In the state of Florida, there are not many physician's assistants (PAs) programs available. With the exception of one of the schools listed below, most PA programs are at the graduate level, and to get accepted applicants must already hold bachelor's degrees or possess the necessary work experience. The majority of programs take two years to complete, and during those two years students will spend part of their time in lectures and the rest of their time in labs or clinical training sessions working with actual patients. Due to the nature of the PA position, students will participate in clinical rotations so that they can acquire experience in various medical areas. Read on to learn more about five of the not-for-profit schools in the state offering PA programs.
Barry University in Miami offers a 3-year PA program. Students will begin the program by studying subjects such as neuroanatomy, human and community health. In the second year, students start a series of 6-week clinical rotations. They work in fields like emergency medicine and family medicine. Graduates of the PA program receive a master's degree and a certificate.
Keiser University - Fort Lauderdale
Keiser University's main campus is located in the city of Fort Lauderdale. The PA master's degree program is designed to be completed in 6 semesters (2 years). Students take courses in medical terminology, anatomy and pharmacology. The program requires clinical rotations in various fields like surgery. During the last semester, students complete a graduate project.
Miami Dade College
This college in Miami offers the school's 88-credit PA program. Coursework involves a year of classroom and laboratory study and is followed by a year of clinical experiences. Students take courses in surgical procedures, diagnostic imaging and pharmacology. Clinical clerkships are also required.
Nova Southeastern University
Nova Southeastern University's main campus is located in Fort Lauderdale, but the PA program is also available in Jacksonville, Fort Myers and Orlando. The PA master's degree program has 2 phases: the didactic phase and the clinical phase. In the didactic phase, students learn about medical terminology, physical diagnosis, behavioral medicine and life support. The clinical phase includes a number of different clinical rotations, including family medicine, pediatrics and emergency medicine. A graduate project is required at the end of the program.
University of Florida
Gainesville's University of Florida has a PA program, and students earn both a master's degree and certificate in the field. The first year of the program is devoted to classes covering topics like behavioral medicine, physiology and radiographic anatomy. Students also complete a practicum. In the second year, they participate in clinical rotations in Gainesville and the surrounding areas. Rotation fields include psychiatry, intensive care medicine, obstetrics/gynecology and general surgery.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that all PAs are required to be licensed for practice. Students can become licensed PAs in Florida by completing an accredited physician assistant training program and passing the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE). They also need to have a current National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants-issued certificate. Licensure is maintained through continuing education.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Physician Assistant Degree Programs Offered||Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)*|
|Barry University||4-year, private, not-for-profit; large suburb||Master of Clinical Medical Science/Physician Assistant Certificate||$17,820 (graduate)|
|Keiser University - Fort Lauderdale||4-year, private, not-for-profit; midsize city||Master of Science in Physician Assistant||$28,272 (graduate)|
|Miami Dade College||4-year, primarily associate's, public; large city||Associate in Science in Physician Assistant|| $2,838 in-state;
$9,661 out-of-state (undergraduate)
|Nova Southeastern University||4-year, private, not-for-profit; large suburb||Master of Medical Science in Physician Assistant||$20,620 (graduate)|
|University of Florida||4-year, public; midsize city||Master of Physician Assistant Studies/Certificate of Completion in Physician Assistant|| $12,737 in-state;
$29,302 out-of-state (graduate)
Source: *NCES College Navigator