Physician Assistant - Physician Assistant (2022)

Vision

The vision of the High Point University Physician Assistant Studies Program is to be a national leader in PA education recognized for excellence in curriculum innovation, scholarship and community engagement.

Mission

The mission of the High Point University Physician Assistant Studies program is to deliver a student-centered, experiential curriculum grounded in high academic and ethical standards. The program strives to develop compassionate PAs who are self-directed, lifelong learners prepared to provide evidence-based, patient-centered care as members of an interprofessional health care team.

Values

As student-focused educators seeking to be role models for what the health care profession should be, we believe our actions should always be cohesive with patient-centric, evidence-based medicine and our core values of:

  • Collaboration

  • Compassion

  • Innovation

  • Integrity

  • Positivity

  • Respect

  • Tenacity

What Makes HPU’s PA Program Unique?

High Point University’s PA Program offers an inter-professional, students-first, experiential learning program that will prepare you to be the healthcare provider of the future as it is going to be!

(Video) So You Want to Be a PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT [Ep. 17]

Program Overview

The HPU program in Physician Assistant Studies begins each Summer and spans 27 months over 7 continuous semesters. Part-time or interrupted attendance is not an option, and no online classes are offered. The program prepares graduates with the necessary knowledge and skills to:

  • Reliably perform the role of the PA and meet the demands of an expanding local, national, and global health care environment.
  • Provide health care services to all persons regardless of race, culture, spiritual beliefs, gender, or socioeconomic statuswhile contributing to the advancement of knowledge in their discipline and in medicine.

The curriculum was designed to imaginatively blend critical thinking and intellectual inquiry with a practical need for innovation, skill, and knowledge within professional disciplines.

The innovative course of study includes an integrated set of educational experiences that focus on:

  1. Core Medical Sciences
  2. Critical Thinking
  3. Cultural Values
  4. Public Policy Issues
  5. Research applicable to the needs of the PA profession
  6. Service Learning Opportunities

ARC-PA Accreditation

The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued status to the High Point University Physician Assistant Program sponsored by High Point University. Accreditation-Continued is an accreditation status granted when a currently accredited program is in compliance with the ARC-PA Standards.
Accreditation remains in effect until the program closes or withdraws from the accreditation process or until accreditation is withdrawn for failure to comply with the Standards. The approximate date for the next validation review of the program by the ARC-PA will be June 2029. The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Accreditation Standards and ARC-PA policy.

Physician Assistant - Physician Assistant (1)

The program’s accreditation history can be viewed on the ARC-PA website here.

Physician Assistants (PAs) are health-care professionals licensed or, in the case of those employed by the federal government, credentialed to practice medicine in association with designated collaborating physicians. PAs are qualified by graduation from an accredited PA educational program and/or certification by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants. Within the physician-PA relationship, PAs provide patient-centered medical care services as a member of a health care team. PAs practice with defined levels of autonomy and exercise independent medical decision making within their scope of practice. PAs practice medicine providing diagnostic and therapeutic services in all practice settings. They are autonomous members of the healthcare team, collaborating with physicians and partnering with other Health Care Professionals. PAs may also be involved in medical research, medical education and health care administration at various levels. All 50 states have enacted legislation granting prescriptive privileges to PAs. The physician-PA team enhances both access to and delivery of high-quality health care. PAs must possess strong cognitive and skill-based attributes and must function with the highest ethical standards in the delivery of health care to their patients.

The PA role demands intelligence, sound judgment, intellectual honesty, appropriate interpersonal skills, and the capacity to react to emergencies in a calm and reasoned manner. An attitude of respect for self and others, adherence to the concepts of privilege and confidentiality in communicating with patients, and a commitment to patient welfare are essential attributes.

Specific tasks performed by PAs cannot be delineated precisely because of the variations in practice requirements mandated by geographic, political, economic and social factors. At a minimum, however, physician assistants are educated in areas of basic medical science, clinical disciplines, and discipline-specific problem solving. PA practice is characterized by clinical knowledge and skills in areas traditionally defined by family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, etc., and practice in ambulatory, emergency, inpatient, and long-term care settings. PAs deliver health care services to diverse patient populations of all ages with a range of acute and chronic medical and surgical conditions, requiring the knowledge and skills to allow them to function effectively in a dynamic health care environment.

