February 21, 2020
One Step Further Scholarship Empowers Students to Deep Dive into Profession
Rosh Review Uses Challenge Bowl Qbank to Help Students Attend AAPA 2019
August 21, 2019
By Divya Williams
AAPA’s National Medical Challenge Bowl is the high-energy medical game show where PA programs host student teams to compete for the right to call themselves Challenge Bowl champions. Rosh Review, the premier sponsor of Challenge Bowl, creates the 200 questions that are accepted by the AAPA Challenge Bowl Review Committee and used in the competition.
“It’s a great event bringing together all of these PA students who really want to improve. They’re excited to learn and we want to be a part of that,” says Adam Rosh, founder of Rosh Review. “We’re always looking to use our platform for good in ways that will broaden and deepen knowledge within a profession.”
Following the conclusion of the 2018 Challenge Bowl, Rosh Review used those 200 questions to create a special National Medical Challenge Bowl 2018 QBank. All the profits from the sale of that Qbank then went towards funding the 2019 Rosh Review AAPA One Step Further scholarship awards.
The scholarships go to students who exemplify the ideals of continuous learning and self-improvement, and who take it upon themselves to go “one step further” to address a weakness or accelerate a strength. The $200 scholarship helps to cover costs to attend AAPA’s annual conference. “With the number of programs that invested in the Qbank, plus individuals who wanted to learn and give back at the same time, we were able to offer 20 scholarships in 2019,” says Rosh. But moving forward, Rosh says, they hope to double the number of scholarships available by selling more Qbank questions.
Among the PA programs that purchased the Qbank for their students was Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) School of Medicine. Cynthia Booth Lord, MHS, PA-C, Associate Professor and Founding Director of CWRU’s PA program, was one of the co-creators of Challenge Bowl. “I personally loved the idea of linking student learning with student scholarships using a vehicle (Challenge Bowl) that is near and dear to my heart,” Booth Lord said. “The CWRU faculty like the Rosh products and we get good feedback from our students. We chose to buy the National Medical Challenge Bowl test bank because it enhanced our current test bank, supported student scholarships, and it was priced appropriately.”
Another PA program that purchased the Challenge Bowl 2018 QBank was Pacific University College (PUC) of Health Professions, School of PA Studies. Mary E. Von, DHEd, PA-C, DFAAPA, Director/Professor at PUC, is looking to help her students provide the best standard of care for patients and sees the Qbank as a preparation tool to pass the PANCE. “The Rosh Review Qbanks help them prepare through repetition on relevant and up-to-date subject matter to be successful on the PANCE and ultimately in practice,” says Von. “The Challenge Bowl is a fun way to promote the study of medicine and foster some healthy competition!”
Rosh, who is involved in the selection process, says that the scholarship winners are “individuals who take it one step further. It’s in their involvement with their specialty and how they’ve reached out within their community.” Rosh also confirms that the applicant pool is “top-notch,” making his job a little bit harder. “I’ll say, it’s one of the most difficult selection processes that we have.”
Motivated to provide care
George A. Osae Jr., PA-S, was one of the AAPA 2019 scholarship recipients. Osae, a member of the Class of 2019 at Pace University – Lenox Hill Hospital NYC PA Program, was driven to pursue a career as a PA after receiving compassionate care himself during a difficult time in his life. “The passing of my father and the compassion I received from the healthcare staff was what first sparked my thoughts of working in healthcare,” says Osae. “Providing that same compassionate care to others remains my biggest motivation and goal.”
Osae first learned of the scholarship from his program director, Susan Cappelmann and read that the goal was to recognize ‘students who exemplify the ideals of continuous learning and self-improvement.’ “It is not adequate for me to merely be adequate,” he says. “I want to be great and outstanding, and I work diligently and elicit critiques and feedback on how to accomplish that.”
At AAPA 2019, Osae attended lectures and conferences and took advantage of networking opportunities. “From a career/goals point of view, AAPA 2019 was immensely helpful. I met and interacted with countless amazing individuals, was able to increase my knowledge on various topics, and formed connections with other PA students.”
