Didactic Phase Learning Outcomes

Didactic Phase Learning Outcomes (DPLOs)


  1. Connect concepts from applied medical sciences* with history, physical examination, diagnostic study findings, and medical/surgical management.
  2. Connect concepts from applied medical sciences* with screening methods used to detect conditions in asymptomatic patients and interventions used for prevention of disease and promotion/maintenance of health.


For simulated patient encounters/laboratory practicals:

  1. Demonstrate consistent and correct use of personal protective equipment.
  2. Develop a systematic approach to patient evaluation and management.
  3. Obtain essential histories.
  4. Demonstrate correct technique when performing physical examinations.
  5. Provide appropriate patient education.
  6. Demonstrate correct technique when performing clinical procedures.


For simulated patient encounters:

  1. Correctly interpret history findings.
  2. Correctly interpret physical examination findings.
  3. Determine the appropriate diagnostic evaluation (e.g., laboratory and imaging studies).
  4. Correctly interpret diagnostic study findings.
  5. Utilize history, physical examination, and diagnostic study findings to formulate a list of differential diagnoses.
  6. Formulate appropriate patient management plans.


  1. Engage simulated patients in decisions regarding their care.
  2. Communicate with simulated patients with consideration of their values/beliefs.
  3. Discuss the roles and responsibilities of various health care professionals and the team approach to patient-centered care.
  4. Provide faculty facilitators with clear and accurate oral reports and written documentation of simulated patient encounters.


  1. Always adhere to the LMU-SMS-Knoxville PA Program Student Code of Conduct.
  2. Engage simulated patients in an ethical PA Student/patient relationship.
  3. Demonstrate a decreasing reliance on faculty facilitators for direction in discussion of patient cases/completion of simulated patient encounters. 
  4. With assistance from program faculty, identify areas of strength and weaknesses related to medical knowledge, skills, and professional conduct and formulate a plan for improvement.
  5. Accept constructive criticism and incorporate feedback into future performance.
  6. Formulate a clinical question and search, interpret, and evaluate current medical literature.
  7. List the common precipitants of medical errors in clinical settings.
  8. Discuss procedures to help prevent medical errors and optimize patient safety in clinical settings. 
  9. Demonstrate an understanding of the delivery of patient care and the common methods of payment.


Correctly perform the following procedures:

  • Surgical scrubbing, gowning, and gloving
  • Handling of surgical instruments
  • Sterile technique
  • Knot tying
  • Administration of local anesthesia
  • Wound closure with sutures

*Applied medical sciences include the following:  anatomy, epidemiology, physiology, pathophysiology, microbiology, pharmacology, pharmacotherapeutics, and genetic and molecular mechanisms of health and disease.