Assessment

20 Years of the PACKRAT Exam

By Seán StickleSeptember 16, 2015

The original PACKRAT mascot (as drawn by Michel Statler, MLA, PA-C) and the current PACKRAT mascot (as yet unnamed)

The original PACKRAT mascot (as drawn by Michel Statler, MLA, PA-C) and the current PACKRAT mascot (as yet unnamed)

This November, we’ll be releasing the 20th version of the PACKRAT™ exam. To celebrate, the packrat is traveling across the country to visit the PA programs who helped produce PACKRAT #20.

Twenty years ago, we released an exam that we called the Physician Assistant Clinical Knowledge Rating and Assessment Tool. As was our practice back then, we condensed that formidable name to a more manageable acronym: PACKRAT. Two decades and countless exam administrations later, PACKRAT remains one of the best-known, widest-researched, and most-beloved assessment tools in PA education history.

The Packrat Tours America

This year, in celebration of the 20th anniversary of PACKRAT, we’ve sent the mascot on a quest to visit each of the PA programs that are represented on the 2015 PACKRAT committee. This will take our packrat mascot to 11 PA programs:

  1. Northwestern University
  2. Oregon Health & Science University
  3. Midwestern University (Glendale)
  4. UT Southwestern — School of Health Professions
  5. University of Texas — Medical Branch at Galveston
  6. Nova Southeastern University, Ft. Lauderdale
  7. Lincoln Memorial University
  8. MCPHS University
  9. Northeastern University
  10. Bay Path University
  11. Duke University Medical Center

Starting today, you can follow the packrat’s journey across America on Facebook.

Help Us Name the PACKRAT Exam Mascot

The packrat mascot’s final destination on this multi-week journey will be the 2015 Education Forum in Washington, D.C., just in time to announce the release of PACKRAT #20.

Since it’s tedious to keep referring to the packrat as “the packrat” — and because mascots should have names — we need your help in choosing a moniker for our exam mascot. Submit your suggested name on the packrat’s Facebook posts or send them to packrat@PAEAonline.org.

We’ll select the two most popular and interesting entries, and let you vote for your favorite at the Education Forum registration desk in November.

Until then, learn more about the PACKRAT exam.

 

Seán Stickle
Seán Stickle

Seán serves as the chief communications officer and chief diversity officer for the Physician Assistant Education Association. He has worked in the nonprofit and association world since 1999 and has been with PAEA since 2012.