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Programs in Georgia


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Programs in Georgia

  1. 1. Physician Assistants Physician assistants (PAs) practice medicine under the supervision of physicians and surgeons. PAs are formally trained to provide diagnostic, therapeutic, and preventive health care services, as delegated by a physician. Working as members of the health care team, they take medical histories, examine and treat patients, order and interpret laboratory tests and x rays, and make diagnoses. They also treat minor injuries, by suturing, splinting, and casting. PAs record progress notes, instruct and counsel patients, and order or carry out therapy. In 48 States and the District of Columbia, physician assistants may prescribe medications. PAs also may have managerial duties. Some order medical supplies or equipment and supervise technicians and assistants. Physician assistants work under the supervision of a physician. However, PAs may be the principal care providers in rural or inner city clinics, where a physician is present for only 1 or 2 days each week. In such cases, the PA confers with the supervising physician and other medical professionals as needed and as required by law. PAs also may make house calls or go to hospitals and nursing care facilities to check on patients, after which they report back to the physician. Many PAs work in primary care specialties, such as general internal medicine, pediatrics, and family medicine. Other specialty areas include general and thoracic surgery, emergency medicine, orthopedics, and geriatrics. PAs specializing in surgery provide preoperative and postoperative care and may work as first or second assistants during major surgery. Above information taken from The Physician Education Assistant Association 950 N. Washington St. Alexandria, VA 22314-1552. Internet See also: American Academy of Physician Assistants Information Center, 950 North Washington St., Alexandria, VA 22314-1552. Internet: Job Outlook Employment of PAs is expected to grow much faster than average for all occupations through the year 2014, ranking among the fastest growing occupations, due to anticipated expansion of the health care industry and an emphasis on cost containment, resulting in increasing utilization of PAs by physicians and health care institutions. Earnings Median annual earnings of physician assistants were $69,410 in May 2004. The middle 50 percent earned between $57,110 and $83,560. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $37,320, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $94,880. Median annual earnings of physician assistants in 2004 were $70,310 in general medical and surgical hospitals and $69,210 in offices of physicians.
  2. 2. Educational Information  Most applicants to PA educational programs already have a bachelor’s degree.  Physician assistant programs usually last at least 2 years; admission requirements vary by program, but many require at least 2 years of college and some health care experience.  All States require physician assistants to complete an accredited education program and to pass a national exam in order to obtain a license. See also National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants, Inc., 12000 Findley Rd., Suite 200, Duluth, GA 30097. Internet: In 2005, more than 135 education programs for physician assistants were accredited or provisionally accredited by the American Academy of Physician Assistants. More than 90 of these programs offered the option of a master’s degree. Employment Information above was obtained from the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics In Georgia, PA programs are offered at Emory University, The Medical College of Georgia, and South University. In general, these programs require that you have a Bachelor’s Degree, one year of biology, chemistry or physics, one semester of biochemistry, microbiology, and anatomy and physiology with labs. Additional requirements can be found at our website: B.S. Biology at VSU The B.S. Biology degree at VSU includes all of the prerequisites needed to attend any of the Physician Assistant programs in Georgia. In addition, our advisors will make certain you take the proper elective courses you will need to meet specific program requirements. Finally, our advisors will also make sure you have completed the required extracurricular activities needed to apply to programs to become a Physician Assistant.
  3. 3. The following information was obtained from the respective institutional websites. Be sure and check those websites for current information. Emory University Physician Assistant Program of Emory University 1462 Clifton Rd., Suite 280 Emory University Atlanta, GA 30322 404-727-7825 Email: The admissions committee makes every attempt to select those candidates who show promise of becoming outstanding physician assistants. Decisions are made based on a thorough evaluation of the applicant’s academic record, written narrative statements, personal references, performance on the GRE, previous health care experience, and a personal formal interview.  All successful applicants to the Program must have completed a baccalaureate degree. All applicants must have maintained a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.8 (on a 4.0 scale) for all undergraduate work completed. Specific Emory University Admissions Requirements:  All applicants must have completed at least 35 semester hours distributed as follows:  15 semester hours in natural sciences (such as biology, chemistry, physics) with specific requirements to include full courses with lab in general biology, general chemistry, and an unabridged (i.e., not a survey, introductory, or "principles of") course in organic chemistry or biochemistry.  Recommendations for additional preparatory course work include: anatomy, physiology, and microbiology.  10 semester hours in humanities (such as art, classics, English, foreign language, music, philosophy).  10 semester hours in social sciences (such as anthropology, economics, history, political science, psychology, sociology), with a course required in psychology (either introductory, general, developmental, or abnormal).  All courses must be completed at a grade level of "C" or better Medical College of Georgia Physician Assistant Department AE-1032 Augusta, GA 30912 706-721-3246
  4. 4. Admission is based on undergraduate college coursework including the overall, transfer, and math/science grade point averages. Other criteria include personal interviews, assessment of the applicant's motivation and the possession of the personal qualities needed to successfully complete the program. Preference is given to residents of Georgia and to residents of states with no Physician Assistant Program. Prior to enrollment, the applicant must have:  A grade point average of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) on all previous college work and an average of at least 2.8 on math and science courses.  Completed 90 semester hours of prerequisites at an accredited college or university.  A minimum combined GRE score of 1000 is needed for full admission.  A minimum of 100 hours of health care experience or volunteer activities.  Observed physician assistants in a variety of PA clinical settings (more than two). Three references that focus on the applicant’s generic abilities for clinical work rather than just their academic ability—one of which must be from a physician assistant that indicates PA contact. Having at least one reference from a physician assistant from each of the clinical settings observed by the applicant is highly recommended. Course Requirements for Physician Assistant Program of Medical College of Georgia  General Chemistry I and II (Labs required)  Biology I and II (Labs required)  Anatomy and Physiology (Lab required)  General Psychology  Abnormal Psychology  Human Growth and Development  Statistics  General Biochemistry (No lab required)  or equivalent (i.e., Cellular Biology)  Introduction to Computers South University South University 709 Mall Boulevard Savannah, GA 31406 Phone 912-201-8023 Fax 912-201-8070 Email: Criteria for students interested in applying to the South University Physician Assistant Master of Science degree program:  Applicants must have an earned bachelor's degree with an overall minimum cumulative GPA of 2.60 (on a 4.00 scale) and a required minimum science prerequisite GPA of 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale).  Applicants must submit scores on the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination (verbal, quantitative, and analytical). Preference will be given to those with competitive scores (50th percentile or above).
  5. 5. Course Requirements for Admission into South University PA Program Complete at 32 credit hours of math and science, which must include the following course distribution:  Human Anatomy & Physiology sequence 2 courses  General Biology sequence 2 courses  General Microbiology1 course  General Chemistry sequence 2 courses  Organic Chemistry 1 course Clinical Experience  Clinical experience that includes direct patient care is strongly recommended for application and selection into the program; however, there is no requirement for a predetermined number of hours (or months) of health care experience to be earned by an applicant. Clinical experiences should provide the applicant with a knowledge of and orientation to the presentation, signs, and symptoms of a variety of ill or injured patients. Such experiences are evaluated on an individual basis with regard to time spent with PAs or physicians observing/caring for ill and injured patients.