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Physician Assistant Program Wins AAPA National Medical Challenge Bowl

by Paige Hawk May 28, 2021

Not everyone can say they’ve won six national titles, but our Physician Assistant (PA) program now can. 

Second-year PA students Kayla Murawski ’20, Liz Genis, Emily Jacobson ’20, and alternate Sandy Krissinger won the 2021 American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) National Medical Challenge Bowl on May 24.

The Challenge Bowl is a quiz bowl style event for physician assistant (PA) students. Students are tested on a variety of medical topics and must answer questions quickly and accurately. 

Each year, second-year PA students try out for the DeSales Challenge Bowl Team. Four students are selected based on their knowledge, confidence, enthusiasm, and competitive drive. After months of preparation, this year’s team won the regional Challenge Bowl held in April before heading to the national competition. 

“I feel that I can speak for the whole DeSales PA program when I say that we are so proud of all of the dedication that these students put in to preparing for the Challenge Bowl,” says Jessica Schwartz, assistant professor. Schwartz serves as head coach of the Challenge Bowl team alongside co-coach Kathy Ehrhardt, assistant program director/academic coordinator. 

Due to the pandemic, this year’s AAPA National Medical Challenge Bowl was held virtually via Kahoot. While there was no live audience at the event, DeSales faculty and students held a watch party in person and on Zoom so that they didn’t miss the live stream coverage. The atmosphere was described as both exciting and tense, with plenty of cheering when the team won the national title. 

“Despite all of the challenges that they faced in their education with the COVID-19 pandemic, our students were able to rise to the top and win the national competition,” says Schwartz. “These four students represented DeSales University so well, and it really proves that all of the hard work that they and their classmates have been putting in over the past two years does pay off.” 

Learn more about the Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies program