Physician Assistants are healthcare professionals who are licensed to provide a broad range of healthcare services under the supervision of a licensed physician. Physician Assistants or PAs are licensed to diagnose and treat illnesses, conduct physical exams, order and interpret diagnostic tests, and write prescriptions. As a Physician Assistant, you may also assist in surgery, and advise patients on preventive health care measures.
To qualify as a Physician Assistant you must complete a 2-year full-time accredited physician assistant education program. This is after completing a 4-year bachelor's degree and having some work experience related to healthcare such as a registered nurse, paramedic or emergency medical technician. You are typically employed by hospitals, private clinics, outpatient care centers, educational institutions and the government. Depending on the healthcare organization you are employed by, you may also make house calls or treat elderly patients in nursing homes. You have excellent diagnostic, communication, and interpersonal skills. The ability to work as part of a team is a must.
Your interviews are generally conducted by a panel of interviewers. The Hospital Administrator and the Licensed Physician you will be working with will almost certainly be part of this panel. Be prepared for a rigorous interview that tests your knowledge and skills as well as your interest in caring for the sick and the injured. Make sure your answers reflect these qualities. If you are a new graduate, have a few situations from your internship in your back pocket to refer to during the interview.