What Bachelor Degree Do I Need For Physician Assistant

In this article, we will take a look at the best bachelor’s degrees that increases your chances to become an efficient Physician Assistant.

2022 Guide to All 4 Types of Colleg...
2022 Guide to All 4 Types of College Degrees

But if you are at this stage of your life where you are asking the question: what bachelor degree do I need for physician assistant?

Then it’s best we start by finding out who a PA is, what he does, how to become a licensed PA, and also how much they earn.

Brief History Of PA Profession

The PA job was made so that healthcare could get better and grow.

Around the middle of the 1960s, doctors and teachers noticed that there were not enough primary care doctors.

Eugene A. Stead Jr., MD, of the Duke University Medical Center, set up the first class of Pas in 1965 to help fix this problem. He chose four Navy Hospital Corpsmen who had learned a lot about medicine during their time in the military. Stead made the program for Pas based on what he knew about how doctors were trained quickly during World War II.

The first class to finish the PA program at Duke University did so on October 6, 1967.

The PA idea was praised early on, and the federal government accepted and supported it as a creative way to deal with a lack of doctors as early as the 1970s. The medical community helped support the new profession and pushed for accreditation standards, a national certification process with a standard test, and requirements for continuing medical education. 

Who Is A Physician Assistant? 

A physician assistant, or PA, is a licensed and highly skilled health care worker who is trained to evaluate, teach, and care for patients. A PA works with a doctor to give a patient the care and advice they need.

A PA must go to a medical school’s specialized health training program, which includes both classroom studies and clinical experience.

When you graduate, you get a degree and/or a certificate. Before going to a PA training program, many Pas already have two- or four-year degrees.

Most programs that train Pas require previous experience in health care. 

Even though the name of the job sounds like it, a physician assistant is not the same thing as a medical assistant.

PAs, on the other hand, are licensed, fully-qualified medical professionals who have gone to college and gotten clinical experience.

Physician assistants, on the other hand, are not doctors. Instead, they work with doctors and under their supervision.

You can become a PA much faster and for much less money than it takes to become a doctor, but you will need to get a specific graduate-level degree to do so. 

How does a PA work with a supervising physician?

At least one doctor must be in charge of each PA. The PA works under the supervision of the doctor, either in person or over the phone.

The supervising doctor must always be available to the PA in case they need him or her, and it is his or her job to keep track of how each patient is doing. 

What Does A PA Do? 

A PA does a lot of the same things that a doctor does in terms of diagnosing, preventing, and maintaining health. Among these services, but not only, are the following:

  • Getting a health history.

  • Carrying out physical exams.

  • Getting X-rays and lab tests done.

  • Putting in place treatments for respiratory, occupational, or physical therapy.

  • Doing routine tests to figure out what’s wrong.

  • Making diagnoses.

  • Treating and taking care of the health problems of patients.

  • Giving injections and immunizations.

  • Giving patients instructions and advice.

  • Giving patients ongoing care at home, in the hospital, or in a facility for long-term care.

  • Providing referrals within the health care system.

  • Getting minor surgery done.

  • Providing preventative health care services.

  • Acting as the first or second assistants during surgery.

  • Getting help in life-threatening situations.

  • Getting a doctor’s permission to order medicines. 

How To Become A Physician Assistant 

The PA profession will grow at a rate of 37 percent over the next decade, far exceeding the seven percent average. However, becoming a licensed PA requires a number of steps.

1. Bachelor’s Degree

The first step in becoming a PA, as with many other professions, is to obtain an undergraduate degree. While there is no “official” PA undergraduate degree, certain behavioral science classes are required as prerequisites for PA programs.

Many students major in science or pre-med, but this is not required; you will simply need to take the specific classes required by the Physician Assistant programs to which you will apply in the future.

2. Professional Experience

You must have at least 1,000 hours of work experience before applying to PA programs. This is useful in determining whether or not being a PA is exactly what you want to do, as well as the area you’d like to work in.

Shadowing multiple Pas and doctors will help you not only make a career decision, but also when applying to PA programs.

