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Becoming a Physician Assistant in Virginia

Virginia has been dubbed as the “birthplace of a nation”, and now, it can be adequately called the birthplace of a growing profession. Physician Assistants in Virginia expect to see a higher than normal job growth rate through the year 2018 (www.bls.gov), which is partially due to the waning number of Physicians in the State. Several of these individuals are retiring or will not practice in rural or low-income areas, leaving 14 percent of Virginia's residents without access to quality medical care (http://www.statehealthfacts.org/profileind.jsp?ind=13&cat=1&rgn=48). This leaves an opportunity for Physician Assistants, who can practice and cure where no Doctor can or will go.

Physician Assistant Education in Virginia

Physician Assistants have to have a strong secondary education as a foundation for their career. High school and GED students who plan on becoming Physician Assistants should take classes in general biology, human anatomy, chemistry, English, communications, psychology, algebra, sociology, statistics, and health, and start exploring college majors and programs before they graduate.

Students interested in knowing how to become a Physician Assistant in Virginia should major in biology, organic chemistry, psychology, sociology, genetics, pre-medicine, or nursing, and volunteer in a clinical, institutional, or hospital setting. It is perfectly acceptable for students to major in something else, but life and social science students will finish classes earlier, as these majors satisfy the prerequisite requirements of many graduate programs.

Physician Assistant State Licensure in Virginia

When applicants apply for State licensure, they must provide the State with a completed application, application fee, documentation of successful completion of an AMA-approved education program, verification of NCCPA test scores, a description of the purpose and approach of their future practice, and the contact information of their supervising physician. In order to become a Physician Assistant in Virginia, applicants must also prove that they are of good moral character, and they must provide the board with information proving that they have not had any other physician assistant licenses or certifications repealed in another State.

If applicants meet all the licensure requirements, have already applied for licensure, and are waiting to receive their NCCPA test scores, they can apply for provisional or temporary licensure and be eligible for Physician Assistant jobs in Virginia. Provisional licenses are only valid for 30 days after applicants receive their test scores. Applicants may only apply for provisional licensure once.

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