Physician Assistant (PA)

Description:

PAs work in all areas of medicine, but unlike MDs and DOs, do not specialize during their training. PAs examine, diagnose, and treat patients, but often work with a team that includes a DO or MD. PAs have similar responsibilities to registered nurses (RNs), but their training is more similar to MDs’ than to nurses’.

Suggested Major*:

Biology

*Note: no particular major is required for this program. Recommendation is based on major courses in common with program requirements.

Required Courses**:

  • General, Organic, and Biochemistry (1-year sequence including ALL three topics) OR two semesters of organic chemistry OR one semester of organic chemistry and one semester of biochemistry. 100-level general chemistry does not fulfill this requirement
    • Recommended RMC courses: CHEM101/102, CHEM251/252 OR CHEM220, BIO425
  • Biology coursework to include 15 credits of:
    • Two semesters of human anatomy & physiology with laboratory (from a biology, physiology, zoology department, or an allied health program) - 8 credits
      • Recommended RMC courses: BIO321/322
    • Recommended RMC courses: ENG119/120
    • One semester of microbiology with laboratory - 4 credits
      • Recommended RMC courses: BIO350
    • One semester of genetics – 3 credits
      • Recommended RMC courses: BIO203
  • 1-2 credits of medical terminology (online course acceptable);
    • Recommended RMC courses: PHA247
  • Mathematics to include a pre-calculus or higher course (functions, trigonometry, exponents, and logarithmic functions) and a statistics/probability course (defined as pre-mathematical functions and statistics and probability) - 6 credits
    • Recommended RMC courses: MAT110, MAT210, MAT175/176
  • Psychology (development or abnormal highly recommended) - 3 credits
    • Recommended RMC courses: PSY205/206, PSY305
  • 3 credits earned in a social science course such as sociology, geography, anthropology, political science, or economics
    • Recommended RMC courses: SOC101, SOC225
  • One course in English composition - 3 credits;
    • Recommended RMC courses: ENG119/120

**Note: course requirements differ slightly by institution. Be sure to check the requirements of the schools you are interested in applying to.

Additional requirements:

  • Bachelor's degree
  • Science GPA of 3.00 with no science prerequisite lower than a "C-"
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.00
  • GRE with minimum combined score (verbal + quantitative) of 291);
  • 1,500 paid hours of direct, hands-on patient care before you apply
  • Letters of recommendation (one from a healthcare provider)
  • Recommended additional courses: one year of physics or additional quantitative courses and / or laboratory experiences, and additional writing classes.
  • Patient care experience
  • PA shadowing hours (minimum 40 hours)
  • Application materials: for help with the application process, consider enrolling in the Medical Careers Pipeline of courses and contacting Lisa Wallace (lisa.wallace@rocky.edu) our Director of Career Services.

Affiliated programs: 

Useful resources:

 
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