Master of Medical Science Physician Assistant

Graduate Learning Outcomes

The UMKC MMSPA program utilizes the Graduate Learning Outcomes as a foundation for student instruction and experiences and a guide to competency assessments.  The eight learning outcomes described below consist of Interpersonal and Communication skills, Medical Knowledge, Professionalism, Practice-based Learning and Improvement, Systems-based Practice, Interprofessional Collaborative Practice, Social, Cultural, and Community Contexts of Health Care, and Patient Care.  Our curriculum and clinical experiences allow students to develop the skills and acquire the knowledge base to meet the intermediate objectives for each outcome prior to entering the clinical phase and the advanced objectives as a requirement for graduation from the program.

Interpersonal and communication skills include effective verbal, nonverbal, written, and electronic exchange of information.  Physician Assistants must demonstrate interpersonal and communication skills that result in effective information exchange with patients, patients’ families, physicians, professional associates, and other individuals with the health care system.

Medical knowledge includes the synthesis of pathophysiology, patient presentation, differential diagnosis, patient management, surgical principles, health promotion, and disease prevention.  Students will demonstrate core knowledge about established and evolving biomedical and clinical sciences and the application of this knowledge to patient care in their area of practice.  In addition, students are expected to demonstrate an investigative and analytic thinking approach to clinical situations.

Professionalism is the expression of positive values and ideals as care is delivered.  Foremost, it involves prioritizing the interests of those being served above one’s own.  Students must acknowledge their professional and personal limitations.  Professionalism also requires that students practice without impairment from substance abuse, cognitive deficiency or mental illness.  Students must demonstrate a high level of responsibility, ethical practice, sensitivity to a diverse patient population, and adherence to legal and regulatory requirements.

Practice-based learning and improvement includes the processes through which physician assistants engage in critical analysis of their own practice experience, the medical literature, and other information resources for the purposes of self- and practice-improvement.

Systems-based practice encompasses the societal, organizational, and economic environments in which health care is delivered.  Students must demonstrate an awareness of and responsiveness to the larger system of health care to provide patient care that balances quality and costs, while maintaining the primacy of the individual patient.

Interprofessional collaborative practice exists when multiple healthcare workers from different professional backgrounds work together with patients, families and communities to deliver the highest quality of care. The nature and practice agreement of the Physician Assistant profession lends itself to this type of practice. Students must demonstrate integrated enactment of knowledge, skills, and values/attitudes that define working together across the professions, with other health care workers, and with patients, along with families and communities, as appropriate to improve health outcomes in specific care contexts.

Social, Cultural and Community Contexts of Health Care involves the diverse factors that influence the health of the individual and the community.  Students must be able to identify the socio-cultural, familial, psychological, economic, environmental, legal, political and spiritual factors impacting health care and health care delivery; and respond to these factors by planning and advocating the appropriate course of action at both the individual and the community level.

Patient care includes patient- and setting-specific assessment, evaluation, and management.  Students must demonstrate care that is effective, safe, high quality, and equitable; work effectively with physicians and other health care professionals to provide patient-centered care; obtain essential and accurate information about their patients; make decisions about diagnostic and therapeutic interventions based on patient information and preferences, current scientific evidence, and informed clinical judgment; develop and implement patient management plans; perform medical and surgical procedures essential to their area of practice and; provide health care services and education aimed at disease prevention and health maintenance.