Preparing for a Career as a Physician Assistant

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How can I prepare myself for a physician assistant career?

Preparing for a Career as a Physician Assistant

Before launching your career as a physician assistant (PA), you'll 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 aren't 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 isn't 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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