Arcadia University Hybrid Physician Assistant Program Competencies

The Arcadia University Hybrid PA  Program’s curriculum is comprehensive and prepares graduates for entry-level practice as physician assistants.  The program domains of competence are based on new graduate competencies published by the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA), American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA), Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), and American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) as well as the program’s mission and goals. The domains of patient-centered care, knowledge for practice, emotional intelligence/ communication/cultural competency, professionalism/self-assessment/improvement, systems based practice/ population health, and interprofessional collaboration are interwoven throughout the entire curriculum.  

Upon completion of the Arcadia University Hybrid  Physician Assistant Program, a student is expected to have achieved the following Program defined competencies:

Patient-Centered Care: Provide patient care that is aimed at preventing and managing disease


  • Perform basic medical procedures required for patient care
  • Demonstrate the ability to gather essential and accurate information about the patient and his/her condition through history taking
  • Demonstrate the ability to gather essential and accurate information about the patient and his/her condition through physical examination
  • Demonstrate the ability to gather essential and accurate information about the patient and his/her condition through a review of the medical record
  • Form appropriate differential diagnoses
  • Use medical decision-making, clinical reasoning, and problem-solving skills to guide patient management
  • Select, justify, and interpret clinical tests and imaging
  • Develop and carry out patient management plans
  • Counsel and educate patients and their families
  • Provide appropriate referral of patients including ensuring continuity of care
  • Provide preventative health care services to patients, families, and communities
  • Maintain clear, accurate, timely and legible medical records
  • Show proficiency in managing patients across the life span

Knowledge for Practice: Apply basic, medical, social, and behavioral science knowledge to the practice of medicine and population health


  • Apply principles of basic science to patient care
  • Apply principles of clinical science to patient care 
  • Apply principles of behavioral science to patient care
  • Apply principles of epidemiology to patients and populations
  • Locate, appraise, and assimilate evidence from scientific studies related to patients’ health problems 
  • Continually identify, analyze, and implement new knowledge, guidelines, standards, technologies, products, or services that have been demonstrated to improve outcomes

Emotional Intelligence, Communication and Cultural Competency: Display interpersonal skills, compassion, and an awareness of socioeconomic and cultural differences to effectively communicate with patients, their families, and other healthcare professionals


  • Apply cultural and behavioral principles to patient care 
  • Communicate effectively with patients, families, and the public, from various socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds 
  • Communicate effectively with healthcare professionals as part of a healthcare team.
  • Demonstrate sensitivity, honesty, and compassion in difficult conversations
  • Articulate one’s role and responsibilities to patients, families, communities and other professionals

Professionalism, Self-Assessment and Improvement: Demonstrate a commitment to carrying out professional responsibilities, adherence to ethical principles, and self-directed assessment and learning


  • Demonstrate behaviors that convey compassion, honesty, respect, integrity, and empathy – both in academic and clinical settings
  • Demonstrate responsiveness to patient needs that supersedes self-interest
  • Demonstrate respect for patient privacy
  • Demonstrate respect for patient autonomy
  • Demonstrate a commitment to the principles and practice of medical ethics
  • Show an awareness of PA profession political and practice issues and the ability to advocate for the profession
  • Provide, receive, and integrate constructive feedback and evaluation
  • Demonstrate self-awareness of behavior, emotions, and the ability to maintain personal well-being in order to effectively practice medicine
  • Manage conflict between personal and professional responsibilities.
  • Practice flexibility and maturity in adjusting to change
  • Recognize and utilize resources in dealing with the ambiguity of clinical care
  • Identify strengths and deficiencies in one’s knowledge, skills, and attitudes
  • Identify and perform learning activities that address one’s learning and improvement goals 

Systems-Based Practice and Population Health: Demonstrate an understanding of complex patient centered healthcare systems, including administrative, financial and health-policy issues


  • Work effectively in various health care delivery settings and systems to coordinate patient care
  • Incorporate considerations of cost awareness and risk-benefit analysis in patient and/or population-based care
  • Advocate for quality patient care, safety for patients and other professionals, and optimal patient care systems
  • Develop an awareness of the needs of underserved populations and methods of meeting those needs
  • Recognize signs of limited health literacy and make adjustments to enhance patient education and knowledge
  • Contribute to the maintenance of population health by reporting and intervening on infectious disease, and educating patients on prevention
  • Engage in behaviors and procedures that mitigate risk, prevent errors, and improve quality

Interprofessional Collaboration: Work as a team with other healthcare professionals to provide optimal patient care, showing respect of other healthcare roles, knowledge of resources, and trustworthiness


  • Collaborate with other health professionals to promote a climate of mutual respect and trust
  • Recognize the roles of various members of the interprofessional healthcare team and the scope of their practice
  • Participate effectively in different team roles to provide population-based and patient-centered care
  • Demonstrate trustworthiness in providing patient care that ensures colleagues feel secure