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I have four plus years of college with a BA. Can I take online classes for a physician assistance program and learn on my own or do I have to attend an accredited school?

Caroline Campbell

in Higher Education

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Theresa Perry on February 8, 2018

The following is written by and according to the Department of Labor and particular to the education and training required for physician Assistants. Requirements for admission to training programs vary; most applicants have a college degree and some health-related work experience. All States require physician assistants to complete an accredited, formal education program and pass a national exam to obtain a license. The education and training. Physician assistant educational programs usually take at least 2 years for full-time students. Most of the programs in the schools of allied health, academic health centers, medical schools, or 4 years of college; a few are in community colleges, are part of the military, or who are in the hospitals. Many accredited PA programs have clinical teaching affiliations with medical schools. In 2008, 142 education programs for physician assistants accredited or provisionally accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant. Eighty percent, or 113, of these programs offered the option of a master's degree, 21 of them offered a bachelor's degree, awarded with 3 associate degrees, and 5 awarded a certificate. Most applicants to PA educational programs already have a college degree and some health-related work experience; however, admissions requirements vary from program to program. Many PAs have prior experience as nurses, emergency medical technicians and paramedics. PA education includes classroom and laboratory instruction in subjects like biochemistry, pathology, human anatomy, physiology, clinical pharmacology, clinical medicine, physical diagnosis, and medical ethics. PA programs also include supervised clinical training in several areas, including family medicine, internal medicine, surgery, prenatal care and gynecology, geriatrics, emergency medicine, and pediatrics. Sometimes, PA serving students in one or more of these areas under the supervision of a physician who is seeking to hire a PA. The rotation may lead to permanent employment in one of the areas where the student works. Licensing. All States and the District of Columbia have laws that regulate the practice of physician assistants. All jurisdictions require physician assistants to pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination, administered by the National Commission on Certification of physician Assistants (NCCPA) and open only to graduates of accredited PA education programs. Only those who have successfully completed the examination may use the credential "Physician Assistant-Certified." To maintain certification, PAs must complete 100 hours of continuing medical education every 2 years. Every 6 years, they must pass a recertification exam or complete an alternative program combining learning experiences and a review. For the source and more detailed information concerning your request, click on the related links section (u.s. Department of Labor) indicated directly below this answer section.


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