Choosing the Best Physician Assistant School for You
When you decide you want to become a physician assistant, each school may seem as good as the next, but choosing the best physician assistant school for you is key. After all, when you finish you are a PA! Your excitement and eagerness about getting in may cloud your vision of how to focus on selecting the right school for your needs. The best physician assistant school for you will match your learning style, your personality, and will lead to a professional education that better suits you and prevents frustration.
Establishing some criteria that you define for your individual needs is an essential first step in finding the best physician assistant school for you. Focus on criteria that meet your specific needs and situation. Look at each factor critically and examine its importance to you in finding the right program.
Here are some criteria to help you focus your search:
This is a big one for many, especially if family obligations anchor you to a particular area. But commuting or relocating to the best physician assistant school for you can sometimes be worth the sacrifice.
Keep in mind that some regions or states have fewer schools than others and thus are swamped with a higher volume of applications than others.
Would you have to relocate, and are you willing and ready to do so if necessary?
All physician assistant programs are costly, but your professional education will be invaluable. Choosing the best physician assistant program for you will pay off in the end. But some programs are more costly than others.
State schools are frequently less expensive than their private counterparts.
Consider how much money you will have to borrow and your debt comfort level.
How established is the program?
A PA program that has been in operation for 10+ years will likely have many of the logistical hiccups worked out. Their administration should be soundly in place. Their clinical sites and preceptors will be vetted and solid.
A fledgling program may still be working out some of the bumps in the road. If you choose a new program, you will be along for the ride as the school finds its path. So consider: is this the best physician assistant school for you, and is it a ride you are ready for?
The length of a program may vary from 24 to 36 months. Though you may not choose a program by this criterion alone, it could be a deciding factor if you are torn between two similar schools.
Fit of the prerequisites
If you have already completed your degree and the PA school prerequisites, it may be helpful to choose the program with a curriculum that is similar to the work you have done. If not, you should look at the schools that you think would be the best fit for you and tailor your coursework to the program you desire to attend.
Top Physician Assistant Schools in the United States
Physician assistants are medical professionals who provide primary care to patients under the supervision of a physician or surgeon. A physician assistant degree program is frequently offered at the master’s degree level and consists of supervised clinical training, laboratory work and classroom instruction. All physician assistants must pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE).
Top Schools for Physician Assistants in the U.S.
1. Yale University in New Haven, CT
Yale University offers a Master’s of Medical Science through its physician associate program. The 28-month program consists of didactic, clinical and research learning through lectures, discussion groups, clerkships, original research activities and completion of a master’s thesis. Coursework in anatomy, physiology, clinical care standards, surgical assisting, pharmacology and preventive medicine are supplemented by hands-on training in suturing, dissection labs and role-playing as physician assistants. In 2012, Yale University was ranked third among national universities by U.S. News & World Report.
2. University of Florida in Gainesville, FL
The University of Florida offers a Master of Physician Assistant Studies degree. A bachelor’s degree is a prerequisite to enrollment in the two-year program. The first year is devoted to didactic learning while the second year is wholly made up of clinical training rotations that include primary care, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, surgery, emergency care, intensive care and psychiatry. The first-time PANCE pass rate for graduates of the program was 97% in 2011, compared with the national average of 93%. The Princeton Review listed the University of Florida as one of the best colleges in the U.S. in 2012.
3. George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
George Washington University offers a physician assistant master’s program in which students attend some classes with other health sciences program students, like medical school or nurse practioner students. Students take classes and rotate among both inpatient and outpatient settings.
Originally posted 2013-07-11 11:00:00. Republished by Blog Post Promoter