The Best Physician Assistant PA Schools in the Caribbean | 2023

The Physician Assistant (PA) profession is one of the fastest-growing in the Caribbean. A physician assistant is a medical care professional licensed to practice medicine under the supervision of a physician.

If you are looking for a medical career that is both rigorous and rewarding, refrain from the same old American medical school style and substitute in favor of an ecstatic, high-quality, and action-packed Caribbean physician assistant training program. 

With the blissful scenery the Caribbean states provide you with, it is fun to obtain a P.A. certificate from any of the best P.A. schools in the country.

This article will give insights into the best Caribbean schools, tuition costs, admission requirements, and more.

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Are There P.A. Schools In The Caribbean?

The Physician Assistant profession is one of the most sought after as it is revered as the most benevolent act of service to humanity.

The Caribbean has four primary physician assistant schools established to conduct training programs for aspiring PAs to become licensed medical providers in the healthcare industry.

The four (4) physician assistant schools in the Caribbean are as follows:

  • Mercy College
  • St. John’s University 
  • Xavier University of Louisiana
  • Chatham University

How Do I Get Into PA Schools In The Caribbean?

Sometimes, while applying to P.A. schools in the Caribbean, students are overwhelmed with the difficulty of meeting the stipulated admissions requirement.

Although these admission requirements do not ascertain your admission into the P.A. schools in the Caribbean, knowing it enhances your chances of being considered for admission.

The admission prerequisites for P.A. schools in the Caribbean are as follows:

  • Transcript
  • Statement of purpose
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Personal statement

How Long Are Pa Schools In The Caribbean?

The Physician Assistant (PA) training program in any of the best PAs in the Caribbean usually takes about 24 months or two years to complete.

The PA programs usually entail academic coursework, clinical placements, and laboratory instructions in the medical sciences.

Also, these clinical rotations allow students to gain experience in emergency medicine, obstetrics, surgery, etc.

Can Physicians’ Assistants Practice Independently In The Caribbean?

A physician assistant is a healthcare professional licensed to practice medicine under the supervision of a physician. P.A.’s are equipped to provide a wide range of medical and surgical services.

The primary role of a physician assistant includes:

  • Taking medical histories.
  • Performing physical examinations.
  • Ordering and interpreting diagnostic tests and counseling on preventive health care.
  • Assisting in surgery
  • Prescribed medications

However, a physician assistant cannot practice independently in the Caribbean as its duties mandate the supervision of a physician.

What Are the Best Physician Assistant (PA) Schools In The Caribbean?

As an aspiring physician assistant, you may be experiencing difficulty knowing the best P.A. schools to apply to in the Caribbean. This usually poses one of the most frequently asked questions.

With the availability of good P.A. schools, students are trained under the supervision of a physician to become efficient medical care providers in the healthcare setting. 

However, do not fret! The Caribbean is known for having excellent P.A. schools suitable for each applicant. Even though you may have good grades on your academic record, there may be some impediments if you aren’t familiar with the application requirements of these P.A. Schools.

Below is the list of the best P.A. schools in the Caribbean where you can obtain a quality education. 

Mercy College

Mercy College is one of the best P.A. schools in the Caribbean that offers a quality education at an affordable fee with fewer stringent admission requirements.

The graduate degree in P.A. studies at Mercy College is a full-time program designed to prepare students for valuable careers. Upon graduation, students would have undergone the necessary training and acquired the utmost knowledge in almost all areas of medicine.

The physician assistant program at this institution uses broad-based medical knowledge to combine obstetrics, psychiatry, gynecology, and internal medicine.

With such broad-based training, graduates of the program are guaranteed to secure jobs in various medical specializations.

Also, understanding that lack of finances may hinder students from continuing their P.A. programs, the institution provides financial aid such as grants, scholarships, loans, or work-study programs.

At Mercy College, international and resident students’ tuition fees cost about $300 per year for first-year students and $275 for the final year program.

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John’s University

St. John’s University is a private Catholic institution that offers one of the best physician assistant training programs in the Caribbean. It is also one of the most sought-after P.A. schools because of its accessible entry P.A. programs.

St. John’s University, applicants are evaluated based on academic performance, communication skills, and the ability to fulfill the standards of the P.A. program.

The Accreditation Review Commission accredits the program on Education for the Physician Assistant. 

Also, about 96% of the school’s students receive financial aid. St. John’s University’s financial aid code is 002823.

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Xavier University of Louisiana

The Xavier University of Louisiana Physician Assistant Program offers a 28-month Master’s degree program encompassing a broad-based training scheme inclusive of clinical training within the Ochsner Health System.

