On Friday, October 19, students from the DeSales University Physician Assistant (PA) program won the State Challenge Bowl, held by the Pennsylvania Society Physician Assistants (PSPA) in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.
Teams from colleges and universities with PA programs compete against one another in a medical question and answer format. DeSales came in first place with St. Francis University and Seton Hill University coming in second and third place respectively. The score in the final round was DeSales 110 to St. Francis 40. Other teams that competed were Chatham University, Lock Haven University, University of Pittsburgh, Drexel University, Penn College of Technology, and Philadelphia University.
This is the third consecutive year DeSales student won the state Challenge Bowl and previously DeSales won the title consecutively from 2000 to 2006. Members of this year’s team were graduate students Jenna Diasio of Jamison, Pa., Caitlin Trovato of Bethlehem, Pa., Andrew Slocum of Shavertown, Pa., and Danielle Hackett of Doylestown, Pa.
DeSales academic coordinator and assistant professor Kathleen L. Ehrhardt, MMS, PA-C, was the faculty advisor for this year’s DeSales Challenge Bowl team. In May, the team will go to the National Medical Challenge Bowl in Washington, D.C. DeSales has previously won 5 national titles, three of which were consecutive. No PA program has ever won more than two national titles.
Physician Assistants are licensed medical professionals who work under the supervision of licensed physicians. They practice in both general and specialty medicine and surgery, and perform routine duties normally reserved for physicians.
There are a total of 170 Physician Assistant Programs in the nation, with 18 of those accredited programs being located in Pennsylvania. The highly regarded PA Program at DeSales first admitted students in 1997. Since its inception, a total of 13 classes have graduated from the DeSales PA Program. Graduates of the program have consistently ranked first in the nation in the national standardized in-training examination known as the PACKRAT (Physician Assistant Clinical Knowledge Rating Assessment Test). Currently, 100% of DeSales PA graduates pass the board.
For more information regarding the Challenge Bowl, contact Kathleen Ehrhardt, academic coordinator and assistant professor of the physician assistant program, at 610.282.1100, ext. 1483.
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