Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Physician Assistant Program

Graduate Tasks

Graduates of the Physician Assistant Program will possess the knowledge, skills, and abilities, to accomplish, competently and proficiently, the following functions and tasks:

  1. Approach patients of various age groups and various settings, and elicit a problem-focused or comprehensive history and perform a problem-focused or comprehensive physical examination.
  2. Accurately interpret the responses or results obtained from the patient.
  3. Document and present, in a written or oral form, the history and physical examination in an understandable, well-organized, and concise way.
  4. Accurately interpret and report laboratory and diagnostic tests.
  5. Will know indications, contraindications, side effects, and interactions for common pharmaceuticals used the treatment of patients.
  6. Provide patient counseling and education regarding diagnoses, treatment options, and preventive health measures.
  7. Provide assistance in the delivery of services to patients requiring continuing care in such facilities as home, nursing home, and extended care facilities.
  8. Treat minor emergencies and provide evaluative and treatment procedures necessary to provide an appropriate response to life-threatening emergency situations.
  9. Possess the personal skills necessary to practice cultural competency in clinical practice.
  10. Research and interpret the current medical literature and apply results to the care of patients.
  11. Work cooperatively with other professionals as a member of a team; utilize the expertise of other professionals and experts as appropriate.
  12. Treat the patient as a person; recognize that legal, ethical, religious, and conflict of values issues may affect the patient’s management.
  13. Demonstrate personal integrity, honesty, and self-discipline; and behave in a responsible, reliable, and dependable manner.
  14. Correctly perform, knowledgeable of indications and contraindications for the following clinical procedures required in a primary care practice setting: universal precautions, venipuncture, intravenous catheterization, injections-IM, ID, and SQ, airway management, urinary catheterization, nasogastric tube placement, splinting, suture placement and removal, lumbar puncture, foreign body removal-ear and nose, cerumen removal.
  15. Knowledgeable of the indications and contraindications for the following clinical procedures: arterial puncture, central line placement, arthrocentesis, thoracentesis, chest tube placement, paracentesis, joint injections, casting, shave and punch biopsy, foreign body removal-eye.