Physician Assistant Students Capture National TitleMedical whizzes outperform Ivy League peers

A determined team of physician assistant students has bested rivals from Duke, Yale, Stanford and 70 other schools to take top honors on the national stage.

The MDC scholars in the Physician Assistant (PA) program outpaced rivals from around the country to win the collegiate championship in the National Medical Challenge Bowl Competition.

The Challenge Bowl, organized by the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA), takes place each year in conjunction with the Academy’s annual conference. Teams of three students from participating colleges test their knowledge by answering questions on a wide range of medical topics related to their training.

The MDC team comprised Cecilio Padrón, Arion Pupo and Leopoldo Catala, who all graduated from the PA program in August. Padrón was working as an automobile mechanic with no prior medical training before enrolling in the PA program. Pupo is recently arrived from Cuba, and Catala is an international student.

The team, coached by Professor Dr. Nicolas Massimini, spent more than a year in preparation, being grilled on questions that span the entire PA curriculum and practical applications of that knowledge.

MCD’s PA team has won the Florida region championship four times previously. This is their first national title.