Services performed by Physician Assistants include, but, are not limited to, the following:

  • EVALUATION: Elicit a detailed and accurate history, perform an appropriate physical examination, order appropriate diagnostic studies, delineate problems, develop management plans and record and present data.
  • DIAGNOSTIC(S): Order, perform and/or interpret diagnostic studies used to identify pathophysiologic processes.
  • MONITORING: Implement patient management plans, record progress notes, and participate in the provision of continuity of care.
  • THERAPEUTIC(S): Perform therapeutic procedures and manage or assist in the management of medical and surgical conditions, which may include assisting surgeons in the conduct of operations and taking initiative in performing evaluations and therapeutic procedures in response to life threatening situations.
  • PATIENT EDUCATION: Counsel patients regarding issues of health care management to include compliance with prescribed therapeutic regimens, normal growth and development, family planning and emotional problems of daily living.
  • REFERRAL: Facilitate the referral of patients to other health care providers or agencies.

Introduction

The 27 month PA Program course of study is divided into a 15-month didactic phase and a 12-month clinical phase. The clinical phase also includes an evidence-based Master’s project. Self-directed learning is a key component of the curriculum.

Didactic Phase

The didactic phase of the program is an intensively integrated course of study. While there are a series of individual courses that students must take, the knowledge, skills and attitudes developed are interwoven throughout all parts of the curriculum. The didactic phase centers around “Clinical Decision Making”, a series of courses taught using an organ system approach through the lifespan and illustrating the standards of care across the gamut of health care delivery venues. Interactive lecture and small group formats are used to deliver the curriculum, highlighted by distinct experiential activities including problem-based learning, clinical simulation, standardized patients. The “Clinical Decision Making” series is supported by courses in Pathophysiology, Pharmacology/Pharmacotherapeutics, History and Physical Examination and Clinical Methods and Procedures.

Clinical Phase

During the clinical year, students experience seven five-week rotations in family medicine, inpatient medicine, emergency medicine, general surgery, pediatrics, women’s health and behavioral medicine. Students are able to further explore additional clinical interests by taking two electives in other areas or sub-specialties of medicine, as available. Students meet at the end of each rotation to discuss and present experiences in seminar format.

Semesters

Summer I

Fall

(Video) How to Become a Physician Assistant (Step-By-Step Guide) | PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT EXPLAINS

Summer I

Course Name Credits
PAS 5101 - Gross Anatomy 5
PAS 5103 - Fundamentals of the Medical Profession 1
PAS 5107 - Applied Biomedical Science 4
PAS 5109 - Introduction to Medical Imaging 1
PAS 5203 - Health Care Ethics and Policy 1
PAS 5151 - Health Care Provider Communication Skills 2
Total Credits 14

Fall

Course Name Credits
PAS 5205- Interprofessional Seminar I 1
PAS 5211 - Evidence-Based Medicine: Population Health 1
PAS 5221- Pathophysiology I 2
PAS 5231- Clinical Decision Making I 7
PAS 5241- Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapeutics I 2
PAS 5251 - History and Physical Examination I 2
PAS 5261 - Clinical Methods and Procedures I 2
Total Credits 17

Spring

Summer II

Spring

Course Name Credits
PAS 5307 - Fundamentals of Surgery 1
PAS 5311 - Evidence-Based Medicine: Research Design and Biostatistics 1
PAS 5321 - Pathophysiology II 2
PAS 5331 - Clinical Decision Making II 7
PAS 5341 - Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapeutics II 2
PAS 5351 - History and Physical Examination II 2
PAS 5361 - Clinical Methods and Procedures II 2
Total Credits 17

Summer II

Course Name Credits
PAS 5411 - Evidence-Based Medicine: Masters Project Prep 1
PAS 5421 - Pathophysiology III 2
PAS 5431 - Clinical Decision Making III 7
PAS 5441 - Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapeutics III 3
PAS 5451 - History and Physical Examination III 2
PAS 5461 - Clinical Methods and Procedures III 2
Total Credits 17
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Clinical Year

Course Name Credits
PAS 6103 - Clinical Seminar I 1
PAS 6110 - Family Medicine 4
PAS 6120 - Inpatient Medicine 4
PAS 6130 - Emergency Medicine 4
PAS 6140 - General Surgery 4
PAS 6150 - Pediatrics 4
PAS 6160 - Women's Health 4
PAS 6170 - Behavioral Medicine 4
Total Credits 42

Click here to see details about each course

Program Goals

  1. Admit highly qualified applicants.
  2. Deliver a curriculum that ensures that all graduates possess the requisite knowledge and skills for entry to PA practice.
  3. Educate Physician Assistants in a generalist model prepared to practice in a variety of health care settings and disciplines.
  4. Engage faculty and students in active and on-going professional, scholarly, and community engagement activities.

