Bethel PA Students Achieve 100% Pass Rate on Board Exam


Third year students in Bethel University’s Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies program have achieved a 100% pass rate on the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE) which certifies them to be licensed to practice medicine as a physician assistant.

     “The national average pass rate on the PANCE is 91%,” said Dr. Joseph Hames, Dean of Bethel’s College of Health Sciences. “So, needless to say, we could not be more pleased with our results.”

      The PANCE is a computer-based multiple-choice test comprising questions that assess basic medical and surgical knowledge. The test is given by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA), and is the final step in becoming a certified physician assistant or PA-C. To be eligible for PANCE, individuals must graduate from a program accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) as a Physician Assistant Program or a Surgeon Assistant Program.

     Just recently, the same third-year students had the fourth highest scores in the nation on the mock board examination known as the Physician Assistant Clinical Knowledge Rating and Assessment Tool (PACKRAT). Bethel students taking the examination exceeded the minimum passing requirement of 60% and collectively averaged a 72% score– well above the national average of 64%.

     Bethel University's Physician Assistant program's mission is to create opportunities for members of the learning community interested in health care to graduate as competent, caring healthcare professionals who practice medicine within an ethical framework grounded in Christian principles.

     Bethel’s PA program, which accepts 50 students each year, matriculates one class per year in January.

     A Master of Science degree in Physician Assistant Studies is conferred upon completion of the 27-month educational program. Bethel’s PA program consists of 12 months of didactic education and 15 months of clinical medicine experience.

     The Bethel University Physician Assistant program has been awarded continued accreditation through the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). Continued accreditation is an accreditation status granted when a currently accredited program is in compliance with the ARC-PA standards.

     For more information about the Bethel University Physician Assistant Program, go to and click on College of Health Sciences.