Add Global Diversity to Your Resume

Expand your global view and study nutrition abroad like me in Peru!

IMG_9221

This past summer I participated in a program offered by Iowa State University where I spent 28 days in the capital city of Lima, studying international nutrition at the Instituto de Investigación Nutricional (IIN). The IIN is a private research institute that undertakes research and educational activities related to health and nutrition. This study abroad program consisted of two, 2-week modules that focused on community and nutrition education and community-based research. There was a total of 15 participants that represented four different universities, 3 from the US and 1 from Canada. I was the only one representing Cal Poly Pomona – Go Broncos! The program also included 6 Peruvian nutrition students, making this a total of 21 students, and a melting pot of diversity.  

In the first two weeks we got into groups of 4-5 to conduct research within the Peruvian community. My group tested for an association between taste preference for sweetness in a popular Peruvian drink, Chicha Morada, and BMI amongst pre-school aged children. This was a fun hands on experience in the field of nutrition research. In the second half of the course we were immersed within the community and provided nutrition education to mothers in need. In a total of 28 days, I conducted research, provided nutrition education and counseling, traveled to the highlands of Peru where I was able to cohabit with a native community in the city of Chiclayo, hike the mountain lands of Huascaran, and experience the capital city of Lima. I returned to the US with an expanded view of global nutrition and greater sense of passion for our field.

I know what you’re thinking, this sounds great but I can’t afford to study abroad, and that’s where you are wrong. You can have a similar experience as me and there are scholarships to help!  The Gilman International Scholarship for one is the one I went through which helped pay for half of my trip! This program aims to help students like us who want to expand their global views and enhance our career opportunities. The Gilman Scholarship is sponsored by the U.S Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and is aimed towards US undergraduate students who demonstrate high financial needs.  The application process involves an online application that includes uploading your official transcripts and uploading an online certification from your study abroad and financial aid advisors. Deadlines and more information regarding the application process can be found on their website: http://www.iie.org/Programs/Gilman-Scholarship-Program.

 

So what are you waiting for? Whether it’s to network, gain a global perspective, learn a new culture , explore your career options, or just to travel, step out of the normal boring classroom routine and step into the real world. Your study abroad experience awaits you.

 

P.S. The international nutrition in Peru program is offered on a bi-yearly basis by Iowa State, so stay on the look out in 2017.

Any questions regarding the program offered by Iowa State or on how to apply for the Gilman Scholarship please leave in the comments below, I am happy to answer them! ☺

OT-Gilman

 

You Search, We Search, We All Need Research!

mind-mapping-tools-01a_zps53af3710

It’s 12:30 a.m., and as I sleepily contemplate graduating a month from now I realize that I was a part of something special while in college and it was called research. That’s it, that good ol’ dreaded word that we hate to hear most of the time; research. Now I’m not talking about the kind of research that we slaved away at during most of our dietetic courses, no that would be too easy to discuss. I’m actually talking about research projects that faculty advisors and I designed, researched, and presented to the academic world. Now why the heck would a busy guy like me do such a thing? After all you have to deal with IRB protocol, proposal writing, funding (those checks take forever to clear), finding participants, and a whole slew of other shenanigans that no one in their right mind would purposefully endure. Well I did it, and out of all my accomplishments in college, there’s a lot mind you, completing two full research studies from beginning to end was one of my greatest achievements. It was a joy to learn new ways of writing, planning, advertising, and processing lab work into statistical data that could be used for enhancing the community. Working on an independent research project allowed me to attend unique conferences and compete against other like-minded research based students. Student research conferences allowed me to see what and how others projects developed. I was able to make new connections and partnerships for futures experiments at such events, and even made some long term friends. Researching allowed me to take a glimpse into a world where anything is possible if you question it and put it to the test. In fact, for the research projects that I did I was paid by scholarship for completing them, which was a nice little bonus. Yes, doing an independent research project is tedious, and downright excruciating, but the rewards and connections you make from it last a lifetime. If you’re a student in your freshman, sophomore, or junior year why not expand your horizon, pad your resume, and do something out of the ordinary. Try out a research project and learn something new.

5 Tips to Include More Exercise in Your Busy Life

Here at Food Digest, we often give information about programs/organizations, nutrition-related career paths, nutrition movie reviews, new food studies, and making better eating choices, but we hardly make posts about exercise.
Let’s change that, since physical activity is an enormous part of “Bit[ing] into a Healthy Lifestyle”!

