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Things To Consider When Choosing Physician Assistant Programs

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

Schools with Physicians Assistant Programs

Accreditation of the school

There are several schools that offer physician assistant programs and each program offers the student different experiences. Because of this, many people find choosing one particular program to be quite a challenge. The following are some of the tips that you should keep in mind when choosing a physicians assistants program. When choosing a physicians assistants program, this is one of the first things that should consider. The accreditation of a school program means that the schools' program has been evaluated by an external board and its academic units have been approved because they meet the educational quality standards. Choosing a school that has been accredited means that you will not only be receiving quality education but you will have a better chance of being employed compared to someone with a degree from a school that has not been accredited.

Type of program

This basically means that you choose whether you want an online course or you prefer a class based program. The type of program you choose will depend on the amount of time you are willing to spend as well as you're convenience. For example, if you work full time, then probably an online program would be most suitable for you.

Schools requirements

Every school has a list of basic requirements for all their programs including the physician assistant programs. Look at the requirements and see whether you may be able to meet them all. After all there is no need to consider a school which you know you will not get in. if you are hoping to transfer your credits from another school, you may want to look at their grade requirements as well as the courses the offer to see whether the coursework that you have already covered will be relevant in their school.At the same time you may want to know the sort of requirements or regulations that they have for enrolled students. For example, those who are taking accelerated physician assistant programs may be required to maintain a certain average if at all they are to remain in the program. It would be inconvenient for you to you join a program and then discover that you are unable to keep up with it.

Location of the school

The location of the school will be determined by whether you want to make a move or not. Most students that are just fresh from high school are more likely to want to move. For them, attending a program that is far from home gives them more independence. It also gives them the chance to visit new areas that they have never been to before. However, for those who have families or are looking for graduate physician assistant programs, they prefer to find schools within their home area so that they do not have to move. When you have the option of moving, you are able to widen your scope and therefore have more schools to choose from. It is important to keep in mind that moving doesn't really mean that you will get the best school, sometimes; the best physician assistant school is just a few blocks from where you live.

Cost of the program

Some programs are more expensive than others. Usually privately run programs are more expensive than state run programs. When you are choosing a program that suits you, try and keep it within your budget. If you are applying for a loan, take up a loan that you feel you may be comfortable paying back. Taking a bigger loan may take you longer to repay and at the point you will probably be having other responsibilities to deal with. When considering the cost you may also want to consider schools that offer scholarships. If you get a scholarship you may be able to avoid taking out a loan that you will have to pay later on in life.

Duration of the program

Some people prefer to take the least amount of time in school while still getting the most of it. For such people taking accelerated programs because they feel that they are most suited for them. For example, they can take a 5year program that will see them get both their undergraduate and graduate degrees. For some, they prefer to go through school the old fashioned way and take their time.


Every school has its own different curriculum. Some schools offer the more traditional theory based curriculum while others use a more problem based learning. Ask about their curriculum and choose one that sounds like something you would enjoy. You may also want to consider things like whether you may have to do a thesis at the end of the program. Some people do not like doing research and this may be a huge inconvenience to them.

History of the school

Schools that have been offering the physician assistant programs for longer are usually the best schools to choose. This is because you can gage their performances as well as look at things like their pass rate. However this does not mean that a new school will not be able to offer you quality education especially if it has been accredited. but if you do find yourself struggling to choose between a school with a new program to that which has been in existence for some time, do choose the more established program if its history and pass rate are convenient for you.

Using this list you can narrow down the list to a few schools that match your requirements. Once you have narrowed the list down to about three schools, you can make a visit to all three to see which appeals to you the best. While at the schools you can compare the resources that all the schools offers and from there you can go ahead and choose one that you feel suits you best.

Path to a Medical Career as a Physicians Assistant



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