View the attached document to see how the HPU PA program is achieving its program goals.

The Didactic Phase of the program takes place over 4 semesters of graduate level academic coursework. The curriculum is structured around active-learning strategies, practical lab sessions, simulated case presentations, problem-based learning sessions, and off-campus clinical interaction.

The Clinical Phase takes place during the second year and spans a total of 12 months. Students take part in supervised clinical rotations during which time they participate in the evaluation and management of patients in a wide variety of clinical areas. Students are not required to supply their own clinical sites or preceptors. In addition, all students are required to produce a research project during their clinical year.

SUMMARY STATEMENT:
The following program learning outcomes are assessed by High Point University Department of Physician Assistant Studies to ensure graduates will possess the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to demonstrate entry-level competency in providing patient care across the lifespan and in a variety of health care settings. The program summative evaluation, given prior to graduation, is based on these program learning outcomes.

1. Perform comprehensive and problem-focused histories. (P)

2. Perform comprehensive and problem-focused physical exams. (P)

3. Interpret diagnostic study results typical for emergent, acute and chronic medical conditions. (C)

4. Formulate a differential diagnosis based upon patient data. (C)

5. Diagnose common medical and behavioral health conditions. (C)

6. Diagnose potentially life- or function-threatening medical and behavioral health conditions. (C)

7. Develop comprehensive management plans for emergent, acute, and chronic conditions. (C)

8. Accurately and concisely communicate patient encounter findings to other healthcare providers through written documentation and oral presentation. (P)

9. Communicate health care-related information to patients in a patient-centered fashion. (A,P)

10. Demonstrate professional behaviors to the highest ethical and legal standards. (A)

11. Critically evaluate the medical literature, use current practice guidelines, and apply the principles of evidence-based medicine to patient care. (C)

12. Perform clinical procedures common to PA practice. (P)

(C)ognitive
(A)ffective
(P)sychomotor

(C)ognitive(A)ffective(P)sychomotor

NCCPA PANCE Pass Rate

The Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE) is a computer-based, multiple-choice test that assesses medical and surgical knowledge. This examination must be successfully passed in order for graduates to become eligible for licensure.The PANCE Five Year First Time Taker Summary Report for the High Point University PA program is availablehere. The PANCE Exam Final Summary report is available here.

For more information on the exam or the NCCPA, visitwww.nccpa.net

Student Attrition Information

*Attrition rate calculation: Number of students who attritted from cohort divided by the entering class size.
**Graduation rate: Number of cohort graduates divided by the entering class size.

Accreditation

The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued status to the High Point University Physician Assistant Program sponsored by High Point University. Accreditation-Continued is an accreditation status granted when a currently accredited program is in compliance with the ARC-PA Standards.

Accreditation remains in effect until the program closes or withdraws from the accreditation process or until accreditation is withdrawn for failure to comply with the Standards. The approximate date for the next validation review of the program by the ARC-PA will be June 2029. The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Accreditation Standards and ARC-PA policy.

The program’s accreditation history can be viewed on the ARC-PA website here.

Physician Assistant - Physician Assistant (3)

The High Point University PA program is proud to partner with Novant Health in the clinical education of future PA providers. Novant Health is an integrated Healthcare entity of 15 medical centers, greater than 1,600 physicians in over 640 locations.This contractual relationship establishes a mutual commitment to quality clinical education of PA students by supporting required and elective Supervised Clinical Practice Experience (SCPE) both now and with future growth.

(Video) Career Profile - Physician Assistant

NC-SARA

NC-SARA does not deal with professional licensing board approval for any courses or programs leading to professional licensure. If you are not a resident of North Carolina and you are taking an online course or hybrid program leading to professional licensure, High Point University cannot guarantee whether the course or hybrid program meets requirements for professional licensure in your state. High Point University recommends that you consult with the appropriate licensing agency or board in their state or territory—including states participating in NC SARA—prior to beginning their course of study. For questions about this disclaimer, please contact Dr. Jeff Adams, Vice President for Research and Planning, at 336.841.4581 or jeadams@highpoint.edu.

If you would like to visit us, please request a visit with the Graduate Admissions Team.

