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Jun 02, 2023

How to Become a Physician Associate? Complete Guide

Physician associates, or physician assistants, aid the doctors in their regular practice. The demand for the profession is currently growing rapidly. Thus, it might be a good choice for a future career. So, if you are wondering how to become a physician associate, we are here to help. Read this article, and learn everything you need to know about the road to becoming a physician assistant!

How to become a physician assistant: the requirements

Not everyone may become a physician associate. In order to do so, it is required to obtain a bachelor’s degree in related studies. Moreover, before becoming a physician assistant, you must complete a 2-year-long course. These courses usually end with a master’s degree.

A BA might not be the only requirement for a PA school. In some cases, experience working with patients might be needed as well. It is possible to gain it through shadowing physicians or taking part in volunteer programs. Thus, you need to make good use of clinical opportunities for premed students, keeping in mind that you have to be physically present near the patients or work directly with them.

After the course, you will obtain a certificate, and you can start working as a PA in hospitals and clinics.

How to prepare for a physician associate school interview?

Think about the PA school interview like you think about a standard job interview. You will probably be asked why you chose the particular school, why you want to become a physician assistant, and what experience you have in working in healthcare. Make sure to look professional and prepare your answers beforehand.



Can a physician assistant become a physician general?

A physician assistant cannot become a physician general directly. Think how long does it takes to become a physician general. Doctors need to complete a medical school, then they become residents and finally full-on physicians. But, since the PA course is at the same level as medical school, it is impossible to advance from a physician associate to a physician general. However, if you decide that it is time to become a physician, you might always apply for med school – it should be much easier, since you will have the experience from your work as a PA.

Can other medical professions become physician associates?

Other medical professionals might be able to quickly become physician assistants. For instance, qualified nurses can become physician associates by completing postgraduate courses. This career path is open for anybody who has a background in medical studies – after all, they have to complete similar BA courses as those who aimed at becoming PAs from the start.

The takeaway

We hope that now you know how to become a physician associate. All you need to do is complete a medical-related BA, apply for a 2-year-long course and complete it. Thus, even other medical professionals, such as nurses, can become physician assistants. Yet, it is still impossible to get promoted from a PA to a physician general.

If you are not convinced by this career path, check other options and read our article on easy careers in the medical field.

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