Main Content:

Competencies for Graduates of the DPAS Program

The Doctor of PA Studies curriculum is based largely on the Competencies for the Physician Assistant Profession. These competencies were developed and endorsed by the four national professional organizations that represent PAs:

  • National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants
  • Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc.
  • American Academy of PAs
  • Physician Assistant Education Association.

The curriculum is also based on the Physician Assistant Educator Competencies as developed by the Physician Assistant Education Association.

The competencies are designed to enhance the professional development of the PAs throughout the span of their careers by deepening knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to advance their work, improve patient care and educate future professionals.

Practice-based Learning and Quality Improvement

Demonstrate the ability to learn and implement quality improvement practices by engaging in critical analysis of one’s own practice experience, the medical literature and other information resources for the purposes of self-evaluation, lifelong learning and practice improvement.

Graduates from the Doctor of PA Studies program will demonstrate the following skills:

  • Exhibit self-awareness to identify strengths, address deficiencies and recognize limits in knowledge and expertise.
  • Identify, analyze and adopt new knowledge, guidelines, standards, technologies, products, or services that have been demonstrated to improve outcomes.
  • Identify improvement goals and perform learning activities that address gaps in knowledge, skills and attitudes.
  • Use practice performance data and metrics to identify areas for improvement.
  • Develop a professional and organizational capacity for ongoing quality improvement.

In addition, students will choose a personalized elective as part of their plan of studies.

Administration Elective

Students who complete the Administration Elective will also be able to:

  • Analyze the use and allocation of resources to ensure the practice of cost-effective health care while maintaining quality of care.
  • Understand how practice decisions impact the finances of their organizations, while keeping the patient’s needs foremost.
  • Advocate for administrative systems that capture the productivity and value of PA practice.

Read DPAS '23 student reflections about this elective here.

Academic Elective

Students who complete Academic Elective will also be able to:

  • Use educational theory and evidence-based literature to design teaching and evaluation practices that challenge and facilitate learners to practice high quality, compassionate patient care.
  • Focus on a personal commitment to learners’ professional success, well-being and growth.
  • Implement effective interpersonal and communication skills in the educational setting.

Digital Health Fundamentals Elective

In the Spring 2024 cohort, the DPAS program will offer the Digital Health Fundamentals Elective. We are proud to be the first in the country to offer this course as part of a PA curriculum.

This course will provide an introduction to digital health and cover definitions, benefits and challenges associated with various digital health technologies and their impact on patient care. The course includes discussions on key factors that influence adoption and implementation of digital health technologies into PA practice. Students will also have the opportunity to analyze future trends in digital health and their potential impact on the future of health care practice.

Students who complete the Digital Health Fundamentals elective will be able to:

  • Define digital health and explain its potential benefits and challenges.
  • Describe the types of digital health technologies and their applications in health care.
  • Discuss the factors that influence digital health adoption and implementation including but not limited to patient engagement, digital literacy, digital health regulations, law, policy and privacy and security.
  • Analyze future trends in digital health and potential impact on the health care landscape.