What are the education requirements for a physician’s assistant

A physician’s assistant works under a doctor or physician where he assists him in various tasks related to the treatment and diagnosis of a patient and often forms the first point of contact between patient and doctor. He interprets medical results of the diagnostic reports, answers queries of patients, makes a diagnosis, gives them advice on treatments etc but he has to do it under the supervision of a physician.

He is a trained healthcare professional and in order to be able to practice, he needs to have certain educational qualifications, training, skills and certification from accredited institutes. There are many academic options one can choose from in order to get a job in this field. Here are a few that you may consider if you want to become a physician’s assistant:

  • You need to be interested in life sciences at an early stage and should subjects like biology, physics, chemistry, life sciences, math etc in high school which will help you form a strong basis that will be required later
  • These courses can also be taken later but must be studied in way that they are equivalent to at least two years of college
  • There are many accredited colleges or programs which one can opt for and they all have different admission requirements
  • You can visit the website of the American Academy of Physician Assistants for more information and to get an idea of what courses are available in the place of your choice
  • Once you finish training in this field, you will have to appear for a certification exam which is necessary to get a license to practice
  • Every state may have different requirements and so you have to contact your state board for more details
  • You will need to clear the exam conducted by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants to get certified
  • It is better if you have experience in the field of healthcare either as a nurse, EMT specialist, medical assistant, research or diagnostic laboratory employees as it shows you have an idea of how to interact with patients and basic medical knowledge
  • There are some programs which are equivalent to the master’s level and to get admission you need to have completed a bachelor’s degree in any subject, preferably in the field of life sciences, nursing or healthcare administration
  • You have to keep yourself updated to retain your certification and pass the Physician Assistant National Recertifying Exam after 6 years

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