Physician Assistants

  1. Description

Medicine and Health Care

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You won’t have a “Dr.” in front of your name as a physician assistant (PA). But it’s the next best thing to being there. As a PA, you’ll do much of what doctors do, from giving checkups and diagnosing illness to prescribing medication. While technically you’ll be under a doctor’s supervision, you’ll work very independently most of the time.

If you’re passionate about health care and have the personality and desire to be out there on the front lines, becoming a physician assistant may be just the path for you.

Physician assistants practice medicine under a doctor's supervision, doing almost everything that doctors do.

Did You Know?

Most applicants to PA programs already have a bachelor's degree.

Are You Ready To...?

  • Examine and treat patients
  • Diagnose illness
  • Prescribe medication
  • Work under a doctor’s supervision
  • Continue studying throughout your career

It Helps To Be...

A science whiz who likes school -- you’ll be there for quite a while. An ability to work on your own with confidence is also critical.

Make High School Count

  • Let science be your guide. Building a solid foundation in challenging biology, chemistry, and physics courses will put you ahead of the game when you start college.
  • Take speech. Being able to communicate clearly with patients and coworkers is an important part of a PA’s job.
  • Enroll in a university health sciences summer program for high school students or compete for a free place in your state’s Governor’s School for the sciences.
  • Volunteer with the local hospital or another health care provider to see if this is really the life for you.
  • Become a peer counselor at your school.

Did You Know?

PAs can prescribe medications in forty-eight states and the District of Columbia.