Physician assistant programs are an alternative to medical assistant courses growing in popularity. They are a great option for those wanting a more hands-on role in their post-school medical experience because not only do these graduates have the right to examine patients themselves, they are licensed by most states to prescribe medication. These courses are widely available through a number of methods, but they do carry many, specific requirements.
The are many options when considering which school to attend and a number of ways in which to study. Courses can now be found in a number of accredited institutions across the US – from colleges to medical schools and occasionally even hospitals themselves. There are four levels of qualification available in this field, and while the majority of these schools will just offer the Bachelor and Master degrees, a few will provide the option of lesser, shorter programs like associate degrees and certificates.
What Kind Of Programs Are Available?
Physician assistant programs can be studied via three methods. They are available as online, campus and hybrid courses and while each has its own style and benefit, it is essential to check each individual school’s course structure before choosing the one that best suits. Campus based courses, with lab work and physical tuition are available at all levels of the program, but the online variety can also be taken up to masters level.
The disadvantage of distance learning may be that it eliminates time with the tutor, but some students find it beneficial as they only have to travel to their placements and can work from home on the same type of coursework as those on campus. As a way of bringing the best of both worlds together, many institutions have opted for providing hybrid courses. The hybrid mixes the convenience of home learning and provides campus based classes on a more part time basis.
What Qualifications Do I Need Before Applying?
Once your course has been selected the next step is the application. Here there are many requirements for consideration, each school has its individual views but here are some of the more common expectations. The schools generally prefer that applicants hold a college degree and qualification in Chemistry, Biology and Anatomy – for the campus and online options – as well as health related work experience. In addition to this, some places ask for college level education in Math, English and another science such as Sociology, Psychology or Anthropology.
Good Qualities To Have
As well as these academic merits, schools also look at personality traits to see if a prospective student is the right type of person for the profession. Students must have the right mindset to enrol into these courses, if you are not versatile, focuses and determined they may not accept you, therefore in order to gauge an applicants personality many schools hold interviews. During this process they will not only test these traits and check academic qualification, but they can ask for references and check you have passed the GRE – graduate record exam – that many places call for.
As long as you meet these needs, finding Physician Assistant programs that are right for you – whether campus based, distance or hybrid – should be straightforward.
Physician Assistant Program Prerequisite Video
This is a helpful video from youtube that highlights the prerequisites you’ll need before applying for your preferred program.