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Physician Assistant Program Up and Running Well

On September 28, 2011

Today, the Physician Assistant Program is on its way to new heights. First, the program started with 21 students and eventually will progress to 40. All the students in the program were able to maintain a 3.0, something definitely challenging when all the students had a, "full plate of 21 credits," said Dr. Cervonka the program's director.

The Physician Assistant Program kicked off in January 2011, but before students occupied the second floor of Eleanor Dana Hall for UB's first ever semester in the program, it was a ‘construction site.' A new lounge was added that included: A coffee machine, WI-Fi and bar style area with stools and lights hanging from above. Classrooms feature smart boards, surgical sinks and tools needed to carry out a proper medical examination. The program demands high expectations of the 21 students that were selected; a mere 14 percent of those that applied.

The university hopes for the best from their selected students in order to fill the need for clinicians around the country. However, UB has Dr. Cervonka as the director of the Physician Assistant Program who is a Yale graduate and has 21 years of experience in emergency medicine.

Before the Physician Assistant Program began, Dr. Cervonka said that he has a vision that one day, "UB will have the top PA program in the country."

Now that the fall semester is already on its way and the Physician Assistant program is now starting its second semester, will the results be good enough for Dr. Cervonka vision to still be a reality? Really it takes five years for a program to be solid, but for now minor tweaks are made to the lectures while still following the same curriculum. Dr. Cervonka's new found vision for the PA program to be the, "top program offering unique, interesting program that these students will find completing in their studies." An idea he hopes students this semester will see.

Returning students are ‘pumped up' for another semester; bringing them even closer to graduation from the intense 28-month program.

"The perfect student has a mind for science and desire to care for people," Dr. Cervonka said. Students Tadecher Ellis and Dan Paoletti are nothing less of perfect for the program.

"The professors are 150 percent knowledgeable in their areas and some PA's themselves; the real deal," Ellis said.

Ellis is looking forward to opening her own practice and her fellow classmate Dan Paoletti wants to help out in a community practice before eventually starting his own practice.

Ellis expressed the, "overwhelming pressure and yet gratefulness" in being chosen for such a program. Both students are excited to leave their marks as the first ever PA class. Not only will they be the first to graduate from the program, but also the first to make a mark on the world.

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