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Physician Assistant Studies aims to recruit non-traditional students with special attention to North Carolina residents and veterans, provide inter-professional learning experiences as a cornerstone for future practice, create an educational environment that fosters inter-professionalism as a cornerstone of learning and practice, educate lifelong medical learners in a generalist curriculum which promotes practice in rural and urban medically underserved populations of North Carolina and beyond, and graduate medical learners who possess the knowledge and skills required to practice as physician assistants in a wide range of clinical practice settings.

Click to view Measures and Outcomes1. Recruit and enroll non-traditional students1 with special attention to veterans2 and North Carolina residents
Measures of Success Outcomes
Recruitment events for non-traditional and veteran applicants Informational sessions are held throughout the year (average of at least 3 per year, including participation in PAEA informational sessions) to broadly advertise to prospective applicants. New initiatives are currently under development with a focus on non-traditional & military applicants
Percentage of non-traditional and veteran admitted students From 2018 – 2023, admitted students included:

35% Non-Traditional Classification
15% Military
71% North Carolina Residents

Percentage of non-traditional and veteran applicants Applicants for the classes of 2023 and 2024 included:

12% Non-Traditional Classification
5% Military
42% North Carolina Residents

2. Provide an inter-professional learning environment that prepares students to work collaboratively in interprofessional teams
Measures of Success Outcomes
Number of IPE course sessions Over 40 course sessions with interprofessional education in the preclinical year and in Clinical Seminar course series (as defined by course instructor from a different profession or interprofessional learner groups)
Number of IPE student group interactions Students interact with prehealth students from a variety of disciplines, including: nursing, dentistry, pharmacy, medicine, physical therapy, along with other prehealth learners, such as medical residents, medical fellows, nurse practitioner students, physical therapy residents
Number of UNC Schools & School of Medicine departments represented by instructional faculty UNC School of Pharmacy, UNC School of Nursing, UNC School of Public Health and UNC School of Social Work; Departments within School of Medicine: Anesthesiology, Cell Biology & Physiology, Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, Health Sciences, Microbiology & Immunology, Neurology, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Orthopedics, Otolaryngology/Head & Neck Surgery, Pediatrics, Pharmacology, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Pulmonology, Psychiatry, Radiology, Surgery, Urology
Number of professions represented by instructional faculty 12  (PA, MD, DO, NP, PhD, RN, DPT, LCSW, MSW, RT, CGC, LCMHC)
3. Graduate medical learners who possess the knowledge and skills required to practice as physician assistants
Measures of Success Outcomes
5 year first-time test taker PANCE performance First-time test-taker PANCE pass rate is 97% with the classes of 2021 and 2022 with 100% first-time test-taker PANCE pass rate.
Graduate & alumni surveys Graduates strongly agreed (4.75/5) they were well-prepared to practice in interprofessional patient-centered teams
All-Time PANCE performance 100% All-Time PANCE Pass Rate
4. Prepare students for practice in rural and urban medically underserved populations
Measures of Success Outcomes
Graduate & alumni surveys Graduates strongly agreed (4.47/5) they were prepared for community-based or rural practice. They also strongly agreed (4.6/5) the program provided a strong foundation for primary care.
Clinical site placements 19 of 20 students completed at least one rotation at a Tier 1 designated site in 2023. Tier 1 designation is reserved for counties in NC that are most distressed in terms of economic factors and are reflective of medically underserved counties in the state.

1 UNC-CH classifies non-traditional status to applicants with two or more years of an alternative career trajectory prior to preparation for PA school, and/or greater than 29 years of age.  (Non-Traditional classification is typically defined by greater than 24 years of age by most institutions.)
2 UNC specifically recruits veterans who served in a medical capacity.
3 Likert Scale 1 – Strongly Disagree to 5 – Strongly Agree

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