How to Become a Physician Assistant in Wisconsin
Doctors must complete nearly a decade of schooling and internships before they can freely practice medicine without restrictions. While thousands of Americans aspire to one day become doctors, many are turned off by the extensive education they must first complete. Becoming a physician assistant is a great alternative for these individuals. In Wisconsin, the healthcare industry is booming and employers are always looking for qualified candidates to fill positions.
What Does a Physician Assistant Do?
Physician assistants often perform similar job duties that doctors would normally do. From recording medical histories to diagnosing and treating certain illnesses and injuries, assistants are normally required to assist fully licensed doctors in a variety of settings.
In Wisconsin, most physician assistants work in a hospital setting and performing the following duties:
- Making rounds.
- Completing medical history records.
- Diagnosing and treating certain illnesses.
- Develop plans and counsel patients on preventative care.
- Write limited prescriptions.
What a physician assistant can actually do is determined by state law, and varies depending on their past experience, education and place of employment.
What Type of Salary Can a Physician Assistant Expect in Wisconsin?
Wisconsin enjoys a reduced cost of living, so physician assistants will likely make less than the national average for their position.
The average salary for an entry level physician assistant is $58,000 per year. Assistants who work in major hospitals often make between $62,000 and $70,000 annually. Those who specialize in one area of medicine that is currently in demand can expect a physician assistant salary in Wisconsin of more than $80,000.
What Type of Education is Needed For Assistants in Wisconsin?
In order to become a fully fledged physician assistant, you need to have completed an accredited bachelor’s program from one of the many physician assistant schools in Wisconsin. Students often go on to complete specialty training as a part of a master’s program before they attempt to enter the workforce.
Many four year universities in Wisconsin offer physician assistant programs for affordable tuition. Online colleges are a more suitable option for those who need a flexible class schedule.
Do You Need to Be Certified to Become a Physician Assistant?
In the state of Wisconsin, you must obtain a license before you can practice as a physician assistant. Some of the requirements for obtaining a license for the state are below:
- Complete a four year degree from an accredited program in Wisconsin. They must be accredited by the American Medical Association, the Committee on Allied Education and Accreditation or the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.
- Submit a completed application with the appropriate fees and required documents.
- Pass the required examination given by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants.
Candidates for licensing can apply for a temporary license while they wait to complete the process for a permanent state license. All they have to do is complete and submit an application for a temporary license and currently be waiting to take the national exam.
Continuing Education: An Essential Part to a Successful Career
Continuing education is essential to maintaining your license in Wisconsin. There are many physician assistant programs in Wisconsin that are catered to the continuing education demands of licensed assistants.
Some of the topics that may be covered by these courses include new laws that pertain to ethics, new procedures and changes in medicine and diagnosis information.