Kara Arnold, Sean Maleknia, and Hallie Taylor, third-year students in the UAB School of Health ProfessionsPhysician Assistant program placed 4th at the American Academy of Physician Assistant’s 2019 National Medical Challenge Bowl. This is the second time in the past four years that the UAB PA team reached the Final Round.

More than 100 teams from PA graduate programs across the U.S. competed in the annual event. In Round One, teams answer 20 multiple-choice questions with the highest scores advancing. UAB’s team was eliminated in Round Two, the free-response question section, but bounced back to post the highest score in the Wild Card Round and advance to the Final Round.

The team of Arnold, Maleknia and Taylor included Erin Dorman as an alternate. Their faculty advisor says all of them – including Dorman – put in countless hours to succeed.

“All four members committed to practicing at least once a week and they would do it in the evening after a full day of clinical duties as PA students,” said Neena Xavier, MD, assistant professor, Department of Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences. “They practiced using the audience response system and they competed against each other using buzzers – their performance is a reflection of their hard work, diligence to practice, and willingness to work in a team. I am very proud of each of them.”

Arnold, Dorman, Maleknia and Taylor are all on track to graduate the UAB PA program in December 2019. In 2018, the Physician Assistant Education Association selected Dorman as a 2018-2019 Future Educator Fellow. Maleknia is a member of the PA team that was the first in UAB history to win back-to-back Gurney Derby championships.