Online courses for physician assistants are challenging, but those who complete one of these programs will be able to apply for work in a clinic under the supervision of a physician.
Definition and Purpose
The role of the assistant is to help the physician in administering diagnostic and therapeutic treatment. The features of online programs are similar to what you will get in standard institutions. Several Internet courses offer degrees like Master of Science in Advanced Physician Assistant and such. However, these are available only to those who have finished a related undergraduate program.
Most of these programs allow students to select a concentration. Some may opt for clinical medicine concentration while others for education/leadership concentration. The features presented in these sites vary. All of them however, focus on advancing the students’ knowledge of clinical techniques.
Some of these web schools also have other courses from which students can choose from. Many of these web courses center on advanced theory and practice. These are often conducted for professionals who want to continue their education.
The credit hours of these sites differ, but most of them will require you to perform some patient care. This may comprise 300 hours, 400 hours etc of actual patient assessment and care. These schools also have a minimum GPA requirement. Some for example, will have a minimum GPA requirement of 2.5 at a 4 scale.
The cost varies per site, but on the average it is $1,395 per credit hour. The program length also differs with some of them usually lasting for 24 months. The coursework is comprised of healthcare policy studies, professional practice issues and different types of behavioral sciences. Procedural skills and other relevant subjects like preventive medicine or anatomy are studied in detail as well.
After finishing the course online, students are enrolled to a local clinic or medical facility. This is where they will get hands-on training and experience. Many of these Internet programs require knowledge of specific subjects.
Some sites for example, demand students to have taken up an introduction to organic and biochemistry course or biochemistry. Other online schools want students to have a course in psychology or developmental psychology or organic chemistry first.
Some online courses for physician assistants offer a master’s program for post-professionals. This course often includes clinical colloquium studies, principles of evidence-based practice, clinical application of epidemiology and how to conduct various research methods.