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.

Becoming a PA
Becoming a Physician Assistant
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)
Financial Aid Resources
Finding a Physician Assistant to Shadow
Flexibility, Training Help Physician Assistants Forge a Medical Path
How to Become a PA
Idaho State University Physician Assistant Admissions Chat Session Schedule
Inside PA Training: Become a Physician Assistant
Johnson & Johnson Scholarship for Pre-PA Students
Learn How to Become a Physician Assistant
Massachusetts Association of Physician Assistants (MAPA)
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)
PA Focus
Physician Assistant Career Guide
Physician Assistant Career Overview
Physician Assistant Career Profile
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 Program Interview Questions
Physician Assistant Programs
Physician Assistant Salaries
Shadowing a Physician Assistant
Shadowing for Physician Assistant School
Six Reasons You Need to Shadow a Physician Assistant
Student Academy of the American Academy of Physician Assistants
Summary of How to Become a Physician Assistant
University of Brideport Physician Assistant Degree Program Information Sessions (scroll down)
Wayne State U. Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Information Meetings on Physician Assistant Program (first Tuesday of every month)
What Is a PA?
Why Be a Physician Assistant?

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)
Physician Assistant Graduate School Programs
Physician Assistant Programs

Application Service

CASPA (Central Application Service for Physician Assistants); CASPA Facebook
CASPA Fee Waiver

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.

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.