GVSU PAS Mission, Goals and Competencies with Outcomes

Click here for Graphic Representation of our Mission, Goals and Competencies


To prepare highly competent physician assistants who embrace diversity, equity and inclusion; lead and advance the profession; and provide quality patient-centered healthcare in all communities and settings.

Goal 1: Medical Knowledge and Competence in Patient Care

Prepare entry-level practitioners with the skills necessary to effectively perform in an evolving healthcare environment

Medical Knowledge


  • Recognize signs and symptoms that define a disease process
  • Discuss the laboratory and radiographic testing that support a working diagnosis based upon the presenting signs and symptoms of a disease process
  • Identify treatment options for a disease entity
  • Define the potential complications of treatment (both medical and surgical)
  • Understand the natural history of a disease process that goes untreated
  • Explain pathophysiological processes leading to common acute and chronic diseases

Patient Care


  • Perform medical and surgical procedural and technical skills essential to Physician Assistant practice
  • Perform appropriate history and physical examinations
  • Develop and implement patient management plans
  • Effectively communicate medical findings, treatment plans, procedures, and patient education with colleagues and patients in both verbal and written formats
  • Formulate a differential diagnosis based on a clinical situation
  • Understand the role of preventive medicine in healthcare including screening recommendations


GVSU PAS graduates excel at medical knowledge and patient care, based on evidence of clinical competency and performance on the PA National Certification Exam (PANCE).

Average Patient care scores during the clinical phase of the program for the last three graduating classes (Class of 2015-2017):

  • Medical History taking: 96.2%
  • Physical Exam: 96%
  • Assimilation of Clinical data: 95.8%
  • Assessment/Diagnosis: 94.9%
  • Diagnostic Studies: 95.6%
  • Treatment Plan: 94.2%
  • Procedural Skills: 96.2%

The Five Year First Time Taker Average Pass Rate for Program is 100%. (Class of 2013-2017)

Goal 2: Professionalism

Instill within the PAS learners the professional values and ethical behaviors expected of physician assistants



  • Exhibit honesty and integrity in all interactions
  • Demonstrate respect, caring, and compassion
  • Understand how cultural differences and impact patient care


Graduates of the GVSU PAS program have successfully demonstrated professionalism and integrity. Based on clinical preceptor feedback, students in the PAS program demonstrate professionalism above a 98.5% effectiveness in patient rapport, work habits, professional relationships, and attitude.

Students are provided with cultural awareness training during all phases of the program through lectures and clinical case presentations. (Class of 2017)

Active Community Service Engagement


  • Prior to completion of the program, the student will participate in at least one community service activity during the didactic phase and the clinical phase of the program


In the last 3 years, 100% of graduates will have provided at least one hour of community service learning. Additionally, 100% of the faculty have also participated in community service activities including free health clinics.  (Class of 2015-2017)

Goal 3: Interprofessional Education

Prepare graduates to work effectively in interprofessional health care teams


  • Recognize the unique roles and abilities of each member of the healthcare team to improve team effectiveness for the optimization of patient care. 
  • Work effectively with members of the health care system utilizing team based concepts and/or leadership skills


At the time of graduation, 100% of PA students in the Grand Valley State University PAS program had at least three Interprofessional educational experiences (IPE) with a minimum of three different health professional students. These experiences ranged from team-based management of a virtual patient or paper based case to working in an interprofessional team on a simulated case.


The PAS program has implemented Interprofessional experiences through the PAS 572-574 Hospital Community Experience courses. In this series of courses, PAS students are provided the opportunity to go to clinical sites and observe various professions in their role of patient care, including Physical Therapist, Pharmacists, surgeons, respiratory therapists, nurses, medical lab scientists, as well as medical assistants. Students gain an insight on roles and responsibilities as well as the knowledge these individuals have in the care of patients.  (Class of 2015-2017)

Goal 4: Evidence Based Learning

Instill the importance of medical research as it relates to clinical practice


  • Demonstrate an understanding of the meaning, purpose, and nature of scientific inquiry by relating its significance to evidence based medicine through evaluation of the medical literature
  • Apply the principles of beneficence, justice and respect as it relates to the conduct of research involving human subjects and clinical practice
  • Utilize evidence based practice and experience to engage in life long learning


Students of the GVSU PAS Program undergo rigorous training using the most recent evidence based learning (EBL). Students receive and demonstrate understanding of evidence based medical learning through 3 research courses and one statistics course. At the time of this updated report, 100% of students have successfully passed all four evidence based medicine courses.  (Class of 2015-2017)

Page last modified May 12, 2021