The Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Physician Assistant Program bases its program goals on the mission and vision of the program. What follows are the Program’s goals and information supporting how the physician assistant program is meeting these goals.
- A graduate survey is conducted annually to determine employment rates, medical specialties of graduates, location and practice setting.
- The program conducts continuous analysis of didactic curriculum
- Analysis of supervised clinical practice experience (SCPE) to ensure breadth of exposure to lifespan and diverse populations.
- Analysis of student and graduate performance data on standardized tests
- PACKRAT Scores
- End of Rotation Examination
- PANCE Scores
|Graduating Cohort||First-Year Students||Second-Year Students|
|NU Mean||National Mean||NU Mean||National Mean|
|Class of 2016||Class of '16|
|Class of '16|
|Class of '16|
|Class of 2017||Class of '17|
|Class of '17|
PAEA End of Rotation Exams
Class of 2016
|Specialty||NU Mean||National Mean|
PANCE Exam Scores
|NU Overall Class|
|NU 1st Time|
- Problem-based learning (PBL) curriculum:
- The problem-based learning (PBL), organized by organ system, is the centerpiece of the curriculum.
- The PA students develop skills required for a career of self-directed and life-long learning.
- Learning goals are established by individuals and members of small groups.
- Students then practice team-teaching during three weekly small group sessions.
- Within each team, information is exchanged, patients assessed, problems identified and management plans determined.
- Student must complete a variety of self assessments throughout the didactic year.
- The Mastering Medical Information course provides the students with the skills to be intelligent consumers of medical literature and translate the information into the care of patients.
- The students complete an evidence-based medicine Capstone Project.
- During every clinical rotation each student is required to complete a midpoint self evaluation of clinical performance.
- Students complete online patient-centered communication learning modules.
- Instruction provided by individuals representing a wide variety of health professions
- Interprofessional education and learning activities throughout the didactic year:
- Pharmacy students
- Medical students
- Prosthetics and Orthotics students
- Physical Therapy students
- Nursing students
- Clinical year interprofessional teamwork during the SCPEs
- Students are members of the medical special interest groups.
- Students take part in campus-wide learning opportunities.
- National, state and specialty PA organizations leadership, recognition, and participation:
- NU PA students developed and maintain by-laws, policies and procedures as a chartered and recognized student society of the AAPA. Within this organization, each cohort of students elect class members to serve in a variety of leadership roles. In these roles they serve: the interests of their classmates and the PA profession, to collaborate with other Feinberg School of Medicine student organizations; and to liaise with PA Program faculty and staff.
- Students have served as the NU PA representative to the Assembly of Representatives (AOR) of the Student Academy of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (SAAAPA).
- Students have served as the NU PA student representative to the Illinois Academy of Physician Assistants (IAPA).
- Each class elects a member to serve as a student representative to the Illinois Academy of Physician Assistants.
- Students have served as the national student representatives to the Physician Assistant specialty organization.
- The NU PA Program provides some funding to assist students elected to serve in the SAAAPA’s AOR.
- Three students from the class of 2016 had posters accepted for presentation at Illinois Council of Health System Pharmacists Annual Conference.
- Laura Gonzalez, Class of 2016, we selected as a member of the inaugural class of the PAEA Future Educators Fellowship
- National , regional and local PA leaders are invited to NU for speaking engagements each year.
- Community Service examples include:
- Chicago Marathon Medical Unit
- Dr. Jorge Prieto Family Health Center Back to School Health Fair
- PA Career sessions for high school, college, and other students
- Girls in the Game: a leading girls' health and fitness organization in Chicago. Throughout the academic year, PA students worked with students to empower them to make healthier choices and develop the confidence and leadership skills needed to succeed on and off the field.
- NU PA students are also involved in a number of special interest groups on the Feinberg School of Medicine campus. These special interest groups allow the students additional opportunities to learn more about specific areas of medicine and health care. Students participate in the Women’s Health, Family Medicine, and a wide variety of other special interest groups. Working with medical students, faculty, and others the physician assistant students obtain additional experiences and opportunities in these select areas.
- The Chicago Night Ministry – providing services and care to homeless and at-risk populations.
- American Academy of Physician Assistants in Asthma, Allergy and Immunology scholarship
- PAEA Future Educator Fellowship
- Keep Your Heart Healthy volunteers
- Spark Mentorship volunteers
- Muchin College Prep HS - student mentoring program
- Scholarship honors and Fellowship awards:
- A member of the Class of 2013 - National Health Service Corps scholar.
- A member of the Class of 2013 was accepted into the Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP) of the US Navy.
- Northwestern Memorial Hospital annually awards one full tuition scholarship to former employees of the institution. Five students have received this award since its inception.
- Graduate fellowships were awarded students by the Alumnae of Northwestern University in 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016.]
- PA Veterans Caucus Scholarship recipient
- To maintain high faculty standards the program assists the faculty in development of educational and clinical skills. Northwestern University Searle Center for Teaching Excellence offers a number of workshops and materials to assist the faculty in enhancing and developing teaching and evaluation skills.
- Two of the PA program faculty members were inaugural members of the Feinberg Academy of Medical Educators (FAME). FAME plays a critical role in supporting initiatives in faculty development, educational innovation, and the recognition of outstanding teaching.
- PA faculty and staff members also attend a number of local and national meetings to enhance their knowledge in both clinical and educational topics. Faculty and staff members may attend annual meetings of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, Illinois Academy of Physician Assistants, American Society of Nephrology, National Association of Graduate Admissions Professionals and meeting of the Physician Assistant Educator Association.
- PA program faculty and staff are also members of a number of national organizations including: AAPA, PAEA, American Public Health Association, Society of Critical Care, Society of Hospital Medicine, American Association of Anatomists, ACOG, STFM, ACP, SEMPA, Am Society of Health systems pharmacists, IL Council of Health System Pharmacists.
- Program personnel participate in legislative efforts within the Illinois government.
- Collaboration with the IHHSA and other professional associations
- Students engage in PA profession promotional activities during PA Week.
- A number of regional colleges and universities are visited annually to describe and discuss the benefits of the Physician Assistant career. Universities visited include University of Illinois-Chicago, Northeastern Illinois University, Benedictine University, Loyola University, Chicago State University, University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign, University of Michigan, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and others.