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What are the requirements to become a physician assistant?

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John’s Answer

Jessica physician assistants are medical professionals who provide healthcare under the supervision and direction of doctors. Since they perform many duties traditionally reserved for physicians, physician assistants must obtain licensure after completion of a formal training program. Additionally, they are required to participate in continuing education programs and re-certify periodically.


An aspiring physician assistant (PA) must first earn a bachelor's degree in an area of science. Following this, students apply to and enter a physician's assistant program. This degree program includes a mixture of classroom training, laboratory work and practical training. Most physician assistants serve as emergency medical technicians, nurses or paramedics before pursuing admission to a physician assistant program. Physician assistant programs generally take 26 months of full-time study to complete. Physician assistants typically hold a master's degree, and they must have state licensure. Specialty certification is also an option. During the first year, students focus on classroom instruction in medical science and clinical preparation. Courses may include pathology, pediatrics, diagnosis, surgical technique, emergency medicine, pharmacology and research methods. Afterward, the curriculum shifts to focus mostly on clinical rotations in various disciplines, such as general surgery, gynecology and behavioral medicine. During these rotations, students gain first-hand experience in patient care under the supervision of licensed physicians.

Physician assistants can choose to specialize in a particular field of medicine, such as internal medicine, surgery or pediatrics. Becoming a specialist entails completion of an additional postgraduate training program and certification from the NCCPA. Candidates for specialty certification must hold PA-C certification, have two years of experience and complete a specialty certification program. They may then become certified by passing a specialty exam. Specialty certification must be renewed every six years.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected much faster than average job growth of 31% for physician assistants during the 2020-2030 decade. These primary healthcare providers' cost-effectiveness and ability to treat a growing elderly population were expected to produce an increase of 37,000 positions over this 10-year period. The average Physician Assistant salary is $100,500 as of June 28, 2020, but the salary range typically falls between $88,900 and $115,900. Salary ranges can vary widely depending on many important factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, the number of years you have spent in your profession.

Hope this was Helpful Jessica

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Sabina’s Answer

Generally, there are five steps to becoming a PA:

Complete your bachelor’s degree (a science or healthcare related major is usually best);
Gain experience either working or volunteering in a healthcare setting;
Apply to ARC-PA accredited programs;
Complete a 2-3 year, master’s level program;
Pass the PANCE licensing exam.

In most cases, a physician assistant will need a master’s degree from an accredited institution (two years of post-graduate education after completing a four-year degree). Essentially, you’re looking at six years of rigorous education in total to become a physician assistant.

Most applicants to PA education programs will not only have four years of education, they will also have at least a year of medical experience. Admission requirements will vary depending on the specific program, but you can expect to need two to four years of undergraduate course work with a specific focus on a related science.

For work experience, many people entering a PA program will have worked as a registered nurse, an EMT, or a paramedic.