The clinical practice role of the PA mandates that the faculty of Baylor College of Medicine prepare this nonphysician practitioner with the knowledge and skills requisite to accomplishing the following by the time of graduation:

  • Recognize personal prejudices and biases that impact on one's ability to incorporate cultural beliefs and alternative therapy practices of patient groups into the care planning process
  • Develop rapport and an atmosphere of trust using interpersonal skills to facilitate patient sharing of personal information including cultural beliefs, at-risk behaviors and alternative therapy practices
  • Elicit a preventive screening and problem-based health history and physical examination to delineate at-risk behaviors, disease risk, acute and chronic illness, and life threatening injuries
  • Select and properly order a range of diagnostic studies to further delineate and monitor health risks, illnesses or injuries under consideration
  • Screen and identify abnormal findings within reports of a range of diagnostic studies used to evaluate and monitor health risks, illnesses and injuries
  • Synthesize collected patient data pertinent to the identification of age-related physiologic changes, health risk factors, medical illness, behavioral disorders, socioeconomic problems, cultural beliefs, and alternative therapies
  • Define problems of a biological, functional, psychological, environmental and cultural nature and their differential possibilities to the maximum extent possible with accuracy
  • Report, record and retrieve findings obtained through interview, examination and diagnostic testing to the physician and other health care providers in an articulate, efficient and accurate manner
  • Generate accurate care plans relevant to the management of a range of at-risk behaviors, illnesses and injuries that incorporate the cultural beliefs and alternative therapy practices of individuals
  • Implement problem management and treatment decisions for individuals seen initially or in follow-up for a previously diagnosed problem that acknowledges cultural beliefs and alternative therapy practices

  • Provide continuous care of persons in the home, nursing home, extended care facility and hospital considered part of the supervising physician's practice
  • Perform evaluation and therapeutic procedures in an independent manner when responding to life threatening illnesses and injuries
  • Counsel individuals and families about growth and development, family planning, disease prevention, nutrition, immunizations, illness and injury evaluation, and therapeutic management plans encompassing advance care directives
  • Work and communicate with physicians, other members of the healthcare team and one's peers about the evaluation and management of patients based upon illness severity and personal level of confidence.
  • Use critical analysis skills to evaluate whether information in the literature will help to better evaluate, manage and advise patients about diagnosis, prognosis, diagnostic testing and treatment benefit
  • Identify community providers of mind body practices, bodywork, ceremony and prayer used by patients and families seeking assistance through the use of alternative therapy practices

Learning Experiences

The learning experiences within the pre-clerkship, clinical and research phases of the curriculum are designed to develop each student's ability to demonstrate these competencies.