The highlight of Osae’s trip? “Easily, Challenge Bowl. The energy in the auditorium was palpable.” Osae along with fellow PA students Sean Donahue and Christine Sharp comprised the Pace University team. “We were able to make it to the semi-finals; being on stage and looking into the crowd of accomplished PAs, PA students, and other health professionals cheering us on was euphoric,” he says. “I look forward to returning next year to coach and cheer on Pace’s team to win the competition!”
Another One Step Further Scholarship recipient, V Battiste, PA-S, started down the PA path in 2012 at a 10-year reunion. “I realized I had worked for the last 10 years and didn’t have any education to show for it,” says V. “At the same time, I was battling with my career path as a paramedic because, although I loved pre-hospital emergency medicine, I felt I could do more. I was tired of giving my patients away to providers in the ED.”
For the next six years, V attended online school to complete prerequisites and undergrad while working nights and being the stay-at-home parent for two daughters. “When the time came to apply for medical school or PA school, I found that I enjoyed being with my girls so much, I couldn’t continue another eight to ten years and started to research PA schools,” V said. “I applied to 16 schools and got into MEDEX after my second interview.”
In an effort to enable more classmates to be able to attend AAPA 2019, V researched financial assistance opportunities and found the One Step Further Scholarship. As the Student Academy Representative (SAR) for MEDEX NW’s Seattle Class of 2020 cohort, V was the only student afforded the opportunity to attend AAPA 2019. But with the scholarship, the door opened to others. Once at AAPA 2019, V attended the Assembly of Representatives meeting, kept up with House of Delegates minutes, and connected with faculty and fellow students. V had some unique encounters, as well. “I met one of the longest-practicing Washington state PAs, the first graduates of the Netherlands PA school, had a wonderful lunch with a pharmaceutical PA, and an amazing impromptu meeting with a leading transgender PA.”
In addition to all the memories gained at AAPA 2019, V also walked away with a better understanding of the profession as a whole. “I have no PAs or physicians in my family and received zero preparation for this path,” says V. “I can’t believe the power of what we’re doing globally and locally. I began this path with a passion for human physiology and medical care. Now I have a drive to enter the political scene and help cause positive change.”
Love of medicine
One of the scholarship winners has a love for medicine that manifested earlier. Katherine Monjaras, a second-year student at the Duke PA program, never questioned that she would pursue a career in medicine. “I dressed up in a white coat and small stethoscope on Halloween, went to all the doctors appointments with my family members, and even enjoyed going to my own appointments,” Monjaras said. “The only question that remained was, ‘what role do I want to play?’” During undergrad, Monjaras was an EMT. Soon after, she crossed paths with several inspiring PAs and was attracted to the profession’s flexibility, extensive medical education, and the opportunity to connect with patients.
“To me, the medical field has always been so much more than the science behind it,” Monjaras says. “It has been about connecting with the patient on many levels and acknowledging all aspects of their lives. It has been about empowering them and helping them take interest in their own health.”
The Duke PA program gave its students the week off from classes during AAPA 2019 to allow students to attend. “Initially I was hesitant, knowing that attending meant increasing my loan (and therefore my debt).” When a faculty member shared information about the Rosh Review scholarship, Monjaras decided to apply and her effort paid off.
She found herself at AAPA 2019 in a room of like-minded people all doing their part to help their communities and the profession. “Not only was I able to attend lectures that furthered my medical knowledge, but I was able to attend ones that made me aware of specific communities and the challenges they face – like the LGBTQI+ community,” Monjaras says. Her most memorable experience was participating in the Yes, I Scan competition. “I loved the process of learning the techniques with my classmates, practicing on each other, and then having the opportunity to share our skills.”
Monjaras says she walked away from AAPA 2019 feeling that the PA profession is an ever-growing family. “Every year a new cohort of students is entering the field with new ideas to empower PAs nationwide. I’ll never be alone in my journey.”
The day after the 2019 Challenge Bowl in Denver, CO, Rosh Review released the Qbank questions for purchase. Based on the profits, they’re hoping to fund even more scholarships for AAPA 2020 in Nashville, Tennessee.
Divya Williams is an associate in AAPA’s Communications Department. Contact her at [email protected].