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Goal 1: Recruit qualified applicants who successfully complete medical education as a physician scientistGoal 2: Maintain an accredited program that ensures graduates will have the requisite knowledge and skills for entry to PA practiceGoal 3: Maintain a level of PANCE pass rates above the national averageGoal 4: Prepare graduates to practice in underserved areasGoal 5: Support a culture of leadership in the profession
Throughout 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.
Over the prior six years for which the program has complete data, only five students have withdrawn from the program.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.
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.
Since 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
As 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).
The 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.