Arcadia University Physician Assistant Students Score in Elite Top 4 Percent in Nation

By Purnell T. Cropper | March 9, 2012

Arcadia University’s Physician Assistant program is not only one of the largest in the country—with campuses in Pennsylvania and Delaware—but its students also score collectively among the elite top 4 percent on the National Commission on the Certification of PAs (NCCPA) examination.

“Our graduates continue their fine work as students with even finer performances on the national board examinations. Our total pass rate for all of our graduates attests to the high-caliber of our students and graduates,” says Dr. Michael Dryer, Chair of the Department of Medical Science and Community Health. “The recently released 2011 scores show that 100 percent of the Arcadia PA students passed on their first attempt and as a class scored in the 96th percentile of all 158 PA programs nationally. To have more than 100 students scoring together at this level is a testament to the excellent instruction they get—both in the didactic and laboratory coursework as well as in their clinical rotations.

“That puts our score somewhere between number 6 and number 7 compared with all other programs,” he adds. “This is particularly noteworthy as we tested a class of 109 students compared with the national class average of 45 students. This demonstrates our ability to provide PA students with a great professional education while addressing the critical shortage of skilled health-care providers.”

“Our pride is even greater than that,” says President Carl (Tobey) Oxholm III. “Our students not only do well on tests, but a remarkably high percentage of them—between 30 and 40 percent— elect to do part of their clinical training outside the United States.  Nearly half of these are supported by University scholarships. These students really take advantage of our University’s mission to create globally aware, globally prepared graduates. We thank our clinical faculty, in particular, for sharing their expertise and their professionalism with our students.”

Arcadia’s new College of Health Sciences includes the PA program, as well as other graduate programs in Physical Therapy, Genetic Counseling, and Public Health. “With these wonderful results, Arcadia has jumped into the national spotlight as a real powerhouse in the health sciences,” says Dean Archie Vomachka. “Now the world knows that we are able to offer at Arcadia graduate degrees in these key areas of scientific study, and this is a great advantage to the undergraduate students who come to Arcadia and major in the sciences. Arcadia’s undergraduate programs in Biology, Psychology and Chemistry are strong feeders to the master’s programs and benefit from Arcadia’s assured admission tracks for undergraduate students.”

Arcadia University’s Physician Assistant program prepares graduate students from across the country for careers in today’s rapidly changing medical environment. Utilizing the resources of the medical community within the Delaware Valley, the Program provides students with the foundation for professional growth through personal attention, global perspective, and a commitment to excellence.

The master’s degree program in Medical Science (Physician Assistant) at Arcadia University is designed to produce graduates who are well-equipped to deliver high-quality, cost-effective health care in a wide variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, physicians’ offices and other community settings.