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What is a Physician Assistant?


A PA student suturing a patient during surgery rotation

Physician Assistants are highly qualified health care providers who have been prepared through a demanding academic and clinical curriculum to provide health care services under physician supervision. Physician assistants are nationally certified health care professionals who gather and evaluate medical data and participate in the process of clinical decision making, diagnosis, and therapeutic management.

The physician assistant profession ranks high in today’s economy.

  • ranked physician assistant first in its list of best master’s degree for jobs
  • ranked PA as number two on its “best jobs in America” list.
  • U. S. News & World Report ranked the PA profession #13 of “The 100 Best Jobs” in 2014.
  • Kiplinger’s named PA as one of its “great careers for your future.”
  • ranked physician assistant at the top of the list of 25 Most Promising Jobs For Millennials in 2015.

The U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics project that PA will be the second fastest growing health occupation between 2008 and 2018.

What do physician assistants do?

  • Conduct physical exams
  • Diagnose and treat illnesses
  • Order and interpret tests
  • Counsel on preventive health care
  • Assist in surgery
  • Write prescriptions
  • Make rounds in nursing homes and hospitals

PAs’ responsibilities correspond to their supervising physicians’ practice.

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