Pre-Professional    Health
Pre-Professional Health
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Pre-Professional   Health

Physician Assistant

Certified physician assistants (PA-C) medically manage individuals in collaboration with a supervising physician.

Physician assistants

  • Assess patients by performing a comprehensive history and physical examination;
  • Perform or order diagnostic tests, interpret results and develop a diagnosis (diagnostic tests may include laboratory and radiographic studies, including x-ray, ultrasound, CT, MRI, Bone Density (DXA) or other test when indicated);
  • Formulate a treatment plan to manage the patient’s acute or chronic conditions with the goal of optimizing treatment;
  • Perform interventions such as aspiration and injection of joints;
  • Order physical or occupational therapy depending upon the patient’s needs;
  • Prescribe, order and implement interventions and treatments in accordance with state law;
  • Prescribe medications in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands and Guam;
  • Collaborate with other health care providers to assess patient’s needs and use community resources to plan appropriate care;
  • Provide therapeutic intervention commensurate with their level of education, specialization, and experience and in accordance with state law;
  • May be involved in medical research;
  • Serve as a health information resource for patients and families;
  • Serve as an advocate for the patient and family within the health care facility, community and the legislative arena.

In conclusion, if becoming a physician assistant is really what you want, go for it! Do not be afraid of the competition. Research, plan and prepare. There will always be a spot for the determined.


Physician Assistant School Admission


How to get into physician assistant programs
  1. Make a thorough examination of yourself as to whether you really do want to get into physician assistant school and become a physician assistant. Do you know what becoming a physician assistant entails? Spend time doing this self-examination and make sure becoming a physician assistant really is what you want to do. Do not rush into physician assistant school just because you have not explored all possible options. Being a physician assistant is incredibly rewarding, but just make sure your temperament and personality fit this type of profession.
  2. Carefully read through what your schools of choice prefer and emphasize in terms of their admission policy. Some schools like people who have traveled and seen the world, other schools are more academically oriented, and still other schools prefer students who have taken certain courses not listed on their list of prerequisites. Thoroughly read college websites thoroughly, perform site searches for “physician assistant” and visit as many related links as possible. A university’s online physician assistant newsletter can also be a good source of information.
  3. Once you’ve decided to go to physician assistant school and have researched the appropriate information from the schools on your list, begin to think about how you can increase your chances of getting into physician assistant school. Purchase and read several good books on the topic, but also form innovative ideas of your own.
  4. Prepare as early as possible; there is no such thing as preparing too early. If you suddenly decide to apply to physician assistant school one year before applications are due, you will still have time to work up a good application (assuming you have all your pre-requisite courses. The more time between your decision and the application deadline, the better your chances of getting accepted. This allows you to think about which courses or activities you should engage in to make you a more competitive applicant or a better physician assistant in the future.
  5. Take any standardized tests required at the appropriate time. Do not take these tests too early, as you will be wasting time learning the material by yourself instead of learning it during your lectures. Also, do not decide to take it early just because you are afraid you may not do well the first time and may need to repeat it to get a higher score. Similarly, do not take these standardized tests too late or you will forget much of what you learned during previous years. The most important thing is to be able to make the deadline. Take tests before the deadline, but try to take them only when you are ready.
  6. Keep your grades high. In the midst of dealing with your extracurricular activities, do not forget to keep your grades as high as possible. Getting high grades shows determination, intelligence, and willingness to work hard. Once you have taken a course, your transcript is basically set in stone. Getting good grades shows you learned what was taught. What you learn may not directly relate to your future, but it will always indirectly help you.