Virginia Physicians Assistant Programs

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

What role does a physician assistant play in medicine today? As modern medicine continues to evolve, one of the fastest areas of growth in medical professions is that of a physician assistant. This position is one of great responsibility. In fact, many people see a physician assistant instead of a doctor on a regular basis. Those who enter this profession must earn a graduate level degree in order to obtain their certification and licensing. They must work within a doctor's supervision. With that, they have the ability to provide primary and follow-up care that normally a doctor may provide. In some cases, they even have the ability to prescribe medications. If you want to know more on how to become a physician assistant in Virginia, you need to read more.

What does the state of Virginia require of a physician assistant? Virginia requires anyone who wants to practice as a physician assistant to do so under the supervision of a doctor. To get licensing, the PA needs to complete an accredited education program and to pass a national certification exam. If the applicant has all of this, they still need to pass background checks at the Virginia state level. All of this regulation comes from the Physician Assistant Advisory Board. The exam a PA must pass is the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam given by the National Committee on Physician Assistants. Before being able to sit for the exam, they must complete an accredited program endorsed by the American Medical Association Committee on Allied Health Education and Accreditation, or the Commission for Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.

Are there accredited physician assistant programs in Virginia? There are over ten accredited physician assistant programs in the state of Virginia. One example of this is the program at James Madison University. The program offers students a Masters level degree as a physician assistant. Students take classes in topics like physical diagnosis, clinical medicine, pharmacology, medical information, and courses in gerontology, pediatrics, and other specializations.

What else is involved with becoming a physician assistant? After completing most of the classroom work, students have to begin rotations in the clinic. The student spends time in the area of family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics/gynecology, general surgery, emergency medicine, and behavioral medicine. This gives the student the broad knowledge required in many physician assistant positions. After completing their education, the students have to complete the national exam and become licensed in their state of choice.

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Virginia Board of Nursing
6603 West Broad Street
5th Floor
Richmond, VA 23230-1712
Phone: (804)662-9909
Fax: (804) 662-9512

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