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Reliability and Validity of National End of Rotation Examinations

An Update

Gietzen, Lindsay MS, PA-C; Roman, Christopher MA, MMS, PA-C; Hegmann, Theresa MPAS, PA-C

The Journal of Physician Assistant Education: June 2018 - Volume 29 - Issue 2 - p 86–88
doi: 10.1097/JPA.0000000000000191
Research Article

Purpose This study sought to evaluate the reliability of the PAEA End of Rotation™ exam scores used as a combined scale. The study also investigated how closely the individual exam scores and the combined scale correlate with Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE) performance to validate their use as tools for assessing physician assistant (PA) students during their clinical training.

Methods Deidentified PAEA End of Rotation examination and PANCE scores were used to calculate Pearson correlations, Cronbach's alpha, and value of Cronbach's alpha if individual exams were removed from the analysis. A linear regression model was generated to predict certification exam scores.

Results End of Rotation examinations are a reliable predictor of certification examination performance independent of PA program or test version, with Cronbach's alpha at 0.847.

Conclusions The mean of all 7 examinations may be used, but the mean of just 4 examinations (Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, General Surgery, and Internal Medicine) is also a valid predictor of certification examination performance.

Lindsay Gietzen, MS, PA-C, is clinical coordinator and an assistant professor in the Department of Physician Assistant Studies at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan.

Christopher Roman, MA, MMS, PA-C, is an assistant professor and assessment chair for the Butler University Physician Assistant Program in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Theresa Hegmann, MPAS, PA-C, is a clinical professor in the Department of Physician Assistant Studies & Services and the director of Curriculum & Evaluation at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine in Iowa City, Iowa.

Correspondence should be addressed to: Lindsay Gietzen, MS, PA-C, Department of Physician Assistant Studies, Wayne State University, 259 Mack Avenue, Suite 2590, Detroit, MI 48201. Telephone: (313) 577-465; Email:

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Copyright © 2018 Physician Assistant Education Association
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