WSU Department of Physician Assistant Report Card


Excellence in PA Education since 1972

  • One of the oldest PA programs in the nation, we have graduated more than 1,400 PAs since 1972.
  • The Program’s rigorous and ongoing self-assessment process helps us identify and correct Program weaknesses.
  • We have high expectations of ourselves and students and we work hard to help our students achieve excellence.

NCCPA Certification Exam (PANCE) - Pass Rate for First-Time Takers

Pass Rate for First-Time Takers Table
Year WSU Ave National Ave
2013 98% ↑ 94% ↑
2014 98% ↑ 95% ↑
2015 98% ↑ 96% ↑
2016 100% ↑ 96% ↑
2017 100% ↑ pending
5-year Average 98% ↑ 95%

Our students also perform above the national average on other standardized measures of medical knowledge such as the PACKRAT and End-of-Rotation exams.

Enthusiastic Learning Environment

  • Our student exit survey shows 93% of our graduates were satisfied or highly satisfied with their education and 98% felt we met our goal of transforming them into highly competent PAs.
  • Student ratings for 86% of PA courses and 78% of faculty are at or above University averages (last 3-yrs).
  • Faculty make themselves available to the students.
  • We use simulation to augment classroom instruction.

Outstanding Research Curriculum

Student Research Publication and Poster Rate

*Due to publication lag time, most recent 2 classes are not yet reported

  • We have a long, successful record of student research and publication – arguably the strongest in the nation.
  • Clinical research has the power to improve patients’ lives and at WSU, many of our students contribute to that body of knowledge by co-authoring with faculty.
  • Student research publication rate is 21% (5-yr ave).
  • Professional poster presentation rate is 20% (5-yr ave).

Experiential Learning Credit System (PA Passport)

Becoming an excellent PA involves more than treating a disease. Every WSU PA student engages in experiential learning in research, service, professionalism, and interprofessional education.

Service-Learning Leaders

To provide excellent healthcare we must attempt to meet and understand the needs of the patient, family, and community.

Every WSU PA student performs volunteer community service.

  • Our rate of 100% engagement far exceeds the College rate of 50% and the University rate of 25%.
  • Faculty-led initiatives include the Senior Mentor Program; Give-Kids-a-Smile fluoride varnish clinic; United Way Homeless Count; Ready Set Fit health education for elementary children; health topic presentations at a socioeconomically distressed high school; and many others.
  • Every year our students leave their mark by taking the initiative to develop their own opportunities to engage with and support the community.

Collaborative Interprofessional Care

  • Providing excellent healthcare requires a patient-centered, evidence-based, interprofessional team approach.
  • Every WSU PA student engages in opportunities to learn about, from, and with other healthcare professionals during their didactic education and on clinical rotations.

Primary Care, Rural, & Underserved

  • Learning medicine in rural areas allows our students to see it all and really get to know their patients and community.
  • Every WSU PA student completes at least 12 weeks of rotations in primary care and 12 weeks in rural areas.
  • Our alumni chose to practice in rural and underserved communities at 4 times the national rate, 45% vs. 12% nationally.
  • Our alumni practice in primary care at 1.5 times the national rate, 46% vs. 28% nationally.

Strong Employement Opportunities

  • Employers love our graduates - Employers rate our graduates as 4.8 out of 5.0 for knowledge, patient management skills, overall preparation as a PA and probability of hiring a WSU PA if there were an opening.
  • Jobs are waiting for our graduates - By the time our students graduate, 80% say they already have a job lined up or have multiple offers.
  • The typical WSU PA student graduates with about half the amount of student loan debt as compared to the national average for PA students and starting salaries for our graduates are highly competitive.