Physician Assistant Schools in Ohio
Read about the qualifications you will need to become a physician assistant as well as the entry requirements for a PA program. Get to know the subjects you will cover and learn about schools in Ohio that offer physician assistant programs.
Studying to become a physician assistant means gaining skills in a variety of settings: from the classroom and laboratory to clinical settings where you will deal with real patients. Read on to see what experience and qualifications you will need to get started in your career as a physician assistant.
What Are Physician Assistant Program Entry Requirements?
Admissions requirements for physician assistant programs vary from school to school, but most of them require between two and four years of undergraduate study that included a heavy concentration of science coursework.
Schools typically also expect you to have a certain amount of practical experience caring for patients. This experience could be as a paramedic or nurse as well as a volunteer at a hospital, clinic, or organization that deals with at-risk and special-needs groups, such as homeless people or orphaned children.
Prospective physician assistant students who have met these requirements can then enroll in an accredited graduate program of at least two years, most of which lead to a master's degree.
What Will I Learn in a Physician Assistant Program?
In the classroom and laboratory, you will cover subjects such as human anatomy and physiology, the genetic and molecular aspects of health and disease, patient diagnosis, and pharmacology. You will also learn about medical ethics, behavioral medicine, healthcare policy, leadership in healthcare, and emergency medicine.
The clinical rotations usually cover a combination of compulsory and elective subjects so you can get practical experience in fields such as family medicine, women's health, psychiatric medicine, emergency medicine, surgery, internal medicine, and pediatrics.
Which Schools in Ohio Offer Physician Assistant Programs?
The programs at the following schools all confer a master's degree to successful students and are accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant.
- Baldwin Wallace University in Berea offers a Master of Medical Science Physician Assistant program. The 24-month program includes more than 2,000 hours of clinical experience.
- The University of Mount Union in Alliance has a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies program and prides itself on the fact that its students have scored 9.74 out of 10, on average, for professionalism in recent evaluations.
- Kettering College has a Master of Physician Assistant Studies program that includes eight clinical rotations of five weeks each.
- The University of Findlay awards a Master of Physician Assistant degree to students who successfully complete its program. The school offers hands-on learning in its on-campus cadaver lab.
- Ohio Dominican University in Columbus has a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies program and claims a 100% employment rate for students who have been awarded the degree.
How Do I Get a License to Practice as a Physician Assistant in Ohio?
In Ohio, like in all other US states, you must pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination, which is administered by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants. You must also hold an agreement with a physician that supervises your work.
Once you're licensed, you will need to maintain your credentials. Requirements include completing a sufficient number of continuing education credits over a two-year period. Every ten years, you must pass a recertification exam.
Are There Many Jobs Available for Physician Assistants?
The members of the baby boomer generation are entering old age, which means the US is facing a growing population of people who need an increasing amount of medical care. Improved healthcare also means that people are generally living longer than those of previous generations.
So, it comes as no surprise that the US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicted that job opportunities for physician assistants would increase by 31% from 2018 to 2028, which is far above the average expected growth of 5% for all occupations.