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Miami Dade College’s Physician Assistant Students Bring Home Grand Prize in National Competition

Stiff competition included Duke, Yale, Stanford, Wake Forest, UF and other renowned schools
PA National Champs L

Miami, May 28, 2014 - A team of Miami Dade College (MDC)Physician Assistant (PA) students has won the collegiate National Championship in the National Challenge Bowl Competition. The competition is sponsored by the American Academy of Physician Assistants, the national organization that represents the physician assistant profession across the U.S, and occurred as part of the American Academy of Physician Assistants Annual Conference in Boston. The players engaged in a Jeopardy-style game, answering multiple-choice questions.

“With perseverance and dedication, our students made MDC proud,” said Dayne Alonso, director of the PA program. ”The students – who will graduate in August – took on the challenge and worked hard for over a year preparing for the competition.”

Team members Cecilio Padron, 21, was a car mechanic with no medical experience before enrolling in the PA program; Arian Pupo recently arrived from Cuba, where he started medical school and now dreams of practicing medicine; and Leopoldo Catala is an international student who hopes to settle and practice in Miami.

This victory represents a landmark accomplishment for the college’s program. Most PA programs confer a master’s degree, and the competition included outstanding colleges and universities across the country. In all, 74 schools entered the National Challenge Bowl including Stanford, Yale, Emory, Duke, George Washington, Stony Brook SUNY, Wake Forest, University of Florida and Nova Southeastern.

MDC’s PA program students had previously won the Florida region championship four times. The team prepares throughout the year, mastering a curriculum and practical applications that cover the full range of medical topics. 

Media-only contacts:
Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611,, MDC communications director
Tere Estorino Florin, 305-237-3949,, MDC media relations director
Roxana Romero, 305-237-3366,, media specialist
Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710,, media specialist
Alejandro Rios, 305-237-7482,

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