Also, the university’s Master of Health Sciences curriculum provides students with an in-depth knowledge of the basic medical sciences and clinical medicine, as well as skills in administration and research. 

The admission process into the Xavier University of Louisiana PA program is highly competitive. The requirements of this Caribbean PA school include

  • GPA and GRE academic performance
  • Personal statement
  • CASPA application
  • Healthcare experience

The university’s tuition is about $12,000 for international and resident students.

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Chatham University

Chatham University is a private institution that offers a Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS) program. The PA program of the university is an accelerated, 85-credit program shaped to groom competent healthcare providers.

The program’s first year at this Caribbean PA school requires that students complete two (2) didactic terms before proceeding to clinical rotations, which commence around the program’s second year.

At the end of your second year, all students must return to campus to finish coursework.

The total annual tuition cost and university fees of the institution for international students and their American counterparts are $50,475.50.

As an applicant, you are expected to fulfill the following requirements before being considered for admission to Chatham’s P.A. program.

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
  • Have a cumulative GPA of 3.25 or better on a scale of 4.0, as calculated by CASPA
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Transcripts
  • Grade B in all prerequisite courses.
  • On-campus interview

Chatham University also mandates that applicants should have these prerequisite courses.

  1. Anatomy and Physiology
  2. English
  3. Inorganic Chemistry 
  4. Medical Terminology
  5. Microbiology
  6. Organic Chemistry

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What Are The Easiest Caribbean Pa Schools To Get Into?

While applying to P.A. schools in the Caribbean, aspiring physician assistants are particularly interested in P.A. schools that are the easiest to get into.

The essence of a Physician Assistant graduate program helps you prepare to carry out examinations, diagnoses, and treatments of patients as part of a team in many areas of medicine. Physician assistant schools combine coursework and clinical experiences to provide a strong foundation of medical knowledge.

As some P.A. schools usually have stringent admission processes, students avoid those and apply to schools that offer quality P.A. training programs, have a standard academic curriculum, and, most importantly, have fewer cumbersome admission prerequisites.

Here’s a list of the most accessible Canadian PA schools.

  • St. John’s University
  • Chatham University
  • Mercy College
  • Xavier University of Louisiana 

How Much Does A Physician Assistant Make In The Caribbean?

The Physician Assistant profession is one of the most lucrative jobs in the Caribbean. Although the salaries of P.A.’s are usually influenced by years of experience, work hours, and location, the average wage earned is €34.96 per hour with an additional bonus of €1,447 per year.

An entry-level physician assistant (1-3 years of experience) earns an average salary of €50,743. A senior-level physician assistant (8+ years of experience) earns an average salary of €90.275.

What Are The Best Physician Assistant Programs In The Caribbean?

One major step to accomplishing your goal of becoming a licensed physician assistant is to first apply to the best physician assistant programs in the Caribbean.

However, you cannot overemphasize the importance of P.A.’s as they are highly needed in the health industry. Prospective PAs undergo rigorous training to ensure they understand the rudiments of the profession they are signing up for.

If you are interested in applying to P.A. schools in the Caribbean, you must visit the websites of these schools to know their application requirements and ensure you have the essentials. 

Without delay, the best physician assistant programs in the Caribbean are as follows:

  • St. John’s University Physician Assistant Programs
  • Mercy College Physician Assistant Programs
  • Xavier University of Louisiana PA Programs
  • Chatham University PA Programs

What Are The P.A. Schools In The Caribbean That Don’t Require GRE?

The Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) is a routine test that universities require as one of their admissions prerequisites.

All PA schools in the Caribbean have an application requirement distinct from the others. However, as some require that prospective PAs have written the General Records Examination (GRE), some universities do not require it.

Below are the P.A. schools that do not require the GRE in the Caribbean.

  • Chatham University
  • Mercy College
  • St. John’s University

Are there Physician Assistant Master’s Programs in the Caribbean?

Most physician assistant schools offer Master’s or Master’s programs in Physician Assistant Studies. These programs are often formulated to adequately prepare students for the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE) and licensure.

While every P.A. school’s program and student is different, some earn their P.A. master’s degree within approximately two years of full-time study.

However, to commence a physician assistant master’s program, applicants may need a bachelor’s degree and some healthcare-related work experience. 

Some of the physician assistant master’s programs include

  • Xavier University of Louisiana Physician Assistant Program-Master of Health Sciences
  • Chatham University-Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS)
  • St. John’s University-Master of Science Degree in Physician Assistant 
  • Mercy College-M. S.C. in Physician Assistant 

Are There Online Physician Assistant Courses In The Caribbean For International Students?

The Caribbean islands are highly sought after by international students because of their quality P.A. programs. The digital age allows international students to apply for a course online without the stress of relocating.

