Physician Assistant Programs – Which are the best?By
How would you decide if a program that trains Physician Assistants is a good one? I had my thoughts but let me show you what I learned.
In 2007 US News rated PA Programs. I have looked carefully at the top 25 programs and have noted similarities. US News rated 68 of the 139 programs (programs who did not submit their information or did so incompletely were not rated). They are slated to update their ratings in 2011.
Similarities I noted are these:
• All are Masters degree programs
• All are a minimum of 24 months
• All but one use the CASPA application system
• They all have first time pass rates for the PANCE above 97%
• All but one are associated with top medical schools.
• Most have been training students for a decade and some for over 30 years.
• All of them require a 3.0 GPA in all top level science courses
The tuition costs range from $15,000 – $100,000.
None of them are online for the primary training (Nebraska has a distance Masters for graduate certified PA’s without one) or have advanced placement.
They all are very competitive and have 10-20 applicants per seat each year.
One tip: The essay plus your references cause you to stand out enough to get the interview invite. The interview gets you accepted. If you apply to the best, be among the best yourself. Get some solid help/coaching on your essay and interview.