Program Competencies & Progression Requirements & Deadlines
Requirements for Progression within the Didactic Phase
A PA program student must complete the following requirements by the end of each semester in which they occur in order to complete the PA program:
- PHA courses must be passed with a minimum grade of 70% (C)
- Satisfactory completion of all written and/or practical Summative exams with a minimum grade of 70% (C)
- Remediation of any grade below a 70% (C) on a written, practical, or combination examination will be required. The contents will be determined by the Course Director(s)
- A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required for progression within the program. See section regarding programmatic academic probation
- Demonstration of required skills necessary for clinical practice as determined by the program
- Compliance with all policies of the Saint Joseph’s University and the PA program
- Compliance with the Professional/Behavioral Performance Standards in this section, and Standards of Conduct for the PA student located in the General Information section of this Handbook
- Satisfactory completion of BLS/ACLS
- Deadlines for completion of all Didactic Phase requirements must be completed by the end of each semester in which they occur. Failure to meet these deadlines may result in delayed graduation, dismissal from the program, or need to take leave of absence (if applicable – see corresponding section of the PA Student Handbook).
Prerequisites for Clinical Rotations
Students must fulfill the following criteria prior to engaging in clinical rotations:
- Successful completion of all didactic coursework by the end of the Summer I semester.
- Successfully obtaining BLS and ACLS certification by the end of the Summer I semester.
- Successful completion of clinical skills labs and demonstrated proficiency in the following procedures:
- Nasogastric tube placement
- Bladder catheterization
- Joint injection/arthrocentesis
- Incision and Drainage
- Surgical Knot tying
- Suture/Staple removal
- IM, SC, intradermal injection
- Intravenous line (peripheral)
- Glucose Testing
- Wound Dressing
- Cerumen Removal
- Performing an EKG
- Maintain a valid personal health insurance policy. Failure to maintain health insurance throughout the didactic or clinical years will result in removal from course work or rotations until valid proof of insurance coverage is submitted
- Successful completion of a criminal background check (and any other background checks required or requested by a particular clinical site or Institution), and drug testing if required
- Completion of all required immunizations and testing (COVID-19, MMR, varicella, DTaP, record of hepatitis B vaccine and/or serum titer levels, PPD with or without chest x-ray, if indicated). Maintain yearly TB testing and N95 fit testing prior to and while on rotation. Students are responsible for maintaining their personal immunization record, and it is recommended that they carry a copy of this record to the assigned clinical site on the first day of each rotation. Failure to demonstrate an up-to-date immunization status upon request will result in removal from the rotation until valid proof of current immunization status is presented. Immunizations are based on the Center for Disease Control guidelines for health professionals
- Maintain a functional mobile phone number and Saint Joseph’s University email. As well, it is the students’ responsibility to make sure the PA program always has the most updated contact information to reach them throughout the entire clinical year. Students are recommended to have a reliable means of transportation throughout the clinical phase of the program to ensure proper completion of all SCPE requirements.
Requirements for Progression within the Clinical Phase
In addition to the requirements for promotion within the didactic phase, a PA program student must complete the following requirements by the end of each semester in which they occur in order to complete the PA program:
- Satisfactory remediation for a grade below 65% (C) on any PAEA end of rotation examination
- Satisfactory remediation for a grade below 70% (C) on any other examination
- Preceptor evaluations must be passed (graded) with a minimum grade of 80% (B)
- Each PHA course/rotation must be passed with a minimum grade of 70% (C)
- Demonstration of proficiency of all required skills necessary for clinical practice as determined by the PA program
- Compliance with policies of the Saint Joseph’s University and the PA program
- Compliance with the Behavioral Standards and Professional Performance Standards contained in this section, and Standards of Conduct for the PA student located in the General Information section of this Handbook
- Deadlines for completion of all Clinical Phase requirements must be completed by the end of each semester in which they occur. Failure to meet these deadlines may result in delayed graduation, dismissal from the program, or need to take leave of absence (if applicable – see corresponding section of the PA Student Handbook).
Requirements for Graduation
The PA program and the University will review all student records prior to graduation. Any outstanding financial balance must be reconciled with the University prior to graduation. Students must fulfill all PA department and University requirements before being awarded a diploma and to be eligible for the PANCE examination. Specific requirements include:
- Satisfactory completion of all Saint Joseph’s University PA courses
- Satisfactory completion of all courses in the curriculum with a grade of 70% (C) or better
- Students must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00
- Satisfactory completion of a comprehensive summative end of curriculum written examination
- Satisfactory completion of a comprehensive Objective Structured Clinical Evaluation (OSCE)
- Completion of the PA Clinical Knowledge Rating and Assessment Tool (PACKRAT) examination, twice
- Compliance with behavioral and professional performance standards
- Successful completion of comprehensive clinical skills evaluation
- Successful completion of Capstone Project
- All registrar and student health holds must be lifted
- Deadlines for completion of all requirements for graduation must be completed by the end of each semester in which they occur. Failure to meet these deadlines may result in delayed graduation, dismissal from the program, or need to take leave of absence (if applicable – see corresponding section of the PA Student Handbook).
The Saint Joseph's University PA Program level student competencies required to enter clinical practice were developed referencing the competencies from PAEA, AAPA, ARC-PA, and NCCPA, (collectively known as the Cross-Org Competencies Review Task Force: https://paeaonline.org/our-work/current-issues/... to address clinical and technical skills, clinical reasoning and problem-solving abilities, interpersonal and communication skills, medical knowledge, and professional behaviors; the NCCPA Content Blueprint for entry-level medical content and tasks; the ARC-PA Standards and the most common diseases and skills used in medicine. These core competencies will be assessed within the final four months of the program to ensure and verify that each and every student meets the program requirements required to enter clinical practice.
At the completion of the program the PA student will be able to:
- Demonstrate proficiency of the clinical and technical skills necessary to enter clinical practice with a focus on those skills beneficial to a family practice provider.
- Integrate clinical reasoning skills, medical decision-making, and problem-solving abilities through all aspects of patient care. Formulate robust differential diagnoses and determine appropriate next steps, assessments, and prognoses, and develop well-reasoned acute and chronic treatment plans.
- Develop strong interpersonal and interprofessional communication skills with an emphasis on a person/patient-centered approach to medicine. Demonstrate competency in written, oral, and electronic forms of communication. Identify when a referral is indicated and work effectively with physicians and other healthcare professionals as a member of an interprofessional patient-centered healthcare team.
- Possess and apply a thorough biomedical, and clinical science knowledge along with a core medical knowledge via a person/patient-centered approach that focuses on the understanding, analyzing, and evaluation of acute and/or chronic diseases/conditions that occur throughout the lifespan; distinguishing the definitions, etiologies, risk factors, epidemiology, pathophysiology, signs and symptoms, diagnostics, treatments (pharmacotherapies and non-pharmacotherapies), assessments, plans, complications, health promotion/counseling, disease prevention/monitoring, and prognoses of these diseases/conditions that are essential for practice and patient care.
- Demonstrate professional behaviors in all aspects of patient care and have a robust knowledge of cultural awareness and humility, diversity equity and inclusion, social and physical determinants of health, bioethics, healthcare policy, reimbursement, coding/billing, end-of-life care, health policy and legal issues as they relate to patient care.