Soak Up the Sun — and Some Student Data

It’s almost August, the month when the most PA programs welcome a new cohort of students and say goodbye to a class of graduates whom they’ve transformed into practicing PAs. With these milestones on the horizon, it’s a good time to focus on students’ experiences in PA school. Just in time, the new Student Report 2 is here and chock full of interesting insights on both matriculants and graduates. You helped us recruit your students to participate – now you can check out the results!

The second installment of the new By the Numbers: Student Report series is even more comprehensive than the first. The Research Team synced additional items across the Matriculating Student and End of Program Surveys, resulting in a fuller understanding of students’ experiences, well-being, finances, and future goals, recorded at both the beginning and end of PA training. Other new data making their debut in this report include:

  • New ways of reporting student race (p. 10)
  • Intersections between student race and ethnicity (p. 11)
  • Students’ underrepresented minority and underrepresented in medicine status (p. 12)
  • Students’ perceived stress (p. 17)
  • Students’ rankings of specialty practice areas (pp. 23-25)
  • Geographic practice plans of in- and out-of-state students (p. 26)
  • Students’ rankings of reasons to become a PA (p. 47)
  • Factors that made students want or not want to become a PA (p. 47), and to want or not want to attend their current program (p. 52)
  • Psychological sense of school membership, or students’ feelings of belongingness in their programs (p. 53)
  • Influences on students’ specialty choices (pp. 68-69)

As always, data from both the Matriculating Student and End of Program Surveys are available to researchers interested in getting access to raw data for their own research. Custom reports are also available to PA faculty members who would like a more focused research report on certain items. Our data request and sharing policies are detailed here.

If you would like to get even more out of the rich data we collect every year, the Research Team offers two services to help programs get access to important student data for their evaluation, accreditation, and faculty research. Programs that want access to their own matriculating students’ data, for example, to build a student database, should check out the Data on Demand: Matriculating Students page. Programs that wish to receive a customized report summarizing their own graduating students’ responses to select questions relevant to ARC-PA Standards should visit the Custom Reports: End of Program page.

For questions, comments, and suggestions, please contact the Research Team at or 703-667-4328.