CONTACT: JENNIFER CRONIN
2130 Medical Laboratories
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-9917; fax (319) 335-8034
Release: Feb. 10, 2000
UI Physician Assistant Program's graduates score high on national certification
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Continuing with tradition, all 1999 graduates of the
University of Iowa Physician Assistant (PA) Program passed, and scored among
the best in the country, on the Physician Assistant National Certification
The 100 percent pass rate put the UI program at the 96th percentile among
the 98 PA programs with more than five first-time exam takers. From 1974 to
1999 the UI first-time pass rate is 99 percent. The national average during
the same period was approximately 85 percent.
"We believe this level of achievement is a strong testament to the
quality of education that the PA students receive from the College of Medicine,"
said David Asprey, director of the university's PA Program. "We are very
proud of the tradition of excellence that our graduates have established.
We are delighted to know that our graduates are well prepared to enter the
profession and to provide high quality health care to the citizens of Iowa
and our nation."
Iowa's 23 PA graduates took the exam in October 1999. Passing the test is
necessary for the PAs to obtain their licenses in all states.
Asprey attributed UI's success to the program's integrated curriculum and
the caliber of its students. The UI curriculum is far more heavily integrated
with that of the medical students than any other PA program around the country.
More than 65 percent of the didactic curriculum completed by the UI PA students
is taken with the sophomore medical students, and the performance criteria
are identical. In addition, because of the program's reputation and curriculum,
the UI attracts very high-quality students who are more apt to excel, Asprey
The UI program is one of 120 accredited PA programs in the country and one
of 98 last year with more than five first-time exam takers. The College of
Medicine established the 25-month program in 1972. Since that time, the UI
has graduated 506 PAs.
PAs will continue to play a vital role in health care as those in the industry
grapple with controlling costs and maintaining quality of care, Asprey said.
The evidence is in the numbers. Since the beginning of this decade, the number
of PA programs in this country has doubled, Asprey said.
"PA training has evolved to a point where PAs working with physician
supervision provide care that is of the same high quality as that of a physician,"
Asprey said. "PAs are filling an important niche in primary care and
in underserved areas."
University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the
UI College of Medicine and the UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care,
medical education and research programs and services they provide.