DaVinci's Man

Physician Assistant


Physician Assistants (PAs) are health professionals licensed to practice medicine with physician supervision. Within the physician/PA relationship, PAs exercise autonomy in medical decision making and provide a broad range of diagnostic and therapeutic services. Physician Assistants are trained in such tasks as screening patients, taking histories, performing physical exams, performing developmental screening exams for children, managing emergencies, etc. A physician willing to accept responsibility may assign more complicated therapeutic procedures to the PA who has demonstrated ability.

American Association of Surgical Physician Assistants (AASPA); AASPA Conference, October 17-20, 2019
Become a PA
Becoming a PA
Becoming a Physician Assistant
Becoming a Physician Assistant Advice
Campbell University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Ransdell Family Health Professions Readiness and Enrichment Program (HPREP)
Des Moines University Health Professions Advanced Summer Scholars Program (HealthPASS)
Financing Your PA Education
Flexibility, Training Help Physician Assistants Forge a Medical Path
Idaho State University Physician Assistant Admissions Chat Session Schedule (click on "Chat Times")
Massachusetts Association of Physician Assistants (MAPA); Massachusetts PA Programs
Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS) 24-Month Master of Physician Assistant Studies Program for Qualified Clark Students
National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA)
Navy Physician Assistant Careers
PA Application Tips
PA Fact Sheet
PA Focus
PA Foundation Student Scholarships
PA Program Directory
PA Program Interview Information
PA School Interview Questions
PA Student Interviews
PA vs. MD: Understanding the Differences Infographic
Paying for PA School
Physician Assistant Applicant Interview Questions
Physician Assistant Career Guide
Physician Assistant Career Overview
Physician Assistant Career Profile
Physician Assistant Career Requirements
Physician Assistant Forum; Shadowing Opportunities
Physician Assistant History Society
Physician Assistant Interview
Physician Assistant Job Profile
Physician Assistant Job Description
Physician Assistant Occupational Outlook
Physician Assistant Programs and Careers
Physician Assistant Salaries
Shadow a Physician Assistant
Shadowing a Physician Assistant
Shadowing a Physician Assistant Guide
Shadowing for Physician Assistant School
Shadowing Opportunities at Brigham and Women's Hospital
University of Florida School of Physician Assistant Studies Information Sessions for Prospective Students, September 13, October 31, and November 15, 2019
Wayne State U. Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Information Meetings on Physician Assistant Program (first Tuesday of each month)

Russell Longendorfer is a 2010 graduate of Clark University and attended the MHS PA program at Quinnipiac University. He gave a presentation at Clark on the PA profession.



Program Length

2-3 years

Professional Schools' Organization

AAPA (American Academy of Physician Assistants)
PAEA (Physician Assistant Education Association)
PAEA PA Program Directory
Physician Assistant Graduate School Programs

Application Service

CASPA (Central Application Service for Physician Assistants); CASPA Facebook
CASPA Participating Programs
Fee Assistance Program

Academic Admission Requirements

Varies with school but may include two semesters each: Biology, Chemistry (some Organic/Biochemistry), Microbiology, Anatomy, and Physiology; one semester Math. Also Psychology.
Prerequisite Coursework

Admission Exam

GRE (most) or MCAT

Personal Attributes & Experiences

Most PA programs require health care experience of applicants (e.g., EMT, volunteering in a hospital, orderly, nurse's aide, nurse, etc.). The Red Cross Phlebotomy Training Program can be a good way to begin acquiring the necessary health care experience. Most programs expect life experience as well as medical experience.

Recommendation Letters

No standard form.