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FAQs

Is an assistant physician the same as a physician assistant? ›

APs are often confused with Physician Assistants (PAs); However, APs have an additional 2 years of extensive clinical training which covers all areas of medicine. This training allows APs to practice primary care with collaboration of a Supervising physician.

Is a physician assistant a real doctor? ›

A PA is a nationally certified and state-licensed medical professional. There is only a 3-month difference between the classroom academic component of a physician's training and that of a PA.

What does a physician assistants PA do? ›

A physician assistant (PA) is a licensed medical professional who holds an advanced degree and is able to provide direct patient care. They work with patients of all ages in virtually all specialty and primary care areas, diagnosing and treating common illnesses and working with minor procedures.

Is physician associate a doctor? ›

Physician associates (PAs) are healthcare professionals with a generalist medical education who work alongside doctors and surgeons providing medical care as an integral part of the multidisciplinary team. PAs work under the supervision of a doctor but can work autonomously with appropriate support.

Why is PA not a doctor? ›

What are the advantages of choosing PA over MD? PAs typically spend less time and money on school and can switch specializations more easily than MDs. Most PAs begin practicing after 2 or 3 years of education and enjoy comfortable starting salaries.

How long does it take to become a physician assistant? ›

PA programs usually take three years to complete. As you may expect, they include both classroom and clinical work. All PA programs are required to provide 2,000 hours of clinical rotations, giving students a wide variety of clinical experiences.

Do physician assistants go to med school? ›

A PA must attend a specialized medical training program associated with a medical school that includes classroom studies and clinical experience. An academic degree and/or certificate is awarded upon graduation. Many PAs already have two- or four-year academic degrees before entering a PA training program.

Why is PA better than MD? ›

While shadowing PAs and MDs, I have found that PAs have a greater focus on patient care and fewer bureaucratic tasks. In addition, the workflow and teamwork of a PA are more suited to my personality. Beyond the balance of autonomy and collaboration, becoming a PA will offer the flexibility of switching specialties.

Is a physician assistant higher than a nurse practitioner? ›

Is NP higher than PA? Neither profession ranks "higher" than the other. Both occupations work in the healthcare field, but with different qualifications, educational backgrounds, and responsibilities. They also work in different specialties.

Do physician assistants do surgery? ›

Surgery. Physician assistants are the first assistants in surgery, even before other surgeons. Surgical PAs usually perform certain surgical procedures on their own, such as putting in chest tubes, cutting and draining abscesses, as well as working as a part of a the surgeon/anesthesiologist/nursing team.

Is PA a good career? ›

As a physician assistant, you will always be in demand. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for a physician assistant is excellent. This profession is expected to grow by 31% by 2029. This is a faster than average job growth than other professions.

How many hours does a physician assistant work a day? ›

The workweek of hospital-based PAs may begin early in the morning and include weekends, nights, and 12-hour shifts. These workers may also be on call. Conversely, PAs in clinics usually work a traditional 40-hour week.

Can physician associates give injections? ›

Physician associates are able to administer medicines, including vaccines, to patients. Legally, there needs to be a prescription in place prior to a physician associate being able to administer a medication.

What do PAs do in surgery? ›

Surgical PAs are formally trained to provide diagnostic, therapeutic, surgical and preventative care, under the supervision of a physician or surgeon. In addition, surgical PAs can function as researcher, committee member, supplier, and surgical equipment supply or pharmaceutical representative liaison and much more.

Do physician associates replace doctors? ›

A health department spokeswoman said that physician associates would support doctors, rather than replace them. “They can carry out clearly defined duties, but have to be under strict supervision of a doctor at all times.

How hard is it to become a PA? ›

Yes, it is hard to become a physician assistant.

Once you are accepted to a PA program, it takes another three years of course work and clinical experience. Then to become certified, you must pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE).

Is it easier to get into PA school or medical school? ›

Is it harder to get into PA school or med school? Acceptance rates for med school are higher than for PA school. Only 33% of applicants were accepted to PA schools in 2016-17, whereas 41% of applicants were accepted to MD schools in 2018-19 and 35% of applicants were accepted to DO medical schools in 2016-17.

What is the highest paying PA specialty? ›

Cardiovascular/cardiothoracic surgery was also the highest paid PA specialty in 2020, with an average compensation of $130,000.
  • Cardiovascular/cardiothoracic surgery — $147,000.
  • Dermatology — $146,000.
  • Emergency medicine — $129,146.
  • Surgical subspecialties — $127,775.
  • Occupational medicine — $125,600.
13 Jun 2022

Is PA school Hard? ›

While PA school can become overwhelmingly difficult, it's only the beginning of a much more challenging profession ahead. Studying for exams is, in fact, the easy part.

