A physician assistant works under the direction of a physician to provide diagnostic, therapeutic and preventative care. They work with the patients to gather medical history and provide instruction and counselling, as well as treating illnesses and minor injuries.
Physician assistant programs are getting a lot of attention these days. It's a popular choice, and highly competitive. You will need a solid grade point average, and good GRE scores, but importantly, this program is historically tuned to those with prior experience; PA programs originally were designed for medics returning from the Vietnam War. Students with a significant history of volunteer or work experience in ambulances as EMT's, or in hospitals as medical assistants will have an edge over the many other applicants.
Courses recommended for PA school include a strong biology component. Distinct from medical school, PA programs require additional specific content, such as Anatomy and Physiology, as well as a significant level of actual medical experience. A biology or kinesiology major at Gordon would be good choices of major, as long as one is sure to obtain the specific prerequisite courses that may not be required of either major.
Courses that are required under Gordon's Health Professions Program, Track 7 include:
Note: Significant accumulation (up to 1000 hours) of patient contact is a prerequisite of many but not all schools. See specific requirements for individual schools.
Gordon's most recent PA graduate was John Pillen, pictured at top right assisting in a surgery. He attended University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.
For further information, please contact Gordon's health professions advisor, Dr. Craig M. Story.