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Becoming a Physician Assistant

Becoming a Physician Assistant is an excellent way to embark on a rewarding, life-long career that allows you to increase the well being of patients and more.

The choice to become a Physician Assistant can be a very rewarding one, that puts you in line for a tremendous career in the medical field. You’ll find that Physician Assistant jobs offer vital help for doctors and surgeons and perform specialized tasks. As such, they are a vital part of the medical community. However, you’ll need to know a bit more about the field before choosing this as your career.

What to expect as a Physician Assistant

What should you expect as a Physician Assistant (or PA, as they’re called)? You’ll find that you will work under the direct supervision of a physician or a surgeon. You will perform a wide array of tasks, as dictated by your supervisor. These might include taking X-rays, performing lab tests, administering health care to patients and more.

In addition, in some states, Physician Assistants are able to perform quite a bit of work unsupervised and may actually be primary care providers. Some PA jobs actually involve prescribing medications, performing offsite patient checks and more.

Educational requirements to become a Physician Assistant

You’ll find that while less rigorous than the requirements to become a full-fledged doctor, the requirements to become a Physician Assistant can be quite considerable. Most medical schools will require that you have at least two years of secondary school education under your belt, as well as some hands-on experience in the healthcare field.

Most Physician Assistant programs will last for an additional two years, so you can expect to undergo four years of additional education after graduating from high school. The majority of programs offer a master’s degree option, though some only offer a bachelor’s or even an associate’s degree. As such, you can expect to earn a larger salary with more education.

You will also find that PAs can go on to careers in other areas of medicine. For instance, many choose to specialize in neonatology, while others choose to go into rural primary care, internal medicine or another area. However, ensuring that you have the education required is vital to your career options.

Other resources

You can find more information about Physician Assistant positions with the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
PremedGuide.com can help you learn more about Physician Assistant education and other requirements.
The PAEA (Physician Assistant Education Association) provides help with locating Physician Assistant programs and other resources.

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