This allows you to be around Pas as well as doctors, nurse practitioners, and anesthesiologists on a regular basis, allowing you to see what the profession is like on a daily basis.

Volunteering throughout your work experience will help your program application.

3. Obtaining Admission To Physician Assistant Programs

The process of applying to PA programs generally entails completing a basic application known as the Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants, or CASPA, in which you fill out your experience, education, volunteering, and personal statement essay.

The personal statement essay, in which you essentially explain why you want to be a PA, is an important component.

4. A Master’s Degree From A Pa Program

PA programs are typically three years long. They include, as you might expect, both classroom and clinical work. All PA programs must provide 2,000 hours of clinical rotations, providing students with a diverse range of clinical experiences.

Because the role of the PA can vary greatly, these rotations cover a wide range of medical specialties.

Family medicine, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, general surgery, emergency medicine, and psychiatry are all options for PA school rotations.

5. Standardized Testing

The PANCE is the final step before becoming a licensed PA. This is usually done shortly after the PA program is completed.

The PANCE is a 300-question multiple-choice test administered on a computer.

The test evaluates your medical and surgical knowledge relevant to being a PA, which you gained at PA school and through experience.

The PANCE includes two types of questions: “organ systems and diseases, disorders, and medical assessments related to those systems; and knowledge and skills required to confront those diseases, disorders, and assessments.” 

Physician Assistant Average Salary

According to Salaryexplorer.com, The typical yearly salary for a physician assistant in the United States is around 154,000 USD. The lowest salary is 75,300 USD, and the highest is 240,000 USD. 

This represents the typical annual salary after housing, transportation, and other benefits. Depending on factors like location, gender, experience, and skills, physician assistant salaries can vary greatly. 

What Bachelor Degree Do I Need For Physician Assistant? 

Even though you don’t need a certain bachelor’s degree to get into Physician Assistant (PA) school depending on which medical school you want to attend, you may have to take certain courses.

Because of this, you will have to get an undergraduate degree in science that meets these requirements. Most of the time, they have something to do with chemistry, biology, math, English, psychology, etc.

If your undergraduate program doesn’t meet all of your physician assistant school’s requirements, you will need to take more classes before you can apply.

People who want to go to PA school usually have at least a bachelor’s degree in biology. It takes four years to finish this degree, and it often meets the requirements for PA school.

You will also need to make sure it is approved by the state. If you finish a program that isn’t accredited, you might not be able to get into PA school.

In conclusion, there is no specific undergraduate degree you need to get into PA school. However, degrees in chemistry and biology are good choices.

Below are some other close options you should think about:

1. Human Development

Human development is the study of how people change over the course of their lives because of their environment. In particular, it looks at how people change and grow at different points in their lives.

In this field of study, you will learn about how people grow and change socially, emotionally, and mentally. It is looked at from the point of view of individuals, families, and groups.

Nutrition, social science, and biological science are all important for human development. You will have the chance to learn about chemistry, biology, and other sciences. You also have to study statistics, math, and nutrition for this program.

You will be able to use the skills you learn in a program for human development in your job as a physician assistant. For example, you will be ready to help people in need in family groups, or in the community.

You will also know how to stop people from using drugs or alcohol and how to hold an intervention. 

2 Microbiology

Microbiology is the study of tiny living things that can’t be seen without a microscope.

There are algae, protozoa, prions, fungi, viruses, archaea, and bacteria among these microorganisms.

They are called “microbes,” and they are a part of how diseases start. For this and other reasons, microbiology is an important field of study in the medical field.

As a physician assistant, you will find microbiology to be very useful because you will need to know the language of microbiology to do your job.

You will need to be able to spot the most common diseases and know what their signs and symptoms are.

Also, it helps to know how often a disease happens and how often people die from it. 

3 Anatomy and Physiology

The study of how the human body works is called physiology. You will learn about the physics and chemistry that make the body work.

You will learn about the body’s systems, such as the reproductive system, the digestive system, the endocrine system, the respiratory system, the muscular system, and the skeletal system, as part of your studies.

You may also learn about microscopic anatomy and how to study the tissues and cells of plants, animals, and people.

