Physician Assistant - How to Become a Physician Assistant

Physician Assistant

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Physician Assistant Job Description

 

Physician assistants (PAs) are licensed medical providers who diagnose and treat illnesses and diseases, including prescribing medication. Most PAs work in hospitals, clinics and physician offices under the supervision of a licensed physician. PAs are able to treat patients with autonomy within the framework of their relationship with the physician.

Physician assistant is an attractive job that offers the flexibility to transition into different areas of medicine without needing additional education and training beyond the initial 27 month average length of a PA program.

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Responsibilities

 

A physician assistant is a licensed medical provider that can diagnose and treat illness and disease. They can also prescribe medication for their patients. Due to their advanced education in general medical practices and procedures, which is modeled after physician’s educational experiences, PAs are given significant autonomy in treating patients.

PAs work as an integral part of a medical team. They have their own patients for which they make medical decisions and provide a wide range of diagnostic, therapeutic and preventative health maintenance services. Some of the specific services a PA can provide include:

  • Taking a patient’s medical history

  • Performing physical exams

  • Ordering laboratory tests and interpreting the results

  • Diagnosing and prescribing treatments for illness

  • Counseling patients

  • Assisting in surgery

  • Setting fractures

When working in a primary care setting, PAs are allowed to provide almost all of the clinical services that a physician can provide. This includes the performance of physical exams, diagnosing and treatment of recognized diseases. They can also prescribe necessary medications to their patients.

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Skills

 

Active Listening

Offering your full attention to an individual person or group in order to fully understand problems and their nature.

Communication

Must convey information and be able to acquire info from others effectively. Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Critical Thinking

Must use logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Judgment and Decision Making

Needs to be able to act autonomously and make difficult decisions that would benefit the patient or make corrections. Must consider all benefits and repercussions of potential actions and choose the appropriate one. 

Perception

Knowing why people act as they do and determine the best treatment options for them.

Complex Problem Solving

Be able to identify and solve complex problems by using knowledge and information you gather.

Coordination

Work with other healthcare professionals, mainly your supervising physician, to coordinate care and react to their actions. 

Monitoring

Be able to assess your patient's progress and your treatment path. Determine if there are actions to take to fix problems or improve methods.

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Working Conditions

 

Physician assistants make it possible for thousands of people to access quality health care. The PAs play a vital role in increasing patient access to care for rural and other underserved segments of the population. PAs may be the only health providers in rural and underserved areas.

PAs may work in specialties outside of the primary care setting. The professional physician assistant is trained to be flexible, adapting to work with physicians in primary care as well as medical and surgical specialties, as well as sub-specialties should the need arise.

A physician assistant's primary focus is patient care but may also undertake educational, administrative and research work. In a primary care setting, a PA can provide almost all of the clinical services a physician does. The physician assistant works under a written agreement of collaboration with a licensed physician. Under this agreement, the PA can make clinical decisions regarding patient diagnostics and treatment.

The physician’s assistant is responsible for providing a wide range of diagnostic, therapeutic, preventive and health maintenance services. The physician and the PA relationship is a staple of the physician assistant profession and is designed to enhance the availability and delivery of high-quality health care, especially to areas that are traditionally underserved.

The physical environment in which physician assistants work is usually a comfortable, well-lighted environment. If the PA is employed in a surgical position, standing for long periods of time and a great deal of walking may be required.

Work schedules will vary according to the setting in which the PA is practicing, such as a surgical suite or outpatient center. Schedules may also vary depending on the work routine of the collaborating physician. A typical work week may include rotations through weekend shifts, nights, and on-call scheduling and early morning hospital rounds to assess patient progress.

