Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science

Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science


PA Education






Remediation is recognized as an intervention to improve student performance.1 Research has been conducted on medical learners of other disciplines. The focus of this article is to identify remediation interventions and methods that can be applied to Physician Assistant (PA) students “at-risk” of program attrition and poor Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE) performance.


A literature review was conducted through PubMed and MEDLINE. Words searched included PA students, attrition, progression, and remediation. The search yielded eight articles related to various healthcare professionals. A revised search including medical learners and remediation provided more literature on various remediation plans in medical education.


Research indicates PA students who are “at-risk” for PA program attrition and PANCE failure is multifactorial. The leading reason for dismissal has been academic performance.2 Such risk factors include completion of prerequisites, such as anatomy and physiology, at a two-year college.3 Within the first year in a PA program, risk factors include low performance in anatomy, physiology, and pharmacology.4 While this research has been useful in identifying “at-risk” students, there is no published literature with recommendations for the development of remediation plans for the didactic phase of PA education.


PA students may be “at-risk” for attrition or PANCE failure for a variety of reasons. Remediation techniques have been published related to medical and other allied health students, but none have been specifically applied to PA education. Identification of the “at-risk” PA student will facilitate early intervention with the development of an individualized remediation plan. Though an obvious benefit to the learner and institution, PA programs must be prepared to develop such remediation programs which have been noted in the literature to be labor and time-intensive to implement.


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