The Cleveland Clinic has more than 1,000 Physician Assistants (PAs) working in a variety of settings at all of our locations. Physician Assistants (PAs) are licensed by the State Medical Board, Certified by the National Certification Commission for PAs (NCCPA) and privileged by the Cleveland Clinic Board of Governors.

At Cleveland Clinic, PAs have long been an important part of our commitment to patients and their care.

We are the largest employer of PAs in Ohio, and one of the largest employers in the country. We invite you to discover more about being a PA at Cleveland Clinic, about the profession and the opportunities we have to offer.


Working with healthcare teams to:

  • Provide quality and accessible health care to our patients.
  • Continue our professional and personal development as Physician Assistants.
  • Increase the awareness of the Physician Assistant profession at Cleveland Clinic.


To offer the most professional and educational opportunities to PAs throughout the world.


By disseminating information, increasing communication and promoting educational activities for Continual Medical and Professional opportunities, the PAs of Cleveland Clinic are committed to providing affordable, and accessible quality health care to all patients.

Becoming a Physician Assistant (PA)

Becoming a Physician Assistant (PA)

We believe it's the most rewarding career you will ever have.

If you are passionate about helping others, and believe that every patient deserves quality care, then a career as a Physician Assistant might be for you.

Find out if you are up to the challenge. Learn more about what it takes to become a PA and how to get started.

Get Started

Are you interested in becoming a Physician Assistant? Do you think you have what it takes?

It's one of the fastest-growing health careers in the country, and one of the most rewarding. To become a Physician Assistant requires enrolling in an intensive medical training program accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). Currently the average PA program curriculum runs approximately 26 months.

Because PAs maintain a tight working relationship with physicians, they are educated in a medical model designed to complement physician training. Along with medical students, PAs to diagnose and treat medical problems.

There are more than 200 accredited programs in the United States. To find one closest to you, visit the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant.

Join Our Team

All Physician Assistants at Cleveland Clinic are certified by the NCCPA, licensed by the Ohio State Medical Board, and privileged and credentialed through our medical staff office.

In addition, Physician Assistants must complete the privileging process before they begin their career at Cleveland Clinic.

  • Contact us for additional information or with any questions you may have. Our Physician Assistant Services is here to help.
  • Apply now.
Licensure & Resources Education


Career planning is a process of self-discovery. The excitement of pursuing your passion, the continual quest for knowledge, and seeking career fulfillment is a lifelong journey. No matter where you are on your path, deciding if a career as a PA is for you, are a new PA student, or are already established in your PA career, PA Services is here to help. We understand the nuances and needs of every stage of becoming and establishing your career as a PA! As the face of healthcare continually changes, so do the educational needs of physician assistants. It is for this reason that the Department of PA Services is passionate about education, no matter what stage of your career.

Stages of Career Development

Undergraduate/Pre-PA Studies

Cleveland Clinic is one of the largest employers of physician assistants in the country. We are very proud of our shadowing program and our mentorship Q&A sessions. If you are seeking PA shadow hours with plans to pursue a career as a PA, we can help. After ensuring proper compliance via our easy onboarding process, we introduce you to our Physician Assistants and give you the opportunity to shadow up to 40 hours in over 20 specialties. Please contact Sarah Hoffman (hoffmas10@ccf.org) for more information on PA shadowing. Not quite arrived on the college scene yet? We also attend high school career days to help promote health professions in the community. 

PA Students

The Cleveland Clinic Division of Physician Assistant Services offers clinical rotations to PA students through affiliate programs in nearly every specialty. We invest in our profession by investing in your future. In addition to clinical rotations, we offer career fairs, mock interview sessions, and training workshops. Our team understands the importance of education, and you can find many of our PAs as instructors for PA programs as well as serving as student preceptors. We are proud of our preceptor and faculty teams, who often participate in ongoing professional development courses, certificate, and degree programs, and deliver optimal learning opportunities.

PAs in Practice

Cleveland Clinic’s mission statement “caring for life, researching for health, educating those who serve” is a true reflection of the Department of Education for PA Services. Our department remains proactive in education throughout all of your professional transitions, starting with an onboarding process that links a culture of research, education, wellness, and leadership. Whether a new graduate or an experienced provider changing specialties, our Transition to Practice (TTP) program offers blended learning and upskilling workshops for all learners. We cater to CME events, which will keep you up-to-date and focus on licensing needs. PA Services commitment to education includes working with specialty groups to build curriculum, and we are here to support and nurture all education endeavors.
Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Interested in a career as a Physician Assistant? Curious about educational requirements, certifications and job prospects?

Contact Us

Contact Us

Patricia (Trish) Hirkala

Patricia (Trish) Hirkala, PA-C, MPAS, MBA
Interim Executive Director
Cleveland Clinic PA Services
9500 Euclid Avenue
Mail Code: Eb-116h
Cleveland, OH 44195
Phone: 216.445.0626
Email: hirkalt@ccf.org

Debra Kangisser, PA-C
Director of Education
Cleveland Clinic PA Services
9500 Euclid Avenue
Mail Code: Eb-116g
Cleveland, OH 44195
Phone: 216.444.1224
Email: kangisd@ccf.org

Autumn Blaylock 

Autumn Blaylock, BA
Administrative Program Coordinator II
Cleveland Clinic PA Services
9500 Euclid Avenue
Mail Code: Eb-116u
Cleveland, OH 44195
Phone: 216.444.3968
Email: blayloa@ccf.org

Sarah Hoffman 

Sarah Hoffman, BA
Department Coordinator
Cleveland Clinic PA Services
9500 Euclid Avenue
Mail Code: Eb-116t
Cleveland, OH 44195
Phone: 216.444.3091
Email: hoffmas10@ccf.org