Major Learning Outcomes

When Rocky Mountain College physician assistant students graduate, they will be able to:

Medical Knowledge

  1. Understand etiologies, risk factors, underlying pathologic process, and epidemiology for medical conditions;
  2. Identify signs and symptoms of medical conditions;
  3. Select and interpret appropriate diagnostic or lab studies;
  4. Manage general medical and surgical conditions to include: understanding the indications, contraindications, side effects, interactions, and adverse reactions of pharmacologic agents and other relevant treatment modalities;
  5. Identify the appropriate site of care for presenting conditions, including identifying emergent cases and those requiring referral or admission;
  6. Identify appropriate interventions for prevention of conditions;
  7. Identify the appropriate methods to detect conditions in an asymptomatic individual;
  8. Differentiate between the normal and the abnormal in anatomic, physiological, laboratory findings, and other diagnostic data;
  9. Appropriately use history, physical findings, and diagnostic studies to formulate a differential diagnosis; and
  10. Provide appropriate care to patients with chronic conditions.

Interpersonal and Communications Skills

  1. Create and sustain a therapeutic and ethically sound relationship with patients;
  2. Use effective listening, nonverbal, explanatory, questioning, and writing skills to elicit and provide information;
  3. Appropriately adapt communication style and messages to the context of the individual patient interaction;
  4. Work effectively with physicians and other health care professionals as a member or leader of a health care team or other professional group;
  5. Apply an understanding of human behavior;
  6. Demonstrate emotional resilience and stability, adaptability, flexibility, and tolerance of ambiguity and anxiety; and
  7. Accurately and adequately document and record information regarding the care process for medical, legal, quality, and financial purposes.

Patient Care

  1. Work effectively with physicians and other health care professionals to provide patient-centered care;
  2. Demonstrate caring and respectful behaviors when interacting with patients and their families;
  3. Gather essential and accurate information about patients;
  4. Make informed decisions about diagnostic and therapeutic interventions based on patient information and preferences, up-to-date scientific evidence, and clinical judgment;
  5. Develop and carry out patient management plans;
  6. Counsel and educate patients and their families;
  7. Competently perform medical and surgical procedures considered essential in the area of practice; and
  8. Provide health care services and education aimed at preventing health problems or maintaining health.


  1. Understand legal and regulatory requirements, as well as the appropriate role of the physician assistant;
  2. Demonstrate professional relationships with physician supervisors and other health care providers;
  3. Demonstrate respect, compassion, and integrity;
  4. Demonstrate responsiveness to the needs of patients and society;
  5. Demonstrate accountability to patients, society, and the profession;
  6. Demonstrate a commitment to excellence and on-going professional development;
  7. Demonstrate a commitment to ethical principles pertaining to provision or withholding of clinical care, confidentiality of patient information, informed consent, and business practices;
  8. Demonstrate sensitivity and responsiveness to patients' culture, age, gender, and disabilities; and 
  9. Demonstrate self-reflection, critical curiosity, and initiative. 

 Learning outcomes are taken directly from the PA competencies listed at: (PDF)