Please don't be like this.
Please don’t be like this.

As college students, we are frequently busy with studying, working, volunteering, interning, and/or even balancing our home life on the daily. It can become really easy for us to dismiss the idea of incorporating a little physical activity into our week. – But have no fear! According to NHANES, here are 5 simple tips to include exercise in your busy student life:

  1. Plan ahead! Look at your typical week schedule and identify your free time. Try to plan three 30 minute exercise activities per week especially during the time of the day when you feel your most energetic.
  2. Find a gym buddy! By making friendships with people with the same exercise goals and interests as well as developing a support system, you’re more likely to get those muscles moving and your heart pumping. Going to group fitness classes, such as Zumba and cardio kickboxing, at your local gym is a great way to make friends.
  3. Family obligations? Play with the children and incorporate fun activities with them, such as jump roping, playing tag, playing basketball/football/baseball/soccer, and dancing.
  4. Try adding extra physical activity to your day. Instead of taking the escalator/elevator, take the stairs. Park farther away to get a slightly longer walk to your destination. Walk your dog.
  5. Don’t have a gym membership? Youtube has a plethora of fitness channels to follow. My favorites are BeFit and Blogilates. If you have a smartphone, PumpUp is a great exercise community app that lets you log your daily physical activity and generates easy-to-follow workouts based on your goals and your desired time of working out.

What do you think of these tips? Any to add? Feel free to share in the comments!

Balance Your Worth

A few weeks ago a few different notices went out to Cal Poly Pomona’s’ Health Nutrition and Food Science student body about potential job postings and internships. It was a bombardment of information, and it sort of felt like when your best friend tries to convince you that the bootleg copy of Hunger Games is as good as the blue ray ultra HD version and they won’t stop talking about it. Well, this sort of mindset may be what is holding back some peers to obtaining careers that are intellectually and monetarily worthwhile. Think of it this way; in our field over 80% of promotions, or hiring to upper levels, happens from within. Now in retail and sales the opposite may be true, but we are neither. Therefore, it seems to me that the age old adage of getting your “foot in the door” may apply more so to our field than most. Now as a student, father, husband, full time worker, and social volunteer I understand how hard it is to achieve high academic standards while still taking care of life’s responsibilities. I too feel as most students do; that the first stop in my career should be worthwhile and monetarily compensating for the amount of knowledge and experience I bring. However, most times we over look great opportunities by focusing on the hourly wage or salary. We feel that if the number is to low, it is beneath us, or not equal to what we feel we deserve. At this point we should take a step back and realize that nothing in life is given and we must earn everything whether we “feel” we deserve it or not. As students we should look at the big picture and all the potential that an opportunity can bring. Many doors that we never knew where available can be opened by humbling our scholarly egos, and planning for our futures. Here are some things to think about, instead of focusing on overall salary of hourly wage.

  1. Health- Staying healthy is not cheap and parents can’t support us all. Certain job openings have above average pay (14.00-19.00hr or 48,000-52,000) with full health, dental, vision, sick pay. Even though the pay may seem low at first, consider the benefits of having full medical coverage. This should be a priority when considering jobs, especially if you are married, have children, or both.
  2. Retirement/401k/ect., ect.- If a potential job opening offers 401k benefits along with retirement benefits, then it should be considered. As the Baby Boomer population ages, there will be a flux in the way retirement is paid and honored. It’s best to stay ahead of the game, unless you want to work until your 80.
  3. Paid Vacations/Holidays/Sick Days/Flex Days- Many jobs opening have paid days off. What’s better that not working and getting paid for it (isn’t that called being a Senator…Jk…Jk). But seriously, this really helps out when you need a day for yourself or for other non-work related activities. It gives you peace of mind that you can “afford” to take the day off. So this is definitely something to be considered even if salary if below our expectations.
  4. Union position vs. Non Union- Simply put there are benefits to both. If you are looking at openings within school, state, city, county, or prison/jail systems then there is a possibility that you may be part of a union. This can be a huge factor in benefits and pay so do your research. It may benefit to take a pay cut in entry level positions if the benefits will provide stability and job security. Once again, unions can be good, bad, or just ok so do your research.
  5. Happiness- If the job seems awesome and interesting, and you won’t be bored then do it. There are always opportunities to grow, if you make an effort to make them happen. So be happy and even if it’s less pay you won’t regret taking a job that you love.

