October 08, 2008
Students in St. John’s University’s Physician Assistant
(PA) program recently bested teams from eight other schools in the
New York State Society of Physician Assistants’ (NYSSPA) annual
student Medical Jeopardy Challenge.
The competition was held at NYSSPA’s annual fall conference in
Saratoga Springs, NY, where PA professionals gathered for
continuing medical education credits, PA faculty for an educational
program, and PA students from across the state for a special
student educational track and for the very popular and competitive
annual student Medical Jeopardy Challenge.
The conference was held just prior to Physicians Assistant Week,
October 6-12, which is celebrated annually.
Eight New York schools registered to participate in the
tournament, including teams from Albany Medical College;
CUNY/Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education; New York
Institute of Technology; Pace University; Stony Brook State
University; Wagner College; and Weill Cornell Medical College (the
2007 defending champions) and St. John’s University.
The St. Johns PA Team was comprised of three students as
stipulated by the official NYSSPA rules: one from the third-year
class, Amy Schneider, and two from the fourth-year class, Zoohra
Mashriqi and Jose Naranjo. Approximately 30 St. John’s students
were seated in the audience adorned with red face paint and
t-shirts, excitedly cheering on their team and making their
presence known to an audience comprising over 300 conference
After six of the teams had been defeated in the round-robin,
St. John’s Medical Jeopardy team advanced to the finals where they
faced Le Moyne College, of Syracuse, NY.
After an exciting final round of Jeopardy, the St. John’s team
had scored 8200 points to the 4000 points that Le Moyne had
earned. With Final Jeopardy still to go, the St. John’s
students had placed Le Moyne quantitatively out of the
championship. The St. John’s cheerleaders raised quite a
“storm” in the audience.
After making a strategic Final Jeopardy wager, the St Johns
University PA student team was declared the 2008 NYSSPA Medical
Jeopardy Champions. The three student winners were each awarded a
medical textbook and a NYSSPA sweatshirt. St. John’s PA program
will also receive a complimentary pizza party at which time the
students will receive a NYSSPA Jeopardy trophy with the contestants
names engraved on it to be housed at the program.
“It was a job well done and made me proud of the students,” says
Niels Schmidt, Director of the Physician Assistant Program in the
College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions. “I am grateful
to faculty mentors Danielle Kruger and Lorraine Sanassi and the
rest of the faculty for their teaching of our students, to Dean
Robert Mangione and the community of St. John’s University for the
continued support of the PA Education Program.”