Union College values the physician assistant certification process established by the National Commission on the Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA). However, we recognize that the PA National Certification Examination (PANCE) primarily demonstrates an individual's test-taking skills. We further believe that the PANCE, while vital, is not a fully adequate measure of a PA's ability to provide high quality and compassionate health care to patients.
Union College is committed to the goal of 100 percent first-time pass rates for all PA graduates; however, we are willing to admit a student to the PA Program who may face academic challenges but also demonstrates the high potential of being an excellent clinician, typically based on maturity, life experience, and an overt commitment to health care.
While the PANCE scores are important to the evaluation of students and our program curriculum, we also recommend the following data reports to the observer, which we believe provides a more complete picture of our program and graduates.
Comments from our graduates' employers, six to twelve months after graduation (Classes 2007-2011):
- "This is a superb physician assistant who gives excellent patient care and asks for assistance appropriately."
- "This is one of the most outstanding individuals I have met. If all graduates are like Ms.____, send me more."
- "Very impressive graduates indicative of an incredible program! Thank you."
- "Good clinical judgment."
- "He was able to hit the ground running and is a hard worker."
- "Top-notch person, who is invaluable to my team."
- "Professional and courteous. We are thrilled to have her."
- "She is a star - I suggest you use her as the model of what to shoot for."
"What are the strengths of the PA Program at Union College?" (responses from graduates, Class of 2011):
- "Personal attention and relationships formed with faculty."
- "Very good hands-on experience. We have the best physical exam skills of any program."
- "Focusing on Christian-based values of medical providers."
- "Small class size allows for more personal experience. The schedule is conducive for learning without being inundated with information."
- "Faculty that take a personal interest in the success of their students."
- "Staff support through prayers and encouragement."
"What do you consider to be the greatest strength of the Union College PA Program?" (responses from graduates, Class of 2010):
- "The small size and individual help you can receive from teachers, also the close knit class."
- "Faith-based, family atmosphere. Quality instruction from practicing physicians and PAs."
- "Strong support from PA program faculty."
- "Faith-based approach and ethical/faith considerations involved in decision-making related to health care."
- "Students' ability to interact and ask questions of staff."
- "Christ-modeled practice."
- "Well-prepared for PANCE."