Considering physician assistant education at UW-Madison? Read on to learn what makes our program great.

Successes of our program

Physician assistant students with Bucky Badger
We are committed to helping our students succeed during their education and in job placement after graduation.
  • We are committed to comprehensive professional education standards. This is reflected by our program’s continuous accreditation since 1977 from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA).
  • Our national certification exam pass rate is 98 percent for first-time takers over the past five years. Read a summary of our pass rate compared with the national average (pdf). We continually strive for a 100 percent pass rate.
  • The overall job placement of our students is outstanding – especially in Wisconsin and in primary care. 100 percent of the 2018 graduates are employed as PAs, 63 percent of them work in Wisconsin, and 28 percent of them practice in primary care. Our goal continues to be clinical employment of 100 percent for our graduates and 40 percent employment in primary care.
  • Over the past three years we have seen a steady incline in graduates practicing in a HPSA/MUA; 22 percent, 39 percent and the Class of 2018 has a remarkable 43 percent of graduates practicing in a Health Professions Shortage Area (HPSA)/MUA.
  • Our program's goal is to ensure graduation of all matriculated students. Our program's dismissal rate is one percent over the past five years.
  • A dynamic, primary care-oriented curriculum emphasizes population/public health, evidence- based medicine, cultural humility, and rural health. Our modular, system-based approach to teaching clinical medicine, pharmacology and diagnostic methods, allows us to integrate innovative case-based and active learning strategies.
  • Our program utilizes state-of-the-art technology within the Health Sciences Learning Center and benefits from the expertise of committed faculty and staff throughout the state.
  • All students are required to complete one clinical rotation in a rural or medically underserved community. In the last three years, over one-third of all clinical rotations were completed in a rural community in the U.S. or abroad.
  • Wisconsin residents make up an average of over 70 percent of the PA class each year reflecting our commitment to the Wisconsin Idea.
  • Over the past three years, approximately 40 percent of the admitted class self-identified as economically disadvantaged and/or from a HPSA/MUA.
What's are our favorite things about Madison? The Badgers are right up there, of course. So is the Memorial Union Terrace. But we also love the unparalleled natural beauty, cultural offerings, nightlife and recreational opportunities offered by our city, regardless of the season.

What our students say

Lucas Michalik photo

Being able to receive a high quality medical education while remaining close to my rural home community has been an incredible experience and opportunity through UW-Madison’s WisPACT Program. My desire to eventually practice as a PA in Northcentral Wisconsin and give back to communities like my own made WisPACT the ideal choice for me. The education and support from faculty as well as my classmates has been exceptional. This program has provided me with an educational environment that allows me to excel and continuously challenges me. I honestly couldn’t imagine being anywhere else.

Lucas Michalik, WisPACT class of 2019
Rebecca Flax photo

The faculty’s passion for both the PA profession and for teaching is evident in the time they put in to ensuring that each of us has a positive experience. Likewise, my classmates are some of the brightest and most motivated people that I have ever met and I could not ask for a better cohort. I am proud to be a part of this program and look forward to representing it as I become a practicing PA.

Rebecca Flax, Class of 2014
Michael Conway photo

The remarkable thing about this program is that it goes beyond just teaching the science of medicine. We are learning about everything from how to effectively interact with patients to methods of improving health at a population level. I feel confident that these lessons are giving us the tools to help improve the lives of our patients and make a difference in our communities.

Michael Conway, Class of 2014
John LaCore photo

The UW PA program is challenging, rewarding and stimulating. Even in my first few months I have been able to take advantage of incredible opportunities; I am currently serving as a council member for the network of free clinics and pursuing the global health track – two of my passions. The program integrates challenging academics, community involvement and the authentic human approach to medicine. I couldn’t be happier about deciding to attend this program.

Jon LaCore, Class of 2014
Dave Graf photo

The faculty and staff are continually supportive of us as student learners, but at the same time, they demonstrate their belief in our potential by treating us like professionals. That is rare privilege as a student. And I think this combined environment of mutual respect and high expectations will empower us to become the skilled, compassionate PA’s we hope to be. I feel lucky to be here, and have since the day I arrived.

Dave Graf, Class of 2014
Danielle Rieck photo

It is an especially unique opportunity that the UW-Madison Distance Education PA program has granted to so many students. For me personally, to continue giving my time and energy to those in my community while pursuing my professional career as a physician assistant is a gift that I am very grateful for. The DE program has truly allowed me to pursue my career goals without compromising the importance of community and family.

Danielle Rieck