By Elise Herrera-Green

The class of 2013 of the Physician Assistant Program at USC, comprised of 50 graduates, received a 100 percent pass rate for first-time test takers on the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE).

“These graduates dedicated their entire educational experience to achieving excellence,” said Kevin Lohenry, PhD, PA-C, director, division of physician assistant studies in the Keck School of Medicine of USC. “It’s really a testament to the graduates, but also to the faculty and staff who provided outstanding education throughout the 33-month program.”

Preparation for the PANCE exam begins from the first day with didactic education and clinical education. They are prepped at the end of their final semester with a weeklong PANCE review.

Physician Assistant students from USC frequently have a high pass rate for first-time test takers on the PANCE, earning a 98 percent last year with a 96 percent five-year average. The five-year national average pass rate for first-time test takers is 93 percent.