Physician Assistant Colleges
There are around 160 different physician assistant colleges in the entire United States that are accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc (ARC-PA). Most all of these programs offer their eligible applicants a masters degree program, which some of them offer bachelors degrees which for the most part these types of schools allow their students to complete their bachelors studies and if they perform to a certain level, they will be able to enter into the masters degree program if they choose, which these physician assistant colleges are referred to as bridge programs or pre-physician assistant schools. Upon passing the program, students are awarded their Masters of Health Science in Physician Assistant Studies, which is held by most working physician assistants today.
Requirements For Admittance Into Physician Assistant Colleges
Requirements vary depending on which physician assistant college you are looking to apply to, but requirements tend to follow a similar guideline of what the prerequisites are for admittance. Below are examples of what are required out of physician assistant colleges who offer a master’s degree program, which isn’t required for PA employment, as usually only a bachelors degree is, but an MA will provide the best chances for employment.
- A bachelors degree which a 3.0 or higher was attainined.
- Certain prerequisite courses, which each course needs to be completed with at least a C and a cumulative 3.0 GPA.
- Clinical experience, which is usually demanded to be hands on experience like being a paramedic, CNA, RN, or EMT among others, which the training hours requirements for admittance into physician assistant colleges can range anywhere from 100 hours to up to 2 years of working full time.
- Letters of reference.
- Certain Graduation Record Exam (GRE) scores.
- A drug and background test as well as immunizations will most likely be required.
Physician Assistant Colleges Curriculum
Physician assistant schools offer degree programs that tend to last anywhere from 24 to 30 months of intensive full-time study, where afterward on will have the credentials needed to be able to apply for licensure in their state which will enable them to gain employment as a PA. Curriculum taught in physicians assistant colleges will include topics like; medical terminology, pharmacology, clinical medicine, diagnostic and medical procedures, medical ethics, emergency situations, post surgery therapy, biochemistry, physiology, behavioral science, anatomy among many others, all of which will provide you with the knowledge needed to be able to pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE), which is a 600 question test that upon passing it, you will be able to work as a PA.
Students will learn the curriculum through a variety of different methods, those of which include classroom training as well as clinical training, where students will become familiar with physician assistant specialties like; family medicine, pediatrics, surgery, dermatology, emergency medicine, family medicine, gynecology and more. This portion of the training is done under the supervision of a physician assistant or otherwise a medical practitioner.
Top Physician Assistant Colleges
The top physician assistant programs offer excellent training, but may not be the top one for you, but for examples sake, below are the top 5 physician assistant programs in the United States, which the list tends to vary each year, but usually conists of these 5 schools:
- Duke University
- University of Iowa
- University of Utah
- Emory University
- George Washington University