Skip to main content
Pharmacy & Health Sciences Building
PA Program

PA Program Goals

Goal 1: Select highly qualified applicants through the admissions process who will successfully complete our PA program.

On-Campus Interview Process for Admission Candidates

Multiple mini-interviews are used during the on-campus interviews of graduate student applicants. Candidates complete a series of task-oriented and interview based stations designed to evaluate various non-cognitive attributes necessary to be successful within the Program and/or discernment to the PA profession. Candidates are evaluated by College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences faculty, staff, alumni, active preceptors, and/or community based PAs.

Summary of Attrition Rates

The PA Program closely monitors attrition rates, as our ultimate goal is to graduate everyone we accept into the Program. The desired benchmark is an attrition rate of less than 5% which we have maintained over the past 5 years. There is a 1.3% average attrition rate for the three most recent graduating classes (Classes of 2014, 2015, and 2016), and 3% average attrition rate for the current class cohorts (Classes of 2017 and 2018).

 

Goal 2: Provide a quality educational experience that provides students with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes for entry-level practice as PAs.

Rating of Curriculum Instruction

Each year, students who are about to graduate are asked to rate curricular instruction in various topics as identified in the ARC-PA Standards. According to the classes of 2015 - 2017 PA Exit Survey, the average student rating on the item, “My level of confidence in my preparation to enter PA practice and provide medical care under the supervisor and direction of a physician” was  4.2 for 2015, 4.4 for 2016, and 4.3 for 2017 on a rating scale ranging from 1 = “strongly disagree” to 5.0 = “strongly agree.”  Our Program’s benchmark is an average rating of 3.0 or higher.

Summary of PACKRAT Performance

In eight of the last ten years, Butler's didactic year PA classes have exceed the national average on the end-Didactic PACKRAT examination. In nine of the last ten years, Butler’s experiential year PA classes have exceeded the national average on the end-Program PACKRAT examination. Based on the data from 2017 PACKRAT examination that was administered on April 4, 2017, areas of particular strength for Butler students include Scientific Concepts, Diagnosis and Diagnostic Studies. Of note, Butler PA students also exceeded the national average for 12 of 13 organ system sections on the end-Program PACKRAT exam that was administered on April 4, 2017.

Summary of Student Rotation Evaluations by Preceptors

Over the past two years, our clinical preceptors have rated their level of agreement with how well our experiential year PA students perform in each of the following areas: elicit medical histories, perform physical examinations, order and apply the results of clinical tests, diagnostic reasoning, procedural competency, patient management and education, maintenance of medical records, professionalism, and preparedness for entry into clinical practice. Preceptor ratings have been at or above an average Likert rating of 4.4 out of 5.0 (where 1 = strongly disagree to 5 = strongly agree) in each of the above areas. Our Program benchmark is an average rating of 3.0 or higher.

Summary of PANCE Performance

First-attempt PANCE pass rates for Butler PA students were 100% (Class of 2015), 98% (Class of 2016), and 99% (Class of 2017).  These pass rates exceed the national average for all PA programs which were 96%, 96%, and 97%, respectively. 

Our 2016 MPAS Graduates scored at or above the national average on each of the following PANCE Systems/Task areas:  Cardiovascular, EENT, Endocrine, Gastrointestinal/Nutrition, Genitourinary, Hematologic, Infectious Diseases, Musculoskeletal, Psychiatric/Behavioral, Pulmonary, Reproductive, Applying Scientific Concepts, Clinical Intervention, Formulating Most Likely Diagnosis, Health Maintenance, Taking and Performing Physical Exams, Pharmaceutical Therapeutics, and Using Lab and Diagnostic Studies.

5-Year First Time PANCE Rates 1/2018

Goal 3: Provide an educational experience that prepares our graduates to provide primary care in a wide variety of clinical settings.

