilities. Under these laws, no otherwise qualified and competitive individual with a disability shall be denied access to or participate in services, programs and activities of TTUHSC solely on the basis of the disability. For additional information, please see: