Online Colleges for Physician Assistants

Physicians and surgeons rely heavily on physician assistants in the practice of medicine. These workers comprise one of the fastest-growing occupations in the United States and are employed primarily by physicians offices, then hospitals and outpatient care centers. They are becoming more prominent in doctor's offices and can help step in when doctors are not available to provide needed patient care.

Physician Assistant Online Programs

Two-years of extended study at a medical school or four-year college is typically required after completion of a bachelor's degree. Master's degrees are offered via the Internet, too, with names like advanced physician assistant studies. Even an extended master of clinical health services for practicing physician assistants degree is offered. Some physician assistants pursue subsequent education in a specialty, obtaining postgraduate degrees in subject areas like rural primary care, surgery, pediatrics, neonatology, and occupational, emergency or internal medicine. Many people might think that medical assisting programs are the equivalent of online physician assistant degrees, but this is not the case: the training to enter medical assisting is significantly less and medical assistants can not step in for an actual physician. See online health colleges for different education options.

Job Outlook for Physician Assistant Careers

Physician assistants earned mean annual wages of $87,14, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number of employment opportunities expected to occur in the field between 2008 and 2018 is phenomenal with 39 percent growth forecasted. This could result in the creation of nearly 30,000 new jobs during that time. This growth is expected due to the anticipated expansion of health care and the focus on cost containment. Health care providers should use more physician assistants as states continue to expand their scope of practice. For those who are interested in a professional career in health care, but who don't want to devote the time to a full medical degree, a physician assistant program could be a logical step.

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