Summary of Clinical Rotation Requirements

Our PA students complete clinical rotations in the following specialties: emergency medicine, family medicine, general surgery, internal medicine, mental health, pediatrics, and women's health. Emergency medicine, family medicine, and internal medicine are a total of 8 weeks in length. General surgery, mental health, and pediatrics are 4 weeks long. Additionally, each student selects an elective rotation of their choice that is 4 weeks in duration. These clinical experiences allow all of our students to have exposure to inpatient, outpatient, operating room and emergency department settings over the course of the curriculum.  

Practice Settings of Recent Program Graduates

Based upon responses on employment surveys of our three most recently graduated classes, 122 (80%) accepted their first PA position in non-surgical practice, and 31 (21%) in surgical practice—20% of the non-surgical practices were in primary care, 36% in non-primary care, and 24% in internal medicine. Overall, the 5 most common practice areas of our recent graduates were emergency medicine/urgent care (33%), hospitalist (11%), family medicine (10%), orthopedic surgery/Sports Medicine/Orthopedics (9%), and general internal medicine (8%).

Goal 4: Help our students develop a sensitivity that will allow them to effectively work with patients who are different than they.

Ways in which cultural sensitivity is encouraged during the didactic phase of training

In addition to 100% of all students passing the Social and Behavioral Medicine course that includes a curriculum focusing, in part, on the spiritual and cultural aspects of the patient, students participate in activities such as:

  • Long Term Care Facility interaction
  • Neonatal experiences
  • Jewish Community Center/Indianapolis Public School Lab School Wellness Evaluations
  • Interaction with HIV/AIDS Patients
  • Rural hospital experiences--Johnson Memorial Hospital
  • Service outreach activities to assist underserved areas of our community
  • Working with an interpreter
  • College and community health screening fair providing education and screenings

Demographics of Patients Seen by Students on Clinical Rotations

Demographics of patients seen

Indiana data obtained from US Census Bureau: Indiana Stats Census http://www.stats.indiana.edu/c2k/asr_frame.html 

The patient populations seen by our students while on clinical rotations are reflective of, and consistent with, the Indiana residents we serve.  Our students learn from and evaluate patients of both genders, all ages and many ethnicities. 

Ratings on Exit Surveys Regarding Sensitivity to Diversity

On PA Exit Surveys administered to students one month prior to Program completion, students from the classes of 2015, 2016, and 2017 rated their level of agreement to how well the Program met the terminal student learning outcome, “Help our students develop a sensitivity that will allow them to effectively work with patients who are different than they” as 4.2, 4.6, and 4.4, respectively. The rating scale for this item ranged from 1 = strongly disagree to 5 = strongly agree. The Program benchmark is an average rating of 3.0 or higher.

On PA Exit Surveys administered to students one month prior to Program completion, students from the classes of 2015, 2016, and 2017 rated their level of agreement with the statement, “The PA Program fostered an awareness and understanding of other cultures and beliefs,” as 3.8, 4.4, and 4.1, respectively. The rating scale for this item ranged from 1 = strongly disagree to 5 = strongly agree. The Program benchmark is an average rating of 3.0 or higher.

Goal 5: Maintain our status as the longest accredited PA program in the state of Indiana.

Accreditation Program List

The Butler University PA Program is the longest accredited PA program in the state of Indiana as demonstrated on the Accredited PA Programs list published by ARC-PA. 

Accreditation Status

The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued status to the Butler University PA Program sponsored by Butler University. Accreditation-Continued is an accreditation status granted when a currently accredited program is in compliance with the ARC-PA Standards.

Accreditation remains in effect until the Program closes or withdraws from the accreditation process or until accreditation is withdrawn for failure to comply with the Standards. The approximate date for the next validation review of the Program by the ARC-PA will be March 2027. The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Accreditation Standards and ARC-PA policy.

Goal 6: Promote professionalism, leadership and service of students and faculty.

