Physician Assistant Studies and Services

  • Program Goals

    Goal 1: Recruit qualified applicants who successfully complete medical education as a physician scientist
    Goal 2: Maintain an accredited program that ensures graduates will have the requisite knowledge and skills for entry to PA practice
    Goal 3: Maintain a level of PANCE pass rates above the national average
    Goal 4: Prepare graduates to practice in underserved areas
    Goal 5: Support a culture of leadership in the profession

    Goal 1: Recruit qualified applicants who successfully complete medical education as a physician assistant

    Group by SignThroughout the University of Iowa's Physician Assistant Program history, students have been heavily integrated into the Carver College of Medicine's medical education, taking courses and being graded on the same scale as second year medical students. The success of this program is based on attracting and recruiting highly qualified applicants that will be able to handle the rigor of this type of teaching format.

    Over the past seven years, the PA Program has received on average 18 applicants for every seat available. This provided a strong pool of applicants that were selected for an interview. Each year, approximately 110 applicants were interviewed for the 25 seats available. Our data, along with our graduation and PANCE pass rates indicate that we recruit highly qualified applicants.

    Class Enrolled Ratio of App/Enroll % Female Mean Age Cum GPA/Sem Hours Sci GPA/Sem Hours GREs Verb/Quant/
    Anal/Total
    Hours HCE Hours Res
    2005-2006 12.8:1 68.0 24.4 3.75/138 3.69/71 503/684/4.9 2,509 2,052
    2006-2007 13.2:1 72.0 27.9 3.52/143 3.48/71 511/650/4.8 3,244 3,453
    2007-2008 14.8:1 72.0 25.9 3.56/145 3.54/72 508/666/4.6 2,387 1,623
    2008-2009 16.4:1 68.0 26.0 3.64/146 3.56/78 512/665/4.5 3,006 763
    2009-2010 20.4:1 56.0 27.0 3.55/130 3.45/78 506/678/4.3 2,798 2,173
    2010-2011 24.6:1 60.0 26.1 3.61/156 3.53/89 516/679/4.7 2,957 1,563
    2011-2012 23.0:1 68.0 25.2 3.69/139 3.68/73 509/662/4.4 2,776 588
    7 Year Mean 17.9:1 66.3 26.1 3.62/142 3.56/76 509/669/4.6 2,811 1,745

    Over the prior six years for which the program has complete data, only five students have withdrawn from the program. This is less than 3% of the total enrolled in the six years of data from enrollment to graduation. This is significantly better than the national attrition rates which were around 8%. This demonstrates that the program selects students that will perform well in a rigorous educational program.

    Goal 2: Maintain an accredited program that ensures graduates will have the requisite knowledge and skills for entry to PA practice

    This goal is achieved by the University of Iowa Physician Assistant Program being fully accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). The PA Program has maintained maximum accreditation available since its inception in 1972, having been re-accredited in 2013 for an additional seven years.

    ARC-PA Accreditation- University of Iowa PA Program

    Asprey Students Casting
    Year Years Accredited
    1972 3 years (initial accreditation)
    1975 3 years
    1978 5 years
    1983 5 years
    1988 6 years
    1994 5 years

    Change from CAHEA to CAAHEP (Accrediting body for ARC-PA)

    Year Years Accredited
    1999 7 years
    2006 7 years
    2013 7 years

    Goal 3: Maintain a level of PANCE pass rates above the national average

    Graduation CandidSince the inception of the program (1972), the program has had an outstanding PANCE pass rate of 99.3% compared nationally to 84.35%. Since 1996, the program has had a 100% pass rate for first-time takers compared to 91% nationally.

    NCCPA Pass Rate Summary for Last Five Years

    Goal 4: Prepare graduates to practice in underserved areas

    AbroadAs stated in our mission statement, the PA program strives to prepare graduates to practice in rural communities and other underserved settings. To achieve this goal, the PA Program integrates its students into the generalist medical program; teaching students the full range of knowledge needed to practice in a rural setting (refer to the "Masters of PA Studies Curriculum").

    All course work is designed to give graduates the highest level of education in order to practice in rural and underserved settings. Along with this education, testing models, use of standardized patients, small group, clinical rotations, and self-relection exercises are designed to promote higher order thinking and integration of material while applying the knowledge to patients in the graduates care. PANCE pass rates and achievement demonstrate this ability (See NCCPA pass rates under Goal 3).

    Goal 5: Support a culture of leadership in the profession

    IntubationThe University of Iowa Physician Assistant Program fosters a culture of leadership by example of its faculty, support to students through mentorship, and encouragement after graduation. This is noted in the lengthy accomplishments of its faculty, graduates and students.

    National Leadership Organizations

    • Vice Chair, Federal Adivsory Committee on Training in Primary Care Medicine and Dentistry
    • IOM Member
    • APAP President
    • PAEA President
    • Journal Physician Assistant Education Association, Editor
    • Chair, Governance Committee, PAEA
    • Chair, Clinical Education Committee, PAEA
    • Chair, Data and Research, PAEA
    • Conference Curriculum Committee, PAEA
    • Research Institute, PAEA
    • Leadership Development and Recruitment, PAEA
    • Finance Committee, PAEA
    • CASPA Liaison, PAEA
    • NCCPA Liaison, PAEA
    • Chair, Awards Committee, AAPA
    • JAAPA Department Editor, AAPA
    • Clinical and Health Affairs Commission, AAPA
    • Education Council, AAPA
    • Strategic Planning Committee, AAPA
    • House of Delegates Representative, AAPA

    State Organizations

    • Iowa PA Society President
    • Board of Physician Assistant Examiners for the State of Iowa
    • Iowa PA Society Director at large
    • Chair, Iowa PA Society Fall CME meeting
    • Member, Iowa PA Society Fall CME meeting

    Graduates and Students

    • AAPA President
    • IPAS President
    • IPAS Student Representative
    • Rex Montgomery Student Society President
    • Representative to the Assembly of Representatives (AOR)
    • Representative to the House of Delegates (HOD)