Academic Preparation for Admission into Texas Physician Assistant (PA) Programs
Physician Assistant is a rewarding career choice for those who are genuinely interested in medicine, sensitive to the needs of patients and committed to the delivery of quality medical care. Physician Assistants (PAs) practice medicine under the supervision of physicians and surgeons. 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 to their supervising physician. The profession evolved in response to an appeal to extend the delivery of primary care medicine and, since its inception in 1965, has had an impact on improving the quality of health care.
Physician Assistants are health care professionals trained in intensive programs that emulate the medical model of physician education and are accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant. Within the context of the M.D.–PA relationship, PAs provide a broad range of diagnostic and therapeutic services. They function in the primary care specialties of family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, and obstetrics and gynecology, and are often employed as first and second assistants in surgery, particularly in cardiovascular and orthopedic surgery. The PA's practice may also include education and research. Responsibilities vary with training, experience, state law and the scope of the supervising physician's practice. Texas requires that the PA's supervising physician register with the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners and that PAs be licensed by the state in which they practice.
Eight (8) accredited physician assistant programs are located within Texas: Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Interservice Physician Assistant Program at Fort Sam Houston, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Midland, University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth, The University of Texas Health Sciences Center at San Antonio, The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, The University of Texas Pan American in Edinburg, and The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. All schools offer the MS in Physician Assistant Studies upon completion of their program.
A common electronic application is used by all PA programs except for Interservice PhysicianAssistant Program at Fort Sam Houston. Online application is made to the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) at http://portal.caspaonline.org. Application to Interservice Physician Assistant Program at Fort Sam Houston is made directly to the school program.
Serious students seeking career opportunities in the field of Physician Assistant should seek advisement from the Office of Medical & Allied Health Programs. The specialized sequence of coursework meets basic prerequisite needs of the Texas PA programs within the scope of a generalized natural science major and minor. This approach provides the greatest flexibility for alternative strategies should they be necessary.
The PA curriculum listed here serves as a guide for the biology major / chemistry minor. Other academic majors and minors can be used, but may require more coursework than the usual 120-hour baccalaureate.
For further information on physician assistant programs in Texas:
Interservice Physician Assistant Program
Attn: MCCS HMP
3151 Scott Rd, Ste 1202
Fort Sam Houston, TX 78234-6138
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
Physician Assistant Program School of allied Health Sciences Department of Laboratory Sciences & Primary Care
3600 N. Garfield
Midland, TX 79705
University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth
Physician Assistant Studies
3500 Camp Bowie Blvd
Ft. Worth, TX 76107-2699
The University of Texas Health Sciences Center at San Antonio
Department of Physician Assistant Studies
7703 Floyd Curl Dr, MC6249
San Antonio, TX 78229-3900
The University of Texas Medical Branch
Physician Assistant Program School of Allied Health Sciences
301 University Blvd
Galveston, Texas 77555-1145
The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas
Department of Physician Assistant Studies
6011 Harry Hines Blvd.
Dallas, TX 75390-9090
UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas