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Springfield College '10 Physician Assistant Graduates Score Perfect Pass Rate on First Try on National Certifying Exam

November 8, 2010

SPRINGFIELD, Mass., Nov. 8, 2010 – Defying the odds, all graduates of the Springfield College physician assistant class of 2010 passed the national certification examination on their first try.

"It is highly unusual for an entire class to hit this mark, but four of the past five Springfield College classes did," said Charles M. Milch, chair of the Springfield College Physician Assistant Studies Department.

The first-time pass rate for individual students taking the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination is in the 91 to 94 percent range.

Milch said that all 19 members of the class had multiple job offers before graduation, with starting salaries ranging from $80,000 to $105,000. “Our physician assistant graduates are in very high demand. I get calls every week from employers," he added.

Many of the offers come from physicians' offices, hospitals, community health centers, and other healthcare facilities where the students have completed six-week clinical rotations. Their rotations are in all areas of medicine for 40 to 60 hours weekly during the final year of their education.

Springfield College offers a five-year dual-degree program in physician assistant studies, which blends academic learning with hands-on experience. Students complete a bachelor's degree in health sciences and begin professional preparation for the master's degree in physician assistant studies in the spring semester of their third year.

By graduation from the master's degree program, students have clinical training in family medicine, internal medicine, surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, psychiatry, emergency medicine, and other specialties, all supervised by a faculty of physicians and physician assistants.

Milch said that admission to the program is highly competitive. “We have the advantage of beginning with excellent students, and combine that with a state-of-the-art educational program taught by highly qualified faculty members. It's a perfect storm for a perfect pass rate on the first try."

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