Technical Standards

Technical Standards for Physician Assistant Program Admission, Continuation and Graduation  

Applicants to the Wake Forest School of Medicine are selected on the basis of their academic, personal and extracurricular attributes.  Applicants must also have the intellectual, physical and emotional capabilities to meet the requirements of the School’s curriculum and of a successful medical career.

The following technical standard guidelines are based on those suggested by the Special Advisory Panel on Technical Standards for Medical School Admissions as well as those standards recognized as essential to the study and practice of medicine in the role of physician assistant.  These guidelines specify the attributes considered essential for completing physician assistant training and for enabling each graduate to enter clinical practice.  Because these standards describe the essential functions that students must demonstrate to meet the requirements of physician assistant training within a generalist education model, they are prerequisites for admission, continuation, and graduation.

Wake Forest School of Medicine will consider for admission any applicant who meets its academic and nonacademic criteria and who demonstrates the ability to perform skills listed in this document, with or without reasonable accommodations, consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act.   Our institution is committed to considering all qualified applicants without discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, veteran status, handicapped status, disability or sexual orientation.  The  Committee on Admissions believes that all students must possess the intellectual, physical and emotional capabilities necessary to undertake the required curriculum in a reasonably independent manner without having to rely on intermediaries, and that all students must be able to achieve the levels of competence required by the faculty.  All candidates for admission, both those with and without disabilities, are expected to be competitive with others in the applicant pool in academic, personal and extracurricular attributes.  The institutional policy is to make admissions decisions on the basis of each applicant’s qualifications for the study and practice of medicine within the role of a physician assistant.  The School of Medicine’s commitment to nondiscrimination against any applicant or admitted student on the basis of disability is consistent with applicable law.

Admitted students with documented, qualified disabilities have access to support personnel within the Office of Student Services.  An agent of this office, under the supervision of the Associate Dean for Student Services, will collaborate with other faculty and staff as necessary to provide reasonable accommodations for courses and examinations.  The goal is to help students with qualified disabilities find access to the necessary resources to assist them in meeting the technical standards for physician assistant program admission, continuation and graduation. 

Requests for accommodation of a disability must be made in a timely manner either to the Director of Admissions for the Physician Assistant Program prior to matriculation or to the Associate Dean for Student Services if the request occurs after matriculation.  At that time, the following information must be provided at the student’s expense:

  1. Documentation of the disability from a licensed professional.
  2. The diagnosis of the disability using standard nomenclature.
  3. A description of the student’s functional limitations due to the disability.
  4. Copies of the evaluation report(s) on or accompanied by a letter on the evaluating professional’s letterhead.
  5. A description of the requested accommodation.

Accommodations that may be appropriate will depend on individual circumstances.  In evaluating a request for an accommodation, the School of Medicine will take into account the individual’s specific limitations and needs to determine whether the requested accommodation is reasonable and will permit the applicant or student to satisfy the Technical Standards.   An accommodation is not reasonable if it poses a direct threat to the health or safety of self and/or others, if making it requires a substantial modification in an essential element of the curriculum, if it lowers academic standards, or poses an undue administrative or financial burden.  As mentioned above, except in rare circumstances, the use by a student of an intermediary to perform any of the functions described in the Technical Standards would constitute an unacceptable substantial modification.

For students with learning disabilities, a comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation conducted by a qualified professional (either psychiatrist or licensed psychologist) who regularly practices neuropsychology must be provided.  The evaluation must appear on, or be accompanied by a letter on, the evaluating professional’s letterhead.  The required elements of a comprehensive evaluation are an intelligence test, an assessment of neuropsychologic functions, an academic achievement test, and psychiatric/psychological history.  For students seeking accommodations on the basis of attention deficit disorder or hyperactivity disorder, the evaluation must include a behavioral index.

Click here for access to the Technical Standards.

Quick Reference

PA Studies Admissions

Phone: 336-716-4356
Fax 336-716-4432

Mailing Address:
Wake Forest School of Medicine
Department of PA Studies
Medical Center Boulevard
Winston-Salem, NC 27157-1006

525 Vine Street, Suite 540
Winston-Salem, NC 27101


Find A Doctor Ways to Give
Last Updated: 01-03-2014
USNWR 2013-2014Magnet Hospital RecognitionConsumer Choice2014 Best DoctorsJoint Commission Report

Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general informational purposes only and SHOULD NOT be relied upon as a substitute for sound professional medical advice, evaluation or care from your physician or other qualified health care provider.