Physician assistants (PA) are medical providers who are licensed to diagnose and treat illness and disease and to prescribe medication for patients. They work in physician offices, hospitals and clinics in collaboration with a licensed physician. The physician-PA relationship is fundamental to the profession and enhances the delivery of high-quality health care. Because of their advanced education in general medicine, modeled after physician education, physician assistants can treat patients with significant autonomy.
Physician assistants are critical to increasing access to care for rural and other underserved patients as they are often the only health providers in these areas. Physician assistants also work in specialties outside of primary care, including medical and surgical specialties and sub-specialties.
Most Physician Assistant programs require applicants to have a four-year college degree. Each year a few students are accepted with only three years completed, but these are exceptions. PA programs require specific pre-requisite courses to be completed with good grades, and successful applicants to demonstrate skills and knowledge developed outside of the classroom.
Our pre-PA program, part of the pre-health professional program, is structured to ensure that students obtain critical skills to achieve admission to a Physician Assistant program:
Most schools do not require a specific major, but it is important to review the specific recommendations at any school you are interested in attending. We recommend choosing a major that suits your personal interests. Physician Assistant admissions teams will check carefully to make sure you have all of the specific prerequisite courses and experiences that they require for consideration. At Benedictine, you will have an academic advisor for your major, and still be helped by a separate expert pre-health professions advisor to encourage and guide you through of all pre-requisites and extracurricular activities you will need.
The Benedictine Benefit