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St. Bonaventure University

St. Bonaventure physician assistant studies students leave mark at National Medical Challenge Bowl

Jun 12, 2023

For the second straight year, students in the physician assistant studies program at St. Bonaventure University had an impressive showing at the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) National Medical Challenge Bowl.
This year’s competition, held May 22 during the AAPA national conference in Nashville, Tennessee, drew 89 teams from across the country including from such prestigious schools as Duke, Stanford and Yale.
SBU students in Challenge BowlThe St. Bonaventure team composed of Steven DeBellis, Jillian Pancio and Zainab Rasheed (left to right in accompanying photo) was one of 36 teams that made it out of the first round, in which teams must answer 20 multiple choice questions on various medical topics.
In their on-stage appearance in the second round, in a match with teams from St. Louis University, the University of South Alabama and Radford University, the St. Bonaventure team fell just two questions short of advancing.
The St. Bonaventure students were coached by Kesha Steighner and Rachel Harten, clinical assistant professors in St. Bonaventure’s PA studies program and co-advisers of the university’s Physician Assistant Student Society.
“We couldn’t be prouder of this year’s team,” said Steighner. “The competition was fierce this year with more teams participating. Finishing in the top third of PA programs from across the country is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our students.”
The St. Bonaventure team in last year’s Challenge Bowl also advanced out of the first round.
“The National Medical Challenge Bowl is an event that fosters fun, school pride and friendly competition that is infectious for all,” according to AAPA. “Winning is not the focus of the event. Learning and fun are the goals.”
About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, St. Bonaventure University is a community committed to transforming the lives of our students inside and outside the classroom, inspiring in them a lifelong commitment to service and citizenship. St. Bonaventure was named the #5 regional university value in the North in U.S. News and World Report’s 2022 college rankings edition.