Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science

Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science


Physician Assistant Education


Laura Witte, Ph.D., PA-C


Purpose: The purpose of this study is to evaluate the benefit of a board review course in physician assistant (PA) programs on graduate performance on the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE).

Methods: A literature review was conducted for studies evaluating the effectiveness of review courses within the curriculum on initial board-type exam performance. Non-PA studies were included as only one study specifically evaluating PA programs was returned. Due to the nature of curriculum and accreditation changes over time, only studies within the past ten years were included.

Results: One study demonstrated effectiveness with board review courses in pediatric residents deemed “at-risk.” The remainder of the studies demonstrated no benefit of a board review course.

Conclusion: Due to the differences that exist between PA programs with content, delivery of content, and admissions profiles, more study is needed to include a wider variety of programs, but at this time, no significant benefit is noted.


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