How long is PA residency? ›

A PA residency in EM is an 18-month on the job training program. It includes rotations in the ED, SICU, MICU, Hospital Medicine, Toxicology, EMS, Anesthesia, Orthopedics and a Pediatric ED. There are currently 30 EM PA programs nationwide which vary in length from 12-18 months. I have never heard of a PA residency?

How long is PA school after Masters? ›

Dual BS/MS PA programs

Most of these accelerated programs take five years to complete. In the first three years of the program, students work on completing their bachelor's degree. Then the last two years, students complete the master's program to become a physician associate.

What are the disadvantages of being a physician assistant? ›

Cons of being a Physician Assistant
  • Long work hours. PAs may be required to see patients in the evenings, on weekends, and on holidays. ...
  • Limited opportunities for advancement. There's not much chance of a higher paying job or different duties without additional education.
  • Same work, less pay? ...
  • Physically demanding.

How do you address a physician assistant? ›

In person, you can typically address a PA by their first name. If you want to try and be extra respectful, you can also say “PA Smith”. But generally this isn't necessary. If you're writing a letter, it's probably best to address them as “PA Smith”, rather than “Mr.” or “Mrs.”.

Are physician assistants happy? ›

Overall, more than 75 percent of PAs surveyed reported feeling happy at work [34]. In a study of rural PAs, Benson and colleagues found that 64 percent of PAs experienced moderate to high levels of both EE and DP, as measured by MBI subscores; 46 percent reported low to moderate scores for personal accomplishment [10].

Do PAs spend more time with patients? ›

Their results showed that mid-level providers, such as nurse practitioners (NPs) and PAs, spend about 54% of their days with patients. The rest of their day is spent on patient-centered tasks, administrative work, and conferring with colleagues.

What is the difference between nurse practitioner and physician assistant? ›

Physician assistants train using the medical model, similar to physicians, which means they focus on the testing, diagnosis, and treatment of the disease that the patient has. Nurse practitioners train on the nursing model, which means they focus on the testing, diagnosis, and treatment of the patient with the disease.

Is a PA higher than a RN? ›

While registered nurses assist patients from a nursing approach, PAs assume a role more or less similar to that of physicians. This gives physician assistants a more direct role in administering tests, performing examinations, and prescribing medication.

How long does it take to go from BSN to PA? ›

If you currently have, or are working on your bachelor's degree, your next step is to apply to a physician assistant program. PA programs typically take between 24 and 27 months to complete. So, it will take you about two years to become a physician assistant.

Can a PA open up their own practice? ›

No, a Physician Assistant cannot practice independently. Every Physician Assistant must be supervised by a licensed physician (either M.D. or D.O.). The supervising physician is responsible for all medical services provided by the Physician Assistant under their supervision and for following each patient's progress.

Can PA see patients independently? ›

In the United States, PAs are medical practitioners licensed to practice medicine under a physician's supervision. PAs can see patients without a physician present, but they must be supervised.

Can a physician assistant draw blood? ›

There is no problem with the PA doing blood draws/having that skill...IF...that same duty is also expected of the physicians and NPs working the site. If they are sitting around the coffee pot and laughing as the LPN does their sticks, but the PA is asked to do his/her own >>>> No.

Do physician assistants work 9 5? ›

The majority of PA's work in either primary care with a basic 9-5 work day or ED/UC with 3-4 day work week, allowing for plenty of free time to enjoy family and recreational activities. They are not often mandated to take call or to cover hospital patients.

What is the biggest challenge facing PAs? ›

News
  • Volume of Work. Unsurprisingly, this was seen as the main challenge. ...
  • Maintaining a Work/Life Balance. ...
  • Time and diary management. ...
  • Career advancement. ...
  • Communication skills and people management. ...
  • Unclear/changing priorities. ...
  • Training and development. ...
  • Office politics.
12 Nov 2018

How much debt do PA students have? ›

Average debt of graduates (2019-20)

The average debt load of a Pennsylvania college graduate during the same timeframe was $39,375. In Pennsylvania, 22 percent of college graduates had private student loan debt, with an average total of $42,361.

How much vacation do physician assistants get? ›

On average, hospital-employed physician assistants also reported more paid time off than their counterparts in physician practices. They received 20 days of general paid time off (versus 17.8 days), 8.4 sick days (versus 5 days), and 16 vacation days (versus 15 days).

