Learning Outcomes | Chatham University, Pittsburgh, PA

Chatham University

Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS) Learning Outcomes

Medical Knowledge

  1. Understand etiologies, risk factors, underlying pathologic process, and epidemiology for medical conditions.
  2. Identify signs and symptoms of medical conditions.
  3. Select and interpret appropriate diagnostic or lab studies used in primary care.
  4. Manage general medical and surgical conditions to include understanding the indications, contraindications, side effects, interactions and adverse reactions of pharmacologic agents and other relevant treatment modalities.
  5. Identify the appropriate site of care for presenting conditions, including identifying emergent cases and those requiring referral or admission.
  6. Identify appropriate interventions for prevention of conditions.
  7. Identify the appropriate methods to detect conditions in an asymptomatic individual.
  8. Differentiate between the normal and the abnormal in anatomic, physiological, laboratory findings and other diagnostic data.
  9. Appropriately use history and physical findings and diagnostic studies to formulate a differential diagnosis.
  10. Provide appropriate care to patients with chronic conditions.

Interpersonal and Communication Skills

  1. Create and sustain a therapeutic and ethically sound relationship with patients.
  2. Use effective listening, nonverbal, explanatory, questioning, and writing skills to elicit and provide information.
  3. Appropriately adapt communication style and messages to the context of the individual patient interaction.
  4. Work effectively with physicians and other health care professionals as a member or leader of a health care team or other professional group.
  5. Apply an understanding of human behavior.
  6. Demonstrate emotional resilience and stability, adaptability, flexibility and tolerance of ambiguity and anxiety.
  7. Accurately and adequately document and record information regarding the care process for medical, legal, quality, and financial purposes.

Patient Care

  1. Work effectively with physicians and other health care professionals to provide patient-centered care.
  2. Demonstrate caring and respectful behaviors when interacting with patients and their families.
  3. Gather essential and accurate information about their patients.
  4. Make informed decisions about diagnostic and therapeutic interventions based on patient information and preferences, up-to-date scientific evidence, and clinical judgment.
  5. Develop and carry out patient management plans.
  6. Counsel and educate patients and their families.
  7. Competently perform medical and surgical procedures considered essential in the area of practice.
  8. Provide health care services and education aimed at preventing health problems or maintaining health.


  1. Understanding of legal and regulatory requirements, as well as the appropriate role of the physician assistant.
  2. Professional relationships with physician supervisors and other health care providers.
  3. Respect, compassion, and integrity.
  4. Responsiveness to the needs of patients and society.
  5. Accountability to patients, society, and the profession.
  6. Commitment to excellence and on-going professional development.
  7. Commitment to ethical principles pertaining to provision or withholding of clinical care, confidentiality of patient information, informed consent, and business practices.
  8. Sensitivity and responsiveness to patients' culture, age, gender, and disabilities.
  9. Self-reflection, critical curiosity, and initiative.

Practice-based Learning and Improvement

  1. Analyze practice experience and perform practice-based improvement activities using a systematic methodology in concert with other members of the health care delivery team.
  2. Locate, appraise, and integrate evidence from scientific studies related to their patients’ health problems.
  3. Obtain and apply information about their population of patients and the larger population from which their patients are drawn.
  4. Apply knowledge of study designs and statistical methods to the appraisal of clinical studies and other information on diagnostic and therapeutic effectiveness.
  5. Apply information technology to manage information, access on-line medical information, and support their education.
  6. Facilitate the learning of students and/or other health care professionals.
  7. Recognize and appropriately address gender, cultural, cognitive, emotional and other biases; gaps in medical knowledge; and physical limitations in themselves and others.

System-based Practice

  1. Use information technology to support patient care decisions and patient education.
  2. Effectively interact with different types of medical practice and delivery systems.
  3. Understand the funding sources and payment systems that provide coverage for patient care.
  4. Practice cost-effective health care and resource allocation that does not compromise quality of care.
  5. Advocate for quality patient care and assist patients in dealing with system complexities.
  6. Partner with supervising physicians, health care managers and other health care providers to assess, coordinate, and improve the delivery of health care and patient outcomes.
  7. Accept responsibility for promoting a safe environment for patient care and recognizing and correcting systems-based factors that negatively impact patient care.
  8. Apply medical information and clinical data systems to provide more effective, efficient patient care.
  9. Use the systems responsible for the appropriate payment of services.