Physician’s assistant training courses come in a variety of shapes and forms, but they’re not all the same. As you consider the program that best suits you, look for ones that offer supervised clinical training in several areas:

  • Internal medicine
  • Pediatrics
  • Geriatrics
  • Surgery
  • Prenatal care and gynecology
  • Emergency medicine

As you work to earn a Master’s of Science in Physician Assisting Studies, any program that does not offer this graduate degree is not going to help you secure a physician’s assistant job. There are some schools that promise to help you enter the industry as a physician’s assistant, but they do not actually provide the graduate degree education you need.

Most physician assistant training courses are going to last a full two years and require that you be enrolled as a full-time student. If the course does not require you to attend school full-time, then it should last longer than two years. If the college you are considering offers a graduate degree that can be earned in less than two years of full-time study, it’s an accelerated course, and you’ll need to ensure that you have the time required to complete the course load and other demands.

Another important thing to consider in a physician’s assistant training course is the pass rate of students who graduate from the school in comparison to first-time test takers nationally. The school should offer certification exam pass rates that are at least roughly comparable to national pass rates. If the rates are either too high or too low, you might consider attending a different school. The national average is somewhere around 94 percent, so compare the pass rates of first-time test takers from the school you want to attend.

You will certainly need to consider the cost of tuition when attending a physician’s assistant training program, but there are other costs, as well. Application fees, medical equipment, textbooks, and student fees are things that can make the price of your education higher than you expect. Be sure to consider all fees very carefully before enrolling in the physician’s assistant training course of your choice.

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