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How to Become a Physician Assistant

How to Become a Physician Assistant

If you think you would like working in a medical field, you might check out being a physician assistant. A physician assistant works along side a supervising physician. Know that a physician assistant must be certified, licensed and registered as a medical professional. To get a good idea of what you will be getting into, see if you can contact physician assistant students or someone who is currently a physician assistant to make sure this is something you should really do. Also take a look at physician assistant training at http://www.mypatraining.com and its forum. This will give you great insight in terms of what you will need to do to become a physician assistant. Quite often, individuals who are How to Become a Physician Assistantalready surgical techs, surgical assistants, medical assistants, nursing assistants, athletic trainers, physical therapy techs and emergency medical techs apply to become a physician assistant.

If you are young, make sure you have a high school diploma and have taken the college entrance exam (SAT/ACT). It’s best if you took a lot of science sources in high school as that will make you college work easier. You’ll need to get a bachelor’s degree in health science. So, you will need to take courses such as anatomy and physiology, biology, microbiology, chemistry, physics and math amongst other courses. You could take pre-med courses in your first two years if the college has such as program. You really should attend a college that has pre-med. Most junior colleges have pre-med and that’s a cheaper way to go. Then you can apply to full university for junior and senior coursework.

To apply to a physicians assistant program, you’ll need to open an account with the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). Some Universities may require that you fill out a separate admission application specifically to them. Keep in mind that CASPA applications are quite involved and take a long time to fill out so you want to do this as early as possible. Take the time to create a folder that contains your educational and employment information so that this information is all in one place. That makes it easy to transfer the information to CASPA.

You’ll need to have letters of recommendation and three is the usual number. One of the recommendations should come from a doctor or physician assistant. You should try to establish these connections early on in your schooling. Recommendations are important and they should be good. When someone writes you a recommendation, make sure to read it before you submit it. If it’s not to your liking see if you can get it reworded otherwise get another person to write another recommendation.
Next, you are required to write a personal statement. CASPA will give you a question to write about. Make sure you take the time to write it well and if possible have someone proofread it for you. You might be able to ask someone who has recommended you or perhaps a former professor you took a class with. A number of students have been rejected based on their personal statement even though they had good grades.

Now it’s time for the interview. If you’ve made it to interview status, you are on your way to a physician assistant program. The interview is also crucial. Practice with a doctor or physician assistant. Ask them what kind of questions are usually asked and what are some good responses. You probably want to take notes on that one. Make sure you know as much about the history of being a physician assistant. Make sure you dress professionally.

Hopefully all went well and you are now accepted into a physician assistant program. The faculty members will keep you abreast about various requirements you need to fill as you go through your program. They will also guide you through any certifications, licensing and exams you need.


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Susan Ardizzoni

Susan Ardizzoni

Professor Susan Ardizzoni

Susan has studied at the University of Texas Medical Branch Marine Biomedical Institute in Galveston, Texas and the University of South Florida in Tampa and received a Ph.D. in Biology with a major in Neuroscience and minors in physics and mathematics. Area of research is in brain transplantation and behavior testing with twenty years of teaching experience. Fields of interest include the physical basis of memory and learning, brain repair and regeneration as well as neuro-development. As an educator, has taught thousands of students at the college level in anatomy and physiology, biology, microbiology, marinebiology, nutrition, communications, radiography, ultrasound, mathematics and physics. She enjoys reading current scientific literature and simplifying the material making it readily available to the public.
Susan Ardizzoni

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