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Who Is a Good Fit for the Physician Assistant Studies Hybrid Program?

March 22, 2024

Physician assistant (PA) is among the fastest-growing professions in America, and for good reason: from rapid employment growth to excellent career flexibility and six-figure median incomes, becoming a PA is a sound career choice. PAs perform many of the same tasks as medical doctors, but the timeline to become a PA is significantly shorter than qualifying as a physician. That’s yet another plus for clinicians anxious to practice.

Are you a good fit for this profession? Successful PAs typically share particular qualifications and personal attributes, which this article reviews. Read on to determine whether you could be a strong candidate for a PA training program, such as the University of Pittsburgh’s Physician Assistant Studies Hybrid (PAS-Hybrid) Program

The Top Reasons Students Pursue PA School 

One of the ten fastest-growing occupations in the U.S., physician assistant is a career that appeals to many. In addition to the previously mentioned benefits, PAs also typically enjoy a favorable work-life balance and appreciate opportunities to provide their communities with an essential service. They often work in collaborative settings and spend substantial time treating patients, which many practitioners find satisfying.

Regardless of your motivation, the first step in becoming a PA is pursuing a master’s degree in physician assistant studies.  

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How Does a Hybrid PAS Program Work? 

Hybrid PA programs like the Pitt PAS-Hybrid facilitate remote study; students can complete asynchronous coursework anytime, anywhere they have internet access. Pitt’s hybrid PA program supplements asynchronous content with live interactive virtual lectures, on-campus immersions and in-person clinical rotations in over 850 healthcare placement positions nationwide.

The program takes two years to complete. The first year constitutes the didactic component of the program, with coursework covering subjects that include clinical medicine, anatomy, pathology, health policy, pharmacology, and patient education and counseling. As a hybrid student, you will attend virtual lectures on material identical to the in-person program. Your second year of study will include eight supervised clinical practice experiences, sometimes called rotations. 

What Does It Take to Succeed in the Physician Assistant Studies Hybrid Program?

To qualify for the Pitt PAS-Hybrid Program, you must hold a bachelor’s degree with an overall 3.0 GPA. You must also have completed the prerequisite coursework with a 3.0 GPA and have at least 500 hours of direct, hands-on patient care experience. In addition to meeting the technical requirements, successful hybrid learners typically have the following attributes.


To be a successful hybrid student, you must be comfortable taking responsibility for your learning process. While the PAs-Hybrid Program includes real-time interaction with peers and instructors, you need to be self-sufficient outside the classroom, studying independently and having the confidence to seek answers to your questions and ask for help when needed. 

Problem Solving

As a hybrid student, you will experience unexpected obstacles. A successful hybrid learner can identify solutions to potential challenges and leverage resources, including faculty, advisors, peers, and their student support coach, to solve their problems.

Strong Communication 

Hybrid learners must engage with others across various formats and settings. Strong communication skills are essential, from completing written assignments to participating in online lectures and speaking to patients and peers in clinical settings. 

Proactive Approach 

The most successful hybrid learners are proactive about their studies. They engage in rigorous, active learning and identify the need for additional support early in the semester. They also actively seek the help of faculty and program support services to stay on top of coursework and class concepts.

Time Management 

Instructors expect hybrid learners to set their schedules, making good time management skills essential for success. As a hybrid student, you must plan your week to complete the synchronous and asynchronous coursework and submit all assignments on time.

Is Hybrid Learning the Right Fit for You? We Can Help. 

Students in Pitt’s PAS-Hybrid Program have diverse backgrounds and experience. However, they are united by a commitment to improving the health of their communities. The most successful hybrid students are also highly motivated individuals with strong communication and time-management skills. 

If you want to become a Pitt PAS-Hybrid learner, rest assured that you won’t have to do it alone. Pitt works to support its hybrid students. Throughout your studies, you will have access to expert faculty who are active practicing clinicians. Personalized success coaching and support provide further assistance. You will also benefit from Pitt’s connection to the world-class network of providers at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC). 

If you think this program could be the right fit for you, schedule a one-on-one meeting with an enrollment advisor to learn more.

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