How Student Professionalism is Evaluated

The faculty members of the PA Program recognize their responsibility to present candidates for the PA degree who have the knowledge and skills to function in a wide variety of clinical situations and render a broad spectrum of patient care, including expected professionalism. 

In all interactions, both face-to-face and electronically, students are required to exhibit professional behavior towards other students, Butler University administration, faculty/staff, patients, and clinical preceptors. Professionalism is a required component of each course in the curriculum. During their orientation session, students are advised of the Program's expectations of professionalism. Furthermore, every student is evaluated for professional behavior throughout the PA Program.

On preceptor evaluations, preceptors rated their level of agreement with the statement, “The student demonstrated an appropriate level of professionalism in all areas including, but not necessarily limited to, dress, demeanor, and punctuality,” as 4.84 for the Class of 2015, 4.88 for the Class of 2016, and 4.9 for the Class of 2017 (using a Likert rating scale where 1 = strongly disagree to 5.0 = strongly agree). Our Program benchmark is an average rating of 3.0 or higher.

The following are average student ratings from the PA Classes of 2015 through 2017 regarding their extent of agreement with professionalism-related statements on the PA Exit Survey.  Ratings are based upon a Likert scale where 1 = strongly disagree to 5.0 = strongly agree, using a Program benchmark of 3.0 or higher:

  • PA Faculty members served as good role models for professionalism: 4.5 (Class of 2015), 4.9 (Class of 2016), 4.5 (Class of 2017)
  • Clinical preceptors served as good role models for professionalism: 4.2 (Class of 2015), 4.6 (Class of 2016), 4.5 (Class of 2017)
  • The PA Program fostered professional behavior: 4.4 (Class of 2015), 4.9 (Class of 2016), 4.4 (Class of 2017)
  • The PA Program fostered development of professional relationships:  4.2 (Class of 2015), 4.9 (Class of 2016), 4.3 (Class of 2017)

Ways in which Professionalism is Encouraged during PA Training

Participation in white coat ceremony

This annual celebration recognizes students' entry into the professional phase of the PA Program. Students and their families attend this ceremony during which students receive their first white coat, which has been donated by alumni, faculty, staff, and friends of the college.

Honor Code

Ethical conduct is one of the most important attributes of a competent health care professional.  Students are accountable for their own professional behavior.  They are also charged with reporting to the Program any unprofessional behavior or infractions of this honor code on the part of others.  All students sign an Honor Code indicating they agree to uphold professional behavior.

Class Oath

The PA Class Oath was initiated in 2013 to make a real impact on the meaning of the MPAS degree and on the role the physician assistant students play. While other PA programs and professions have certain guiding oaths/principles/pledges that are administered at graduation or after passing certain professional examinations, the PA students who design the Class Oath believe the purpose is to set a new standard of Professionalism while being a student. 

Once completed, students who sign the PA Class Oath join a group of like-minded students who believe in a greater purpose that your training will provide. 

The Oath is established to be a voluntary pledge that students opt to sign.  The Butler PA Program believes that the Oath will have more meaning if the participation is self-driven by those who have considered thoughtfully the tenets of the Oath.  The Oath is to raise the bar on what the PA degree means and what the profession should hold itself accountable to.

MPAS Class of 2018 Oath

Direct Admit Class of 2018 Oath

MPAS Class of 2019 Oath

How Students and Faculty Promote Leadership, Service, and Professionalism

Students:
  • Annually, two students serve on the Indiana Academy of Physician Assistant Board of Directors. 
  • Seventeen students have published in peer reviewed national journals
  • 5 students have presented scholarly findings at national meetings
  • Dozens of students have lobbied at the state capital and seven students have lobbied in our Nation's capital to advance PA legislation. 
  • These were all done while attending Butler University PA Program!
Faculty:

Lori Fauquher

  • President, Indiana Academy of Physician Assistants (IAPA) (2012)
  • Vice President, IAPA (2011)
  • Director at Large, IAPA (2009, 2010)
  • Continuing Medical Education Co-Chair, IAPA (2007, 2008)
  • Continuing Medical Education Chair, IAPA (2005, 2006)

