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Requirements for Physician Assistants

An individual must be licensed by the Arkansas State Medical Board before practicing as a Physician Assistant. The Board may grant a license as a Physician Assistant to an applicant who:

  1. Submits an application of forms approved by the Board with the appropriate fee enclosed.


  2. Has successfully completed an educational program for Physician Assistants or surgeon assistants accredited by the Committee on Allied Health Education and Accreditation, or by its successor agency, and has passed the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination administered by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants.


  3. Has completed a background check. Act 1249 of 2005 requires the Arkansas State Medical Board to conduct criminal background checks (both state and federal) on all applicants for licensure. Please understand that the processing time to complete a federal criminal background check can take a minimum of two weeks. This is done through the Arkansas State Police; therefore, the Arkansas State Medical Board has no control over the amount of time this process takes.


  4. Certifies that he or she is mentally and physically able to engage safely in the practice as a Physician Assistant.


  5. Has no licensure, certification or registration as a Physician Assistant under current discipline, revocation, suspension or probation for cause resulting from the applicant's practice as a Physician Assistant, unless the Board considers such condition and agrees to licensure.


  6. Is of good moral character.


  7. Submits to the Board any other information the Board deems necessary to evaluate the applicant’s qualifications.


  8. Has been approved by the Board.


  9. Is at least twenty-one (21) years of age.


  10. After July 1, 1999, has at least a bachelor degree in some field of study from a regionally accredited college or university, unless the applicant has:

    1. Prior service as a military corpsman and is a graduate of a Physician Assistant education program recognized by the Committee on Allied Health Education and Accreditation of the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs or the applicant is currently certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants.


    2. Was serving as a Physician Assistant in a federal facility located in the State of Arkansas on or after July 1, 1999 and who is a graduate of a Physician Assistant education program recognized by the Committee on Allied Health Education and Accreditation or the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.


    3. Was licensed in good standing on June 30, 1999 by the Arkansas State Medical Board, or


    4. Was enrolled on or before July 1, 1999 in a Physician Assistant program recognized by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.