Becoming a Physician Assistant

Physician Assistants are currently in-demand in most States. This profession is considered as one of the health careers that are now rapidly growing. In the United States alone, there are already 68,100 people who are practicing this line of work.

However being in this kind of career needs perseverance, patience, and knowledge.

Duties of a Physician Assistant

Physician assistants are licensed health professionals. They are allowed to practice medicine under the supervision of a physician. They carry out comprehensive range of medical duties and also act as first or second assistants in major surgery operations. They can be seen anywhere because their services are needed everywhere. From rural areas to urban centers, as long as these places needed their assistance, they are there. In rural places where there are only few doctors, the role of these physician assistants is that of a primary healthcare provider. On more specific grounds, their duties or medical functions are mostly like those of a licensed physician. Examples of these are taking medical histories, treating illnesses, performing physical exams, counseling patients, and a lot more. However, their scope of practice will depend on what the state laws, medical, setting, and their training provide.

How to Become a Physician Assistant?

The primary and most important thing for you to do if you want to become a physician assistant is to enter a Physician Assistant Program. There are about 140 programs about this profession that is being offered all over the United States. They are typically associated with two or four year colleges and university schools of medicine or allied health. These programs usually begin between the month of May and September. The application for this is normally within November and March. However, always keep it in mind that the program that you are joining is accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). Otherwise, you will not be recognized as one of the members of this profession even if you have completed such program.

During you application, there are certain prerequisites that you should satisfy. Programs offering baccalaureate degrees require at least two years of college and health care experience. On the other hand, those offering master’s degrees require undergraduate credits and also a health care experience. These programs are usually completed within twenty six and a half months. This is divided into two periods; the first will most be classroom studies and the second will actual private practices through clinical rotations.

After graduating the program, you will be eligible to take the national certifying examination which is administered by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants. This is the make or break of your chosen profession. You should pass this examination or you will not be permitted to practice. So study hard, read as often as you can. That is why perseverance, patience, and knowledge are also considered as requirements in this kind of profession.


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