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Training and Certification for a Physician Assistant
Once you have qualified as a candidate to a Physician Assistant program that best suits you, receiving training is the next step in this job endeavor. After, getting and maintaining your certification are crucial components in beginning and continuing a successful career.
As one of the fastest growing career fields, Physician Assistant programs are increasing throughout the nation (and abroad) to accommodate. Currently, there are just about 150 accredited Physician Assistant programs nationwide, which means that finding one that best suits your interests and lifestyle should be an easy feat.
Located at hospitals, two- and four-year colleges and universities, or medical schools and centers, training programs consist of classroom education, laboratory study, and even clinical practice. More specifically, typical programs last between twenty-four and thirty-two months and can be broken down into the following:
All programs award documentation of completion and some even award higher degrees. Currently, about eighty percent of programs award a master’s degree, while the remainder award bachelor and associate degrees, and certificates.
After training is complete, all program graduates go on to take the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE) in order to become NCCPA-certified and licensed as a Physician Assistant. Physician Assistants must log at least a hundred hours of Continuing Medical Education (CME) and reregister with the NCCPA every two years to maintain their certification. Lastly, every six years a recertification exam must be taken, which can be administered either at a testing site or online.
Are You Qualified to Become a Physician Assistant?Benefits of Becoming a Physician AssistantJob Opportunities for a Physician AssistantPhysician Assistant Job DescriptionPhysician Assistant Salary
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The Future of the Healthcare Field