How To Become A Physician Assistant In Texas in 2023

physician assistant requirements texas
physician assistant requirements texas

How To Become A Physician Assistant In Texas: Having the required education requirements and skills and enrolling in any of the PA programs from any of the accredited colleges in Texas will train you to become a physician assistant. 

Physician Assistants in Texas stand in a good position to earn higher salaries and have stable jobs all year round. 

Following a recent study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, physician assistants in Texas are expected to have skyrocketed job openings by about 30% between 2014 and 2024. 

Therefore now is a good time to enroll in any of the physician assistant programs in Texas. Here in this guide, we show you the requirements to become a PA in Texas and yeh education path to become a professional physician assistant in Texas. 

We have also made a list of the few colleges that offer physician assistant programs in Texas and what makes them exceptional.

Welcome Aboard Scholar!!!

Content Summary

Who Is A Physician Assistant?

A physician assistant is one who helps doctors, surgeons, and other medical professionals perform a wide range of tasks to help the clinic move forward and more efficiently. So in other words, physician assistants are doctors’ aides. 

Most of the tasks carried out by physician assistants include reviewing patients’ medical information, conducting basic examinations, giving treatment, and educating or counseling patients according to their medical needs.

The specific jobs of a physician assistant are dependent on the doctor they are working with. In some cases, while a doctor performs a diagnosis and creates a treatment plan, his PAs carries out other jobs. However, in rural areas, a physician assistant serves as a primary care provider.

So it’s safer to say that the role of a physician assistant is varied and very diverse. Their major role is to assist the doctors to keep the hospitals and clinics moving in the right direction. 

ALSO READ: How to Become a Physician Assistant in 7 Easy Steps

What Is The Job Outlook For Physician Assistant In Texas?

The expected job growth of physician assistants in Texas according to BLS is 30% between 2014 and 2024.

So enrolling in any of the physician assistant programs in Texas comes with a surety of job opportunities throughout your entire working career.

What Are The Requirements to Become a Physician Assistant In Texas?

To journey to becoming a physician assistant starts with having the requirements in terms of education, skills, and technical know-how to navigate the system. 

Here we discuss extensively the requirements you need to become a physician assistant In Texas;

Admission Requirements To Become A Physician Assistant In Texas.

Here is a list of the admission requirements to enroll in any of the colleges that offer physician assistant programs in Texas;

  • GRE scores
  • Drug screening
  • Admission essay
  • Background check
  • In-person interview
  • GPA of at least 2.75 – 3.0.
  • Basic life support certification
  • Completion of prerequisite courses 
  • Previous experience in the medical profession
  • Letter(s) of recommendation from previous instructors or medical professionals
  • Reasonable hours of patient care experience gained either through work, hospice, community service, or volunteering as a CNA, EMT, CMA, or as medical technician.

Keep in mind that most of the admission requirements are school specific. Colleges offering physician assistant programs in Texas may have other additional and specific admission requirements.

Skills and Qualities Requirements To Become A Physician Assistant In Texas

A job as PA requires you to have a peculiar set of skills and qualities that will help you thrive in the skill. Some skills are learned while some have to be natural abilities. 

Here are the skills and qualities required as a physician assistant; 

  • Empathic
  • Detail oriented
  • Compassionate
  • Calm demeanor
  • Service-Oriented
  • Emotional stability
  • Clinical competence
  • Communication skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Ability to work in teams 
  • Operational Management
  • Adaptability and flexibility
  • Ability to carry out tasks swiftly.

What Education Is Needed To Become A Physician Assistant? 

Just like many other medical-related programs, to become a physician assistant, you must get the required education and training from accredited colleges before you can practice even in Texas.

Here you will see the educational path ideal for anyone who wants to become a PA in Texas;

#1. Acquire A Four-Year Science or Medical Degree.

To thrive as a physician assistant, you must have a foundational background in any science or medical course. Therefore it is ideal that you have a science or medical degree as a foundational degree. 

Before enrolling for any of the physician assistant programs in texas, you must have completed a four-year bachelor’s degree preferably in a science discipline such as;

  • Biology
  • Nutrition
  • Sociology
  • Psychology

However, ensure your bachelor’s degree is accredited and regionally acceptable in order to make your application to graduate school as seamless as possible.

#2. Enroll Into Any Of The Physician Assistant Programs In Texas

After an undergraduate study, ensure you enroll in any of the physician assistant programs in one of the accredited colleges in Texas.

Ensure the school is accredited by Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). 

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What Courses Are Offered In Physician Assistant Colleges in Texas?

During your years of study to become a PA, your courses and programs will focus on;

  • Health
  • Pathology
  • Pediatrics
  • Geriatrics 
  • Cardiology.
  • Medication
  • Gynecology
  • General surgery
  • Pharmacology
  • Family medicine
  • Human Anatomy 
  • Clinical medicine
  • Health care ethics. 
  • Human physiology
  • Healthcare industry. 
  • Emergency medicine
  • Diagnosis techniques
  • Behavioral medicine. 

