Physician with a patient

About the Pre-Physician Assistant Program

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Physician assistants, also known as PAs, practice medicine under the direction and supervision of physicians and surgeons. They are formally trained to examine patients, diagnose injuries and illnesses, and provide treatment. Physician assistants can specialize in family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, geriatrics, emergency medicine, orthopedics, surgical procedures, and general and thoracic surgery.

The Pre-Physician Assistant program at the University of Nebraska at Kearney will prepare you for higher education in the field. Students should check with the physician assistant graduate programs to which they intend to apply to ensure that all admission requirements are fulfilled.

Students pursuing the Pre-Physician Assistant program are expected to choose a major so that they can be working towards a baccalaureate degree concurrently with the Pre-Physician Assistant program. Physician assistant programs do not specify which major a student should pursue in conjunction with their pre-physician assistant studies.



Responsibilities of a physician assistant:

  • Works under the supervision of a physician or surgeon
  • Reviews patients’ medical histories
  • Does physical exams to check patients’ health
  • Orders and interprets diagnostic tests, such as X rays or blood tests
  • Makes preliminary diagnoses of a patient’s injury or illness
  • Provides treatment, such as setting broken bones and giving immunizations
  • Counsels patients and their families along with answering questions
  • Prescribes medicine
  • Records a patient’s progress
  • Completes insurance paperwork

Median Pay: $126,010 per year

27% Projected Employment Growth

from 2022 to 2032 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

75% Placement Rate in Clinical Programs and Graduate Schools

Statistic based on cumulative placement data for the last 3 years

Michelle Craig
"I graduated from UNK in 2011 and went on to complete my Masters of Physician Assistant Studies at UNMC in 2013. I have been in the same role at Children’s since graduating. I am so thankful for the incredible education I received while at UNK. The Health Science department is top notch and was vital in helping me apply, get into, and complete my Physician Assistant certification. I felt more prepared for the difficult courses in graduate school thanks to the classes I took while fulfilling my Pre-Physician Assistant coursework. UNK was a place that provided abundant opportunities to get involved and fostered my growth as an individual and as a professional."

Michelle Craig

Children's Hospital, Omaha, Neb.

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