James Madison University

Technical Standards

These technical standards are provided to applicants to the PA program to help them make an informed decision regarding choice of career.

In order to successfully complete the Master of Physician Assistant Studies and thereby be prepared to enter practice as a PA, all PA students must possess abilities and skills in the areas of sensation, communication, motor function, intellectual capability, and behavioral/social proficiency. All PA students must be able to perform in an independent manner and are expected to present academic credentials at or above the minimum standards for admission as established by the Admission Committee. The following skills are required:

Sensation:


Students must possess sufficient visual, auditory, and tactile sensation to receive appropriate information in the classroom, laboratory, and other educational settings. Sensation must be sufficient to receive verbal and nonverbal information while interviewing patients and to perform inspection, auscultation and palpation techniques during physical examination of patients.

Communication:


Students must be able to communicate effectively and interact with diverse populations,  with patients, family members, and other clinicians. This includes expressive and receptive modes of verbal, nonverbal and written communication. Further it includes the ability to accurately assess receptive communication in order to make appropriate and timely responses. Finally, it includes the ability to listen with attention, empathy and sensitivity.

Motor function:


Students must have sufficient strength and coordination to perform the activities required of a PA. These include performing a physical examination, utilizing diagnostic instruments and techniques in palpation and percussion. Students must have sufficient stamina to sit, stand, or move within classroom, laboratory, examination rooms, treatment rooms, and operating rooms for periods of time lasting as long as 10 hours. They must have sufficient coordination to move about patient care environments and sufficient dexterity to use common medical instruments. All students must arrange their own transportation between educational and clinical settings.

Intellectual capability:


Clinical problem solving, a critical ability for PAs, encompasses abilities to accurately measure, calculate, reason, analyze, integrate, learn and retain information and make decisions in a timely manner. Students must be able to comprehend two and three-dimensional structures. They must be able to understand and interpret diagnostic testing and treatment regimens.

Behavioral/social proficiency:


Students must possess the ability to establish and maintain appropriate professional relationships. Factors included in this requirement are the abilities to prioritize competing demands, to function in stressful circumstances, to exercise good clinical judgment, to act ethically, to be compassionate, empathetic, responsible and tolerant toward patients, faculty, classmates, and other health care professionals.

Admission decisions are made without regard to disabilities.

Students who will be requesting reasonable accommodations based on a documented disability should contact the Office of Disability Services at 540-568-6705 V/TDD for additional information.

The mission of the Office of Disability Services is to ensure that all students with disabilities can freely and actively participate in all facets of university life; to provide and coordinate support services and programs that enable students with disabilities to maximize their educational potential; and assist students in the developmental process of transition to higher education, independence and effective self-advocacy. JMU is committed to maintaining and enhancing an environment conducive to the highest level of individual empowerment by fostering a community that values innovation, human dignity, public service and diversity.

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