Jennifer Guthrie

  • Vice President, Indiana Academy of Physician Assistants (IAPA) (2015, 2016)
  • Indiana Area Health Education Centers Board Member (Aug. 2014-present)
  • Director at Large, IAPA (2003, 2004)
  • Continuing Medical Education Chair, IAPA (2002, 2004, 2009, 2010)

Chris Roman

  • President, Indiana Academy of Physician Assistants (IAPA) (2017)
  • Member of Continuing Medical Education Committee for Indiana Academy of Physician Assistants (IAPA) (2014, 2015, 2016)
  • Member of Legislative Committee for IAPA (2014, 2015)
  • Director at Large, IAPA (2014, 2015)
  • Membership Committee Chair, IAPA (2014, 2015)
  • Treasurer, IAPA (2015–2016)

Betsy Schmidt

  • Exam Development Board, Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA) 

Jennifer Snyder

  • Past President, Board of Directors, Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA) (2017)
  • Standing Rules Committee, American Academy of PAs (AAPA)
  • President (IAPA) (2001-2002)
  • Numerous Indiana Academy of Physician Assistants, AAPA, Physician Assistant Foundation (PAF), and PAEA National Committees
  • Distinguished Fellow of the American Academy of PAs

Matt Stinson

  • President, Indiana Academy of Physician Assistants (IAPA) (2009)
  • Vice President, IAPA (2007)

Dan Sturm

  • House of Delegates, American Academy of PAs (AAPA) (2018)
  • Continuing Medical Education Chair, Indiana Academy of Physician Assistants (2014, 2015, 2016)

Jennifer Zorn

  • President Elect, Indiana Academy of Physician Assistants (IAPA) (2017)
  • Scholarship & Awards Committee Co-Chair, Indiana Academy of Physician Assistants (IAPA)
  • Membership Committee, Member, IAPA
Alumni:

Indiana Academy Physician Assistants

President:
Matt Stinson
Jennifer Snyder
David Allaben
Andrew Nord
Jason Kolkmeier

President Elect:

Mike Roscoe

Vice President:
Jason Kolkmeier
Jennifer Guthrie
Matt Stinson

Treasurer:
Jason Montgomery
Sophie Mouser

Secretary:
Suzanne Cornelius
Vanessa Beard
Jennifer Snyder
Sarah Polacek

Directors at Large:
Mike Roscoe
Jennifer Guthrie
Marcella Baumer
Shawn Brady
Stephanie Bingel

Committee Chairpersons/Members:
Jennifer Guthrie, CME, Chair
Kathy Buchanan, CME, Chair
James Williams, Public Health, Chair
Jason Kolkmeier, CME, Chair
Sophie Mouser, Membership, Chair
Kim Swigert, Membership Member
Venessa Beard, CME, Member
Matt Stinson, Legislative, Member

Delegate to the AAPA House of Delegates:
David Allaben
Jennifer Snyder
Diem Dang
Jared Wiebel

Genesis Cup 2015 Healthcare Innovation
Leila Reed

Program Defined Curricular Goals

Students will be formatively and summatively evaluated for these goals. These evaluations will occur throughout the didactic phase, on each rotation, and with the final summative exam.

  1. Efficiently and effectively elicit pertinent information in a medical history and perform an appropriate physical exam for patients of various ages.
  2. Appropriately order and analyze results of clinical and diagnostic tests.
  3. Integrate data obtained through history, physical examination and laboratory investigation and develop a differential and final diagnosis.
  4. Appropriately select and correctly perform medical procedures.
  5. Given a diagnosis (and other pertinent patient information), design an appropriately personalized patient management strategy including, when necessary, making appropriate patient referrals.
  6. Develop medical records and oral presentations that are clear, concise and complete.
  7. Demonstrate the professionalism consistent with a health care provider.