PA program recognized for pass rate

Baldwin Wallace is moving forward in many areas, especially healthcare. With the field changing and more professionals needed in the workplace, BW is finding the physician assistant program to be a vital one.

“A physician assistant can do a lot of what a physician can do…but they are under the supervision of a physician,” said Mark Gersten, M.D. of the P.A. program.

He said that physician assistants have a lot of autonomy when working. “The beauty of P.A.’s is they can do so many different things,” said Gersten.

The program is still somewhat in its infancy, only being in its fifth year. Regardless of its youth, the program has garnered attention through its 100% student passing rate of national certifying exams—the only P.A. program in Ohio to have such a record. Cleveland Magazine took notice. In an article from Nov. 2019, Cleveland Magazine highlighted the P.A. program filling the gap of the lack of primary care physicians.

“The number of physician assistants is on the rise,” wrote Bob Sandrick of Cleveland Magazine. He noted that the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects P.A. employment will grow by 31% between 2018 and 2028.

“P.A.’s are relatively new, but are quickly becoming crucial components to the healthcare team,” says Devvin La Barge, class president “Healthcare availability is often an issue. P.A.’s help address this shortage by being able to see their own patients and spend more time with them at a more cost-effective rate than seeing a physician.”

La Barge notes that this program is “very intense and rigorous” and three months shorter than most P.A. programs, at 24 months. In addition, the first-time 100% pass rate on the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam made BW’s program La Barge’s (and several other’s) first choice for a program.

With a decline in the number of primary care physicians, the increase of physician assistants is clearly good news. With BW’s successful and notable program, the healthcare field will gain many more capable professionals.