How to Become a Physician Assistant Blog

How to Become a Physician Assistant

If you’re seeking a flexible and rewarding medical career, consider becoming a Physician Assistant (PA). PAs are in high demand across all states and healthcare settings, offering the opportunity to practice in various specialties.

As the healthcare industry focuses on cost-cutting measures, the need for PAs continues to rise. Additionally, PAs enjoy favorable salaries and a shorter educational journey compared to medical doctors.

If that sounds like the healthcare career you’ve been searching for, the most obvious question you might have is how to become a physician assistant. It starts with a bit of planning during your Undergraduate or Pre-PA Program.

Meeting the Prerequisites

Students looking to enter medical school can get an undergraduate degree in almost any field. However, PA schools look for specific areas of study to qualify. Entry-level prerequisites for PA school include:

  • Psychology
  • Human Anatomy
  • Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Medical Terminology
  • Statistics
  • English Composition
  • Physiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Biology
  • Microbiology
  • Genetics

Having a strong foundation in these subjects is essential before entering a PA training program. This is one of the reasons why many undergraduate students consider participating in a pre-PA mentorship program, such as the one offered by Advanced eClinical Training, during their college or even high school years.

Leveraging the Power of Physician Assistant Mentorship Programs

Getting into a PA school can be highly competitive, often more so than gaining admission to medical school. Engaging in a physician assistant mentorship program provides invaluable support from experienced PAs who understand the requirements for successful program admission.

Through personalized one-on-one sessions, you can seek answers to crucial questions, such as “How long does it take to become a physician assistant?” Our PA mentors possess extensive expertise in areas such as:

  • Prerequisite coursework and planning
  • Medical school applications
  • Interview preparation
  • Clinical experience guidance MCAT or PA-CAT preparation
  • Resume building
  • Rejection analysis and feedback
  • Crafting compelling personal statements
  • Strategic timeline planning

The combination of comprehensive medical training and mentorship significantly enhances your competitiveness during the graduate school application process.

Enroll in a Pre-PA Program to Get Patient Care Experience

Many PA schools highly value relevant healthcare experience, even if it’s not explicitly required. By gaining patient care experience before PA school, you can distinguish yourself from other applicants and demonstrate your commitment.

Patient care experience is a prerequisite at many schools. PA programs see patient care experience as a sign of your motivation. Advanced eClinical Training offers an online Patient Care Technician certification, providing an avenue to work in a qualifying field. 

This eight-week, self-paced course qualifies you to sit for the American Medical Certification Association (AMCA) or National HealthCareer Association (NHA) certification exam to become a Certified Patient Care Technician (CPCT).

As a CPCT, you become a vital member of healthcare teams in hospitals and other medical settings. Your responsibilities may include taking vital signs, collecting lab specimens, performing ECGs, transporting patients, and assisting with daily needs such as dressing and medication administration. Collaborating closely with physicians, nurses, and PAs, you’ll gain the necessary experience to thrive in graduate school.

Alternatively, you can explore the path of becoming a Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA). While working directly with patients, CCMAs also provide essential administrative assistance. The eight-week online CCMA course at Advanced eClinical Training equips you with the credentials to work in an outpatient clinic or private practice, gaining invaluable patient experience essential for your journey toward becoming a PA. After completing this self-paced and affordable course, you’ll be eligible to sit for the NHA exam and become a CCMA.

Start Your Journey to Become a PA Right

The powerful combination of patient care experience and a comprehensive PA mentorship program positions you for success on the path to PA school and becoming a skilled physician assistant, all without breaking the bank. Advanced eClinical Training offers self-paced, flexible, online certification and mentorship programs tailored to your needs.

Enroll today and take the first steps toward realizing your dream of becoming a physician assistant—an opportunity to make a positive impact in the field of healthcare.

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