By Lois Hughes PA-C
Several publications predict the job opportunities for physician’s assistants to grow dramatically in the coming years. Doctors need assistants for the baby boomer generation, whether it’s for physical therapy or aide in the doctor’s office. Take your time researching accredited learning institutions online and in your area to find a program that fits your schedule and works with your lifestyle.
Top Blogs and Websites for Physician Assistants
These blogs and websites will give you a look at how to enroll in a quality physician’s assistant program and what to expect once you’re on the job.
- Physician Assistant Path This blog thoroughly explains the different jobs a physician’s assistant can have. Because laws vary state by state, it’s essential to read different physician assistant blogs to get an idea of the pre-requisites and certifications needed by a PA in your area .
- American Academy of Physician’s Assistants This blog of the AAPA explains physician’s assistant online degrees, plus the training and certification you’ll need in your state. .
- Physician Assistant Site One of the many things you’ll learn at this blog is the list of top 20 schools for being a physician assistant. While there’s no formal ranking for this department, this list takes into account the size of the physician assistant program at these universities and colleges. At some learning institutions, the physician assistant program is referred to as doctor’s assistant.
- Cert Physician Assistant If you’re just beginning your journey at becoming a physician assistant, this blog is a great place to start. It goes into depth regarding the day-to-day duties of a physician assistant and talks about the re-certification process which takes place every two years after becoming a physician assistant.
- Princeton Review – Physician Assistant This career section of the Princeton Review gives you a look at what you’ll experience on the job. Physician assistants have a round of clinicals and takes a look at the many careers you can have as a physician assistant such as nursing or a lab tech.
- YouTube – Career Spotlight: Physician Assistant This video shows you what being a physician assistant entails. PAs practice medicine, but do it under the supervision of a MD. This video also breaks down the differences between a PA and nurse practitioner.
- Health Policy Wonk This brilliant and informative blog delves into health politics. It’s an interesting look at the life of a PA working as an independent health policy analyst. For PAs seeking their doctoral degrees, this site is a must-read.
- Kevin MD This well-respected medical site talks industry news and the changes that are taking place that may affect the doctor/physician assistant relationship. A recent industry name change for the position, referring to physician assistant as physician associates has caused a buzz at online medical communities.
- Life of a PA Whether you’re looking for how clinicals work or what to expect in rotations after you’ve found a job, this blog is one of the best on the web for understanding what a PA does every day. The blogger does a great job of showing you how being a PA works and occasionally posts jobs.
- Physician Assistant Blog Before enrolling in a PA program, this site suggests having some medical background, as well as BA. In most cases, this BA will be in a science, but those with a bachelor of arts can also apply for a PA program.
Physician’s Assistant Message Boards and Forums
Interact with other physician’s assistants at these message boards and forums. Learn about sitting for your exams and how to go about the job hunt in your area of expertise.
- Physician Assistant Forum This message board has separate forums for those already practicing and those in residency or just beginning training. There’s also a job board that posts physician assistant opportunities across the country.
- Student Doctor This site has sections for traditional and non-traditional students. MDs and physician assistants chat about internships, residency, certification exams and studying. This is a very active forum that deserves a look if you aren’t sure what to expect when attending a PA program.
- Clinical Advisor This forum is packed with information for the PA to continue learning post-school. The job board is helpful for those looking for a position and the site also talks about landing a job after working your clinicals and making your face familiar to doctors in your area.
- Healthboards No matter what the discussion is, you can bet the members at this site will weigh in. These busy forums are aimed at everyone in the medical community. For the PA who is already working with patients daily, this board is an invaluable resource.
- Chat Medical This message board has been going strong for a few years and continues to grow. The forum for physician assistants is active, but remember you must register to be able to read and browse this site.
A career as a physician’s assistant is a rewarding position that allows compassionate interaction with patients. The key is to find an accredited program and getting certification in any specialized area. Most physician assistant program takes a little over two years to complete, but you can also obtain a bachelor’s or master’s degree in this area. Regardless of what training and degrees you have, all aspiring physician assistants take the same certification exam that allows them to practice and work with doctors.
Lois Hughes is a PA-C and blogs at http://www.howtobecomeaphysicianassistant.org