Illinois Physicians Assistant Programs

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Check current course listings for campus-based and online Physicians Assistant Programs available for Illinois students.

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How to Become a Physician Assistant in Illinois and Physician Assistant Programs in Illinois

If you're interested in learning about how to become a physician assistant in Illinois and physician assistant programs in Illinois, you should know that this occupation requires a vigorous course of study. Most physician assistants have a master's degree in their field of study. You can begin in a variety of medical professions such as EMT-Paramedic or registered nurse. With a bachelor's degree in a related field, you can then pursue a master's that will allow you to become a physician assistant. Some physician assistants pursue a bachelor's degree or lower, but this is rare. Physicians' assistants provide many basic treatments and diagnoses for various medical conditions.

There are several physician assistant programs to choose from in the state of Illinois. The following schools offer programs specifically for this field: * John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County Malcolm X College PA Program * Midwestern University PA Program * Feinberg School of Medicine Physician Assistant Program at Northwestern University * Rosaline Franklin University PA Program at the College of Health Professions * Rush University Physician Assistant Program * Southern Illinois University PA Program Upon completion of one of these programs, students will be prepared to sit for a certification exam. Certification is required from the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants.

After completing the certification exam to become a physician assistant, the final step is applying for state certification in Illinois. A Physician Assistant in Medicine license can be obtained by filing out an application with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. Physician assistants are also given prescriptive authority in Illinois which means that they are licensed to write certain prescriptions. To obtain prescriptive authority, the physician assistant's supervising physician must submit a notice to the state on this matter. For certain prescriptions, physician assistants must also apply for a mid-level practitioner license per the Illinois Controlled Substances Act.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national job outlook for physician assistants is good. Employment for this occupation is expected to grow by 30 percent during the 2010 to 2020 decade which is faster than average for all professions in the United States. In Illinois, the annual mean wage for physician assistants is $76,680, or about $36.87 an hour. Those with earnings in the top ten percent of their occupation make more than $109,600 while those with earnings in the bottom ten percent earn less than $29,530. A career as a physician assistant is very rewarding and lucrative.

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Illinois Department of Professional Regulation
James R. Thompson Center
100 West Randolph, Suite 9-300
Chicago, IL 60601
Phone: (312) 814-2715
Fax: (312) 814-3145

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