US News Lo ResThe UAB Physician Assistant program is now ranked #16 in the nation according to the latest U.S. News & World Report rankings. The PA program, housed in the Department of Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences, jumped nine spots moving up from #25. The program is less than half a point outside of the Top Ten in the category of Best Grad Schools for Physician Assistants.

“This is acknowledgement of our commitment to excellence exhibited by the faculty who mentor and teach; the availability of state-of-the-art classrooms and labs; the recruitment of top-notch students who attend UAB, and an alumni base who are recognized as leaders in their fields,” said Janelle Chiasera, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences. “We have worked hard to build and enhance our high quality and well respected program to not only meet the emerging workforce needs in the State and beyond, but more importantly to create a better future for all who are touched by our graduates.  This couldn’t have happened to a more deserving, hard working group. I am thrilled they are being acknowledged for this accomplishment.”

The latest U.S. News & World Report rankings, released March 10, 2015, are part of the 2015 edition of “America’s Best Graduate Schools.”

The rankings reflect a continuous rise in recognition for the PA program which has steadily moved up. Previously ranked 25th, the PA program has seen record attendance demands and responded with a strategic plan to double the number of students accepted over the next three years. The PA program will add students in 2016, 2017 and 2018 increasing the class size to 120 students annually.

The unprecedented growth speaks volumes for the demand in the healthcare industry for PA graduates; but it speaks even louder to the unparalleled success exhibited by the UAB PA graduates.

“In four of the past five years, 100 percent of UAB graduates have passed the PA National Certifying Examination on their first try - our peers recognize the extreme success of our alumni and that is why we have earned such a tremendous leap in rankings,” said Rick Kilgore, Ph.D., program director UAB Physician Assistant program.

The UAB School of Health Professions, which is home to the CDS department and PA program, has three Top 20 ranked programs with the Master of Science in Health Administration program ranked 2nd and the Physical Therapy program ranked 19th. The School’s Occupational Therapy program is ranked 28th and gives the SHP four schools ranked in the nation’s Top 30.

The U.S. News & World Report rankings are based on results of surveys sent to peers at accredited degree programs in each discipline. Physician Assistant programs are accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant.