The Dominican University Physician Assistant Program is a demanding and concentrated program that places specific requirements and demands on all students enrolled in the program. The minimum technical standards establish the essential qualities considered necessary for students admitted to this program to achieve the knowledge, skills, and competencies of an entry-level physician assistant. In the event an applicant is unable to fulfill these technical standards prior to or any time after admission, with or without reasonable accommodation, the student will not be allowed to enter or progress within the program. Candidates for admission and students within the Physician Assistant program must possess aptitude, ability, and skills as follows:


A candidate must be able to:

  • Observe demonstrations and visual presentations in lectures and laboratories
  • Observe patients accurately and completely both at a distance and closely. This standard requires functional vision, hearing, and somatic sensation
  • Perceive nonverbal communication, speak intelligibly, hear sufficiently, and observe patients in order to elicit information
  • Elicit and transmit patient information in oral and written English to members of the healthcare team
  • Communicate effectively and sensitively with patient
  • Demonstrate reading skills at a level sufficient to accomplish curricular requirements and provide clinical care for patients
  • Be capable of completing appropriate medical records and documents in the written and electronic form in a thorough and timely manner
Sensory and Motor Coordination and Function 

A candidate must:

  • Possess motor skills sufficient to directly perform palpation, percussion, auscultation, and other basic diagnostic procedures
  • Be able to execute motor movements required to provide basic medical care. Examples of basic medical care include but are not limited to: airway management, placement of catheters, phlebotomy, application of sufficient pressure to control bleeding, simple obstetrical maneuver, etc. (Such actions require coordination of gross and fine muscular movements, equilibrium, and functional use of the senses of touch and vision)
  • Be able to manipulate equipment and instruments to perform basic laboratory tests and procedures
  • Be able to transport themselves from one location to another in a timely fashion in order to facilitate patient care responsibilities and necessary to receive educational training
Intellectual-Conceptual, Integrative and Quantitative Abilities

Problem solving is the critical skill demanded of Physician Assistants. This requires that students have the ability to measure, calculate, reason, analyze, and synthesize. A candidate must:

  • Be able to incorporate new information from peers, teachers, and the medical literature in formulating diagnoses and plans
  • Be able to independently access and interpret medical histories and files
  • Identify significant findings from history, physical examination, and laboratory data
  • Provide a reasoned explanation for likely diagnosis and prescribed medications and therapy
  • Recall and retain information in an efficient and timely manner
Behavior and Social Attributes

 A candidate must:

  • Possess the ability to use their intellectual capacity, exercise good judgment, and promptly complete all responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis under potentially stressful and/or emergency circumstances
  • Be able to accept criticism and respond by appropriate modification of behaviors
  • Be able to develop mature, sensitive and effective relationships with patients and colleagues
  • Have a high level of compassion for others with sufficient interpersonal skills to interact positively with people from all levels of society, all ethnic backgrounds, and all belief systems
  • Be able to adapt to changing environments and to learn in the face of uncertainties inherent in the practice of medicine
  • Be able to use supervision appropriately and act independently, when indicated

Technological compensation can be made for some disabilities in certain areas, but a candidate should be able to perform in a reasonably independent manner.

Accreditation Statement

The ARC-PA has granted Accreditation-Provisional status to the Dominican University Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Dominican University. 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 a program holding Accreditation-Provisional status appears to demonstrate continued progress in complying with the Standards as it prepares for the graduation of the first class (cohort) of students. Accreditation-Provisional does not ensure any subsequent accreditation status. It is limited to no more than five years from matriculation of the first class.