The benefits of an online physician assistant program include the flexibility of working, studying, and obtaining a degree simultaneously at your convenience. After completion of your online course and passing the certification exams, international students become licensed to practice.

Some institutions that offer online pa courses include

  • Xavier University of Louisiana
  • Chatham University
  • St. John’s University
  • Mercy College

What Are the Cheapest PA Schools in the Caribbean?

The ecstatic scenery of the Caribbean makes it a popular sight and an ideal getaway destination for the holidays.

In addition to its popularity as a well-known holiday destination, the Caribbean has also gained an increasing reputation for being a study destination.

Some of the many benefits of studying in the Caribbean include that their P.A. schools tend to have lower tuition fees for outstanding quality education.

Aside from the lower tuition fees, students also receive financial aid, which is open to international and local students.

Residents and international students interested in becoming physician assistants in the Caribbean should check out the following cheap schools.

  • Mercy College
  • St. John’s University

What Are The Accredited PA Programs In The Caribbean?

It is important to note that when checking out physician assistant programs, it may be vital to consider their accreditation. Accreditation involves a process of external review that acknowledges institutions and programs that meet specific qualifications and educational standards. 

These programs provide future PAs with the opportunity to understand how healthcare delivery operates.

Whether you are applying to P.A. school to get a diploma or as an additional degree, the choice to pursue this career is a wise one. Some of the accredited P.A. programs in the Caribbean include:

  • Mercy College PA Program
  • St. John’s University PA Program
  • Xavier University of Louisiana Physician Assistant Program 
  • Chatham University’s Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS)

How To Become A Physician Assistant In The Caribbean 

The journey toward realizing your dream of becoming a physician assistant is not easy as it involves commitment, hard work, passion, and an intense desire to care for others.

Although the journey may be filled with rigorous tasks, attending the best P.A. school that offers quality training programs makes the outcome rewarding.

Here are some general ways of becoming a physician assistant in the Caribbean.

  1. Obtain a Bachelor’s Degree

Prospective PAs should provide proof of completion of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school, AAPA indicating that they majored in a science course. 

  1. Ensure you have all of your P.A. school’s prerequisites. 

Students must ensure they have the necessary admission requirements indicated by the P.A. schools.

Students may need to take additional courses such as biological sciences, chemistry, or psychology to qualify for a P.A. program. However, this is dependent on the institution you are applying to.

  1. Gaining adequate work experience with HCE and PCEPA programs

Gaining exposure to HCE and PCEPA usually requires at least 1,000 hours of experience in one or both of the healthcare experience (HCE) and patient care experience (PCE) areas.

This work experience may include volunteer or paid services. Such experience gathered over a period will prove adequate in the line of duty.

  1. Enroll in an Accredited PA Program 

The journey towards becoming a physician assistant in the Caribbean begins when you have been accepted into a P.A. school.

Also, PA programs typically require an interview as part of the application process. The American Association of Surgical Physician Assistants (AASPA) offers helpful interview strategies that provide an overview of what to expect.

  1. Pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE).

To be eligible to take the PANCE, students must complete specific physician assistant education requirements, including graduating from a physician assistant program accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). 

The five-hour test comprises 300 questions. You can repeat the test if you don’t pass the first time.

  1. Obtain and Maintain State Licensure and Certification 

After completing the P.A. program and successfully passing the PANCE, you become a certified P.A. On the other hand, you also need to become licensed to commence practice.

To maintain national certification, you need to complete additional hours of continuing medical education based on your state’s requirements.

Physician Assistant Certification Council of the Caribbean 

The National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants is the body that certifies physician assistants in the Caribbean.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to complete a P.A. program in the Caribbean?

Completing a physician assistant program in the Caribbean takes roughly 24 months.

How many P.A. schools does the Caribbean have?

The Caribbean has four (4) physician assistant schools that offer training programs to future PAs.

Is there a difference between a physician and a physician assistant?

Yes, there are. Although both perform almost similar tasks, the significant difference is that the physician assistant cannot work without the supervision of a physician. Still, a physician can operate independently of an assistant.

Do physician assistants go through a residency just like physicians?

Yes, they do. Every physician assistant undergoes their residency, especially during training, but this is optional. 

With a residency, a physician assistant can gain additional experience in the area of specialization they are interested in.

Conclusion

One reason to consider becoming a P.A. over other health careers is that physician assistant jobs are expected to be lucrative, and the outlook and salaries are highly positive. 

What’s more, the required training time and years in school, while rigorous, are less than those required of physicians or surgeons, and the Caribbean has some cheap pa schools to help you pursue your career.

We hope this article helps you choose to attend one of the best Caribbean PA schools.

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