Technical Standards

Candidates for the School of Physician Assistant Studies must be able to fully perform all essential functions in each of the following categories: observation, communication, motor, intellectual, and behavioral/social. We recognize that degrees of ability vary widely between individuals. Those with a disability are encouraged to discuss this with the College of Medicine Americans with Disabilities Act Chair/Admissions Director so that jointly, they may consider technological and other facilitating mechanisms necessary to train and function effectively as a physician assistant. The UF College of Medicine is committed to enabling its students to complete the course of study leading to the physician assistant degree by any reasonable means or accommodations.


The candidate must be able to observe demonstrations and experiments in the basic sciences, including but not limited to physiologic and pharmacologic demonstrations in animals, evaluation of microbiologic cultures, and microscopic studies of microorganisms and tissues in normal and pathologic states. A candidate must be able to observe a patient accurately at a distance and close at hand. Observation necessitates the functional use of the sense of vision and other sensory modalities.


A candidate must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively with colleagues and patients. The focus of this communication is to elicit information; describe changes in mood, activity, and posture; and perceive nonverbal communications. Communication includes not only speech but reading and writing. The candidate must be able to communicate effectively and efficiently in oral and written form with all members of the health care team.


Candidates must have sufficient motor function to elicit information from patients by palpation, auscultation, percussion, and other diagnostic maneuvers. A candidate must be able to execute motor movements reasonably required to provide general care and emergency treatments to patients. Such actions require coordination of both gross and fine muscular movements, equilibrium, and functional use of the senses of touch and vision.

Intellectual-Conceptual, Integrative, and Quantitative Abilities

A candidate must have the ability to synthesize and apply complex information. Candidates must be fully alert and attentive at all times in clinical settings.

Behavioral and Social Attributes

A candidate must possess the emotional health required for full utilization of his or her intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, the prompt completion of all responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients, and the development of mature, sensitive, and effective relationships with patients. Candidates must be able to tolerate physically taxing workloads and to function effectively under stress. They must be able to adapt to changing environments, to display flexibility, and to learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of many patients. Compassion, integrity, interpersonal skills, interest, and motivation are all personal qualities that are assessed during the admissions and education processes.