Now don’t get me wrong, pay rate is a big deal and is important when considering a job. Money makes the world go round, and I’m all about people getting their cake and eating it too. However, we as students need to focus on long-term responsibilities and endeavors, and consider other important factors that can benefit us in a job position. Till next time, stay classy!

Not Pursuing an RD, No problem! Part 2: Health Professional Programs

images-1

In Part I, I provided information about one type of advanced degree program that might be of interested to many of you but if the PA route didn’t tickle your fancy, fear not! I have some more options for you. In this post I’m going to be discussing other advanced degree programs pertaining to health that are suitable options for those with a BS in Nutrition. I would like to preface by saying that I have not forgotten about non-health related options that are available! You will have to stay tuned for Part III to find out more about those :). However in the spirit of pursuing higher education, I will be focusing on other graduate level programs in this article…so let’s get started!

Dental/Pharmacy School:

Kind of random options yes, but both are great options for those majoring in Nutrition!

The Dental School route makes sense considering that the mouth is the entry point of the digestive system. A background in nutrition gives a great advantage to a dental school candidate, considering that dental schools for the most part do not provide as strong an education in that field. As healthcare moves towards an emphasis on preventative care, a dentist well versed in nutrition is better equipped to provide a more rounded approach of treatment for patients.

  • How much do they make?
    • a non-specialist in Los Angeles earns a median salary of $166,175 annually (according to salary.com)
  • How to become a Dentist:
    • You must attend Dental School for 4 years and receive a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree and be licensed. You can practice general dentistry or choose a specialty from 9 options. Some states require a 2 year residency.
  • Applying to Dental School:
    • Must take the Dental Admissions Test
    • Must meet the pre-requisites:
      • 1 year of biology
      • 2 years of chemistry to include general and organic chemistry
      • 1 year of physics
      • 1 year of english

The Pharmacy School route connection might initially be a bit harder to visualize. Pharmacists are more than people in lab coats working behind a counter at Rite Aid…(and usually those people are actually the Pharmacy Techs) they are actually involved in direct patient care and must be very familiar with biochemistry and the mechanisms of drugs/supplements, drug interactions, side effects and much more. It’s a great thing that our curriculum includes the Advanced Nutrient Metabolism series to give us some great preparation for this (thanks Dr. B, Dr. Bidlack and Professor McCabe!!). A Pharmacists primary job is to communicate their extensive knowledge in these areas to patients, physicians and other health professionals involved in patient care.

  • How much do they make?
    • A pharmacist in Los Angeles earns a median annual salary of $133,811
  • How to become a pharmacist:
    • you must attend a 4 year Pharmacy school and receive a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D) and be licensed. Many also go through residencies in pharmacy practice.
  • Applying to Pharmacy School:
    • Pharmacy College Admission Test is required by some schools
    • Must meet pre-requisites-they vary by school but the basics are:
      • 1 year of Biology
      • 2 years of Chemistry-including general and organic
      • 1 year of Physics
      • 1 quarter of Physiology
      • 2-3 quarters of Calculus
      • 2 quarters of English

Allopathic Medical School

The connection between medical school and nutrition is fairly clear cut…but something that you might not be aware of is that there are different kinds of medical schools–Allopathic being one of them. So what is allopathic? Allopathic Medical School trains students in allopathic medicine which is the general type of treatment we get when we go to the hospital etc. A more formal definition would be the “medical use of pharmacologically active agents or physical interventions to treat or suppress symptoms or pathophysiological processes of diseases or conditions” (according to wikipedia). Most medical schools in the US fall under this category.

  • How to become a physician: (this is the very condensed nut shell version)
    • You must attend an accredited 4 year medical school, complete residency, receive a Doctor of Medicine degree (MD) and be licensed to practice. The MD title indicates that the bearer was trained in allopathic medicine.
    • Residency-here you decide if you are going to be a Primary Care Provider (Internist or “general practitioner” etc) or specialize. Duration of residency varies depending specialty-minimum is around 3 years
  • How much do they make? 
    • income varies widely depending on specialty
    • Median annual income for a General Practitioner in Los Angeles is $202,857 (salary.com)
  • Applying to Med School:
    • Must take the Medical College Admissions Test
    • complete pre-requisites: (the bare minimum)
      • 1 year of Biology
      • 1 year of Physics
      • 2 years of Chemistry- including organic and general
      • 1 year of English
      • (Biochemistry is also predicted to become a pre-req after 2015)

Osteopathic Medical School

The second type of medical school. Osteopathic medicine in the US is very similar to allopathic medicine but also relies on a holistic approach that includes bone and joint manipulation to diagnose and treat illnesses. The bone and joint manipulation is referred to as Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine and is used in mainly primary care, sports medicine and emergency medicine. Doctors of Osteopathy can do everything MDs can, the real only difference is that they can treat with OMM.

