A Physician Assistant (PA) is a licensed and certified medical professional that works with doctors, nurses, and other medical staff to diagnose and treat patients. They are able to do complete physical exams, order lab and diagnostic testing, write prescriptions, conduct and assist surgical procedures, and round in hospitals. They work side by side with a supervising physician and together are able to provide communities with excellent patient care. They work in all sorts of settings including doctor's offices, hospitals, schools, and even nursing homes and rehab facilities.
Prospective PA students must complete a bachelors degree in any field (as long as they meet required pre-requisites). They must then complete an extensive application (provided by CASPA) including a personal statement (that's where WE come in!). Once completed you are able to apply to physician assistant programs all over the country. After submitting your application, schools select candidates they are interested in for interview. Once accepted, students begin a rigorous 26 month academic program and must complete their national certification board. After passing their boards and applying for licensure in the state of their choice, a PA is finally ready to serve those in need.
It is a long and arduous journey, but we are confident that if you ask any practicing physician assistant if they are happy with their career, the overwhelming answer will be "yes." We are proud to call ourselves physician assistants and encourage those interested in medicine to consider advancement of their careers by applying to PA school.