Physician Assistant

Physician assistant could be a good job choice for individuals who are interested in primary care medicine but don't want to attend medical school. This rapidly growing profession requires a master's degree and national certification. Read on to learn more.

Inside Physician Assistant Training and Careers

Physician assistants (PAs) work in medical practice offices, clinics and hospitals, where they assist doctors in administering basic or specialized medical care. In some cases, they work on their own, but PAs typically work under the supervision of licensed physicians. Master's level training and certification are required; there are also many specialties to choose from. This relatively new profession offers good job prospects as the elderly population increases and more physicians turn to specialty practices.

Education Information

To become a PA, a master's degree program is the most common option, but associate's and bachelor's degree programs are also available for those who already possess previous medical experience, like nurses or EMTs. According to the American Academy of Physician Assistants (www.aapa.org), the average program takes about 2 years to complete. Then, aspiring PAs must pass a national certification exam, which is the same test regardless of the degree level completed.

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