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Press Release: DeSales University's Physician Assistant Program Top in the Nation
Date: 4/12/2006


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DeSales University's Physician Assistant Program Top in the Nation

For the fifth year in a row, the DeSales University Physician Assistant Program has shown that the proof is in the numbers.

The 36 graduates in the program's Class of 2005 had a 100 percent first-time pass rate. With an average score of 632, the DeSales' class placed above the national average of 501, which put the PA Program above the 99th percentile nationally for the fifth consecutive year. The score needed to pass was 350.

Also, the DeSales' class finished first in the national Physician Assistant Clinical Knowledge Rating Assessment Test (PACKRAT), for the sixth consecutive year. PACKRAT is given to eligible students enrolled in the PA Program at the end of their first or second years of professional phase training, to help them prepare for the national examination. There are 134 programs in the country which are eligible to take this national standardized examination.

Since the program was first established in 1997, DeSales graduates average over 100 points per students, higher than the national average on the National Certification Examination.

"The PACKRAT measures core knowledge," said Christine Bruce, program director of the Physician Assistant program at DeSales. "It gives case scenarios to help the students figure out what's wrong with the patient. The test helps prepare students for the national boards."

According to Bruce, the high scores on the PACKRAT indicate the PA program at DeSales does a more effective job preparing the students for their role as physician assistants than just about any other program in the country.

"DeSales is in competition with nationally and internationally known schools, such as Duke, Yale, Stanford, Cornell, George Washington, Wake Forest, Midwestern, University of Nebraska and the University of Iowa," said Bruce. "Many of these schools have not come close to obtaining these high scores."

In addition to Bruce, the staff of the PA program at DeSales includes Terry Russo, PA-C, clinical coordinator; Laurie Wilson, PA-C, director of clinical education; Dr. Edward Jones, MPH, assistant professor, and Kathleen Ehrhardt, MMS, PA-C academic coordinator.

Among the many student successes are four Pennsylvania State Medical Challenge Bowl Championships, three Northeast and National Medical Challenge Bowl Championships and four National Public Health Scholarship winners.

"It's amazing how a little school can produce the best graduates in the Nation," said Bruce. "Students come from across the country to study here and they perform very well. We have successful students. Success fosters success."

The PA Program at DeSales first admitted students in 1997. Physician Assistants are licensed medical professionals who work under the supervision of licensed physicians. They practice in both general and specialty medicine and surgery, and perform the routine duties normally reserved for physicians.

For more information, please contact Christine Bruce, program director of the physician assistant program at DeSales, at 610-282-1100 ext. 1474.


Press Release: DeSales University's Physician Assistant Program Top in the Nation | Posted on: 4/12/2006

For more info:
Tom McNamara, Executive D
irector of Communications
DeSales University | 2255 Station Avenue | Center Valley, PA 18034

610.282.1100 x1219 | Tom.McNamara@desales.edu

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