The physician assistant program requirements are needed before you can enroll in any physician assistant school. Depending on the program you will be attending, the prerequisites can be different in every state and often in every school, too. Therefore, it is best for you to check with your preferred school, so that you would not go wrong. Although these school programs differ in some degree, they still share a number of similar requirements. Below are some of the common ones.
Entrance examinations –most of the physician assistant schools require their students to take an entrance exam before they are allowed to start their bachelor and associate program. As for students who are applying for a Master’s degree program, they might be asked to take GRE or graduate record exam.
Interviews –entering a physician assistant program is pretty much like applying for a job. Upon receiving the applications of all the hopefuls, there will be a deliberation. Afterward, the school officials will come up with a roster of applicants which are shortlisted. The students will be then interviewed. Aside from the interrogation, your grades and references from your previous professors and immediate supervisors will be looked into before your admission will be decided.
Precondition courses –there are particular courses that you should take prior to entering a physician assistant program. More often than not, laboratory works are also required. Some of the subjects include anatomy, chemistry, general biology, chemistry, organic and biochemistry, psychology, microbiology, chemistry, medical terminology, nutrition and other related sciences. Some schools even require a certain number of units, so it would be best that you plan ahead if you want to pursue further for your physician assistant education while you are still working on undergraduate program.
Paid or volunteer hours –this is also one of the physician assistant program requirements. Quite a number of medical schools require the students have at least 1000 paid or volunteer hours of service rendered at any clinic and hospital, both private and public. Most of the time, schools would ask for a direct patient care experience. Health-related ones will do. At times, this requirement would vary depending on the area of discipline where you want to specialize in.
CPR certification –some states necessitate a certification on cardiopulmonary resuscitation and first aid. You can take it in several schools that also offer master degree programs. However, since it is a requirement, you must finish this CPR course first prior to entering the program. It is recommended that you work on this during spring, so that you would not be behind your target schedule.
You can seek guidance regarding this from your pre-health adviser. This is extremely beneficial, as you would not waste time devoting your effort, and money to the wrong subjects. You can also turn to various offices like the American Academy of Physician’s Assistant that can help you in arriving in an informed decision and draft concrete plans.
The bottom line is if you plan ahead of time, you will have no problem accomplishing physician assistant program requirements and be successfully admitted to your ideal physician assistant school.