July 16, 2010, Newsletter Issue #56: Preparing for a Career as a Physician Assistant

Tip of the Week

Before launching your career as a physician assistant (PA), youíll need to take care of positioning yourself to get accepted to a program. This includes taking care of prerequisites and clinical requirements. Read on to learn tips for preparing yourself for employment in a physician assistant job.

Take care of prerequisites. Most physician assistant programs require that applicants have the following prerequisites before applying: one year of general or cell biology, one year of microbiology, one year of inorganic chemistry, one year of human anatomy and physiology, and†a course in developmental physiology and statistics.

Ask about clinical experience. Some programs require up to 1,000 hours of clinical experience before entering a PA program. If you arenít currently working in the medical field, get creative. Volunteer experience and PA shadowing often counts.

Secure financial aid. The cost of earning a PA degree isnít cheap, usually about $60,000 or more to complete the entire program. Before entering a program, check out financial aid and scholarship availability.

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