|“There are a lot of opportunities that come with a new program - new traditions, setting the standards, and establishing a foothold at the school.”
-Matthew Reynolds, Bentonville, AR
Medical providers who are nationally certified and state- licensed to practice medicine with the supervision of a physician.
They are trained in the medical model and educated similarly to physicians, so they share similar diagnostic and therapeutic reasoning.
PAs graduate from nationally accredited programs generally with a master’s degree. Upon graduation they sit for a national board certification examination and then must obtain state licensure with the supervision of a physician to practice.
PAs contribute to the physician/PA team and ensure the highest quality standards of patient care. They
are not independent clinicians but can work autonomously in the same clinic or institution as their supervising physician.
They may also work at a satellite clinic separate from their supervising physician if telecommunication is available. The distance the PA can practice away from their supervising physician varies from state to state.
PAs can deliver a broad range of medical and surgical services to diverse urban and rural populations.
Physician assistants can also practice in any discipline of medicine and can change medical or surgical disciplines without additional formal training like a residency program. This makes a PA more versatile and decreases burn-out in the profession.
PAs are trained in the medical model and educated similarly to physicians.
General roles or functions include:
Performing physical exams and medical histories.
Ordering and interpreting labs and diagnostic tests.
Diagnosing and managing chronic disease and acute illness.
Making referrals to specialists.
Writing patient orders.
Making rounds on patients in hospitals, long-term care facilities, and nursing homes.
Performing specific procedures.
Assisting in surgery. PAs cannot perform surgery on their own.
Performing patient education and counseling
Most PAs are trained in a wide variety of clinical and surgical procedures while in school. PAs will utilize only the procedures specific to the area of medicine in which they are practicing after graduation.
General procedures include:
Higher level procedures PAs may be trained in include:
|Physician offices||Clinical Research|
|Community Health Centers||Industrial Work Sites|
|Surgical Centers||Dept. of Veteran Affairs (VA)|
|Nursing Homes||Indian Health Service|
|Long Term Care Facilities||Public Health (health departments, CDC, etc.)|
|Home Health Agencies||Federal Government (FBI, CIA, Foreign Embassies, etc.)|
|Hospice||Medical Staffing Agencies|
|Correctional Facilities||Health Care Management/ Administration|
|International Medicine||Medical Education|
According to the 2010 American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) Annual PA Census Report:
32% of PAs work in primary care
68% of PAs work in specialty areas of medicine
Primary care encompasses family practice, internal medicine, general hospital medicine, pediatrics and women’s health.
Specialty areas of medicine involve medical specialties like cardiology, dermatology, emergency medicine, palliative care, occupational medicine or interventional radiology, and surgical disciplines like general surgery, orthopedic surgery, cardiothoracic surgery, or transplant surgery.
CT Surgery & Vascular