LR’s inaugural Physician Assistant class receives 100 percent pass rate

Troy Marrow
LRU's 2018 PA Class


HICKORY, N.C. – Lenoir-Rhyne University’s Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies program recently announced its inaugural cohort received a 100 percent pass rate on the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination.

The inaugural class graduated 29 students in May of this year. This first student cohort entered the program in January 2016 in conjunction with the grand opening of the Wayne B. Powell Health Sciences Complex. The facility, located in Hickory’s revitalized University Mill District, provides state-of-the-art, advanced, graduate-level training for medical and health care professionals.

“Teamwork on the part of an experienced and knowledgeable faculty and staff along with the hard work put in by our students were essential ingredients for success,” said Richard Ball, DHSc, chair of the PA program. “Our students are provided with comprehensive clinical curriculum that prepares them to pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam.”

According to Michael McGee, Ed.D., dean of the College of Health Sciences, students gain much of their hands-on experience in a variety of local inpatient and outpatient settings which are offered close to campus for convenience of the student.

“Achieving a 100 percent pass rate for the inaugural PA cohort is a true testament to the partnerships we share with the local medical community which provide an excellent foundation for student learning,” McGee said. “In addition to Lenoir-Rhyne’s high caliber faculty and staff, many medical professionals in the Unifour area serve as guest lecturers and clinical preceptors. I would like to congratulate all of the students and thank the many individuals who helped our inaugural PA cohort reach this important milestone.”

LR’s PA program is a 110-credit hour program with a 27-month, year-round cohort experience. Curriculum includes a 15-month didactic phase which requires 68 credit hours for completion along with the clinical learning phase which requires 42 credit hours for completion. During the program’s 12-month clinical learning phase, students complete clinical practice experiences in areas such as family/primary care, internal medicine, psychiatry/behavioral medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics, and gynecology/women’s health, and emergency medicine.

In January 2018, the PA program’s third cohort of students began their journey at LR, a class of approximately 45 students. The program’s second cohort of students, a class of approximately 36 students, will graduate in May 2019.

LR’s PA Program Mission Statement

The Mission of the Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies Program is to educate highly qualified physician assistants from diverse faith, geographic, socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds; preparing them to become competent and compassionate health care professionals, providing quality health care to diverse populations in medically underserved areas locally, nationally and internationally.

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