The Qualifications Necessary For A Physician Assistant Career

The healthcare industry is booming, and with it comes the need for those interested in a physician assistant career. How do you know if becoming a PA is for you? There are certain qualifications that are necessary to know.

First of all, do you love science? You will be required to take a lot of biology, anatomy and physiology courses as the education requirements. Another perk to this career path is that you will not have to go through seven years of med school followed by a lengthy residency. Keep in mind that you do need to have a graduate degree, and you have to take certification and licensing exams. Even so, the education and training for a PA is significantly shorter than an MD, so you can get started on your career sooner.

On the up side, there is a high demand for PAs, mainly because there is a shortage of doctors. So, working with a doctor, you will be able to see patients, order tests, write out prescriptions and even assist in some surgical procedures. According to U.S. News and World Report, PA jobs are ranked as the #2 best healthcare job in 2018.

Major tasks of physician assistants

There are numerous roles played by physician assistants. Their tasks are determined by the supervising physician and by State law. Aspiring PAs should investigate the laws and regulations in the States in which they wish to practice. Some of the most vital roles include:
•    General physical examination of patients
•    Providing first aid
•    Arrangement for diagnostic testing sessions
•    Interpreting x-ray and test results under doctor’s guidance
•    Assistance in doctor’s treatment and activities
•    Diagnostic testing arrangements
•    Drafting medical prescriptions
•    Counseling sessions for patients

So if you love medicine, helping people, and the opportunity to grow in the healthcare industry, a physician assistant career is the way to go.


For more information

  • American Academy of Physician Assistants
  • For a list of accredited physician assistant programs, contact:
  • Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistants 
  • For eligibility requirements and a description of the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination, contact: National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants

Healthcare, Physician Assistant Careers, Physician Assistants