PA students maintain 100 percent pass rate on national exam
By Alex Branch
For the fourth straight year, every graduate of the Physician Assistant Studies Program at UNT Health Science Center passed the national certification exam on the first attempt – the second- longest streak among the eight programs in the state of Texas.
Master of Physician Assistant Studies
Learn more about admissions requirements, curriculum and application process.
Since 2013, only one of about 450 total PA graduates from UNTHSC did not pass the exam on the first try.
The Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE) administrated by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants assesses basic medical and surgical knowledge.
“It all starts with exceptional students,” said Kirk Barron, PhD, PA-C, Chairman of the UNTHSC PA program. “We recruit intelligent, talented and determined students into our program, and that is reflected in our exam scores.”
The field of physician assistants has grown increasingly competitive in the last decade. The flexibility to move between specialties, potential for a strong work-life balance and quality starting salary places it on many national best jobs lists.
The UNTHSC program receives more than 1,900 applications for just 75 spots each year. Starting next year, the UNTHSC PA program will revamp and condense its curriculum from 34 months to 30 months to improve efficiency and keep the program on the cutting edge of innovation.
“Our goal is not to teach students to pass the exam,” Dr. Barron said. “Our goal is preparing students thoroughly and diligently to become the health care leaders of tomorrow. They pass the exam because they are prepared to enter the workforce and thrive.”
During the four years UNTHSC PA students have held their 100 percent pass rate, the national average on the certification exam has ranged from 93 percent to 97 percent.
Maintaining a 100 percent pass rate for four consecutive years requires extraordinary teamwork, said Nicoleta Bugnariu, PT, PhD, Interim Dean of the School of Health Professions.
“The exceptional results of graduates are a reflection of the high quality of education delivered by the PA program,” Dr. Bugnariu said. “This is a win for PA faculty, staff and students, collaboratively and diligently pursuing excellence, and a win for the HSC creating a learning environment where extraordinary becomes remarkable.”
By Cari Hyden Looking for a good book to read? Have you just finished a riveting volume that you’d like to share with others? UNTHSC just opened its second Little Free Library. It’s in the Lewis Library lobby, near the Java Lab. There you can feel free to pick up a book to read. Then next...Read more
May 20, 2019
By Jan Jarvis Halfway through his first year in medical school, Parker Murray fell apart. Homesick, depressed and overwhelmed, the Utah native collapsed on his bed one weekend. “I cried like two days straight,” he said. “I felt like I was drowning and struggled to pull myself toge...Read more
May 15, 2019
By Alex Branch Would a bicycle get you to work faster? Maybe you’ve pondered that question in your car during a slow, congested morning commute. Two UNT Health Science Center College of Pharmacy professors will answer the question — albeit quite unscientifically — Friday on For...Read more
May 15, 2019
By Alex Branch Gene and Helga Lukacsy will never forget the worry and sleepless nights after their son went missing in October 2016. Anthony Lukacsy, 46, faced his share of life struggles and was homeless. But he always periodically checked in with family, even if just to ask f...Read more
May 14, 2019