MPAS Student Handbook

Technical Standards - MPAS

Chamberlain University is committed to the achievement of superior student outcomes for a diverse population of students. Learning is designed to provide all students with the best academic experience and support services to become extraordinary healthcare professionals. Clinical education is designed using a holistic experiential learning model that recognizes and fosters each student’s professional potential to ultimately improve patients’ health outcomes in communities across various fields of care.

When considering an MPAS program, the student must evaluate their abilities and skills. To succeed in a physician assistant studies program, a student must possess certain abilities and skills deemed essential functions for the care of the patients they will serve.

Students seeking admission and currently-enrolled students should be aware that all students must meet technical standards with or without reasonable accommodations in addition to meeting academic standards. Students will be required to maintain satisfactory demonstration of both academic and technical standards for progression through the program.

A candidate for Chamberlain’s MPAS program must have abilities and skills in five areas: Observation/Acquiring Knowledge; Communication; Intellectual, Integrative and Quantitative Abilities; Motor Functions; and Behavioral/Social Attributes.

Chamberlain is committed to excellence in accessibility to education; we encourage students with disabilities to seek accommodations. To make an accommodation request contact the Office of Student Disability Services at [email protected].

Observation/Acquiring Knowledge

The first standard, observation/acquiring knowledge, relates to the student’s ability to develop through experience a skill or habit until learned as an innate ability:

  • Possess the ability to observe the following in lecture, laboratory and clinical settings:
    • Presentations
    • Live and recorded demonstrations
    • Written material
    • Visual media
  • Detect accurately a patient’s medical condition
  • Demonstrate the ability to acquire knowledge from didactic, experiential learning and clinical environments
  • Demonstrate the ability to acquire knowledge from written documents and electronic systems which includes scholarly articles and journals


The second standard, communication relates to the students’ ability to impart or exchange information or data:

  • Demonstrate communication skills for sensitive and effective interactions with patients, families and/or communities and teams
  • Effective communication abilities with faculty, preceptors and all members of the healthcare team in didactic, experiential learning and clinical environments
  • Elicit information including a medical history and other details to accurately and effectively evaluate a patient’s condition
  • Communicate effectively in a professional manner with patients in order to elicit information
  • Accurately describe patient changes such as mood, activity and posture and perceive nonverbal communications
  • Deliver clear, concise and pertinent communication to ensure safe transitions in care or elicit action in critical situations

Intellectual, Integrative & Quantitative Abilities

The third standard, Intellectual, Integrative and Quantitative Abilities, relates to the students’ ability to critically analyze information and determine next action steps:

  • Possess intellectual, integrative and quantitative abilities necessary for synthesizing information, critical thinking and problem solving
  • Measure, calculate, integrate, reason, analyze, prioritize, synthesize data related to patient diagnosis and care
  • Comprehend three-dimensional relationships and to understand the spatial relationships of structures

Motor Functions

The fourth standard, Motor Functions, relates to the students’ fine and gross motor skills necessary to function in the role.

  • Possess necessary motor functions to perform palpation, auscultation, percussion and other diagnostic maneuvers on patients to elicit information
  • Possess motor (fine and gross) capabilities to operate instruments; perform a complete physical examination; perform diagnostic procedures; provide emergency treatment to patients, such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation and the application of pressure to stop bleeding; perform procedures which require both gross and fine motor movements; administer intravenous medication; and perform suturing of simple wounds
  • Possess capability, strength and stamina to move within the classroom, laboratory and clinical areas including but not limited to examination rooms, treatment rooms and surgical suites for long periods of time

Behavioral/Social Attributes

The fifth standard, Behavioral/Social Attributes, describes a range of students’ characteristics that can be measured and shown to differentiate effective and ineffective performance.

  • Possess ability to effectively handle and manage heavy workloads, function effectively under stress, adapt to changing environments, display flexibility and function in the face of ambiguity inherent in the clinical problems of patients
  • Possess the ability to critically think and reason
  • Possess sensitivity, good judgment, effective interpersonal skills and concern for others
  • Accept responsibility for learning, capable of caring
  • Maintain professional interactions with patients and healthcare personnel
  • Demonstrate integrity, accountability, interest and motivation
  • Demonstrate intent and willingness to follow the American Academy of Physician Assistant’s Code of Ethics

Based in part on the recommendations of the AAMC Special Advisory Panel on Technical Standards for Medical School Admission.