Video: 7 Facts About the Modern Physician Assistant Graduate

Posted on: October 07, 2016

written by

Sara Seng

Physician assistants are finishing graduate school in record numbers and are changing the way patients receive healthcare. There are more than 91,994 PAs licensed in the U.S., according to

Check out our video explainer above to learn everything you need to know about the modern PA graduate.


In January 2014, the Affordable Care Act extended health insurance to an estimated 30 million previously uninsured Americans. As a result, the need for healthcare providers has skyrocketed!

But there’s good news. Physician assistants are finishing graduate school in record numbers, and thanks to rigorous education programs, they’re more qualified than ever.

Here are some facts you may not have known about the modern PA graduate:

The educational model for PAs was based in part on the training program for new doctors who served on the battlefronts in World War II.

New PA grads can work in virtually every medical and surgical setting.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts PAs will be the second-fastest-growing health profession in the next decade. In fact, an estimated 4,100 PA students have graduated so far in 2016!

PA students are required to take more than 400 credit hours in basic sciences, 175 hours in behavioral sciences, and 580 hours of clinical medicine.

PAs must participate in more than 2,000 hours of clinical rotations, with an emphasis on primary care in ambulatory clinics, physicians’ offices, and acute and long-term care facilities.

PAs are being trained on a variety of EMR systems, making them the most technologically savvy candidates to come on the market yet.

And finally … modern PAs are more autonomous! They’re qualified to write prescriptions for controlled medications, manage acute care and chronic diseases, do clinical consultations, and even perform minor surgical procedures.

The facts are in: Now is the time to consider staffing a new PA for your hospital, private practice, or organization.

Talk with a Barton Associates rep to get started.

About Sara Seng

Sara Seng was formerly the social media specialist at Barton Associates’ Peabody, MA, headquarters, where she focused on growing brand awareness and engagement. She received her bachelor of science in communications from Salem State University.

More Content Like This

​ ​