Becoming a Physician Assistant in Colorado
The Physician Assistant profession is one of the fastest growing in Colorado. A physician assistant is a mid-level, certified medical provider who will work with licensed doctors (MD) or possibly an osteopathic physician (DO), under their supervision and guidance. To become a physician assistant in Colorado graduates must be academically trained to provide many of the same services doctors offer. Physician assistants will take medical histories from their patients, order specific tests, conduct medical exams, offer diagnosis and prescribe medicine. Most physician assistants work in primary care such as pediatrics, internal medicine or family practice. The remaining physician assistants will work in a variety of surgical specialties or emergency room settings.
Colorado physician assistants typically work in Boulder, Greeley, Colorado Springs and Denver where employment is more available, due to the population, than in other areas within the state. Fewer employment opportunities are in the areas of Colorado Springs and Fort Collins where the populations is quite a bit smaller.
Steps to Become a Physician Assistant in Colorado
In Colorado the physician assistant program typically takes about 26 months to complete. Each of these programs will prepare the student for successfully passing the National Physician Assistant Certifying exam. Some programs will offer a Masters Degree in addition to the physician assistant certification by completing a master’s thesis.
Complete the Physician Assistant Certification Program in Colorado
Those individuals interested in knowing how to become a physician assistant in Colorado and who have graduated from an accredited program determined by the Accreditation Review commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARD-PA) can earn certification once they have successfully passed the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE). This exam is administered by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA). Students who have passed the exam will be able to use “Physician Assistant-Certified” title and credential.
Colorado State Licensing Requirements for Physician Assistants
Obtaining Colorado State licensing first is to have graduated from an NCCPA approved program. Then actual practice history is verified along with verification of passing the NCCPA national board exam and verification of Federation of State Medical Boards disciplinary history.
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