Goals and Results: PA Program

Physician Assistant, M.S.M Program Goals

1. Recruit qualified individuals who successfully complete the Master of Science in Medicine degree at PLNU.

Rationale: The success of this program will be measured by the number of candidates completing the rigorous curriculum, and the PANCE pass rate indicating high-quality applicants.

Class ofCohortCum GPACum Sci GPAPCE HoursService Hours

Attrition Rate
 Class of 2023Class of 2024Class of 2025

Maximum entering class size
(as approved by ARC-PA)

Entering class size303134

* Attrition rate


**Graduation rate


* **Attrition and graduation rates will be reported after graduation of the inaugural class in December 2023 and updated annually thereafter. 

2. Maintain an accredited program that meets or exceeds the ARC-PA Standards for Accreditation of a Physician Assistant program ensuring that graduates have the requisite knowledge and skills for the practice of medicine as physician assistants.

Rationale: A quality education fosters innovation with teaching and learning opportunities tied to ongoing assessment to ensure graduates are prepared to enter into practice.

The program was awarded Provisional accreditation by the Accreditation Review Commission in March 2021.  We are scheduled for our next review in October 2023 for consideration at the March 2024 ARC-PA commission meeting.

3. Foster a commitment to service to medically underserved communities.

Rationale: Placing students in centers that provide care to underserved populations helps to ensure that our PA students understand and are prepared to address the multiple factors contributing to health care disparities.

As demonstrated below, the program meets this goal by placing all students in underserved and/or rural locations with the desire to foster a long-term commitment to this healthcare practice.  This commitment is realized through voluntary activities over the course of the didactic phase as well as placements in the Service month (August) and again in the Service elective clinical rotation.

Class of

% with service in didactic phase% with underserved clinical rotations

% with underserved clinical rotations


Students identify an issue from their service month and craft a small, achievable activity that contributes to a potential remedy which is then presented at the conclusion of their clinical year. Reflective papers written at the conclusion of the service elective, exit interviews with our graduates and subsequent employment with practices serving the underserved and marginalized will be collected and reviewed. Achievement of these goals will be updated annually.

4. Educate students in a collaborative team model that promotes critical thinking and medical problem-solving skills.

Rationale: Training health professions students together increases knowledge of and respect for other disciplines scope of practice, similarities in patient care and identifies potential areas of role overlap.

In addition to lecturers from a variety of disciplines (physical and occupational therapy, chiropractic, nursing, medicine, athletic training, integrative wellness and pharmacy) the first-year students participate in a multi-institution simulation (PLNU, UCSD, USD) activity which includes health professions students from these schools.  Student feedback on this activity were excellent and plans are currently underway for continuation and expansion of this activity this year.

5. Graduate students with PANCE pass rates above the national average.

Rationale: The military and federal health services as well as all 50 states require that PAs pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination in order to be licensed and practice.  

Achievement of this goal will be reported through the NCCPA PANCE performance data of the first class (2023) as provided by the NCCPA in early 2024.

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