  • How to become a osteopathic physician:
    • attend an accredited 4- year Osteopathic medical school, receive a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) degree, complete residency and become licensed.
    • everything is mostly the same as MD- they complete the same residency programs as MDs
    • Board exams are different
  • Applying to OD school:
    • Admission process is the same as MD, except that the average GPA “requirement” is slightly lower than MD schools
    • Prerequisites are overall the same, some schools do not require as much organic chemistry
    • Generally speaking , it is a slightly easier to get into an OD school than a MD school but there are a lot less OD schools
  • How much do they make?
    • the same as a MD

Naturopathic Medical School

This area of medicine is something that I barely learned about recently. According to AANP, “Naturopathic medicine is a distinct primary health care profession, emphasizing prevention, treatment, and optimal health through the use of therapeutic methods and substances that encourage individuals’ inherent self-healing process.  The practice of naturopathic medicine includes modern and traditional, scientific, and empirical methods.” Many Naturopathic physicians use nutritional counseling in their treatment plan for patients. They are trained to diagnose illness like MDs and DOs but the approach of treatment is where they differ. Naturopathic doctors focus more on using holistic methods of treatment and prevention and are not trained to perform major surgery and do not have the full prescription rights as MD/DOs. As an ND you are being trained to become a Primary Care Provider.

  • How to become an ND:
    • Apply to a Naturopathic medical school, receive a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine (ND) and become licensed. Licensing is limited to certain states.
    • NDs are not eligible to participate in the same residencies as MDs and DOs
  • Applying to ND School:
    • Some schools require the MCAT
    • General pre-reqs are:
      • 1 year of Biology (anatomy, physiology and microbiology can count towards this)
      • 4 courses of Chemistry-options are variable. If you only take 1 course of organic chemistry then you need 1 course of biochemistry (apart from general chemistry)
      • 1 course of physics
      • 1 course of college algebra
      • 1 course in physiology
  • How much do they make?
    • Average salary in California is $85,820 per year

Chiropractic School

Becoming a chiropractor is another option and they do more than just fix your back and charge you $500 for it. Chiropractors are trained to examine, diagnose and treat disorders of the nervous and musculoskeletal system. They also are trained in nutritional and dietary counseling. According to ACA, Chiropractors “undergo a rigorous education in the healing sciences, similar to that of medical doctors. In some areas, such as anatomy, physiology, rehabilitation, nutrition and public health, they receive more intensive education than their MD counterparts”, so it’s easy to see how a BS in Foods & Nutrition is quite complementary.

  • How to become a Chiropractor:
    • attend chiropractic school, receive Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) and become licensed.
    • residencies are available if you wish to specialize
  • Applying to Chiropractic School: 
    • Course Pre-reqs (bare minimum):
      • 1 course of Biology
      • 1 course of General Chemistry
      • 1 course of Organic Chemistry
  • How much do they make?
    • Annual median salary in Los Angeles is $148,267

While some of these options do require supplemental courses that are not included in the Dietetics option curriculum, if any of these options sound like something you’d be interested in it could be worth it to take them. For Nutrition Science students, it is very easy to tailor your elective courses to satisfy any of these options. Overall, it doesn’t really matter which option you are– being a Foods & Nutrition major already puts you in a great position to walk down any of these paths.

Informational Links:

The Doctor is in

Today, more than ever, students are always trying to find a way to meet new connections and find new opportunites. Well I am here to tell you, Dr. Steve Alas is one connection you need, and the opportunites he provides can open doors never before known to students.

