US News Ranks PA Programs


US News is famous for it s rankings of colleges and graduate programs. Many programs perform differently that they might if not for the fear of dropping in the US News rankings. Some think some of what they do with PA programs is not objective. Be that as it may, the rankings are new for the first time since 2007. Here is how the programs fared this Year.

1. Duke,

2. Iowa & University of Utah,

4. Emory,

5. George Washington U. ,

6. Baylor and Oregon Health and Science U,

8. Medical and Dental College of NJ, U of Texas SWMC, Dallas, U of Washington/Medex,

11. Quinnipiac U and U of Colorado, Denver,

13. Interservice PA Program, Northeastern, Stony Brook, NY,

16. U of Nebraska and U of Oklahoma,

18. Philadelphia, U of Texas San Antonio, Wake Forest, Yale,

22. Drexel and Midwestern, AZ and Shennandoah

25th place is shared by 10 programs and they are DeSales, Duquesne, Eastern VA, Lock Haven, Medical College of GA, U of SC, Midwestern, IL, Rosalind Franklin in Chicago, Seton Hall, St. Louis U, U of Alabama, Birmingham, U of Texas Galveston, U of Wisconsin – Madison

In the Journal of Physician Assistant Education authors and researchers James an Rhee PA and Michael J Davanzo PA published an article entitled ” A Novel Approach to Ranking Physician Assistant Programs” in 2010. They are critics of the US News system and devised one that they feel is not perfect but is objective. Look at the article if you want all the criteria. The two major criteria almost everyone agree upon is the first year and 5 year  pass rates on the PANCE and the PANRE. They also look at faculty-to-student ratio and faculty education level. There are others, I won’t spoil the article for you. One thing they did not mention was the quality of non-faculty teachers like residents and attending physicians. I got a lot out of the didactic portion of my education but it was the senior residents and attending Physicians that taught me how to care for patients. Well, they admit their criteria are not perfect.

So, lets look at the top ten programs on the Journal list:

1. U of Wisconsin – Lacrosse

2. Oregon Health and Science

3. U of Iowa

4. Central Michigan

5. U of Texas SWMC Dallas

6. U of Nebraska

7. U of Medicine and Dentistry NJ

8. U of Oklahoma – Oklahoma City

9. Quinnipiac

9. Emory

Duke 24, Utah 35, GW 41, Baylor 14, and the U of Washington 44 occupy the numeric positions after their names in the Journal rankings.

So, now two ranking systems have already spawned  claims that we are the only top10 school on the east coast (Quinnipiac) or we are #4 (Central Michigan). I think you can learn to pass a test at schools that don’t have medical school affiliation but I don’t think you get the great quality education you do when they have that affiliation. The programs affiliated with those kinds of centers i.e. Duke, Emory, Yale, Texas SWMC, Utah, Nebraska, Oklahoma have great teachers, great mentors and pull even weak students higher because of the association.

My evaluation draws the same criticism that US News does – it is opinion and not objective. OK, what is your opinion?

Categories : PA Programs

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