Vision and Mission

On this page, you will find the Vision and Mission of Chatham University's MPAS program, as well as technical standards and program competencies.


To strive for excellence in physician assistant education whose graduates are known as outstanding clinicians in the community and leaders in the profession trained by faculty who are recognized for developing and researching innovative curricular methods.


The Chatham University MPAS Program is dedicated to producing knowledgeable, compassionate, ethical, and clinically skillful graduates who are ready to provide health care services to all persons without exclusion and who are willing to become the future leaders and educators of the profession. This will be accomplished by: 
  • Recruiting and retaining outstanding PA students from diverse backgrounds and educating them to practice as primary care providers to serve those in the communities they live and work; 
  • Providing a student-centered curriculum which promotes self-directed and lifelong learning through the use of evidence-based medicine; 
  • Promoting professionalism and service to the community; 
  • Contributing to the advancement of knowledge in medicine and PA education; 
  • Encouraging students to serve local, national, and international communities through active involvement in service-oriented programs for medically underserved populations; 
  • Involving students in interprofessional activities and encouraging the development of team skills and an appreciation of team-based, patient-centered care;
  • Promoting participation in professional organizations and the education of future PAs;
  • Supporting sustainability through health promotion, disease prevention, health literacy, cultural humility, and reduction of printed materials in and out of the classroom.

The student must possess the mental, physical, and emotional capacities essential to attaining the competencies required to function as a physician assistant and to successfully maintain the rigor required in the PA program. All PA students will be expected to have abilities in five categories: observation, communication, motor, intellectual and social. These abilities enable the student to perform tasks required to meet graduation and professional requirements as measured by state and national certification, licensure and registration processes. Candidates who posses any disability that would potentially interfere with the attainment of such competencies are encouraged to contact the Director of the MPAS program to discuss and identify possible accommodations. Chatham University and/or affiliated sites may arrange to enable the candidate to demonstrate the necessary physical, mental, and emotional capacities.

Observation: Candidates must have sufficient sensory capacity to observe in the problem-based learning and lecture settings, the laboratory, and the healthcare or community setting. Sensory abilities must be adequate to perform appropriate examination or assessments including functional vision, hearing, and tactile sensation to observe a patient's condition, and to elicit information appropriate to a physician assistant.

Communication: Due to the fast-paced and rigorous nature of the program, students must have excellent command of both verbal and written English. Students must be able to communicate effectively and professionally in academic, community, educational, and healthcare settings.

Motor: Students must have the ability to participate in basic diagnostic and therapeutic maneuvers and procedures. Students must be able to negotiate patient care environments, and be able to move between settings such as the classroom, healthcare facility, educational, or community setting. Physical stamina sufficient to complete the rigorous course of didactic and clinical study is required. Long periods of sitting, standing or moving are required in a variety of learning sites. Students must be proficient in typing skills.

Intellectual: Students must be able to measure, calculate, reason, analyze, and integrate information as well as be able to comprehend temporal and spatial relationships.

Social: Students must exercise good judgment and be able to function, appropriately and effectively, in the face of uncertainties inherent in clinical practice, and must maintain mature, sensitive and effective professional relationships with faculty, students, patients, and other members of the healthcare and/or educational team. Students are expected to fully participate in physical examination courses as both examiners and patients. Students should be comfortable with modest exposure of the body to allow for adequate examination (donning of sports bra or tank top for women, males will remove shirt; and shorts for both males and females). Students must also be able to be comfortable with donning surgical scrub clothing that expose the arms above the elbows, the neck and upper chest areas.

Students should be completely comfortable working in small groups for problem based learning, including, but not limited to: verbal discussion of knowledge and limitations of knowledge, scribing of information via handwritten transmission in front of a group of students and a faculty member, or typing via use of smart board technology in front of a group of students and a faculty member.

In lab settings, students should be comfortable with and prepared to work with different students, both male and female, with regard to physical examination and/or procedures in a large room with other students present. No genital, breast, or rectal examinations are performed on fellow students.

Chatham University MPAS Program-Defined Competencies

  1. Apply knowledge of basic sciences with a focus on clinical application across the lifespan.
  2. Perform an appropriate history and physical examination to determine a differential diagnosis and plan of action.
  3. Manage general medical and surgical conditions to include understanding the indications, contraindications, side effects, interactions, and adverse reactions of pharmacologic agents and other appropriate treatments.
  4. Competently perform clinical procedures considered essential in primary and surgical care.
  5. Students will develop the skills necessary to become lifelong learners and demonstrate commitment to stay current with medical knowledge through critical evaluation of medical literature.
  6. Exercises cultural humility by recognizing the cultural norms, needs, influences, and socioeconomic, environmental, and other population-level determinants affecting the community and individual being served.
  7. Demonstrates ability to effectively communicate across the continuum (verbally, non-verbally, and in writing), with patients, families, and the healthcare team.
  8. Respect the dignity and privacy of patients across the lifespan including consideration for legal and ethical matters.
  9. Demonstrates emotional resilience, adaptability, self-awareness, and understands the importance of wellness and self-care.
  10. Identify risk factors, screening, and interventions for the prevention of diseases across the lifespan.
  11. Understand the legal aspects of the healthcare system including the regulatory environment, funding and payment sources, PA scope of practice, and PA/physician relationship.