I Want to be a PA
Why would you want to become a PA? The PA profession is stable, recession resistant, cannot be outsourced to another country and can be financially rewarding. It offers employment in family medicine, emergency medicine and a wide variety of specialties. It is also one of the fastest growing professions in the country with many jobs available.
The American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) provides an excellent Introduction to the PA Profession. Another good source of information is book titled So You Want to be a Physician Assistant by Beth Grivett.
Ohio has multiple PA programs (Click on the name to obtain program information). They are:
All the Ohio programs offer Masters Degrees as a Masters Degree is a requirement to become licensed as a PA in Ohio.
Each program has different requirements for admission and they may or may not include requirements for previous health care experience, volunteer activities and shadowing.
If you would like to shadow a PA, OAPA maintains lists of PA volunteers by region. Unfortunately, due to the high demand for shadow opportunities, distribution of the lists is limited to undergraduate college students only. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for the lists.
How would I prepare to become a PA?
It is recommended that you try to exceed the minimum requirements for application. This allows prospective students to submit a competitive application. In Ohio a minimum of a 3.0 GPA and a Bachelor's Degree are required.
For those programs that require it, what are some examples of “health care experience?”
Hands on patient care/interaction experience and/or demonstrated health care related volunteer work.
What about letters of reference?
Select a reference that can outline your involvement in patient care and/or your volunteer activities. The letters of reference are an important component that the programs will use to evaluate your background and experience.
What can I expect once accepted into the PA program?
The length of the program is 26-28 months and the curriculum is rigorous. Employment is not recommended and the programs do not offer part-time, evening or weekend classes.
Expect to take courses such as, but not limited to, anatomy, physiology, clinical medicine, pharmacology, medical ethics, patient evaluation and practice rotations.