What is a Physician Assistant?
Physician assistants, also known as PAs, practice medicine on teams with physicians, surgeons, and other healthcare workers. They examine, diagnose, and treat patients. Physician assistants work on teams with physicians and other healthcare workers. Their specific duties and the extent to which they must be supervised by physicians or surgeons differ from state to state.
Physician Assistants typically do the following:
- Take or review patients’ medical histories
- Examine patients
- Order and interpret diagnostic tests, such as x rays or blood tests
- Diagnose a patient’s injury or illness
- Give treatment, such as setting broken bones and immunizing patients
- Educate and counsel patients and their families—for example, answering questions about how to care for a child with asthma
- Prescribe medicine
- Assess and record a patient’s progress
- Research the latest treatments to ensure the quality of patient care
- Conduct or participate in outreach programs; talking to groups about managing diseases and promoting wellness
Application process for Physician Assistant programs vary by school. It is important for students to be aware of the specific process of the schools to which they may apply.
There are many factors that are evaluated throughout the application process.
- Academic Record
- The Standardized Test - The General Record Exam (GRE)
- Letters of Evaluation
- The Interview
- Extracurricular Activities and Work Experience
- The Application Service – Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA)
Please visit the Center for Health Sciences and Student Success in the College of Sciences and Engineering at Wilkes University for more information on the application process.
The CASPA application cycle runs from April every year until the following March. Applicants may not create an account or submit documentation to CASPA prior to our opening date.
Students interested in applying to Physician Assistant programs should complete the application the year before you expect to begin the program. Applicants who apply during a cycle will be considered for both fall or spring program start dates. For example, you apply April 2017 for fall 2018 or spring 2019 program entrance. If you are unsure of your correct application cycle, contact the programs to which you are applying to confirm that you are filling out the correct application before creating a CASPA account.
Pre- Physician Assistant students are encouraged to apply early and to work with the Center for Health Sciences and Student Success in the College of Science and Engineering at Wilkes University in preparation of the application process.
Application requirements for Physician Assistant programs vary by school. It is important for students to be aware of the specific requirements of the schools to which they may apply.
Typical course requirements include science courses such as anatomy, physiology, microbiology, general biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, and genetics. In addition, non-science courses that may be required are English, humanities, math, medical terminology, psychology and sociology. Many programs require paid or unpaid experiences within a healthcare setting.