Degree Fields
State Portals
Industry Options
Precollege Ideas
Academic DegreesCareer Planning
University Choice
Diversity & WomenSCCC PodcastsSCCC Newsletter
Meet Professionals
Site Search / A -Z

Bookmark and Share

 


Physician Assistant Overview - Preparation - Day In The Life -
Earnings - Employment - Career Path Forecast - Professional Organizations - Overview PowerPoint - Overview Podcast


Physician assistants (PAs) practice medicine under the supervision of physicians and surgeons. They should not be confused with medical assistants, who perform routine clinical and clerical tasks. PAs are formally trained to provide diagnostic, therapeutic, and preventive health care services, as delegated by a physician. Working as members of the health care team, they take medical histories, examine and treat patients, order and interpret laboratory tests and x-rays, and make diagnoses. They also treat minor injuries, by suturing, splinting, and casting.

PAs record progress notes, instruct and counsel patients, and order or carry out therapy. In 48 States and the District of Columbia, physician assistants may prescribe medications. PAs also may have managerial duties. Some order medical supplies or equipment and supervise technicians and assistants.

Physician assistants work under the supervision of a physician. However, PAs may be the principal care providers in rural or inner city clinics, where a physician is present for only 1 or 2 days each week. In such cases, the PA confers with the supervising physician and other medical professionals as needed and as required by law. PAs also may make house calls or go to hospitals and nursing care facilities to check on patients, after which they report back to the physician.

The duties of physician assistants are determined by the supervising physician and by State law. Aspiring PAs should investigate the laws and regulations in the States in which they wish to practice.

Many PAs work in primary care specialties, such as general internal medicine, pediatrics, and family medicine. Other specialty areas include general and thoracic surgery, emergency medicine, orthopedics, and geriatrics. PAs specializing in surgery provide preoperative and postoperative care and may work as first or second assistants during major surgery.

Physician Assistants Resources

Online

Overview:
Overview of the work of Physician Assistants
Preparation:
Programs, Degree Fields
Day in the Life:
Specialty Areas, the Workplace
Earnings:
Salary Ranges
Employment:
Statistics, Employment Options
Career Path Forecast:
Predictions for Physician Assistants
Professional Organizations:
Resources, Networking, Support
Podcast:
Overview of the work of Physician Assistants
Internet Resources:
American Academy of Physician Assistants

National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants

Note: Some resources in this section are provided by the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.
 


Science
Technology
Engineering
Mathematics
Computing
Healthcare
 Allied Health
  -- Audiologist
  -- Dental Assistant  -- Dental Hygienist
  -- Dental Lab Tech  -- Dietician/Nutritionist  -- EMT/Paramedic  -- Medical Assistant  -- Occup. Therapist/OT  -- OT Assistant
  -- Pharmacist  -- Pharmacy Technician
  -- Physical Therapist
  -- PT Assistant
  -- Physician Assistant  -- Recreational Therapy
  -- Respiratory Therapist  -- Social Worker  -- Speech Pathologist
 Medical Technology
 Medicine Nursing


Students
Counselors
Teachers
Parents
Graduates

      AboutContactsCopyrightMedia SupportSubscriptions