1. PANCE Pass Rate
If the Physician Assistant Program you're looking at has a PANCE Pass Rate between 96%-100% then you're looking in the right place! This is a clear indication that the curriculum is designed to prepare students to be excellent health care providers as well as caring and compassionate individuals who critically think. The PANCE exam is a computer-based, timed test comprised of 300 multiple-choice questions assessing medical and surgical knowledge required to become a certified physician assistant. The PANCE exam is administered in 5 blocks of 60 questions each, with 60 minutes provided for the completion of each block.
Mmmm the nitty gritty…curriculum! Aside from the PANCE Pass Rate and finances, your program’s curriculum is just as important. If you’re like me, taking your time to absorb the material, re-read lectures, draw visuals, create educational story boards, then a semester-based PA Program is the best option for you. Remember, there is no rush! Take your time. In addition, if you know you’re a procrastinator attending a quarter-based PA Program would not be ideal for you. You’ll fall behind faster than you think, and you don't want that. The learning material is quite dense and there’s no time to waste with quizzes and exams coming every other week. Find your middle ground and study habits that work for you!
During physician assistant school, you will have the opportunity to complete clinical rotations at various hospitals and medical centers. Some hospitals will offer more opportunities than others. Larger hospitals may only focus on array of complex conditions vs. a smaller hospital where you may see common conditions.
As a student, you may have the chance to learn more at a smaller facility if you don’t plan on going into specialty. Determining which facilities, you will rotate through can help you decide if the program meets your needs.
Whether you’re applying to in-state or out of state PA Programs you want to ensure that the faculty and staff members understand who you are, your background, goals, and can uplift you in your time of temporary trials.... because let's face it PA school is hard sometimes. Having support away from your family is essential to your success in the program. The faculty and staff are your family members away from home. So ask yourself, do they feel like family?
The quickest way to double your money is to fold it over and put it back in your pocket! LOL Just kidding…but all jokes aside everyone worries about finances. PA school depending on your program is about 2 – 3 ½ years long and in that time frame you’re not allowed to work, or you’ll be removed from your program. So, consider looking into specialized scholarships, traineeships, and loan programs available. Remember — apply for scholarships and grants before you accept loans. The more scholarships you receive the less you have to pay back in loans. Then, only accept loans that you need. Below is a small list of organizations that provide thousands of scholarships every year.
Scholarships and Traineeships
- The National Health Service Corps Program
- The Physician Assistant Foundation
- The U.S. Army Health Care team