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Becoming A Physician's Assistant

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If you love helping people and want a fulfilling career in the the healthcare field, consider becoming a physician's assistant, or PA. These are medical professionals who help general physicians and surgeons perform their duties. They work in hospitals, clinics and doctor's offices and execute various tasks to help lighten the physician's burden. Here are some of the key considerations to keep in mind if you decide to pursue this specialty.


You will need a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university to gain acceptance to most physician's assistants programs. A focus on science courses is recommended by experts, as PA programs typically require the same educational background as medical schools. Many applicants to PA programs also have a background in the medical field, such as nursing or emergency services.


Your professional training begins once you are accepted into an accredited PA program. You will undergo a rigorous course of study that includes instruction in anatomy, pharmacology, biochemistry and other related fields. The average program takes two to three years to complete, according to U.S. New and World Report. After your classroom work is complete, you will begin a medical rotation. This experience allows you to interact in a healthcare setting with actual doctors and patients.


Before becoming a physician's assistant in the United States you must obtain a license from the state where you intend to practice. To apply for a license, you must first pass a certification exam given by the The National Commission on Certification of Physician's Assistants. Although all states demand that you pass this particular exam, the other licensing prerequisites may vary somewhat from state to state. Contact your state licensing board to determine the specific requirements for your area.


One of the most important steps in having a thriving career as a physician's assistant is finding the right doctor to work with. If the relationship with your supervising physician is bad, then your work experience will be unsatisfying. Look for a physician at places like Mount Laurel Primary Care Physicians who enjoys interacting with other medical professionals as part of a team, rather than one who is a lone wolf type. Try to find one who allows you an opportunity for advancement as well.

Healthcare is one of the most rewarding fields in which to work. You gain tremendous emotional satisfaction from providing a crucial service to people facing difficult challenges. If you want a career helping others and making a significant contribution to society, think about becoming a physician's assistant.