Physician Assistant Programs In Massachusetts

massachusettsHow To Become A Physician Assistant In Massachusetts?

As you may know already, physician assistants, also known as PAs, are skilled health care providers who are formally trained to work alongside licensed surgeons and physicians, and to diagnose and treat patients who suffer from a variety of different illnesses and conditions. In spite of the fact that the job duties and requirements may vary from one state to another, these professionals have to follow the same career path in order to become physician assistants regardless of their physical location. Having said that, the first and perhaps most important step a future physician assistant has to take after graduating from high school is enrolling in a program of higher learning that is ARC-PA approved. The ARC-PA accreditation, or the Accreditation Review Commission on the Education of Physician Assistant is an aspect of paramount importance – any school that receives this badge of honor meets the highest educational standards and requirements in the field.

Generally speaking, a physician assistant training program takes little over two years to complete, and the training combines both theoretical and practical training. The courses include training in emergency medicine, pharmacology, surgical technique, paediatrics, diagnosis, pathology and so forth. The hands-on experience is crucial for every physician assistant, as most students end up learning more about this profession during clinical rotations than they do in the classroom. After finishing the 25-month PA training program, students can sit for the final certification exam and then they can choose to pursue their specialization in a certain field of medicine, such as paediatrics, surgery or internal medicine, if they desire. Most physician assistants these days become specialists by completing an extra post graduate training program and by receiving their NCCPA certification that must be renewed once every six years.

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Physician Assistant Career Description

As mentioned earlier, the exact requirements and duties of physician assistants do vary greatly from one setting to another, but generally speaking it is the duty of every physician assistant to record the medical progress of each patient, to conduct thorough physical examinations and to check the health of the patients, to review and record the medical histories of patients, to give immunization shots to patients and to set their broken bones, to diagnose injuries and illnesses, to order and interpret diagnostic tests like blood tests or x-rays and such.

In addition to the variety of medical duties and responsibilities of these professionals, physician assistants (especially those who work in the public health sector and they are hired in hospitals) may also have to complete some occasional administrative tasks as well. Generally speaking, it is up to the PA to research the latest treatments, to closely examine, diagnose the patient and then to prescribe the most suitable treatment as well as to participate or even to conduct various outreach groups that are focused on managing diseases. Physician assistants can be widely found in the medical industry, as they often work in every area of medicine including psychiatry, family medicine, emergency medicine as well as primary care.

Certification And Continuing Education

Physician assistants must receive their licensure and certification regardless of the state where they live and work, and the first thing every physician assistant has to do after graduating from the ARC-PA accredited physician assistant training program is to take the PANCE examination, administered by the NCCPA. Simply put, PANCE means the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination and it is administered by the National Commission on the Certifiction of Physician Assistants – it is a test designed to evaluate the surgical comprehension as well as the fundamental medical skills and knowledge of each applicant. These professionals must maintain their certification by sitting for the re-certification examination every six years, as well as by earning at least one hundred continuing education credits every 24 months.

Salary and Career Info

The interactive chart above is a visual representation of the annual salary of Massachusetts PA’s compared to the national annual salaries, all based on the latest May 2013 Occupational Employment Statistics figures released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Physician Assistant Programs In Massachusetts

If you have decided to enroll in a physician assistant training school in the state of Massachusetts, then you should know that there are currently three ARC-PA training programs that can result in a physician assistant master’s degree level. These institutions are the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, the Springfield College located in the city of Springfield as well as the Northeastern University which can be found in Boston, Massachusetts. The training programs usually last for two years and they can open many doors for physician assistants, from a professional standpoint.

List of All 7 Accredited PA Programs

As of November 2014, the accrediting agency is ARC-PA and they have 7 fully accredited AL programs.

1. Bay Path University (Provisional)

Initial Accreditation Date: March 6, 2012

Next ARC-PA Review: September 2015

Website: http://graduate.baypath.edu/graduate-programs/programs-on-campus/ms-programs/physician-assistant-studies

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2. Boston University (Provisional)

Initial Accreditation Date: September 6, 2013

Next ARC-PA Review: September 2016

Website: http://www.bu.edu/paprogram/

boston

3. MGH Institute of Health Professions (Provisional)

Initial Accreditation Date: September 6, 2014

Next ARC-PA Review: TBA

Website: http://www.mghihp.edu/academics/school-of-health-and-rehabilitation-sciences/physician-assistant-studies/

mgh

4. MCPHS University (Boston)

Initial Accreditation Date: April 1, 2000

Next ARC-PA Review: September 2019

Website: http://www.mcphs.edu/Academics/Programs/Physician%20Assistant%20Studies%20MPAS

mcphs

5. Northeastern University

Initial Accreditation Date: September 1, 1972

Next ARC-PA Review: March 2015

Website: http://www.northeastern.edu/bouve/physician-assistant/ms/

northeastern

6. Springfield College

Initial Accreditation Date: April 1, 1996

Next ARC-PA Review: September 2016

Website: http://www.springfieldcollege.edu/academic-programs/physician-assistant-program/index

springfield

7. Tufts University (Provisional)

Initial Accreditation Date: September 2012

Next ARC-PA Review: TBA

Website: http://publichealth.tufts.edu/Academics/Physician-Assistant-Program

tufts

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