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San Joaquin Valley College Blog

SJVC PA Students Win!

October 11, 2011
Congrats to our students – we are so proud!

San Joaquin Valley College’s Physician Assistant program in Visalia took the trophy away from last year’s winner, University of Southern California (USC), at the 2011 California Academy of Physician Assistants (CAPA) Medical Challenge Bowl held recently in Palm Springs, CA.

PA students Jessica Garner, Jessica Rumsey and Chris Key, along with alternates Alicia Gordon and Daniel Villegas, brought home the winning glass bowl trophy, which is inscribed with each year’s winner, and $250. These students are 14-months into their almost two-year PA program, and they and their fellow classmates are scheduled to graduate in 2012.

It was an intense competition among seven teams of three-students each, that represented Physician Assistant (PA) educational programs from US Davis, Tuoro University, Samuel Merritt University, Western University and Riverside Community College, as well as USC and San Joaquin Valley College. “Our five seniors prepared for this competition for a few weeks prior to the event and felt confident that they would do well,” says Les Howard, PA Program Director for SJVC’s Visalia campus. “We’ve had a little rivalry going on with USC for four years now – they’ve won twice, we’ve won twice – so it’s nice to bring it back home and to have beaten a Master’s level program.”

Teams squared off in 12-question rounds, in which teams earned or lost 10-points with each right or wrong answer. ‘Sudden death’ elimination rounds were held when there was a total point tie.  San Joaquin Valley College emerged victorious and jubilant.

CAPA President-elect, Adam Marks helps organize this annual event and is also a 2010 graduate of SJVC’s Physician Assistant program. “As a SJVC PA alumni, I am very proud of the accomplishments of the PA program,” he says. “It was great seeing our rural primary care program win the Student Bowl. It just proves a fact well-known to the faculty and alumni; SJVC does a great job equipping its PA students with the medical knowledge needed to not only win an event like the Challenge Bowl, but to succeed as PAs in the Central Valley.”

It has, in fact, been a great year of accolades for these PA students and Class of 2012. In May, 2011 at the annual PA conference in Las Vegas, this class was recognized with the following Student Academy of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (SAAAPA): Outstanding Student Society Award, Health Communities Award and Certificate of Recognition for participating in National Service Month.  See this website for a recap of the PA class of 2012’s community service and professional development works: