Technical Standards

The New York Institute of Technology Physician Assistant Program is committed to the admission and matriculation of highly qualified students and follows New York Institute of Technology's policy on non-discrimination. Regarding disabled individuals, the college will not discriminate against such individuals who are otherwise qualified, but will expect that minimal technical standards be met by all applicants and students as set forth herein.

These standards reflect what has been determined as reasonable expectations for physician assistant (PA) students and graduate PAs in performing common and important functions, keeping in mind the safety and welfare of patients. The following technical standards are to be used for admission and matriculation of PA students as well as granting of a PA degree.

A candidate for the PA degree signifies that the holder is prepared for entry into the practice of medicine and surgery. Therefore, a PA must have the knowledge and skills to function in a broad variety of clinical situations and to render a wide spectrum of quality, cost-effective patient care. In order to perform the activities described below, candidates for a PA degree must be able to quickly, accurately, and consistently learn, integrate, analyze, and synthesize data.

The graduate PA must have multiple skills and abilities including: observation, communication, motor, conceptual, integrative, quantitative, behavioral, and social. Technological compensation can be made for handicaps in some of these areas, but a candidate must be able to perform continuously and without interruption in a reasonably independent and timely manner.

Candidates for the PA program must have functional use of the senses of vision, hearing, and equilibrium. Their exteroceptor (touch, pain, and temperature) and proprioceptor (position, pressure, movement, stereognosis, and vibratory) senses must be sufficiently intact to enable them to carry out all the activities required continuously and without interruption to complete the activities described below in a timely manner to account for emergent patient circumstances. Candidates must have sufficient motor function capabilities to meet the demands of the PA program and the demands of total patient care without presenting a danger to themselves, coworkers or patients.


Candidates and all PA students must have sufficient vision to be able to observe demonstrations, experiments, and laboratory exercises. They must be able to observe a patient accurately at a distance and nearby. It is essential to have adequate visual capabilities to assess structural asymmetries, and abnormalities of the musculoskeletal and integumentary systems.


Candidates and all PA students should be able to speak clearly, and to hear and observe patients in order to elicit information, examine patients, describe findings, and understand nonverbal behaviors. They must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively with fellow students, faculty, patients, and other healthcare providers in a culturally competent manner. This includes the ability to read and communicate, both verbally and in writing, in English, using appropriate grammar and vocabulary.


Candidates and all PA students must have sufficient motor function to execute those movements required in the general and emergency care of patients and to elicit information from patients by palpation, auscultation, percussion, and other diagnostic maneuvers. PAs are required to be able to perform cardiovascular resuscitation, insert catheters, open obstructed airways, perform obstetrical maneuvers and operate various diagnostic and therapeutic devices, as well as perform other procedures including emergency procedures, all in a timely manner. All of these require both gross and fine muscular movements, equilibrium, and use of touch and vision promptly, continuously and without interruption in a manner that does not present a danger to the student, co-worker or patient.


Candidates and all PA students need enhanced tactile abilities and should a candidate have significant tactile, sensory or proprioceptive disabilities, he or she would have to be carefully evaluated to determine if a reasonable accommodation can be made prior to matriculation. Problems might be present in individuals who have had previous burns, loss of sensation, scar formation, or malformations of the upper extremities.

Strength and Mobility

Candidates and all PA students should have upright posture with sufficient extremity and body strength to carry out various manipulative techniques. Mobility is required when attending to emergency resuscitation and performing basic and advanced life support skills.

Behavioral and Social

Candidates and PA students must possess the emotional health required for full utilization of their intellectual abilities; the exercise of good judgment; the prompt completion of responsibilities; and development of mature, sensitive, and effective relationships with patients. PA education requires the ability to tolerate physically taxing workloads and adapting to changing environments.

Candidates and students must display flexibility and spirit of cooperation with faculty, classmates and colleagues. Certain personal characteristics are expected of a PA. These include ethics, morals, integrity, compassion, interpersonal skills, and motivation.

The Physician Assistant Studies program will attempt to develop creative ways of opening its curriculum to competitive, qualified disabled individuals. In so doing, however, the program must maintain the integrity of its curriculum and preserve those elements deemed essential to the education of a PA.

PA students must have the ability to touch and be touched during the process of learning and practicing the art and science of medicine and physical examination. Students will be partnered with another student regardless of age, gender, nationality, religion, race, or size.

For the purpose of learning diagnostic and physical examination skills, students must dress in a prescribed manner:

  • Males are to wear gym or bathing shorts.
  • Females are to wear gym shorts or swim shorts, and any of the following: bikini bathing suit top or sports bra.

All students may wear T-shirts, scrub wear, or sweatshirt/pants when not the subject of examination or treatment. The wearing of street clothes, unless otherwise notified, is not permitted during physical diagnosis sessions.

The wearing of hats or sunglasses during lectures, examinations, or laboratory sessions, except for religious and/or health reasons, is not permitted. The clinical skills courses, as well as other courses, require hand contact by a partner with the student's body, including the head. It is important to note that the partner may be of a different gender to the student.

The standards for performance and behavior will be noted in documents such as the NYIT Student Handbook. Other more detailed documents such as course outlines, syllabi, and/or memorandums may supersede these.