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Physician Assistant Students at Mississippi College Excel in Challenge Bowl

Dr. Rod Cutrer and the four MC PA students at the 2018 Challenge Bowl.

Physician assistant students at Mississippi College turned in stellar performances at the 2018 Challenge Bowl in New Orleans.

Rapidly responding to a barrage of complex medical questions on their keypads, PA students from MC finished 9th among 96 university teams. The graduate students on the Clinton campus competed May 21 event at the Ernest Morial Convention Center.

At the annual convention of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, MC students finished ahead of such teams as Duke, Yale, Stanford, Wake Forest, Baylor, Emory, Florida and Arkansas. The University of Southern California took home first-place honors in the Big Easy.

Professor Rod Cutrer and colleagues at the PA program based at the Baptist Healthplex on the Clinton campus applauded the results.

“This was our best showing ever,” Dr. Cutrer said Wednesday. MC teams participated in Challenge Bowls every year since 2014. The former PA medical director coached the Mississippi College squad over the past four months to prepare them for the New Orleans convention.

Each year, the Challenge Bowl questions are always pretty tough. But the MC students succeeded with accuracy and speed before an audience of nearly 3,000 convention attendees.

MC graduate students competing included Matthew Burkhalter of Flowood, Katie Jenkins of the Etta community in North Mississippi, Hae Jeung of Orlando, Florida and Charles Hortenstine of Murrayville, Georgia. Burkhalter is a former EMT. The MC students will be presented with plaques for their strong showing.

Founded in 1968, the American Academy of Physician Assistants is based in Alexandria, Virginia. The group represents the interests of thousands of physician assistants around the USA.

Created in 2011, the Mississippi College physician assistant program became the first of its kind in the Magnolia State. Today, there are about 90 PA students enrolled at the Baptist-affiliated university.