Physician assistants work under the supervision of a physician or surgeon to provide direct patient care. They may perform exams, order diagnostic tests, prescribe medication, make diagnoses, provide treatments and assist with surgery. Like physicians, depending on the speciality, evening, weekend, and on-call hours may be a job expectation.
UWM offers all of the prerequisite coursework necessary for application to physician assistant (PA) programs throughout the country. Although it is theoretically possible to enter a PA program after completing the necessary science and math courses but before earning the bachelor's degree, it is a highly rare situation and becoming even less common as more PA programs now require a bachelor's degree.
Admission to PA programs is extremely competitive. Successful applicants will have not only a stellar GPA and academic record but also demonstrated excellence and experience in health care related work. Most programs require applicants to have had direct, hands-on patient care experience, some as much as 2,000 hours. It is important to work closely with your advisor beginning in freshman year in order to complete the preparation process in a timely fashion.
Please review the Pre-Physician Assistant Fact Sheet (PDF) for information about suggested undergraduate courses to prepare for PA school, experiential opportunities available to UWM students, the career outlook for PAs, and options for your major.
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