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Physician Assistant Programs: What You Need to Know

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

Physical Assistants: Who are they?

Physician Assistant, the name says it all; it is basically an assistant of any physician or doctor. They are trained professionals that were authorized to assist physicians when performing interventions to patients. It is mainly their concern to maintain, prevent, and treat human injury, sickness, illness and diseases offering their services by performing methods and interventions usually done by a physician. They can diagnose patients and then treating them after, conduct exams such as physical exams, ordering test results and they can also interpret the ordered test results. They are like one step below the physicians in the hospital hierarchy.

Physician Assistant Programs are different from the program physicians took, but they are on the same page. PA's can only treat the more basic diseases, injuries, illness and more because only the physicians are the ones who treat more complex diseases that needs more attention and more complex interventions and methods to be done to them. There will always be a supervising physician for PA's. PA's can give a hand to physicians to lessen their heavy load and will help physicians focus on more complex cases.

Physician Assistant is the job that ranked second in the best jobs in America. This profession is one of the well-paid and fastest growing occupations in the United States of America. As told by the United States of America's Department of labor, the job of this profession is expected to increase 27% through 2016. This is a dramatic increase in jobs especially because the average growth is only 10%.

About the Physician Assistant Programs

You can get a Physician Assistant Bachelor's Degree and a Physician Assistant Master's Degree. The physician assistant college programs which is the bachelor's degree (BA-PA) is a 4-year program. On your third year to your fourth year in this program, you will undergo physician assistant training programs. You will have to undergo clinical work (Duration: 9 months) and a clinical rotation (Duration: 12 months).

The physician assistant education programs for a master's degree is a two year program wherein you have to take anatomy and physiology, , microbiology, internal medicine, surgery and psychology pediatrics, emergency medicine, pharmacology, obstetrics and gynecology, geriatrics, during the first year and emphasizes on experience in clinical work, medical specialties and primary care on the second year.

Physician Assistant Programs Schools

For now, there are currently 146 (one hundred forty six) accredited schools with Physician Assistant Programs throughout United States of America. The schools which are the most excellent in the physician assistant program were ranked. Duke University got the 1st rank with the score 4.4, both University of Iowa and University of Utah got the 2nd rank with 4.3, both of Emory University andGeorge Washington University got the 4th rank with 4.1, both Baylor College of Medicine and Oregon Health and Sciences University got 6th rank with a rate of 4.0 and the three universities namely University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey—Newark, University of Texas Southwestern Medical School—Dallas and University of Washington got the 8th rank with a score of 3.9. Those are the top 10 universities that excel in Physician Assistant Programs.

Steps after taking Physician Assistant Programs

After graduating from the physician assistant program, the next goal is to become a PA-C or a Physician Assistant- Certified. To get a certification, you must undergo and finish another program which is the ARC-PA or the Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant. After finishing this, you are still not a PA-C. You still have to pass a test. That test is or Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam. You must maintain your certification status and keep it active. That is why all certified physician assistants will have to complete a hundred hours every other year of medical education. This is how certified physician assistants active status is determined. Certified Physician Assistants are required to take a recertification test every six years.

Careers for the Certified Physician Assistants or PA-C's

Finishing the physician assistant programs and maintaining your certification can make you qualified to take jobs. These are the careers that lie ahead students taking physician assistant programs. For the students who plan to take physician assistant programs but don't know what future they can possibly have, these are job opportunities a physician assistant can have. The majority of practicing and certified physician assistants usually work in the area of medicine for primary care. That includes internal medicine, family practice, OB/GYN, pediatrics and emergency medicine. Nowadays, physician assistants that practice surgical settings are dramatically increasing over the past few years. They practice surgical settings such as general, cardiovascular surgery, and orthopedics. Physician assistants can try practicing any sub-specialty. Salaries may vary by practice setting, geographic areas, job responsibilities and many other factors.

Daily Work for A Physician Assistant

A physician assistant has several specific daily work and duties. But these depend heavily on the location of his or her working place. Physician assistants in rural areas or country side clinics, physician assistants are actually allowed to work as providers of primary care because of lack of physicians that can be sent in remote areas. They can also be the one who will make transactions and order supplies, equipment, giving their focus on things a physician is recommended to do such as emergency medicine, geriatric care, orthopedic care and they can even supervise clinic technicians.

There are some working physician assistants that are capable of holding two or more side lines or part-time jobs, these sidelines revolve around the hospital works and clinic works. Most of the time, physician assistants completing the coursework with clinic rotation and clinic duty can be permanent depending on the need of the hospital or clinic. Physician assistants who can handle loads of work prefer to keep multiple or a lot of jobs, however.

The Perks of Being A Physician Assistant

There are more than 149 different Physician Assistant programs where Physician Assistant-Certified people can earn degrees from associates. There are even lots of masters offered with the majority of programs.

The salary is great. The salaries of Physician Assistants can range from six figures to the thirty figures depending on your experience on specialty of Physician assistants. The Physician Assistants work in clinics, emergency rooms, prisons, hospitals, health care facilities, private group or even solo physician practices, the rural or country side Health Clinics and many other private and public health care units.

Having a bright future may not be a guarantee because of the work environments but many of the PA-C's or Physician Assistant-Certified people have made use of their time, efforts, labor and money to improve and support our capability to practice everywhere especially in any state of the United States of America just to prescribe and do interventions and do more for the country and serving more and more patients in need as well as improve their own careers.

Beyond the monetary rewards, you will have psychic rewards because you are able to reduce human pain and suffering and lighten the emotional burden not only of the sick patients but also of their loved ones. As a physician's assistant, you are able to work and help people at the same time. You get to experience the joy and feel the heart- warming feeling every time you save a life and that is a priceless feeling.



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