How You Can Become A Physician’s Assistant

If you are asking yourself how to become a physician assistant, well it is a pretty good question that can ultimately lead you to turning a passion for helping people into a great job that pays its worth candidates up to 100,000 – 200,000 per year depending on the specialties. If you are serious about becoming a PA and want to do it as soon as possible, you can use the list below as a personal guide to the requirements needed to fulfill to become a physician assistant, as we have listed all the steps needed below.

  • One must first have at least a high school education or a GED to be accepted into a physician assistant program.
  • Many of these PA programs require the applicant to also have at least a two-year degree or 60 or more college credits. According to The American Association of Physician Assistants, the curriculum that they like for incoming PA students to have are classes in; Chemistry, Biology, Humanities, Mathematics, Psychology as well as English and with Organic Chemistry often times being highly emphasized. Although it is not required, a large percentage of accepted applicants each year have attained at least a two-year degree, so it could be a good idea to get your an associates degree or higher to increase the odds of getting into a program. Although, if you do not have a degree, you can contact the physician assistant program that you wish to train at and inquire through them if in fact you need to have a degree for acceptance. If you are looking for accredited schools, you can visit this link: how to become a physician assistant which takes you to a site dedicated to providing all the accredited programs throughout the United States. All these classes are certified by the National Commission of Certification of Physician Assistance, which certification by them is a must if you want to take your testing.
  • Once you have completed your PA program which can last anywhere from 24 to 36 months of both classroom and clinical learning, the next step in your pursuit to becoming a physician assistant is by passing the Physician Assistants National Certifying Exam, which lasts 6 hours and has total of 360 questions, offering no more than one minute to complete each question.
  • Once you have passed the Physician Assistants National Certifying Exam, you must complete the last step to starting a career as a PA which is being granted authorization from your state that allows you to practice through your states licensure. All states requirements are different but all states has stated that certification by the NCCPA as one of the main criteria requirements for certification. This request is submitted to your state’s Physician Assistant Committee.
  • Now that you have been granted authorization, you are now able to use the PA-C title next to your name which means “physician assistant – certified”.
Now that you have learned the steps on how to become a physician assistant, there are a few things that certified PA’s must remember to fulfill to stay certified. These requirements consists of:
  • Every six years, one must complete 300 hours of physician assistant educational programs also known as Continuing Medical Education (CME) with 100 of these training hours being completed in the last 2 years before your recertification date. This also includes that 150 of these 300 hours must be Category 1 learning with 50 of these 150 hours being done in the last 2 years before taking the recertification examination.
  • Every six years, a PA must complete and pass the recertification exam or complete an alternative learning program that consists of a combination of learning experiences along with take home examination.