From the American Academy of Physician Assistants, "Physician assistants are healthcare professionals who are authorized by the state to practice medicine as part of a team with physicians."
Being a physician assistant provides you the opportunity to work alongside other health professionals and practice medicine under the supervision of a physician or surgeon. Many physician's assistants have great job autonomy and responisbilty of their patients. To become a physician's assistant you must graduate from physician's assistant school, which provies you with a graduate degree.
PAs diagnose and treat illnesses and injuries, conduct physical exams, order, read, and interpret labs, tests, and x-rays, provide guidance and advice on preventative health care, assist in surgery, and write prescriptions. PAs work in all areas of medicine and can even specialize based on personal areas of interest.
Check out the specific classes you'd be taking at USA or UAB to see the detail of subject area you'd be studying in this field:
Curriculum of the University of South Alabama's Physician Assistant Program
Curriculum of the University of Alabama at Birmingham
Keep In Mind
Here you will find important information on requirements, entrance exams, and extra experiences needed to gain entry into physician's assistant school. As you explore, keep in mind:
- "Pre-PA" is not a major. You major in any area of personal interest you would like to obtain a degree in. Being "pre-PA" is something you personally state and it signifies the extra work you will put forth on your way to physician's assistant school.
- While a majority of our students who are "pre-PA" are Science majors. This is not your only option. PA schools accept a variety of majors. You can major in whatever you are interested in as long as you complete the appropriate requirements.
- While PA schools lists class requirements, these are only the basics needed. The more you push yourself (while maintaining a high GPA), the better it will be for your application.
Take a look around and explore the idea of becoming a Physician's Assistant!
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