In a winning streak that continues, the DeSales University Physician Assistant (PA) team once again made Memorial Day even more memorable by winning the 19th Annual National Medical Challenge Bowl held by the Student Academy of the American Academy of Physician Assistants on Monday, May 25, in San Diego, California.
To date, DeSales has garnered several “firsts” in this annual contest. Last year, DeSales won the 18th Annual Medical Challenge Bowl held in San Antonio, Texas, and became the first school to win the national title three times. With this year’s win, DeSales now has the distinction of being the first school in the nation to win back-to-back titles.
In the highly competitive event, teams compete against one another in a medical question and answer format. DeSales was one of 48 teams that qualified to participate. A total of 28 states and Washington, D.C., were represented in the contest.
Members of the DeSales PA team were: Joseph Bozzo, ’09, of Waldwick, N.J.; Aaron Thomas, ’09, of Morrisville, N.C.; and William Wert, ’09, of Warrensburg, N.Y. Alternates for the team were Marissa Weaver, ’09, of Telford, Pa., and Kyle Zehr, ’10, of Ridgeway, Va. The team coach and faculty advisor was Christine Bruce, director of the DeSales PA Program.
In the first round of the competition, DeSales defeated South University (Savannah, Georgia), Nova University (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) and Wake Forest (Winston, North Carolina).
Several notable programs also advanced into the second round, including Oregon University, Stony Brook, Duke University, Marquette, University of Oklahoma, Eastern Virginia Medical School (Norfolk,Va.) and University of Wisconsin (LaCrosse, Wis.) . DeSales faced Wichita State (Wichita, Kansas) and Marquette University (Milwaukee, Wis.) in the second round. The DeSales’ victory placed them into the championship round.
The championship round consisted of Oregon Health and Science University (Portland, Ore.), Touro University (Las Vegas, Nev.), and University of Wisconsin.
In addition to the victory in San Diego, previous national titles won by DeSales include 2002 in Boston, Mass., 2004 in Las Vegas, Nev., and 2008 in San Antonio, Texas. In 2003, the team finished third in New Orleans, La.
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 routine duties normally reserved for physicians.
There are a total of 142 Physician Assistant Programs in the nation, with 15 of those accredited programs being located in Pennsylvania. The highly regarded PA Program at DeSales first admitted students in 1997. Bruce became director of the program the same year.
Since its inception, a total of 10 classes have graduated from the DeSales PA Program. Graduates of the program have consistently ranked first in the nation in the national standardized in-training examination known as the PACKRAT (Physician Assistant Clinical Knowledge Rating Assessment Test). Recently, it was announced that graduates of the DeSales Class of 2008 ranked first in the nation on PACKRAT while they were attending DeSales, making the class the eighth in DeSales' history to be ranked first in the nation on this examination.
For more information, please contact Christine Bruce, director of the DeSales University Physician Assistant Program, at 610-282-1100, ext. 1474.
Press Release: National Champions - Again! DeSales Physician Assistant Team Makes History | Posted on: 5/29/2009
For more info:
Tom McNamara, Executive Director of Communications
DeSales University | 2255 Station Avenue | Center Valley, PA 18034
610.282.1100 x1219 | Tom.McNamara@desales.edu