A Bright Future Ahead for PAs
The Association of American Medical Colleges reports an intensifying shortage of physicians that will continue in coming years; physician assistants will be critical in helping fill in that gap. The AAMC projects that the United States will have a shortage of nearly 122,000 physicians by 2032. Fortunately, the physician assistant profession in 2020 is expected to continue the previously predicted trend of 31% growth between 2018 and 2028. This consistent increase in physician assistants, which begins with the competitive PA program admissions process, will aid the physician shortage while providing practitioners the benefit of flexible work schedules and a potential opportunity to practice remotely.
It comes as no surprise that over the past decade, there has been increased interest in flexible work options compared to traditional work arrangements. In December, CNBC released a list of the fastest-growing professions in 2020 that allow for remote and flexible work options. With the increase in industry interest and the development of technology promoting growth in telemedicine, the physician assistant profession is projected to be the third–fastest-growing in 2020 in terms of flexibility.
During the 2017-2018 cycle alone, over 27,000 candidates applied to PA school and the number continues to increase. According to ARC-PA, there are 250 accredited PA programs in 2019, and it has been predicted that there will be at least 300 PA programs in the United States by 2021. With the rise in program options for pre-PAs and the influx in applications, the demand for physician assistant positions is also increasing. AAPA predicts that in 2020 there will be over 170,000 physician assistants eligible for practice, and over 140,000 physician assistants practicing. With so many people pursuing this profession, applicants to PA programs —and those already studying— know that their journey to becoming a physician assistant will be a competitive one.
Exam Master understands that candidates applying to PA programs are searching for every possible opportunity to set themselves apart from others during the process of applying to PA school. The average PA program can only accommodate 40-60 seats per cohort. Statistically, the need for physician assistants and the opportunities to become certified are increasing; however, the interest in the profession outpaces them both.
To provide a tool that would provide an advantage to educators and applicants alike, Exam Master developed the Physicians Assistant College Admissions Test (PA-CAT). The 240-item PA-CAT provides students the advantage of displaying their knowledge of the 9 core subjects covered in most PA programs, which will allow programs to make a more informed admissions decision. Exam Master recommends candidates utilize the PA-CAT to strengthen your PA school application.
Register for the PA-CAT here.