Dr. Alas is an associate professor and director of the SEES program. He has been teaching molecular biology at Cal Poly for almost 10 years now. Dr. Alas is a former research fellow for City of Hope cancer center and postdoctoral fellow at UCLA. He received his PhD in cancer research from UCLA, and his Bachelor’s of Science in biological science at Cal Poly Pomona. As director of the SEES program Dr. Alas oversees advising, mentoring, academic excellence workshops, science courses, research funding, research opportunities and computer facilities for under-represented minority students and first-generation college students majoring in the sciences. He is also the coordinator for the CSU-LSAMP program at Cal Poly Pomona, which is focused on broadening student involvement in the STEM core courses. Dr. Alas is also director of the SEES Health Professionals Project, funded by The California Wellness Foundation. The program focuses on under-represented juniors and seniors that will enter the health professions. As director of the Hearst SEES Apprentice Program, Dr. Alas is able to provide research opportunities to undergraduates entering the STEM fields. Students are funded to perform research with faculty at Cal Poly Pomona, Western University of Health Sciences, City of Hope National Medical Center and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

Dr. Alas continues to work with outside sources to fund grant and scholarship programs, like the ones stated above. His expertise in research, teaching, and mentoring have allowed Dr. Alas to build a vast network of industry connections that can provide opportunites to students to gain valuable experience. Most of the programs tha Dr. Alas oversees are well funding and provide paid experience opportunities to students to do research of their choice. These programs help expose students to industry leaders and allows the students to display their skills, innovative ideas, and inventions, which many times lead to career job offers. Dr. Alas continues to put students first and is a great resource for grant and scholarship funding.

Why not set up an appointment with Dr. Steve Alas and see how he can open new doors for you. It’s never to late to make that connection.

Communicate, Converse, and Connect

“Put your money where you mouth is”. We have all heard this term used in different context many times before. But how does it apply to us as college students studying Dietetics, Nutrition Science, and Food Science ?

Communication is the key to success, and with emerging technology it is becoming a lost art. Some of the biggest advances in science, technology, and business have been brought about by professionally executed communication and connections between people. So why do we care? We care because professional communication and connections can land us that career we have been dreaming about since Chem 122 was finally over. We care because communication can open doors that didn’t have key holes. We care because our student loan agency loves to communicate with us, constantly reminding us how much we owe. Wouldn’t it be great to give a response!

As we start a new school year, we should take a moment to reflect on our long term goals.  We would all like to have that ideal career, with a great team, great benefits, good pay, and great work environment. We would love to see our knowledge and hard work compensated by a career that gives some zero’s at the end of our checks. We as students are at a unique advantage to use our positions to learn, achieve greatness, and earn a great career in food and nutrition. We will not achieve this without opening our mouths, expressing our concerns, ideas, needs, and wants.

money were mouth is

As students we at times get so involved in studying, writing reports, researching, and participating in school events, that we sometimes forget that  building a network of professionals can help us achieve goals. Yes, many of our classmates are truly gifted, and make great friends, while others are fun to chat with on social media. However, we have in  our reach a network of professionals who have long left the arena of student body and are now the experts in the fields we are striving to attain careers in. Can you guess who they are?

Our department has an eclectic mix of professors who have done everything under the sun and then some pertaining to food and nutrition. They have over a century of combined experience in all fields of food and nutrition. Some have traveled oversees for projects, while others have invented products, and yet others have done world renowned research. Some of our faculty has helped write text to bring fresh scientific fact to our textbooks. Can you name all the professors in our department? Do you know the names of the lecturers who so kindly help to teach courses in our department? Why not?! Our faculty is an abundant well of knowledge waiting to be tapped. They can help inform us on alternate careers that we may not have known about. They can mentor us, provide encouragement, and provide constructive criticism that will help mold us into the ideal professional. Our faculty may be busy, understaffed, overworked, and under appreciated at times, yet they never give up on reaching out to us as a student body. Lets return the favor and reach out to our faculty to help build our professional network of success. Say hello, make an appointment, do research with a professor, communicate, converse and connect. Yes, we are in a drought in California, but our departments faculty is a well of knowledge that is never dry. Drink up, the water is good here.

 

3 Qualities of a Successful Counselor

Humbleness
Usually, we think that a client that comes in to be counseled is looking for help to change. While this may be true in most cases, it is important to be aware of the wall that this can build between client and counselor.

Sometimes it is hard for clients to seek out help because it can make some them feel vulnerable, or as if they are engaging in behaviors that need to be corrected. Being humble can lessen a client’s feelings of vulnerability, whereas spewing all the facts one knows about why making a change is beneficial can make them feel inferior. Approaching the situation with humbleness is probably going to be more helpful in building a lasting provider-client relationship. Simply put, keep in mind that being the counselor does not imply that one is superior or more competent than the client.

