How to Become a Physicians Assistant in Barbados

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With its wonderful weather, beautiful atmosphere and tropical feel, it's no wonder that American physician assistants opt to practice in Barbados. Though little to no opportunities exist to study within the country, many Americans and Europeans alike graduate from their countries' respective institutions and pursue careers on this Caribbean island. One of the main reasons they do this, aside from the atmosphere, is the great need Barbados has for qualified medical professionals. Just be sure you follow the right procedures and take everything into consideration before making the leap.

Things You'll Need

  • Accreditation to practice as a physician assistant Work permit
  • Decide whether you want to work in the public or private healthcare sector. In Barbados, public healthcare is free. Register to practice in Barbados by contacting the various healthcare facilities, medical centers and hospitals within Barbados, including Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Bayview Hospital and St. Michael's. If you wish to work in the public sector you will need to contact the Ministry of Health. If you wish to work in the private sector, contact the Chief Immigration Officer.

  • Obtain more information on the various programs, schools and degrees available at the American Academy of Physician Assistant's website at aapa.org or the Physician Assistant Educators' website at paeaonline.org (see Resources). Not many opportunities are available to study within Barbados, but you can contact the UWI School of Clinical Medicine and Research at 1-246-436-6450.

  • Graduate with your Master's from an accredited university to qualify for the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE), which must be passed to become a certified physician assistant, according to the Accreditation Review Commission on Education. To obtain more information on the Accreditation Review Commission on Education visit their website at arc-pa.org.

  • Apply for a work permit in Barbados. The permit will typically be quickly approved, as physician assistants from America are offering a skill or expertise that will help the people of Barbados and advance their medical practices. The form you need to fill out is the work permit form C1, unless you are planning to stay for less than six months, in which case the form would be C3. The permit fee is BDS$100.

  • Become up to date on some of the island's most common maladies, including dengue fever, Leptospirosis, Venezuela equine encephalitis, HIV (AIDS) and rubella, which rarely occurs.

  • Get your immunizations up to date before traveling to the island for work, including vaccines for Hepatitis A and B, yellow fever, typhoid, cholera, polio, diphtheria, measles and chickenpox. As a physician assistant working in a medical environment you must ensure that your vaccinations are up to date to prevent the spreading of disease. For more information on common illnesses in Barbados, call the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's hotline for travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP or the World Health Organization.

  • Keep your passport up to date to ensure quick entry into Barbados.

  • Complete 100 hours of continuing education every two years and pass a recertification exam every six years to stay qualified as a physician assistant in America, even though you are practicing in Barbados.

  • Photo Credit teamsugar.com
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