Taking a physician assistant residency can be completed in 12 to 18 months time, and is generally taken after you have finished your physician assistant degree. Completing a PA residency will not only set you apart from most all other applicants who have a generic degree in physician assistant studies, but it will also allow you to earn the most money possible for the entire time you are in the profession. Case in point being that the average physician assistant salary is around $90,000 per year, whereas a specialty PA job can enable one to earn as high as $150,000 a year. There are a myriad of different specialties that an individual can choose to complete a residency in, which some of them include:
- Family Medicine
- Internal Medicine
- Addiction Medicine
- Emergency Medicine
- Primary Care
No matter which physician assistant residency you go with, each one will touch upon most all aspects of patient care for the specific specialty you choose to specialize in. These residency PA programs can be found in universities, schools of medicines, clinics as well are offered through hospitals. Being that they can be completed in such a short span of time, they are for the most part very intense, and can require a commitment of a cumulative total of 60 hours or more per week, which includes both going to class as well as homework. The curriculum will vary depending on which specialty your choose, but will consist of both classroom (didactic) training as well as clinical training which often times a class will shift from didactic to clinical multiple times throughout the course. The residency will generally have class on weekdays and will allocated a time off period which lasts one to two weeks.
TIP: Often times physician assistant residencies are offered through universities, which basically waive some or most of the specialty course tuition if you completed a physician assistant degree through the same school. This can both allow you to attain a degree in physician assistant studies as well as enjoy discounted or free PA residency training.
Physician Assistant Residency Requirements
In order to become a student in a physician assistant specialty course you must meet multiple prerequisites, which tend to vary slightly for each course, but tend to follow similar guideline requirements, which can include:
- Completion of a physician assistant school course which was certified by the likes of Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC – PA).Which the degree attained is most always required to be a bachelor’s or higher
- Pass a background check.
- A certain number of letters of recommendation.
- Be eligible to attain or have a PA license.
- PA transcripts.
- A personal statment also referred to as a personal narrative.
- Clinical experience can be a requirement, but is most of the time just a preferred prerequisite.
- Certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA).
- Basic Life Support Certification.
For the most part, physician assistant residencies are offered from schools and institutions in the form of 2 start dates, spring, and fall or fall and winter and tend to have class sizes that are much smaller than that of a physician assistant program.