Genuineness
You know the feeling of bad customer service? Yeah, not so great. Well, it is the same in a provider-client relationship. Giving off the impression that you do not truly care about the wellbeing of your client is not going to help them open up to you. You know you are doing what you love when the concern you have for others’ problems is genuine. Making sure that your client knows that you truly care for his or her wellbeing is going to make it much easier for them to open up to you. As a plus, in case you unintentionally say or do something offensive, it is easier to forgive someone when you are know they are genuinely trying their best.

Knowledge
This one is a no-brainer (ironically). Being able to provide accurate, quality information is key to successful counseling. The world of nutrition can get quite confusing when you do not know the difference between myth and fact. Therefore, it is important to be able to keep up with the recent research, and it is especially important to be able to recognize a strong study backed by the scientific community.

Of course there are many more qualities that make up a successful counselor, but these three qualities make up the foundation that make a counselor strong.

nutrition_group

I Want to Make an FN Friend!

networking

Yeah, yeah I know my play on the department club abbreviation is lame, but hey, it’s FN funny, okay? (Yes, I will wear out this pun by the end of this post). By the way, just in case you didn’t know, FN stands for Food and Nutrition Forum which is the premier club on campus. Now I may be partial, but Food and Nutrition Forum is the best club out there– hands down. This year is a change over year with many new faces and many old; including mine (yeah, I know what you were thinking….31 is old).

What does this mean? Well, it means… well, more friends, new relationships, and new connections. Dr. Martin F. Sancho-Madriz and Dr. Bonny Burns Whitmore are our advisers and they FN rock. With so much to do as a student, it helps to have a resources  available outside of class that help with FN everything.  This year our timely club meetings will really bring to the forefront subjects and information that will be pertinent to all students in our department, not just a few FN cliques. At club meetings we will be hearing from current professors in our department and other professionals, with information that could lead to that dream job we FN dream about constantly. So you need to be there to network with these great connections. Don’t FN miss out!

With a student body in our department at it’s highest peak, there is no shortage of new study buddies, volunteer friends, and intern connections. Branch out and meet someone new. You never know where it may lead you. As princess Jasmine would say, “its a whole new FN world”, or Ariel, “I want to go were the FN people are”. . . anyways you get my point. Now get out there and find an FN friend or two!

Not pursuing an RD? No problem! Here’s Some Options (Part I)

So you know you love nutrition and that you couldn’t see yourself studying anything else, but you’re not sure if becoming a Dietician is for you. For those of us with an option in Nutrition Science, we are usually in this category or already have an idea of what we want to do with our Nutrition degree. However, whether your option is in dietetics or nutrition science, it’s always a good idea to know what options you have if plan A doesn’t work out.

So I present to you alternate career path number one:

Physician Assistant

  • What do they do?
    • Physician Assistants (aka PAs)  practice medicine under the supervision of physicians and surgeons. They are trained to see/examine patients, diagnose and treat medical issues. They will often see patients in lieu of doctors and are able to prescribe medication.

 

  • Where do they work?
    • PAs work in many settings such as: hospitals, private practices (physician owned), community health clinics, nursing homes, schools/universities, federal government agencies and other places.

 

  • How much do they make?
    • The average salary for a PA in the US is around $83,000 a year. PAs practicing in Los Angeles average around $90,000 per year. Salary also depends on specialty.

 

  • How do you become a PA?
    • In order to become a PA you must attend an accredited  program to receive PA-C (Physician Assistant Certified). Most PA schools are graduate programs and award a masters degree, however there are physician assistant associate’s degree programs. There are 8 PA schools in California: 6 are masters programs, 2 are associates. After completing the academic program, graduates must sit through the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam and get state licensed in order to be able to practice medicine after graduation. After that, PAs may decide to do a Residency to gain more experience and if they want to specialize in a particular field of medicine.
  • How do I get into PA School?
    • You must meet the coursework pre-requisites: chemistry, physiology, anatomy, microbiology, biology etc
    • You must have hands on health care experience. Many schools require at the very least 1000 hours and most schools will not recognize volunteer hours. Most applicants have done this by working as an EMT, CNA, Medical Assistant and other related jobs.

 

Going down the path to become a Physician Assistant is a great option because our major’s curriculum already incorporates most of the prerequisites and because our major is pretty tough academically speaking, it provides a great foundation for PA programs.

If you’d like to look for more info on becoming a Physician Assistant, check out the links below:

American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA)

PA schools in California