Physician Assistant Programs In New Mexico

new-mexicoHow To Become A Physician Assistant In New Mexico

Physician assistants in the state of New Mexico have to follow the same career path as physician assistants from any other state. Having said that, it is important for these professionals to try and meet the pre-requisite requirements for the undergraduate programs even in high school, where they should get a deeper insight in math, physics, biology and chemistry.

After graduating from high school with a minimum GPA of 2.5 or more (depending on the PA school), these professionals should start looking for ARC-PA approved physician assistant training programs that offer either associate’s or bachelor’s degree-level training, followed by the completion of a Master’s Degree program, the latter usually taking around two years and involving up to 8 different clinical rotations that last little over a month each. Some students may qualify for an accelerated program that allows them to get their degrees and qualifications within four to five years only.

Physician Assistant In New Mexico – Job Description

From many points of view, physician assistants are considered the backbone of the health care industry, not just in New Mexico but all over the US, as they often happen to address the shortage of physicians, especially in the rural areas. Physician assistants have a collaborative professional relationship with licensed physicians, and they often work in state hospitals or medical offices where they see patients. It is not uncommon for physician assistants in New Mexico to also assist surgeons in surgery, in the operating room.

The only disadvantage of being a physician assistant is that these health care professionals do not enjoy full independence, as they always have to work under the supervision of a licensed physician – nonetheless, they do have the liberty to examine patients, to take their medical history prior to admitting them to the hospital, to administer vaccines and immunizations, to diagnose and treat various conditions, to prescribe medications and, in isolated cases, even to perform minor surgical procedures. These health care professionals can also specialize in a variety of different medical fields, ranging all the way from cardiology and surgery to orthopedics, internal medicine as well as family medicine.

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Physician Assistant Certification In New Mexico

As you may know already, every physician assistant regardless of the state where he lives or studies must pursue a national certification followed by a state license in order to be working legally in New Mexico. That being said, the first thing every PA-student has to do after graduating from an Accreditation Review Commission on the Education of Physician Assistants-approved physician assistant training program is to actually sit for the PANCE examination, which is administered by the NCCPA. Having said that, PANCE stands for the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination, and this is basically a multiple choice computerized examination designed to test the surgical as well as the basic medical skills and knowledge of physician assistant students.

After passing the test, physician assistant students will be granted the certification along with the PA-C designation (Physician Assistant-Certified), and they will be able to pursue their licensure. The certification is set to expire on a regular basis, and every physician assistant in New Mexico must sit for a recertification examination, also known as the PANRE exam. The certification expires every six years, and in order for the physician assistant to be eligible for recertification, he or she will have to log in a minimum of one hundred credits of continuing medical education courses. By the end of the 6th year, when the certification is set to expire, all physician assistants must have passed the recertification exam. If they fail to do so, they will lose their certification and they will have to regain it.

Salary and Career Info

The interactive chart above is a visual representation of the annual salary of New Mexico 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 New Mexico

If you have decided to become a physician assistant in the state of New Mexico, then you should know that there are currently two reputable PA programs in the state – the first one is offered by the University of New Mexico located in the city of Albuquerque, and which offers a Master’s Degree-level training program for physician assistants, while the second physician assistant training program is provided by the University of Saint Francis located in the same city – Albuquerque. Both programs require non-native English speakers to submit their TOEFL results, in addition to the basic eligibility requirements that they must meet for admission.

List of All 2 Accredited PA Programs

The accrediting agency is ARC-PA and they have 2 fully accredited AL programs listed as of November 2014.

1. University of New Mexico

Initial Accreditation Date: April 1, 1997

Next ARC-PA Review: September 2021


2. University of St. Francis

Initial Accreditation Date: October 1, 2000

Next ARC-PA Review: September 2018


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