Program Spotlight

Featured PA Program – OU-OKC  

 

The University of Oklahoma-OKC Physician Associate Program has observed many changes in the last year related to personnel, curriculum, and student applicants. The following faculty and staff members have joined the program since January 2015: Joey Medina, MHS, PA-C, Director for Clinical Education (January 2015); Johnna Yealy, MPAS, PA-C, Director for Evaluation and Assessment (February 2015); Debbie Peters, Senior Administrative Assistant (May 2015); Chris Miller, Ph.D., Faculty (May 2015); Darlla Duniphin, MHS, PA-C, Clinical Coordinator (August 2015); John Anglin, MHS, PA-C, Faculty (September 2015); Lauren Ukleya, BS, Student Program Coordinator (October 2015); and Kyle Dziadula, BS, Student Program Coordinator (November 2015). We currently have two faculty openings for a director for didactic education and a principal teaching faculty member.

The curriculum changes relate to reducing the length of the program by three months with the cohort enrolling in June 2016 [pending Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistants (ARC-PA)].  Approvals have already been granted by the institution and state regulators. The 15-month clinical curriculum will be reduced to 12 months. Applicants have been notified of the update and it is reflected in our advisement session online at ouhsc.edu/paprogram. The current application cycle is in process with a 75 percent increase in applicants. This is the first time in the history of the program that we have used CASPA (Central Application Service for Physician Assistants) for prospective students to apply. Entrance characteristics remain stable in regards to age and grade point average; however, the recently selected class of 50 students was more ethnically diverse. This past year’s PANCE first time past rate is 98 percent with one student left to take the exam for the first time. The scores are consistent with the program’s five-year first time pass rate of 99 percent, which is 5 percentage points higher than the national average. This year’s class will take the exam December 2015.

OAPA’s membership will be pleased to hear institutional leadership has increased the PA Program budget by 80 percent while many other programs in the college received a cut this fiscal year. This demonstrates substantial progress in bringing the program into alignment with the national average. We continue to lower the student-to-faculty ratio to approach the national average. The reports to ARC-PA have all been accepted and a focused site visit is scheduled for July 7-8, 2016, with a decision anticipated in Sept. 2016. The program is confident the changes being implemented will remove the program from probation. In the interim, we continue to attract and train the best students the region has to offer. Thank you for the opportunity to update the membership on the University of Oklahoma-OKC Physician Associate Program.

 

Todd J. Doran, Ed.D., PA-C, DFAAPA

Associate Professor and Division Chief and Program Director

Physician Associate Program, the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center