Keep in mind that your classes cover both medical science and clinical experience. Once you complete the physician assistant education, the next is to prepare for the licensing exam and become a full-fledged PA in Texas. 

How Long Does It Take To Become A Physician Assistant In Texas?

How long it will take to become a PA in Texas will depend on how far you are willing to go in your education. Ideally, it takes 6 years of education and 1 year of clinical experience to become a physician assistant in Texas.

4 years of Bachelor’s Degree education, 2 years of master’s degree program from an accredited institution, and 1 year of clinical experience (optional) will help you to become a PA in Texas. 

List Of Colleges That Colleges In Texas For Physician Assistant

There are over 200 accredited PA programs in the United States and just 9 colleges that offer physician assistant programs in Texas.  

Most colleges in Texas that offer physician assistant programs offer it majorly as a master’s degree program. Only a few offer a bachelor’s degree program for physician assistants. 

Colleges that offer physician assistant programs award their students a master’s degree after completing the master of physician assistant studies (MPA) or a master of science in physician assistant studies (MS-PA) degree. 

Usually, PA master’s programs take 2-2.5 years to complete. Here are the 9 colleges in texas for physician assistant studies; 

#1. Baylor College of Medicine

  •  Location: Houston

Baylor College of Medicine’s PA Program is a 30-month program structured to have a 13-month didactic coursework phase and a 17-month clinical experiential learning phase. Upon completion, graduate students will conduct a Master’s Paper research project. 

The Baylor College of Medicine physician assistant program is accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc.

Keep in mind that admission into the Baylor College of Medicine’s physician assistant program is highly competitive. 

#2. University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

  • Location: Dallas

University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center PA program is one of the best colleges to train you to become a physician assistant. 

It currently ranks at #7 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. The physician assistant program at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center is rated for its student interaction and teaching excellence.

You will need a GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale and a grade of “C” or better to get in.

#3. Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center

  • Location: Midland

The TTUHSC Master of Physician Assistant Studies Program is one of the best programs to train you to become a PA in Texas. The school is committed to educating PAs to meet the challenge of increasing access to and providing high-quality, patient-centered health care for communities in West Texas and beyond.

The Master of Physician Assistant Studies degree at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center lasts for 27 months of education and clinical experiential training. 

#4. University of North Texas Health Science Center

  • Location: Fort Worth

The MSHS PA Program is a 30-month, full-time course of study leading to a Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS) degree. 

University of North Texas Health Science Center offers a rigorous and thorough foundation in generalist medicine and primary care education. 

The UNTHSC PA program is accredited by ARC-PA and its graduates are eligible to take the PA National Certification Examination after successfully completing the program.

#5  University of Texas Medical Branch

  • Location: Galveston

University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston PA Program Mission Statement is to develop and graduate academically and clinically exceptional physician assistants. And this they have done since 1972.

With its exceptional curriculum, the Department of Physician Assistant Studies at the University of Texas Health Science Center aims at becoming a world-class Physician Assistant program and being among the best programs in the United States.

colleges in texas for physician assistant
colleges in texas for physician assistant

#6. University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley

  • Location: Edinburgh

University of Texas Medical Branch at Edinburgh PA Program is a 30-month, full-time course of study leading to a Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS) degree. 

The college, like its other extensions, aims at developing and graduating academically and clinically exceptional physician assistants. And this they have done since 1972.

With its exceptional curriculum, the Department of Physician Assistant Studies at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Edinburgh aims at becoming a world-class Physician Assistant program and being amongst the best programs in the United States.

#7. University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

  • Location: San Antonio

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio is a public health science center. It is part of the University of Texas System. UT Health San Antonio is the largest health sciences university in South Texas.  

Its PA program is a 30-month, full-time course of study leading to a Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS) degree.

#8. Hardin-Simmons University   

  • Location: Abilene   

The Hardin-Simmons University PA program is dedicated to academic excellence in medical education. Students can enter this professional program upon completion of a bachelor’s degree. 

Others can go ahead and obtain a Master of Physician Assistant Studies, MPAS from any of the accredited colleges or universities with a GPA minimum of 3.0.

#9. University of Mary Hardin-Baylor

  • Location: Belton   

University of Mary Hardin-Baylor Physician Assistant program’s mission is to recruit and prepare graduate students to become competent physician assistants in Texas.

The MSHS PA Program offers a rigorous and thorough foundation in generalist medicine and primary care education, striving for a balanced curriculum.

The developing 28-month Master of Science in Physician Assistant (MSPA) program is housed in state-of-the-art facilities on the UMHB campus in Belton, TX.

