In December, 37 Methodist University Physician Assistant (PA) Program graduates took the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE), resulting in a 100 percent pass rate for the graduating class.
“The PA program faculty and staff are proud of the hard work and dedication that the Class of 2016 has shown in their studies,” said PA Program Director Christina Beard, PA-C, MPAS. “These graduates will be excellent medical providers and representatives of the PA profession.”
“Once again Methodist University has demonstrated its commitment to excellence, especially in the health sciences,” said President Ben E. Hancock Jr. “Our students have earned the deserved reputation of being enrolled in one of the premier PA programs in America. We are committed to our students’ success and this perfect pass rate validates these collective efforts by all who are associated with the program – faculty, staff, and students.”
“In 2016, we celebrated the 20th anniversary of the PA program,” Beard said. “The achievement of a 100 percent pass rate and a 5 year average pass rate of 98percent is yet another demonstration of the longstanding excellence of the program. We want to thank the physicians and PAs who train our students during the clinical year. Their dedication to the program over the years is one of the greatest factors for our success.”
MU’s PA graduates frequently have a pass rate on the PANCE above the national average. The computer-based, multiple-choice exam assesses basic medical and surgical knowledge. Passing the PANCE is required to become a certified PA.
Methodist University started the PA program as a bachelor’s level program in 1996 and transitioned to a Masters of Medical Science in Physician Assistant Studies in 2003. The program is accredited at the national level by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistants (ARC-PA). The program receives over 600 applications from across the country for admission to the 40 seats in the program each year. Graduates practice medicine in a variety of settings and specialties including family medicine, emergency medicine, surgery, orthopedics, and some re-enlist for military service as physician assistants. Seventy percent of the program’s graduates currently practice in North Carolina.