Physician Assistant Studies (MS)
What is A Physician Assistant Studies (MS) Degree?
Physician Assistants do many of the same things that doctors do. They diagnose illnesses, develop treatment plans, prescribe medications, and sometimes are the patient’s principal healthcare provider. Ordinarily, they work in conjunction with and under the supervision of an MD or group of MDs, depending on their geographical location. There is talk in some areas of not requiring the coordination with the MD, but so far, these changes have not occurred. Physician Assistants are considered to be mid-level medical practitioners.
Physician Assistants are educated at the Master’s degree level with an MS degree in Physician Assistant Studies (sometimes called an MPAS, MHS, or MPH), so applicants will need to first complete a bachelor’s degree, preferably in one of the sciences or nursing, before applying to a PA program. Many programs also require experience in hands-on work with patients as an EMT, medical assistant, registered nurse, or other similar positions.
Coursework for the MS degree in Physician Assistant will include advanced work in various lab sciences like anatomy, physiology, physical diagnosis, and microbiology along with medical ethics. Students will also complete medical rotations—about 2000 hours of work–in various specialties like family medicine, internal medical, psychiatry, general surgery, etc.by working in doctor’s offices, hospitals, and clinics. Upon completing the Master’s degree program, which will take 2 to 3 years of study, you may be eligible to take an exam for certification as a Physician Assistant and may also need to obtain a license, the requirements for which will vary from place to place.
The videos below discuss “typical” programs, so they should help regardless of which school you are considering.