2 answers

Do I have to take an exam to get accepted into a Physician assistant program? What is the application process like?

Asked New York, New York

Really interested in the medical field #people #application #physicians-assistant #professionals #programs

2 answers

Christopher’s Answer

Updated Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Hi Sandra,

The majority of PA programs use a central application service (CASPA). Your best bet would be to research the individual requirements of the PA programs you wish to apply to, and also to research the CASPA application process. Here is the CASPA info page:

https://portal.caspaonline.org/caspaHelpPages/frequently-asked-questions/index.html

Vickey’s Answer

Updated Baltimore, Maryland

There is no specific entrance exam for Physician Assistant programs. You need a Bachelor's degree, preferably in a science field. You need Anatomy, Physiology, Organic and Inorganic Chemistry courses. You will also need Patient Contact hours, which can be either a paid or volunteer position. I suggest the following:

Vickey recommends the following next steps:

  • Pick a few PA schools that you would like to attend. Contact the schools to get their exact requirements.
  • If your college degree didn't include the courses I mentioned above, you need to take them before you apply.
  • Shadow a PA. If you don't know any PAs, contact the nearest PA program and ask them to recommend someone that will accept shadows. Shadow for more than a day. A week would be good.
  • Choose a place to work or volunteer that puts you in direct contact with patients. For example, nursing home, hospital, urgent care, ER.
  • Get all your ducks in a row. Be able to explain how you will meet financial and family obligations while in school.