With an average salary of $75,000 and a 50 percent growth rate over a span of 10 years, physician associates have the fifth best job in America, according to a study by Money Magazine and Salary.com. Physician Associates provide routine health care - conducting physical exams, ordering lab tests, prescribing medications - under a doctor's supervision, with less demanding schedules and more flexibility. Additionally, Physician associates may specialize through internships in every area of medicine, such as pediatrics, orthopedics and surgery, among others. The Physician Associate curriculum in the College of Medicine at OU's Health Sciences Center prepares graduate students to enter this field, and the Pre-Physician Associate program on OU's Norman campus gives undergraduate students the knowledge base to successfully enter medical school.
Students may major in any academic area as OU undergraduates, as long as they take the prerequisite pre-Physician Associate courses. Students are encouraged to maintain at least a 3.6 undergraduate GPA. Students are also encourage to study abroad in order to culturally diversify themselves, as well as challenge themselves by completing Honors courses.
Pre-Physician Associate students typically receive a bachelor's degree, often in a biological science, before applying to a medical school that offers a Physician Associate program. Physician Associate students at OU's Health Sciences Center typically graduate with a Master of Health of Science degree.
Interests & Skills
Since Physician Associate students can choose to pursue an undergraduate degree in any major, their alternate career options are unlimited. Most choose a biological science, Psychology, Microbiology or Health and Exercise Science, although they are encouraged to diversify themselves by acquiring a minor or second major in humanities, fine arts, Business, Engineering or other areas of interest. High school students interested in this field are encouraged to develop strong study habits, to take AP courses - which will help them achieve their maximum potential in college-level courses - and to develop good time management skills.
OU is one of the few universities in the nation to provide a full-time adviser to guide Pre-Physician Associate students through the process of completing prerequisite requirements, the GRE and the graduate school application process.
There are a number of clubs on OU's Norman campus that help students prepare for a Physician Associate career, including Pre-PA Club, which frequently brings speakers to campus to discuss the graduate program and expectations, as well as current physician associates from a variety of settings, speakers from various volunteer organizations and current students involved in the graduate program.
OU's College of Medicine undergoes a rigorous accreditation process every eight years by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, the accreditation authority of the Association of American Medical Colleges and the American Medical Association Council on Medical Education. Many of the OU undergraduate programs students interested in the Physician Associate program participate in are also accredited.
Types of Employers
Health care clinics
Emergency care centers
Recent Graduates Jobs
Most OU students interested in the Physician Associate program go on to the College of Medicine at the OU Health Sciences Center or various universities around the country before becoming practicing medical professionals.
Experienced Alumni Jobs
Certified physician assistant,
Associated Orthopedic and
Physician assistant, Cardiology
Trainer, Pinnacle Fitness
Physician associate, Oklahoma
How much will I make?
Visit the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ website to explore the median pay for jobs you can pursue with this degree.
Pre-Medical Professions Program (Norman Campus)
Phone: (405) 325-1596
OU College of Medicine (Health Sciences Center Campus)
Office of Admissions
Phone: (405) 271-2331