"Physician assistants (PAs) are health professionals licensed to practice medicine with physician supervision. PAs perform a comprehensive range of medical duties, from basic primary care to high-technology specialty procedures. PAs often act as first or second assistants in major surgery and provide pre- and postoperative care.
In some rural areas where physicians are in short supply, PAs serve as the primary providers of health care, conferring with their supervising physicians and other medical professionals as needed and as required by law. PAs can be found in virtually every medical and surgical specialty.
The PA's responsibilities depend on the type of practice, his or her experience, the working relationship with physicians and other health care providers, and state laws." (American Academy of Physician Assistants).
There are over 196 accredited PA programs in the US. A list of accredited programs can be found online.
PA programs in Florida include the following:
- Adventist University
- Barry University
- Florida International University
- Miami-Dade College
- Keiser University Ft. Lauderdale
- Nova Southeastern University - Ft. Lauderdale
- Nova Southeastern University - Orlando
- Nova Southeastern University - Jacksonville
- Nova Southeastern University - Southwest Florida Ft. Myers
- South University Tampa
- University of Florida
- Most programs look for a minimum undergraduate GPA between 2.75-3.0.
- The required courses typically include the following:
- General Biology or Zoology with lab
- Human Anatomy and Physiology
- General or inorganic chemistry with lab
- Other courses that some programs require include Medical Terminology, Genetics, Biochemistry, Organic Chemistry, and Math as well as courses in Humanities and Social Sciences.
- A GRE score
- Letters of Recommendations
- Experience in healthcare (some programs want 2000 hours)
- Some schools require applicants to use the centralized application service.
- Fall admission program application deadlines vary from December through March (some schools do have spring admissions).
- GRE should be taken in time for scores to be reported before the application deadline.