Can a PA work 3 days a week? ›

Depending on the place of work and your own personal schedule preferences, a PA may work three longer shifts each week or they may work a Monday through Friday schedule with shorter work blocks.

What is the easiest PA school to get into? ›

Easiest PA schools to get into
SchoolAcceptance RateWork experience
Alvernia University Physician Assistant Program70%Recommended
Barry University85%Recommended
Brenau University64.7%Required
Butler University40%Not required
25 more rows
8 Sept 2022

What's the difference between a PA and a PA C? ›

The “C” indicates that a PA is certified by the National Commission of Certification of PAs. This certification requires 100 hours of continuing medical education every two years, along with passing a national recertification exam every six years to maintain that very important “C”.

How do you address a physician's assistant? ›

In person, you can typically address a PA by their first name. If you want to try and be extra respectful, you can also say “PA Smith”. But generally this isn't necessary. If you're writing a letter, it's probably best to address them as “PA Smith”, rather than “Mr.” or “Mrs.”.

What is a PA degree called? ›

A physician assistant degree is a master's-level degree; students must have a bachelor's degree and have completed prerequisite science courses. PA students may enter programs with health care job experience as sports trainers, medical assistants or paramedics.

Is a PA higher than a NP? ›

Is NP higher than PA? Neither profession ranks "higher" than the other. Both occupations work in the healthcare field, but with different qualifications, educational backgrounds, and responsibilities. They also work in different specialties.

Is PA higher than RN? ›

While registered nurses assist patients from a nursing approach, PAs assume a role more or less similar to that of physicians. This gives physician assistants a more direct role in administering tests, performing examinations, and prescribing medication.

What can doctors do that PAs Cannot? ›

Although they do have a lot of autonomy in their role, PAs cannot practice independently. They can diagnose illnesses and injuries, prescribe medication, perform procedures, and design treatment plans under doctor supervision.

Is PA a doctorate degree? ›

For the PA profession, a master's degree is the terminal degree. In academia, however, the doctorate is the degree of currency.

Can a PA do surgery? ›

Some physician assistants perform minor invasive procedures, such as suturing, catheterization, and IVs, while others have the responsibility of first assist in the operating room. PAs are often responsible for vein harvesting and closing surgical wounds. Note: a physician assistant cannot perform surgery alone.

Is physician assistant school Hard? ›

While PA school can become overwhelmingly difficult, it's only the beginning of a much more challenging profession ahead. Studying for exams is, in fact, the easy part.

Should physician assistants change their name to physician associate? ›

PAs should continue to use “physician assistant” or “PA” as their official legal title in a professional capacity, particularly in clinical settings and with patients. AAPA is transitioning to the use of “physician associate” when possible and when it does not present a legal or regulatory conflict.

What do PAs do in surgery? ›

Surgical PAs are formally trained to provide diagnostic, therapeutic, surgical and preventative care, under the supervision of a physician or surgeon. In addition, surgical PAs can function as researcher, committee member, supplier, and surgical equipment supply or pharmaceutical representative liaison and much more.

What should I major in to become a PA? ›

Among the most common majors that pre-PA school students pursue include:
  • Biology.
  • Biochemistry.
  • Biomedical Science.
  • Chemistry.
  • Health Sciences.
  • Kinesiology.
  • Medical Ethics.
  • Medical Technology.
25 May 2021

What makes a PA different from a doctor? ›

Duties that MDs and PAs Can Perform

Another major difference between an MD and a PA is that doctors can legally practice independently while a PA always requires supervision. Both can do the following: Diagnose and treat patients. Perform medical procedures in the office.

Is it harder to become a PA or NP? ›

The average program length to become an NP is 15-24 months with 720 clinical hours as a nurse first. Physician's assistant training programs are highly competitive and require undergraduate coursework in science as well as several years of hands-on medical experience with direct patient contact and care.

Can physician assistants have their own practice? ›

No, a Physician Assistant cannot practice independently. Every Physician Assistant must be supervised by a licensed physician (either M.D. or D.O.). The supervising physician is responsible for all medical services provided by the Physician Assistant under their supervision and for following each patient's progress.

How long does it take to go from BSN to PA? ›

If you currently have, or are working on your bachelor's degree, your next step is to apply to a physician assistant program. PA programs typically take between 24 and 27 months to complete. So, it will take you about two years to become a physician assistant.

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