This degree will teach you how to take biopsies from patients and look at them to figure out what’s wrong with them. 

4 Biomedical Science

With its focus on biological and molecular sciences, a degree in biomedical science is a good way to learn how to study human health and disease.

This program gives you classes, lab work, and research opportunities that will help you improve your communication, writing, critical thinking, and ability to solve problems.

In biomedical science, you can take classes like clinical human anatomy, human physiology, and human microbiology. 

5 Chemistry

Chemistry is a branch of natural science that looks at how things change and how their properties change. It also pays a lot of attention to the laws of nature that explain these changes.

Chemistry is a subject that helps you develop your analytical skills, which are important if you want to become a physician’s assistant.

For example, if you know about chemistry, you’ll know about the possible interactions that can happen when two medicines are taken together.

Depending on the program you choose, you will have several choices for chemistry classes.

You might be able to choose between general chemistry, organic chemistry, analytical chemistry, and inorganic chemistry, for example. 

6 Biochemistry

When you go to school to become a physician’s assistant, you will need to have a solid background in biochemistry.

It include classes like organic chemistry, genetics, cellular biology, chemistry, and biology.

The study of biochemistry includes learning about the Krebs life cycle, ATP, cell biology, life sciences, molecular structures, small molecules, organic chemistry, amino acids, and other living things. 

7 Psychology

You’ll have to take biology, analytical thinking, multicultural and international, social science, general psychology, and other classes.

You can also take classes in abnormal psychology, social psychology, cognitive psychology, and neuroscience, among other things.

This course of study gives you a general overview of psychology and will help you get ready for the next step in your medical career.

Psychology is a great major if you want to learn more about yourself or other people.

With this information, you’ll be able to figure out what you need to do as a physician assistant to help people. 

FAQs

What degree do I need for physician assistant? 

A bachelor’s degree and successful completion of several science prerequisites, a specified number of hours working in direct patient care, a master’s degree from an ARC-PA-accredited program, a state license, and a passing score on the national certifying exam are all required to become a physician assistant. 

What Bachelor degree do I need for physician assistant Reddit? 

PA programs do not require (or even prefer) an undergraduate degree in science, particularly biological science.

Diverse and well-rounded candidates become diverse and well-rounded Pas, and everyone benefits. 

What bachelor degree is best for physician assistant? 

Biomedical Science – The study of biology as it relates to healthcare is known as biomedical science.

As a result, it is a suitable field of study for a physician assistant. You will study kinesiology, nutrition, biochemistry, epidemiology, anatomy, and physiology as part of your biomedical science major. 

What major is best for PA school Reddit? 

  • Biology.
  • Biochemistry.
  • Biomedical Science.
  • Chemistry.
  • Health Sciences.
  • Kinesiology.
  • Medical Ethics.
  • Medical Technology. 

What is the most common major for PA school?

The following are the most common undergraduate majors among successful PA school applicants.

According to the most recent Student Report, biology (41.5%) is the most common degree major among those accepted to PA school, followed by health sciences (14.8%) and exercise science/athletic training (8.8%). 

Is a BA or BS better for PA school? 

PA programs place a high value on outcomes. Schools would say they require a BS if their outcomes data showed that BA students had higher attrition rates or lower PANCE pass rates. 

Does undergrad matter for PA school? 

No, the program does not prioritize any major. Biology and chemistry are the most popular majors. 

What did you major in before PA school? 

Although a bachelor’s degree is a prerequisite for graduate PA programs, you can choose the type of bachelor’s degree you want to pursue.

The most popular degree major for those who are accepted to PA school is biology (41.5%), followed by health sciences (14.8%), according to the most recent Student Report. 

What to study to become a physician assistant? 

A minimum of 50% in the 10+2 or an equivalent is required. In order to qualify, candidates had to have studied Physics, Chemistry, and Biology as their primary subjects.

In some circumstances, candidates must also show up for the institution’s entrance exam. 

Is Kinesiology a good major for physician assistant? 

According to experts, a Kinesiology degree from college could prepare a student for graduate study in nursing, athletic training, or sport and exercise psychology, as well as for physician assistant, medical, or chiropractic school. 

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