Physician assistant master's degree programs prepare students for a wide range of employment options in medicine, including positions in hospitals, doctor's offices and community health clinics. Program specializations can include pediatrics, occupational medicine and other specialties. Didactic coursework may be available online at some schools. Regardless of the field in which a student earned their degree, most institutions require certain prerequisite courses to enter the program, such as several credit-hours of chemistry, biology and medical terminology.
Physician Assistant Master's Degree
The curriculum of most physician assistant master's degrees involves a combination of medical coursework and hands-on clinical experience. Below are some of the topics that may be included in the curriculum of such a degree program:
- Physical diagnosis
- Ethical concerns in medicine
- Patient assessment
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment of physician assistants is expected to grow by 30% between 2014 and 2024, a rate which is much higher than average. The BLS also states that, as of May 2015, the mean annual wage for physician assistants was $99,270.
Continuing Education Info
All 50 states require physician assistants to be certified before practicing. Certification involves passing the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination, which is administered by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA). Students must have graduated from an accredited physician assistant program before being eligible to take the certifying exam. Physician assistants may choose to further specialize in fields like pediatrics or occupational medicine.
Students who earn a physician assistant master's degree are able to become certified physician assistants in many different kinds of settings. This program combines lecture-based coursework with clinical hands-on training.