Going to the doctor can always be a stressful ordeal, not limited by the fact that you are in pain or ill, having to open up to someone who, in some cases, is a stranger and then trusting that they know the best way to cure your illness or alleviate your pain. Furthermore there is always that physician’s assistant smiling, helping the doctor picking up tools or even giving advice.
In that stress, have you ever found yourself wondering “What degree does a physician’s assistant need?” I know, I know it sounds petty to question a PA’s capabilities, this is someone who has dedicated their lives to helping others and studying the wisdom of medicine. Do not worry! No need to feel terrible about questioning their ability or fearing that they may follow some of the physician’s instructions wrong.
Remember, being afraid as a human is only natural and in most cases is one of our most natural forms of defense. Today we will work on making those fears go away by having a look at what sort of degree a physician’s assistant needs.
What type of training is required to be a Physician’s assistant?
Typically a physician’s assistant’s (PA) training comes through the form of completing a master’s degree program. Therefore applicants to a physician’s assistant program must have bachelor’s degree. Furthermore a large amount of schools advise that applicants must have experience working or volunteering in health care. Once they have finished their in-school studies, applicants must then complete their training via spending complete rotations in hospitals or a similar health care facility.
Well how long does this take a student to complete?
Generally speaking to become a physician’s assistant one must first complete a bachelor’s degree which will take about four years and then complete the physician’s assistant training program which will take two years. Also remember that many students take experience working in the healthcare industry during their program so this can sometimes add on some years.
Is there any licensure process?
Yes, every state will have their own licensure procedure or certification which is administered by the National Commission on Certification of Physician’s Assistants and enables you to work as a physician’s assistant. Also many states also demand that physician’s assistants submit their fingerprints for a criminal history background check.
Is this a profitable career choice?
On average a physician’s assistant in the United States will earn around $90,000, however for the top earners in the field it can be more in the range of $125,000 and on the lower end it can fall to $60,000. This is because it is a career where pay is largely judged on your experience.
This is really interesting how can I learn more?
The American Academy of Physician’s Assistants will be a great source of information if you are thinking of selecting this career in the future or you can also find more information about become a PA by contacting the Physician’s Assistant History Society or the National Commission on the Certification of Physician’s Assistants.