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How Do I Get Licensed As A Physician Assistant In Texas?

Just like in California and other states of the USA, you are required by law to have a license before you can practice as a physician assistant in Texas. 

Texas has a specific licensing system which although slightly similar to other states of the USA varies. Obtaining the license to become a PA in Texas starts immediately after graduation from any of the physician assistant colleges. 

To obtain the license to become a PA in Texas, here are the requirements you must complete;

  • Graduates from any of the physician assistant colleges.
  • Complete the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination PANCE administered by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA). 
  • Once you successfully pass the exam, you can be called a Physician Assistant-Certified, or “PA-C”.
  • Submit an application.
  • Make a $500 payment in advance. 
  • Schedule your exam anytime within 180 days after payment.
  • In addition, state law requires you to hold an agreement with a supervising physician.
  • Every 2 years, physician assistants must finish 100 hours of continuing education. The recertification exam is required every decade or ten years. 

Must I Write The Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE)?

Yes, the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination is compulsory for all physician assistant graduates who want to practice in Texas as well as any other state of the USA.

Usually, the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination is a 5-hour test that covers many different topics related to the profession. 

Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination is a multiple choice exam question that is given in five blocks of 60 questions. 

If you did not pass the first trial, you will have six years after completing schooling to pass the exam 6 times sitting. What this means is that you can take the test up to six times if you did not pass after which you’re ineligible to take the test again. 

What Is The Physician Assistant Salary In Texas?

If you’re going to become a PA in Texas, you can expect to make a strong income while having a very stable career. According to information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, physician assistants make an average annual salary of $98,000 which is $36,200 more than the national average for all jobs.

The top 10% of PAs average annual salary earns $140,000 and the lower 10% earn about $62,000.

How Do I Become A Physician Assistant In Texas?

To become a PA in Texas, you have to follow the five steps step-by-step;

  • Complete your bachelor’s degree (a science or healthcare-related major is usually best)
  • Gain relevant experience working or volunteering in a healthcare setting. 
  • Enroll into ARC-PA accredited programs in any of the physician assistant colleges in Texas. 
  • Complete a 2-3 year, master’s level program (this is optional)
  • Pass the PANCE licensing exam to obtain a license to practice in Texas. 

How Do I Advance In My Career As A Physician Assistant?

Physician Assistants will have to continue studying if they want promotions, higher salaries, new responsibilities, and of course more knowledge. 

PAs can pursue a specialty they want to master in any of the postgraduate programs from any of the physician assistant colleges in Texas. 

To go for a specialized program as a PA, you must be a graduate of an accredited program and have NCCPA certification. To advance your career as a physician assistant, you can specialize in;

  • Psychiatry
  • Emergency medicine and surgery. 

In order to enter one of these particular programs a physician assistant.

Every 2 years, physician assistants must finish 100 hours of continuing education. The recertification exam is required every decade or ten years.

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Frequently Asked Questions About How To Become A PA In Texas

Is A Physician Assistant A Doctor?

No, a physician assistant is not a doctor. Although the job of a physician assistant and that of a doctor tend to overlap in many ways, a physician assistant is not a doctor.

A doctor holds a doctorate degree and can perform major surgeries and but a physician assistant does not hold a doctorate and cannot conduct major procedures. 

A physician assistant works under the direct supervision of medical doctors but medical doctors report to no one. 

Can I Get A Physician Assistant Degree Online?

Yes, you can get a physician assistant degree online from any of the colleges offering PA programs online. All distance learners can complete their coursework online and take their clinical practices in a clinical setting or hospital near their homes.

How Long Does It Take To Become A PA In Texas?

Generally, it will take 4 years for one to earn a bachelor’s degree in Texas and 2.5 years to earn a master’s degree. Therefore it will take a total of 6 – 7 years to earn a PA degree in Texas. 

Is There a Difference Between A Physician Assistant And A Medical Assistant?

Yes, there is a difference. A medical assistant and a physician assistant. A medical assistant holds a two-year degree and can conduct entry-level healthcare tasks. 

On the other hand, Physician assistants can hold up to a master’s degree when it comes to education, they can diagnose and treat patients under a doctor’s supervision.

Secondly, the salary structures of both professions is entirely different. Physician Assistants earn more than medical assistants.

Is There A Difference Between A Nurse Practitioner And A Physician Assistant?

A nurse practitioner’s education and professional background are in nursing which makes it an entirely different profession from that of a physician assistant. However, a physician assistant can become a physician assistant from various educational backgrounds. Also, most nurse practitioners also work under closer supervision than physician assistants.

Conclusion

Having the required education requirements and skills and enrolling in any of the PA programs from any of the accredited colleges in Texas will train you to become a physician assistant. 

We hope you found this piece enlightening and helpful on how to become a PA in Texas effortlessly. 

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Good luck Scholar!!!

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