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Release: Feb. 7, 2001

UI PA Program graduates score high on national certification exam

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The scores for the University of Iowa Physician Assistant (PA) Program graduates were among the best for the fall 2000 Physician Assistant National Certification Examination.

With all 23 graduates passing the exam, the UI received a perfect pass rate and was ranked at the 98th percentile among 100 PA programs, which was the second highest score nationally. In addition, the scores of the fall 2000 class at the UI were above the national mean for each of the 12 sections of the exam.

"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 PA program at the UI. "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."

The exam, which was taken last October, is required for PAs to obtain their licenses in all states.

Asprey attributed the UI's success to the program's curriculum and the quality of its students. The PA curriculum at the UI is more integrated with the medical students' curriculum than any other PA program in the country. More than 60 percent of the PA students' curriculum is taken with second-year medical students, and the standards for passing the courses are identical. Furthermore, the reputation of the UI program attracts high quality students who are likely to excel, Asprey said.

The UI program is one of 120 accredited PA programs in the United States. It was established in 1972 by the UI College of Medicine, and has since graduated over 530 PAs.

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.