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PA Program in the Air Force

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My name is Marco, I recently joined the forum. I am in the Air Force, I'm enlisted and I 'm stationed in Dyess AFB (Abilene) Texas.

I've been going to school since I joined but I decided to change majors, I was going into business, I thought about it and I dont really like to deal with graphs and I'm not good at it. So I finally thought about it again and I rather be helping people, I'm a really nice person, I love to help people (which I don't think many do) my hand-writing is really bad, kinda like a Doctor :P


Well before I start, I have 33 credits so far from schooling, plus the ones in the military which I don't think many school accept.

I need a starting point, where to begin, on which classes I need to take in order for me to become a Physician Assistant, which school to attend to and what is it that I get a Bachelors or a Masters, how long does it take to become a PA?


I am really confuse about what classes I need and what is that I'm geting, a Masters or Bachelors, I've read that I need to go into a Bachelors in Health and then become a Physician Assistant? how long will this take?


Now the school is confusing at this point and it gets more confusing because I don't know which school to attend to!

I can only be a part-time student and the schools (colleges) here (Abilene, Tx) do not have any PA programs or health programs and the semesters are 5 months long! and I can only take 2 classes and I have no clue if I can take online classes to finish all the pre-req.


Please I really need a good start, I would like to know how to begin, I am really wanting to finish my education.


Which classes should I take to become a Physician Assistant, where should I enroll too and how long do they take?


Any help will be really appreciate it, thank you!

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The program is not IN the Air Force. Its an Interservice (meaning all services have spots/seats) PA program. It is extremely competitive. Brad gave you a really good link that with great information about the program......your questions are quite simple and that site would answer them

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Hi, I was recently accepted into the Intersevice Physician Assistant Program (IPAP) so can maybe help you out a little bit. I'm in the Navy, so it's not a totally apples-to-apples comparison, but it's close enough.


I'm a little confused by your post - are you interested in applying to IPAP or are you looking to get out of the AF and attend a civilian school? Either way, your game plan right now will be the same. You need to identify the program/s you're interested in, and find out what the pre-reqs are. That's step one. Mostly the pre-reqs are more or less the same, but each program has its own idiosyncrasies and you want to be familiar with them. Next, you assess where you're at academically and what you need as far as credits - and then make a plan to get the credits you need. When I did this I literally mapped out something like 8 semesters in advance what I would be taking and when - now, I made changes along the way, but the point is I wasn't just winging it. Then get your Tuition Assistance squared away and start taking classes.


This will likely be a long process. I spent over two years getting all my pre-reqs done. TA was a HUGE help - the Navy paid over $11,000 towards my undergrad work. Most of what I spent (books/labs/excess tuition) I was able to get back come tax time. My point is only that TA is an incredible resource that many people don't take advantage of. So after over 2 years of part-time school, I get 29 months of full-time PA school. If the idea of a 5-month semster is too much for you, I suggest you consider another field.


If you're interested in IPAP, you're going to need 60 credits of coursework with specific pre-reqs (6 A&P, 6 Chem, 18 other sciences, an algebra course, a psychology course, etc). You're going to have to find some service-specific info on applying, as each service screens and accepts applicants independently. The pre-reqs are set by the degree-granting institution (Univerity of Nebraska Medical Center) and so are consistent.


Anyway, I've probably written too much already. There's a lot of info out there and it's going to be up to you to dig it up. You just need to make a plan and stick to it over the long haul. The sticking to it is the tricky part, but sometimes the really tough thing is to just get started. Good luck!

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  • 2 months later...
  • 3 weeks later...

If you're looking at applying to IPAP THROUGH the AF, contact Kevin Smith at AFPC. He is the POC for the AF/IPAP for applicants. Most Base Ed offices are clueless on the application process and IPAP continues to add newer requirements, which is why hearing it from the POC is better than outdated Ed offices. Just a heads up. PM me if you have any questions. AF guy here btw.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I second what 2010PA said, email Mr. Smith and ask all the question you like. He will more than likely send you a link with about 200 FAQ's that will more than likely answer all your questions and then some. I graduate phase 1 in a few weeks, but my class is the last class to have the "hard" schedule. The newer classes have it much easier than all the previous did.

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