PA Program Competencies

The FDU PA Program developed a curriculum designed to prepare its graduates to confidently practice as PAs. The curriculum is based on competencies recognized by the program as important components of a comprehensive educational program and identified as required for entering clinical practice. The curriculum is based on five (5) domains, and their respective ten (10) subdomains, that represent the highest and broadest tier of the hierarchical structure of the curriculum with each step below narrowing in scope. Student learning outcomes (SLOs), courses, course learning outcomes (LOs), course instructional objectives (IOs), and their respective assessments are categorized under the broader competencies. 

  1. Core knowledge in the medical, social & behavioral, and clinical sciences and the applicability of that knowledge to the practice of clinical medicine. (Medical Knowledge)

    Domain:          Medical Knowledge (MK)

    Subdomains:    MK – Medical Sciences

                            MK – Social & Behavioral Sciences

                            MK – Clinical Medicine*


    1.1 Incorporate the concepts of medical sciences and their scientific principles into the knowledge required for the practice of medicine.

    1.2 Incorporate the concepts of social and behavioral sciences into the knowledge required for the practice of medicine.

    1.3 Incorporate the concepts of clinical medicine into the knowledge required for the practice of medicine.

    1.4 Understand the role of human sexuality, gender identity, sexual orientation, and ethnicity and race.

    1.5 Respond to patient needs while considering the impact of the social determinants of health.

    1.6 Counsel and educate patients regarding health promotion and disease prevention.

    1.7 Consider the needs of patients with disabilities, special needs, and religious/spiritual requirements.

    1.8 Coordinate patient follow up for assessment of compliance, response to medication treatment, and need for modifications.


  3. Effective and safe performance of appropriate ‘clinical and technical skills’ for the provision of quality care during clinical practice. (Patient Care)


    Domain:          Patient Care (PC)

    Subdomains:    PC – Clinical & Technical Skills*

                            PC – Clinical Practice


    2.1 Elicit and interpret comprehensive histories from diverse patients across the lifespan with conditions of varying severity in various settings.

    2.2 Perform problem-oriented comprehensive physical examinations of diverse patients across the lifespan with conditions of varying severity in various settings.

    2.3 Demonstrate competency in patient care skills utilized in a variety of practice settings.

    2.4 Order and interpret diagnostic and laboratory studies to screen for medical conditions or formulate differential diagnoses.

    2.5 Perform diagnostic and therapeutic technical procedures associated with the management of patients’ medical presentations or conditions.

    2.6 Formulate differential diagnoses based on evaluation of patient history and physical examination.

    2.7 Develop appropriate management plans for acute and chronic conditions based on standards of care.


  4. Interpersonal communication skills that are respectful, empathetic, and effective in the exchange of information with patients, families, and members of interprofessional collaborative teams. Professional behaviors that demonstrate integrity, responsibility, and compassion; commitment to lifelong learning; and adherence to legal and regulatory requirements, professional standards, and codes of ethics. (Interpersonal Skills & Professionalism)

    Domain:          Interpersonal Skills & Professionalism (IS&P)

    Subdomains:   IS&P – Interpersonal Skills*

                            IS&P – Professional Behaviors*


    3.1 Demonstrate appropriate interpersonal communication skills with patients, family members, healthcare team members, and peers.

    3.2 Demonstrate professional behaviors with patients, family members, healthcare team members, and peers to include areas such as intellectual honesty, academic integrity, and issues affecting professional practice.

    3.3 Utilize interpersonal skills and professional behaviors as a member of a patient-centered healthcare team.

    3.4 Adhere to ethical standards and demonstrate sensitivity towards diverse populations.


  5. The analytical approach to improvements in clinical practice utilizing ‘clinical reasoning and problem solving’ and investigative research skills to assess clinical practices and promote effective, high quality, and equitable patient care.


    Domain:          Practice-Based Learning (PBL)

    Subdomains:   PBL – Clinical Reasoning & Problem Solving*

                            PBL – Research


    4.1 Search, analyze, and appraise medical evidence, including medical literature and its statistical results, and relate to clinical practice.

    4.2 Demonstrate clinical reasoning and problem-solving skills during practice-based learning activities.

    4.3 Participate in practice-based research and scholarly activity to promote the profession and best practices.

    4.4 Demonstrate clinical reasoning and problem-solving skills during supervised clinical practice experiences.

    4.5 Acquire the reasoning and problem-solving skills effective for lifelong learning.


  6. An awareness of the system of healthcare and determinants of outcomes that facilitates patient advocacy; promotes quality; and is balanced with a responsiveness to regulatory requirements and cost-effective resource allocation.


    Domain:          System-Based Practice (SBP)

    Subdomain:     SBP- System of Health Care


    5.1 Recognize the importance of public health systems, health promotion and disease prevention.

    5.2 Understand the need for maintaining quality within the business of healthcare to include economic considerations, appropriate documentation, and health policy.

    5.3 Understand the importance of compliance with federal and state laws and regulations regarding clinical practice, informed consent, and other patients’ rights.