Student Learning Goals

Students will attain the breadth and depth of curricular and co-curricular content necessary for fulfillment of the Master of Physician Studies (MPAS) program mission, for first-attempt passing of the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) certification exam, and for successful practice as a physician assistant.

These learning goals reflect the competencies of many professional sources, to include: the NCCPA blueprint, the Physician Assistant Professional Competencies, and the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) Accreditation Standards within the foundational mission, values and liberal arts goals of St. Catherine University.

Students will be expected to demonstrate competency in eight core learning outcome categories.  

Medical Care

  1. Comprehend a wealth of medical knowledge including an understanding of basic and biomedical sciences, clinical medicine, patient presentation, differential diagnosis, patient management, surgical principals, health promotion and disease prevention.
  2. Demonstrate core knowledge and skills in researching established and evolving biomedical and clinical sciences and the application of this knowledge to patient care.

Patient Care: Evaluation, Assessment and Management

  1. Attain knowledge and skills in the area of patient care including age-appropriate assessment, evaluation and management of disease and wellness.
  2. Demonstrate care that is effective, patient-centered, timely, efficient and equitable for the treatment of health problems and the promotion of wellness.

Healthcare Systems Based Practice

  1. Attain the knowledge and understanding of healthcare systems-based practice, which encompasses the societal, organizational and economic environments in which health care is delivered.
  2. Demonstrate an awareness of and responsiveness to the larger system of health care to provide optimal patient care and improvements to community and health care systems.

Interpersonal Skills and Communication (Leadership, Collaboration & Team Based Care)

  1. Demonstrate interpersonal and communication skills for effective information exchange with patients, their patients’ families, physicians, professional associates, and the health care system.
  2. Possess interpersonal and communication skills that encompasses verbal, nonverbal and written exchange of information.
  3. Attain the skills and attributes necessary to participate in team-based care, work in collaboration with others and take on leadership roles in their community, clinic or profession. 

PA Practice and Professionalism; Ethics, Social Justice and Catholic Intellectual Teaching

  1. Demonstrate professionalism, ethical conduct, responsibility, sensitivity to a diverse patient population and adherence to legal and regulatory requirements.
  2. Demonstrate a solid understanding of Physician Assistant practice, which includes an understanding of professional and personal limitations.
  3. Explain commitment to Catholic Social Teaching, Intellectual Inquiry and the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services of respect for life, service and advocacy; contribute to common good, and stewardship of resources.

Practice Based Learning

  1. Apply practice-based learning skills that include critical analysis of self learning, mentorship, analysis of medical resources and literature, and use of technology and resources for implementation of the electronic health record, management of health information, and practice of evidence-based medicine. 

Cultural Competence: Patient Populations, Diversity and Global Perspectives

  1. Demonstrate the knowledge, professional attitude and skills related to cultural competence, its relationship to health, health disparities, disease incidence and prevalence for specific communities and diverse patients.

Clinical Reasoning through Critical Thinking and Creative Inquiry

  1. Demonstrate effective clinical reasoning skills through critical thinking and creative inquiry.
  2. Demonstrate an investigatory and analytic thinking approach to clinical situations.