Graduate Physician Assistant Students To Compete In National Medical Challenge Bowl

A team of Misericordia University physician assistant graduate students are competing in the 24th annual Student Academy National Medical Challenge Bowl at the American Academy of Physician Assistants Conference in Boston, Mass., in May.

Darci Brown, M. S. P. A. S., P. A. C., director of clinical education and assistant professor of physician assistant studies at Misericordia University, will lead her team comprised of students Jonathan Bastian, Jennifer Corcoran, Marcus Hodge, Jennifer Rizel, and Dayna Ruhf, Mountain Top.

Physician assistant programs from across the country face off annually in the high-energy medical quiz competition that follows a similar format to the television game show, Jeopardy. The event is coordinated by the Student Academy of the American Academy of Physician Assistants. The winning team receives a silver bowl, a banner and bragging rights for the year.

Misericordia University students were selected for the team after a screening process was completed based on academic standing. The team members also were nominated by their classmates. Prior to being named to the Challenge Bowl team, the students had to commit considerable time and effort to prepare for the competition. Students began to train in January. Two members of the firstyear class were named as alternates so the 2015 Challenge Bowl team gains invaluable experience.

The core team for Misericordia University is Corcoran, Rizel and Ruhf, while Bastian and Hodge are substitutes for the team. They will be competing against other physician assistant students from colleges and universities, like Stanford, Duke University, Wake Forest, Quinnipiac, Toledo and DeSales. The Stanford University team won the 2013 Student Academy National Medical Challenge Bowl.

The Misericordia University Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies program offers two tracks for students to complete the program. At the graduate level, students who already hold a bachelor’s degree and meet other entrance requirements can complete the master’s program in 24 months. The five-year combined Bachelor of Science in Medical Science and Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies is available for first-year students as a 3+2-year course of study. The program is offered through the College of Arts and Sciences. Coursework for both undergraduate and graduate students in the program begins in August with the start of the new academic year.

The Misericordia physician assistant program prepares students for clinical practice as well as leadership in the medical community. Through a sequence of specialized, medically-based courses, students will learn how to evaluate and treat medical problems in ambulatory medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, psychiatry, surgery, women’s health and emergency medicine.