Master of Science in Anesthesia

Technical Standards

Because of our obligation to ensure that patients receive the best medical care possible, certain abilities are required of our students. To undertake and successfully complete the Master of Science in Anesthesia program, an individual must possess those intellectual, emotional and physical capabilities which are necessary to participate fully in the curriculum and which are essential to achieve the levels of competence required for graduation from the program.  The requisite technical skills that candidates for the Master of Science in Anesthesia degree must demonstrate include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Effectively communicating verbally with patients and their family members and with other healthcare professionals. Must demonstrate the ability to work as an effective member of the health care team.
  • Interacting with patients, including obtaining a preoperative history and performing perioperative anesthesia related physical examinations.
  • Effectively communicating in writing, and by record keeping, those data and information essential to the practice of anesthesia and the care of patients.
  • Having the ability to multitask, which includes;  hearing, processing, and interpreting multiple conversations, monitor signals, alarms, instructions, operating the anesthesia delivery system, and providing direct patient care simultaneously in fast-paced patient care settings (e.g., operating room, intensive care unit, emergency room).
  • Reading and comprehending written parts of the medical record and other patient care documents in order to safely and effectively participate in the delivery of anesthesia care.
  • Having sufficient motor skills and coordination to perform diagnostic and therapeutic tasks, including invasive procedures, on patients in a timely manner so as to ensure the safety and well-being of the patients.  These tasks include but are not limited to peripheral and central venous catheterization, arterial puncture and cannulation, breathing bag-and-mask ventilation, placement of oral and nasal airways, laryngeal mask airway insertion and management, and endotracheal intubation.
  • Having sufficient strength, motor skill, and coordination to lift, move, and position patients as required for administration of anesthesia and performance of cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
  • Having sufficient speed and coordination to quickly and safely react to emergent conditions in the operating room as well as throughout the hospital in order to comply with standards for patient safety.
  • Recognizing and differentiating colors of signals displayed on monitors; being able to work in both light and dark conditions as exist in patient care areas (e.g., operating room, radiology suite, endoscopy suite); being able to recognize details of objects both near and far.
  • Having the abilities to make measurements, calculations, reason, analyze and synthesize patient data and solve problems. Be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and to understand the spatial relationships of structures.
  • Having the emotional health required for full utilization of his/her intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, the prompt completion of all responsibilities attendant to the care of patients, and the development of mature, sensitive and effective relationship with patients.
  • Having the ability to tolerate physically taxing workloads, effectively carry out responsibilities and to function effectively under stress. Students and practitioners must possess sufficient emotional stability to withstand stress, display flexibility and to learn to function in the face of uncertainty inherent in the clinical problems of many patients.
  • Having the ability to maintain attendance, especially in clinical coursework, in order to earn the required clinical practice hours and experience for graduation.
  • Having no impairment that would preclude continuous performance of all of the above activities or any and all of the other activities that are an integral part of an anesthesiologist assistant’s participation in the anesthesia care team.


Because of the above essential functions, the School of Medicine strongly discourages the use of surrogates to perform these functions as a reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities. While each application is reviewed individually, it is necessary that each degree candidate himself or herself be able to observe and perform each task required by the curriculum of the school. Similarly, the school does not consider the waiver of required examinations a reasonable accommodation for individuals with learning disabilities. Learning-disabled students, when appropriate,* may be granted additional time on required examinations, be examined in separate testing facilities or accommodated in other reasonable ways, but they will not be exempted from the requirement to take and pass such examinations.

The University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine Admissions Committee for the MSA program will review qualified applicants who are unable to meet the technical standards for admission as stated above. The entire application file will be formally reviewed by the committee in consultation with the UMKC Office of Services for Students with Disabilities.


*Contact the UMKC Office of Services for Students with Disabilities for information regarding definition and documentation of learning disabilities.