Medical Career--Physician Assistant

physician assistant wearing lab coat with medical devices

What is a Physician Assistant (PA)?

Your Psychology degree can be the start of a career as a Physician Assistant (PA). A PA is a medical professional who works with all ages of patients to: (a) diagnose diseases, (b) develop treatment plans, and (c) prescribe drugs. Sometimes you might see a PA instead of a Medical Doctor when you go to a clinic to be treated, although it is important to keep in mind that PA will be part of a healthcare team tsupervised by a Medical Doctor. 

To become a PA, you must complete an accredited PA program, which generally lasts around 2 years. One thing to keep in mind is that there are certain courses you will have been expected to take (e.g., Chemistry) to enter a PA program. Also, you will be required to take an entrance exam. If you plan to apply to a PA school, see if they require the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) or the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Also, getting into a PA program is not a "slam dunk"--probably not as hard to get into as most medical schools, but definitely not easy. Going to school to become a PA generally requires tuition that is paid by the student.  As a PA you can specialize in a specific medical area (e.g., Pediatrics). You must obtain licensure from state board of nursing to practice in the profession. Obtaining this license will require completing a one-year clinical rotation to gain hands-on medical experience.

Click here to read about the difference between a PA and a Medical Doctor.

Click here for a link to the American Academy of Physician Assistamts (AAPA).

Click here for a GREAT website about preparing to be a PA.

Salary Information lists the average yearly income for a Physician Assistant at $92,000.

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Click here to read important steps to a Medical Career with a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology

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Click on the links below to read about other Medical careers that only require a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology:

Medical Careers--Government Worker

Medical Careers--Medical Lab Technician

Medical Careers--Mental Health Technician

Medical Careers--Pharmaceutical Sales

Medical Careers--Medical Scribe

Click on the links below to read about other Medical careers that require a professional degree:

Medical Careers--Dentist

Medical Career--Medical Doctor

Medical Careers--Speech Pathologist

Medical Careers--Nurse

More in this category: Medical Careers--Nurse »