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Oklahoma State University

Technical Standards

Essential abilities and characteristics required for completion of the MS degree in PA studies consist of certain minimum physical and cognitive abilities and sufficient mental and emotional stability to assure that candidates for admission, promotion, and graduation are able to complete the entire course of study and participate fully in all aspects of medical training, with or without reasonable accommodation. Delineation of technical standards is required for the accreditation of the Program. Although these standards serve to delineate the necessary physical and mental abilities of all candidates, they are not intended to deter any candidate for whom reasonable accommodation will allow the fulfillment of the complete curriculum. Technological accommodations can be made for some disabilities in certain of these areas, but the role of the PA in the delivery of health care necessitates that he/she shall be able to perform in an independent manner.  


Observation: Candidates must be able to observe materials presented in the learning environment including presentations in the lectures and lab including experiments in basic sciences as well as dissection of cadavers. Observations must be made accurately and completely at a distance and closely. This requires the functional use of visual, auditory, and somatic sensation.  


Communication: Applicants and students should be able to communicate with, hear and observe patients in order to elicit information, examine patients, describe changes in mood, activity and posture, and perceive nonverbal communication. They must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients. Communication includes not only speech but also reading and writing. Applicants and students must be able to communicate effectively and efficiently in oral and written form with all members of the health care team.  


Motor Function: Applicants and students should have sufficient motor function to elicit information from patients by palpation, auscultation, percussion, and other diagnostic maneuvers necessary to complete a full physical exam. They must execute movements reasonably required to provide general care and emergency treatment to patients. Examples of movements reasonably required include, but are not limited to, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), administration of intravenous medication, the application of pressure to stop bleeding, the opening of obstructed airways, suturing of simple wounds, and performance of gynecological exam. Such actions require coordination of both gross and fine muscular movements, equilibrium and functional use of the senses of touch and vision.  


Intellectual, Conceptual, Integrative and Quantitative Abilities:Candidates must have sufficient cognitive abilities and effective learning techniques to assimilate the detailed and complex information presented in the curriculum. They must be able to learn through a variety of modalities including, but not limited to, classroom instruction; small group, team and collaborative activities; individual study; preparation and presentation of reports; and use of computer technology. Candidates must be able to memorize, measure, calculate, reason, analyze, synthesize, and transmit information across modalities. They also must demonstrate ability to comprehend three-dimensional relationships, and to understand spatial relationships of structures. Candidates must be able to perform these problem-solving skills in a timely manner with stressful distractions consistent with the medical environment.  

Behavioral and Social Attributes: Applicants and students must possess the emotional health required for full utilization of their intellectual abilities, exercise good judgment, and promptly complete all responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients and the development of mature, sensitive and effective professional relationships with patients. Applicants and students must be able to tolerate physically taxing workloads and adapt to changing environments, display flexibility and learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of many patients. Compassion, integrity, concern for others, interpersonal skills, interest and motivation are all personal qualities that will be assessed during the admissions and educational processes.  


 Oklahoma State University has applied for Accreditation – Provisional from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). Oklahoma State University anticipates matriculating its first class in July 2021, pending achieving Accreditation – Provisional status at the March 2021 ARC-PA meeting. Accreditation – Provisional is an accreditation status granted when the plans and resource allocation, if fully implemented as planned, of a proposed program that has not yet enrolled students appear to demonstrate the program’s ability to meet the ARC-PA Standards or when the program holding accreditation-provisional status appears to demonstrate continued progress in complying with the Standards as it prepared for the graduation of the first class (cohort) of students