Schools for Aspiring Doctor's Assistants
Many schools offer degrees in physician assistant studies. Continue reading to find out what prerequisites you'll need and what types of classes you could complete in a physician assistant degree program.
If you are interested in becoming a physician assistant, you will want to pursue a degree in the field. Read on to see what the best degree level and program to choose will be, and check out some schools that offer what you are looking for.
How Do I Gain Admission Into a Physician Assistant Degree Program?
In many cases, degrees in physician assistant studies are awarded at the master's level. Although some schools invite applicants from varying academic backgrounds to apply, undergraduate courses in biology, physiology and math might be required for admission. Typically, a bachelor's degree in a science or health-related discipline is necessary. Experience in patient care is usually required by most universities. Certification in basic life support might be needed in certain instances.
The first step in the application process at a number of institutions necessitates you to complete a CASPA (Centralized Application Service for Physician's Assistants). Graduate Records Examination (GRE) scores, a personal statement, references and your resume will likely need to be among your submission materials. Some schools will ask you to take part in an on-campus interview.
What Degree and Course Requirements Will I Need to Meet?
An independent study project encompassing a medically-related topic might be needed for graduation at some schools. Many universities expect you to complete clinical rotations; under the supervision of a doctor, you'll perform a number of tasks critical to patient care, like prescription writing, illness treatment and diagnosis, data recording and physical examination. You'll likely be asked to complete a number of rotations covering several different facets of medicine, including:
- Internal medicine
- Family practices
- Emergency medicine
- Gynecology and obstetrics
You can expect the bulk of your coursework to cover advanced subjects in science, math and research. Some topics you might study include:
- Clinical medicine
- Patient evaluation
- Disease prevention
Which Schools Offer Physician Assistant Master's Degree Programs?
Students have a number of options to choose from when pursuing a master's degree in physician assistant studies. Here are a few of them:
- The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley has a Master in Physician Assistant Studies
- Emory University offers a Master of Medical Science in Physician Assistant Degree
- The University of Wisconsin Madison has a Master of Physician Assistant Studies degree program
Can I Obtain My Degree Online?
You will find some schools offer master's degree programs in physician assistant studies online. The admission and graduation requirements you'll need to meet will likely be similar to on-campus programs. Typically, you will be given up to four years to complete a degree through distance learning. Access to a computer with an Internet connection is critical to participation in any off-campus degree program. Degrees may be offered in a fully online or hybrid format, where you will be asked to complete certain courses or graduation mandates on-site.
A master's degree will be the best education option for students interested in becoming a physician assistant. The degree can be completed on campus and, in some cases, online, and will prepare graduates for a career in the field.