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Salary Outlook

Title Company Location Posted
12.05.2016
The CMH ER Physician Assistant performing in this position will performs medical screening examination for non-urgent patients. Examines patients, obtains histories, and performs physical exams. Performs and interprets diagnostic and therapeutic...
12.05.2016
Purpose and Scope: To enhance the image of Virginia Hospital Center. Patient Care Services by ensuring that a successful, viable program is maintained at all times allowing for maximum productivity. The Physician Assistant is to function...
12.05.2016
Master's degree is required Licensure Required The Physician Assistant in the Emergency Department: manages a broad spectrum of emergency surgical and medical adult patients and performs a wide range of clinical, diagnostic and therapeutic...
12.05.2016
VCU Health System's Orthopedics is seeking a full time Physician Assistant to provide medical and/or surgical care and treatment to a specific patient population under the supervision of physician(s). Provides diagnostic, therapeutic and/or...
12.05.2016
- Masters degree is required VCU Health System's Internal Medicine - Nephrology is seeking a full time Physician Assistant to provide medical and/or surgical care and treatment to a specific patient population under the supervision of...
12.05.2016
Master's degree is required Licensure Required Experience is preferred The Physician Assistant (PA) in the Department: of Dermatology manages a broad spectrum of surgical and medical adult and pediatric patients and performs a wide range of...
12.05.2016
Req Number:10115568 Department:: Cardiothoracic Surgery Schedule: Full-Time Regular Shift: Rotating shifts Grade: 13 Hours: 8-4:30 Job Details: Certification Required Licensure Required 1-2 years experience is required Atleast 1...
12.05.2016
Function as a Physician Assistant and change agent and the supporting roles of consultant, educator, researcher and administrator to support quality care and positive patient outcomes for the Diabetes Center at Iowa River Landing. This growing...
12.05.2016
Perform direct patient care including diagnostic and therapeutic services with physician supervision. Within the Physician Assistant (PA)/Physician relationship, PAs exercise autonomy in medical decision-making and services provided. Assist in...
12.05.2016
Executive Urology Specialists, part of the Fisher-Titus family, is recruiting a team-oriented, Ohio licensed Physician Assistant. Specific experience in Urology is desired but applicants with experience in other specialties will be considered....
12.05.2016
Licensure Required Bilingual Speakers are encouraged to apply. Customer service skills are required Experience is preferred Department:: Tufts Primary Care Boston Schedule: Full-time Shift: Day shift with some evening clinic sessions and...
12.05.2016
- Masters degree is required The Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center is seeking to add a Cardiothoracic P.A. to our dynamic program of 6 cardiac surgeons and 4 P.A.'s. We perform a full...
12.05.2016
PA General Surgery PA Opportunity in Central Virginia Centra Medical Group, located in Lynchburg, VA, is seeking a Physician Assistant to work with our General Surgery patients. Outpatient duties will include pre-op and post-op visits,...
12.05.2016
This Position Is Part-time Flexible Schedule Nights/Weekends Functions independently within the delegated parameters delineated by their supervising physician. Duties considered as minimal for applicants include: the ability to ascertain a...
12.05.2016
To assist Urology staff physicians and provide care to patients in an outpatient care setting incorporating the primary role of an Physician Assistant and the supporting roles of consultant, educator, researcher, and administrator to support...
  1. Physician Assistant Richmond, VA VCU Health System
    The CMH ER Physician Assistant performing in this position will performs medical screening examination for non-urgent patients. Examines patients, obtains histories, and performs physical exams. Performs and interprets diagnostic and therapeutic...
  2. Physician Assistant Arlington, VA Virginia Hospital Center
    Purpose and Scope: To enhance the image of Virginia Hospital Center. Patient Care Services by ensuring that a successful, viable program is maintained at all times allowing for maximum productivity. The Physician Assistant is to function...
  3. Physician Assistant Boston, MA Tufts Medical Center
    Master's degree is required Licensure Required The Physician Assistant in the Emergency Department: manages a broad spectrum of emergency surgical and medical adult patients and performs a wide range of clinical, diagnostic and therapeutic...
  4. Physician Assistant Richmond, VA VCU Health System
    VCU Health System's Orthopedics is seeking a full time Physician Assistant to provide medical and/or surgical care and treatment to a specific patient population under the supervision of physician(s). Provides diagnostic, therapeutic and/or...
  5. Physician Assistant Richmond, VA VCU Health System
    - Masters degree is required VCU Health System's Internal Medicine - Nephrology is seeking a full time Physician Assistant to provide medical and/or surgical care and treatment to a specific patient population under the supervision of...
  6. Physician Assistant Boston, MA Tufts Medical Center
    Master's degree is required Licensure Required Experience is preferred The Physician Assistant (PA) in the Department: of Dermatology manages a broad spectrum of surgical and medical adult and pediatric patients and performs a wide range of...
  7. Physician Assistant Boston, MA Tufts Medical Center
    Req Number:10115568 Department:: Cardiothoracic Surgery Schedule: Full-Time Regular Shift: Rotating shifts Grade: 13 Hours: 8-4:30 Job Details: Certification Required Licensure Required 1-2 years experience is required Atleast 1...
  8. PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT Iowa City, IA University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
    Function as a Physician Assistant and change agent and the supporting roles of consultant, educator, researcher and administrator to support quality care and positive patient outcomes for the Diabetes Center at Iowa River Landing. This growing...
  9. PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT Iowa City, IA University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
    Perform direct patient care including diagnostic and therapeutic services with physician supervision. Within the Physician Assistant (PA)/Physician relationship, PAs exercise autonomy in medical decision-making and services provided. Assist in...
  10. Physician Assistant Norwalk, OH Fisher-Titus Medical Center
    Executive Urology Specialists, part of the Fisher-Titus family, is recruiting a team-oriented, Ohio licensed Physician Assistant. Specific experience in Urology is desired but applicants with experience in other specialties will be considered....
  11. Physician Assistant Boston, MA Tufts Medical Center
    Licensure Required Bilingual Speakers are encouraged to apply. Customer service skills are required Experience is preferred Department:: Tufts Primary Care Boston Schedule: Full-time Shift: Day shift with some evening clinic sessions and...
  12. Physician Assistant Richmond, VA VCU Health System
    - Masters degree is required The Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center is seeking to add a Cardiothoracic P.A. to our dynamic program of 6 cardiac surgeons and 4 P.A.'s. We perform a full...
  13. PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT Lynchburg, VA Centra Health
    PA General Surgery PA Opportunity in Central Virginia Centra Medical Group, located in Lynchburg, VA, is seeking a Physician Assistant to work with our General Surgery patients. Outpatient duties will include pre-op and post-op visits,...
  14. Physician Assistant Miami, FL Miami Children's Hospital
    This Position Is Part-time Flexible Schedule Nights/Weekends Functions independently within the delegated parameters delineated by their supervising physician. Duties considered as minimal for applicants include: the ability to ascertain a...
  15. PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT Iowa City, IA University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
    To assist Urology staff physicians and provide care to patients in an outpatient care setting incorporating the primary role of an Physician Assistant and the supporting roles of consultant, educator, researcher, and administrator to support...