As demand rises for physician assistants in South Carolina, there are shortages both with the schools that teach them and the clinics who train them.

Medical University of South Carolina Director of Physician Assistant Studies Helen Martin says she gets 1,600 applicants and for the 700 who are qualified, the program only has 60 seats. That's slightly more competitive than MUSC's doctor program.

Five other schools in South Carolina have recently opened physician assistant programs, but Martin told The Post and Courier of Charleston there are only a few clinics to train them.

Physician assistants examine patients, diagnose illness and provide treatment all under the leadership of a doctor. They typically make around $100,000 a year.