Technical Standards

Students in the Mississippi State University-Meridian Master of Physician Assistant Studies Program must possess ability, aptitude, and skills in these areas: observation, communication, motor, intellectual, behavioral/social and physical demands.

This description defines the capabilities that are necessary for an individual to complete successfully the Mississippi State University-Meridian physician assistant curricula.


Observation and Sensation

The PA student must possess sufficient visual, auditory, and tactile sensation to receive appropriate information in the classroom, laboratory, and other educational and clinical settings. Sensation must be satisfactory to receive verbal and nonverbal communications from patients and others, and to perform inspection, auscultation, and palpation techniques during the physical examination.


Communication

The PA student must be able to speak, hear, and observe patients, family members, and other clinicians. This includes expressive and receptive modes of verbal, nonverbal, and written communication. The student must have the ability to assess accurately receptive communication in order to make appropriate and timely responses. The student must be able to communicate attentively, effectively, and sensitively to others.


Motor Functions

Students must have sufficient strength and coordination to perform the activities required of a PA. These include but are not limited to performing a physical examination utilizing diagnostic instruments and techniques in palpation and percussion. Students must have sufficient stamina to sit, stand, and move within classroom, laboratory, examination rooms, treatment rooms, and operating rooms for long periods. The student must have sufficient coordination to move about patient care environments, and sufficient dexterity to use common medical instruments. Students must be able to arrange for transportation between educational and clinical settings.


Intellectual Capability

Clinical problem solving and reasoning requires these intellectual abilities and encompass those to accurately measure, calculate, reason, analyze, integrate, learn, and retain information and make decisions in a timely manner. PA students must be able to comprehend two and three-dimensional structures, and must be able to understand diagnostic testing and treatment regimens.


Behavioral and Social Attributes

PA students must possess the emotional health required for the appropriate use of their intellectual and mental abilities, including logical thinking, good judgment, impulse control, empathy, interest, and motivation. These abilities should be sufficient to assure the development and maintenance of therapeutic relationships with patients and those who care for them. Individuals must be able to maintain emotional health despite stress, uncertainty, and physically taxing workloads and to adapt to changing situations while handling the responsibilities associated with medical education and patient care.

Mississippi State University-Meridian will consider for admission, progression, and graduation individuals who demonstrate the knowledge and the ability to perform or learn to perform the skills described in this document. Individuals are assessed not only on their scholastic accomplishments, but also on their physical and emotional capacities to meet the requirements of the program’s curriculum and to graduate as skilled and effective practitioners of medicine.

Therefore, the following technical requirements apply.

  1. The applicant/student must demonstrate the ability to observe and participate in experiments in the basic sciences.
  2. The applicant/student must demonstrate the ability to analyze, synthesize, extrapolate, solve problems, and reach diagnostic and therapeutic judgments in a timely manner.
  3. The applicant/student must demonstrate the sufficient use of the senses of vision, hearing, and the somatic sensation necessary to perform a physical examination.
  4. The applicant/student must demonstrate the ability to establish and maintain professional relationships with patients, faculty, and peers.
  5. The applicant/student must demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, with patients, and colleagues.
  6. The applicant/student must demonstrate the ability to perform routine laboratory tests and diagnostic procedures.
  7. The applicant/student must demonstrate the ability to perform appropriately in emergencies.
  8. The applicant/student must demonstrate the ability to display good judgment in the assessment and treatment of patients.