How to Become a Physician Assistant in Pennsylvania
The medical field offers unlimited opportunities to pursue a career that has many rewards. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has verified that fact. The medical field is booming. This is due to the aging population and the demand for more medical care. Certainly, the need for qualified medical personnel should continue to grow well into the future. A Physician Assistant career is perfect for those that wish to establish a medical career, but do not have the time or inclination to pursue more advanced training. Let’s take a closer look at Physician assistant programs in PA.
Physician Assistant Requirements
Most employers prefer hiring a candidate that has attended an accredited school and earned a master’s degree. However, many applicants applying to Physician Assistant schools in Pennsylvania have earned a bachelor’s degree, while some have previous medical experience. For example, a large number of registered nurses and paramedics apply to the programs. Generally, the program takes 2 years to complete. Their education usually includes lab work and classroom work. Clinical training, under a supervising physician, is also an important part of the training program.
Physician Assistant License/Certification/Registration
Certainly, it is important for the candidate to attend an accredited school. After successfully graduating from the accredited school they are prepared to take the licensing exam. It is mandatory to take the licensing exam and become licensed to practice this career in every state except the District of Columbia. The name of the exam is the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE). Those that pass the exams are officially allowed to use the Physician Assistant Certified title.
Physician Assistant Continuing Education
Medical technology is constantly changing. Certainly, there are numerous new advances in the medical field daily. Therefore, it is critical that the Physician Assistant stays current with all the new advances in the medical field. Furthermore, certifying organizations have submitted a policy that makes it mandatory for those holding this certification to continue their education. The PA must complete 100 hours of continuing education every 2 years to keep their certification.
Physician Assistant Duties
The Physician Assistant (PA) works under the supervision of a Physician. They perform a wide range of duties during their work day. However, the duties that they perform depend heavily on the state regulations and their specialty. Some states allow the Physician Assistant to take on more demanding duties, while other states do not. In addition, a Physician Assistant working with surgeons has different duties than one working with a family care center. Generally, their duties include examining the patient, diagnosing illnesses, and prescribing treatment.
Physician Assistant Salary in Pennsylvania
Medical careers offer a tremendous amount of flexibility. Some Physician Assistants might work full time, part time, on the weekends, or in the evening. Certainly, this has a tremendous impact on the salaries earned. However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the national median salary for those in this occupation working full time is $90,930. The Physician Assistant Salary in Pennsylvania is $84,060. This is slightly lower than the national median salary.
It is estimated that the demand for medical services will increase during the next decade. Therefore, the need for highly trained medical specialist will continue to grow too. Certainly, the well-trained Physician Assistant is qualified to perform many of the rudimentary tasks performed by a physician. More and more physicians are retiring. Less are replacing their ranks. In the future, the Physician Assistant might become the primary care giver for many people requiring medical services.