When someone begins to wonder what it would be like to begin a career as a physician assistant, they are likely seriously considering the possibilities. If this is true, you are quite lucky because employment chances in this field are projected to grow faster than the average occupation. This is actually the case with many positions that are available in the healthcare industry. The prerequisites for admission into the program may be slightly different but most will still require that you have obtained a college degree. You will also have to pass an exam before you are able to get your license, even after you have completed the necessary education requirements. People that look in the large cities for employment will find that they have better choices than those that are looking in the rural areas.
You will have to complete certain classes before you will be granted admission to a physician assistant program. Anatomy and physiology are two classes that you must complete at least eight hours in for all schools. This requires you to take these courses in two semesters or you can take one of each and do the lab work that comes along with it. Some institutions, like UNC, only offer a combined course that is taken in one semester but this is not acceptable for most of the physician assistant programs. In other words, you have to know what you require and if certain courses from the college you are attending actually satisfy the requirements.
You should know exactly what role a physician assistant plays in the medical industry. This could mean that you will find yourself completing somewhere between fifty and two hundred hours shadowing someone in the medical field in order to meet the requirements. You should spend time with different physician assistants. A lot of schools demand that applicants have some experience hours to show for.
An important part of becoming a physician assistant is obtaining some great references. Each program demands a medical reference, and some want at least one professor’s reference. Try to get the reference of a physician assistant, especially one known to the program that you want to get into. You want to plan ahead and get your references in place as early as possible, about six months before they are due is a great target. When your references become due, the CASPA will email the people that will be providing them a form that they will fill out and either email back or mail in to the school. Check to see which means the references prefer to use, the email or the mail system.
Be sure to study so you can do well on the GRE. You should spend some time learning the vocabulary words that you are not familiar with. When you create a challenge to yourself to take one of these new vocabulary words and use it correctly a few times each day, it will help you. You should also study at least a couple of the GRE questions each and every day.
If you want to know how to become a physician assistant, you have to know that it is also based on getting your application in early. You might not realize this, but almost all schools actually reward those who get their applications in ahead of time. Some schools, like CASPA, will lower the fee if you turn in your application early and they may even call you first for an interview or an invite to the school. You should aim to be one of the earliest submissions for your essay for CASPA. Your supplemental application can be turned in to the program once they have recieved your CASPA application.
It is time to get ready for the interview! Basically, start your interview with a short (20 second or so) opening on why you want to become a physician assistant. What you say in your interview for admission into the physician assistant program of your choice must be consistent with what you wrote in your essay-it only makes sense! You want to give the appearance of confidence in the interview so practice what you intend on saying before you get to the interview and make changes to areas that do not flow smoothly. You should bring up topics like what you think a physican assistants role is in the field, why you decided to apply to this particular school, and what makes you so interested in working in primary care.
The final thing to consider is how you will present yourself when you go for the physician assistant interview. Be sure that you are dressed suitably for such an important interview which means that you should dress conservatively. For men, this means a minimum of a dress shirt, tie and slacks. For women, this means a business suit and no cleavage or short skirts. Since the competition for this occupation is tough, putting forth your best appearance is key.
When you wonder how to become a physician assistant, be sure to remember that there are many things. It involves meticulous preparation that is characterized by an emphasis on choosing the right courses, picking the right school and getting the correct references. From there, it includes applying early and making a good impression in your interview so that you can get into the program that you desire.
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