Skip Navigation

Program Success in Meeting Goals

Skip Side Navigation

Program Mission and Goals

Program Mission

The mission of the Physician Assistant Program at the University of Oklahoma, School of Community Medicine, Tulsa, is to train physician assistants to provide quality health care to the citizens of Oklahoma with an emphasis on serving diverse and underserved communities.

The OU-TU SCM Physician Assistant Program in Tulsa, Oklahoma was founded in 2008 to meet the needs of the state of Oklahoma for health care providers.

Since the first class graduated in 2010, the program has produced 329 PAs, 97% of the students who entered the program. All of the graduates from 2010-2022 have passed the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE), with 98% doing so on their first attempt.  Every graduate seeking employment is currently practicing clinically, with 80% in the state of Oklahoma. These outcomes illustrate that we are successful in providing quality PAs to the citizens of Oklahoma.

Our most impressive success is the fact that 42% of our graduates are providing primary care health care services to their communities. Similarly, approximately 25% of our graduates are providing services to underserved populations. These statistics demonstrate that our emphasis on serving in primary care and underserved populations is influencing graduates’ career choices.

Program Goals and Success in Meeting Goals

The goals of the OU-TU School of Community Medicine PA program are:

1. To provide a quality education that enables students to become competent, caring healthcare providers. We seek to educate our students in the basic medical sciences as well as the clinical and behavioral sciences in order to prepare them for the practice of medicine both today and in the future. While training physician assistants to go into areas of primary care medicine will be our fundamental focus, we are also cognizant that PAs are increasingly serving patients in both the surgical and specialty areas of medicine.

How are we doing? The program has graduated 330 physician assistants into the workforce from our fourteen classes in 2010-2023.  All program graduates from 2010-2022 have passed the PANCE, with a first-time pass rate for the classes of 2019-2023 at 97%.  Over 40% of the graduates are in a primary care setting.

Graduation Rate: 97%Benchmark: 95% or greater
First-Time Taker Pass Rate (2023): 96%Benchmark: meet or exceed the annual national first-time taker average (92%)

2. To expose students to the practice of primary care medicine in a variety of underserved locations in Oklahoma during their didactic and clinical training. The OU-TU School of Community Medicine PA program desires that a significant portion of their graduates will choose to work in these communities following graduation.

How are we doing?
Our curriculum supports our mission and goals by educating students about Oklahoma health statistics and community resources in Tulsa during the first-year Concepts of Community Medicine course and at the Summer Institute. In addition, students attend the 
Bedlam-Evening Clinic throughout the length of the program. During the clinical phase, PA students care for their own panel of uninsured patients twice monthly in the Physician Assistant Longitudinal (PAL) Clinic at OU Physicians Family Medicine Clinic. Clinical rotations during the second year include 22 weeks of primary care exposure, a four-week underserved medicine rotation, and a two week Community Impact experience, which includes exposure to various agencies such as the Tulsa Day Center and The Little Light House

Our graduates have taken positions with the underserved that include rural medicine, federally qualified health centers, Indian health, and Oklahoma correctional facilities. Eighty percent of the graduates are practicing clinically in the state of Oklahoma.  In addition, over 40% of the graduates are in a primary care setting and 24% work in an underserved setting.

Graduates employed in Oklahoma: 80%Benchmark: 75% or greater
Graduates employed in primary care: 42%Benchmark: 40% or greater
Graduates employed in underserved setting: 24%Benchmark: 20% or greater

3. To encourage the students, graduates, and faculty to participate in service and leadership roles within the University, the profession, and the broader community. With the strong support of the college and university administration, the OU-TU School of Community Medicine PA program is committed to fostering the growth and development of each individual student and faculty member to their greatest potential.

How are we doing?
OU-TU School of Community Medicine PA students engage in a variety of service and leadership roles within OU-Tulsa and the community as part of the SAAAPA Student Society, the SCM Student Executive Council, and the OU-Tulsa Student Government. PA program faculty and graduates fulfill service and leadership roles at the state and local level, including committee membership on the PA Advisory Committee of the Oklahoma Medical Board, board positions in the Oklahoma Academy of Physician Assistants, and clinical leadership within the Oklahoma Department of Corrections. Several graduates from the inaugural class have served as faculty for the program and many more graduates donate their time as guest lecturers and preceptors.

Student Society leadership roles filled: 100%Benchmark: 100%

Program Reports


Summary of OU School of Community Medicine PA Graduates 2010-2023
PA Trainees:

Total number of entering students


Total number of graduating students


Graduation percentage (Goal: 95% or higher)


PANCE Performance:

Class of 2022 First-Time Taker Pass Rate (Goal 100%)




First-Time Taker Pass Rate (2010-2022)


Five-Year First-Time Taker Pass Pate



Graduates desiring employment as a PA employed


Practice Characteristics:

Oklahoma (Goal: 75% or greater)




Primary Care (Goal: 40% or greater)


Underserved Community (Goal: 20% or greater)


Rural Community


Emergency Medicine




*Attrition rate calculation:  Number of students who attritted from cohort divided by the entering class size.
**Graduation rate:  Number of cohort graduates divided by the entering class size.