Home / Physician Assistant / Physician Assistant State Requirements / Physician Assistant Programs in MA

Physician Assistant Programs in MA

How to Become a Physician Assistant in Massachusetts

The decision to enter the medical field is a commitment to dedicate one’s life’s work to providing selfless service to others as you help restore their health. There are many different positions and careers available in medicine, one of which is a physician’s assistant.

A physician assistant (PA) practices under the guidance and supervision of licensed physicians and surgeons. They should not be confused with medical assistants (MAs) who are responsible for performing clinical and clerical tasks. A physician assistant is only one level beneath the actual physician, and they are able to provide diagnostic, therapeutic and preventative health care to patients all under the physician they work for.

Physician Assistant Requirements

To become a physician assistant, the successful completion of physician assistant program is required. These programs generally take around two years, and a student must have completed at least two years of college in a field pertaining to medicine and have some health care experience beforehand. The specific requirements for admission to an institution’s physician assistant program may vary.

There are physician assistant schools and physician assistant programs in MA; some notable institutions to consider are the Physician Assistant Program at Springfield College, the Physician Assistant Program at Boston University and the Physician’s Assistant Program at Tufts University’s School of Medicine.

Is any prior education or training required?

Yes. In order to become a physician assistant, a person must first have completed some college in relation to medicine (specific education qualifications may vary among schools) and then completed a program to become a physician assistant. After graduation from the program, they will then be eligible to take a national exam in order to obtain a license and begin to practice under the supervision of a physician.

While a PA student will be required to complete a number of clinical hours during their program before they are eligible to graduate, there is generally no specific medical training required before starting university to study to become a physician assistant. There are no specific physician assistant schools in Massachusetts, but rather accredited and respected universities which offer physician assistant programs in Massachusetts.

Are Physician Assistants Required to be Certified?


Yes. All physician assistants are required to pass a national exam in order to obtain a medical license for their state before they can practice medicine.

How can a Physician Assistant Become Certified

Regardless of how much medical knowledge one may have, they cannot become a physician assistant without passing a national exam to become a licensed medical professional in their state. Before they are able to do this, they must first complete a physician assistant program at an accredited school. Once they have met all the academic requirements, completed their mandatory clinical hours to gain valuable medical experience in the field and been awarded a degree to acknowledge their successful completion of the physician assistant program, they may then proceed to schedule to take the national exam and ultimately obtain their medical license.

Is continuing education necessary?

Yes. High school or university graduates are not eligible with their academic knowledge alone to become a physician assistant. High school graduates must complete a program at a university and then move onto a specific progam, while university graduates who have already earned a degree in a field of medicinal study can apply to physician assistant programs.

For those who have already completed their program and earned a degree to become a physician assistant yet wish to specialize in a particular branch of medicine, they will have to speak with their school about obtaining certification and/or a degree in that branch of study, e.g., oncology, cardiology, or pediatrics.

Physician Assistant Salary

A Google search of “Physician assistant salary Massachusetts” may bring forth conflicting results as the salary of a physician assistant can vary depending upon how in demand their profession is given their location. However, according to most recent statistics the median annual physician assistant salary in Massachusetts is $86,474.

Physician Assistant Duties

A physician assistant performs various medical duties under the supervision or per the delegation of a physician. These duties include consulting with patients, taking medical histories, examining and treating patients and ordering or carrying out therapeutic procedures. In 48 states and the District of Columbia, physician assistants are also able to prescribe some medications.

In some places, a physician assistant may also be responsible for carrying out managerial duties such as ordering medical supplies or equipment and supervising technicians and assistants.

What tasks is a Physician Assistant legally allowed to perform?

Legally, a physician assistant can perform almost all the duties of a licensed physician including giving examinations and treatment to patients, ordering or providing therapy and prescribing some medications. Physician assistants who specialize in surgery are legally able to provide preoperative and postoperative care and may also work as the first or second assistant to the surgeon during operations.