Be Prepared

Hanna Reinford
“At EMU my mammalian anatomy class in particular was phenomenal – we worked with human cadavers and did hands-on dissection. Looking back, it was a wonderful thing that my EMU professors included cadaver dissection as part of that course – so many of my graduate school classmates had never done work with cadavers.”

-EMU grad Hanna Reinford is now a physician assistant at Green Valley Clinic in Bergton, VA

Pre-Physician Assistant Program (PPAP)

Students who are service-oriented, compassionate , interested in health and human body issues, and academically competent can develop into skilled health care professionals.

Our undergraduate program emphasizes quality academics and Christian caring empathy and prepares students for entrance into graduate level health professional programs.

About physicians assistants

Physician assistants practice medicine under the supervision of physicians and surgeons. Training in diagnostic, therapeutic, and preventative healthcare (as delegated by a physician) help physician assistants examine and treat patients, order and interpret lab tests, and diagnose patients. In almost every state, physician assistants can prescribe some medications. In face, in areas where there is a shortage of primary care physicians, physician assistants may be the principle care providers while reporting to a physician!

Based on current information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth outlook for physician assistants is much better than average. Jobs are expected to grow 27% from 2006 to 2016. Physicians and health care institutions are expected to hire more physician assistants because they are cost effective and function as high quality members of the healthcare team.

Preparation for study after EMU

For students interested in a career as a physician assistant, undergraduate coursework focusing in the biological and chemical sciences is necessary. At EMU we recommend that students declare a biology major and enroll in the Pre-Professional Health Science program as a pre-physician assistant student.

Prerequisite requirements of post-graduate physician assistant schools vary from university to university. These prerequisites may include coursework beyond the biology major requirements at EMU ( see recommended and required course listing). Care should be taken to fulfill all of the required courses and as many suggested courses as possible for the schools of interest.

Towards the end of undergraduate coursework, the Graduate Record Examination, GRE should be taken. Most physician assistant schools use the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants, CASPA . This application should be filled out early during the applicant year. Most schools will also have supplemental application forms that need to be filed after the CASPA is completed.

Note that most physician assistant schools require a specified number of direct patient care hours beyond shadowing experiences. For some schools this is very extensive and may involve over 1,000 hours. There are several ways to get these hours, like finding employment as a certified nursing assistant or as an emergency medical technician with a local rescue squad. Both of these jobs will require some training.

Additional info

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