Physician Assistant - Job Description, Duties, Education, Skills, Salary, & Growth

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
06.23.2017
Masters Degree in health-related or science field; requiredGraduate of an accredited Physician Assistant program; required Certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA); required Licensed by the Mississippi...
05.09.2017
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...
04.27.2017
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...
06.23.2017
Master's Degree Physician Assistant Opportunity - Brookneal, VA Centra Medical Group Brookneal, is seeking a Physician Assistant to join it's growing practice. Position would be working in a rural primary care practice that focuses on...
06.23.2017
- Masters degree is required VCU Health System's Acute Pain Service is seeking a full time Physician Assistant For Ambulatory to provide medical and/or surgical care and treatment to a specific patient population under the supervision of...
06.23.2017
- Masters degree is required 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...
06.23.2017
- Masters degree is required VCU Health System's Emergency Medicince - Pediatrics ER 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...
06.23.2017
Master's Degree Limbo Position - Vascular Surgery Limbo position to work on an as needed basis for our Centra Medical Group Vascular Surgery group, based in Lynchburg, VA. Our ideal candidate is a certified Physician Assistant that is...
02.23.2017
Req Number:10116710 Department:: Neurosurgery Schedule: Full-Time Regular Shift: Rotating shifts w/on-call Grade: 13 Hours: varies Contact Information: Address: 800 Washington St. Box 795 Boston, MA 02111 Job Details: Master's...
06.23.2017
Physician Assistant Location: Boston, MA Category: Physician Assistant Department: Marcotte Administration - 716450 Position Type: Regular Shift: Day Shift Hours Per Week: Full time 40 hours per week FT/PT/PD: Regular GENERAL...
04.23.2017
Req Number:10066 Department:: Cardiothoracic Surgery Schedule: Full-Time Regular Shift: Various days/shifts Grade: 13 Hours: 8-4:30 Job Details: Atleast 1 year of experience required Customer service skills are required Tufts...
05.04.2017
Req Number:10117118 Department:: Cardiothoracic Surgery Schedule: Per Diem-Variable Status Shift: Various days/shifts Grade: 13 Hours: 8-4:30 Job Details: Licensure Required 3-5 years experience is required Bilingual Speakers are...
08.01.2013
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...
01.24.2017
Under the direction of a supervising physician, the Physician Assistant (PA-C) for Palliative Care provides consultation services to patients within the scope of their license. Services include assessment, diagnosis, management and treatment of...
06.23.2017
PA Plastic Surgery Physician Assistant Opportunity Centra Medical Group Plastic Surgery Center, located in Lynchburg, VA, has an opportunity available for a Physician Assistant to work in our growing practice. Opportunity highlights...
  1. PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT Tupelo, MS North MS Medical Center
    Masters Degree in health-related or science field; requiredGraduate of an accredited Physician Assistant program; required Certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA); required Licensed by the Mississippi...
  2. 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...
  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 Lynchburg, VA Centra Health
    Master's Degree Physician Assistant Opportunity - Brookneal, VA Centra Medical Group Brookneal, is seeking a Physician Assistant to join it's growing practice. Position would be working in a rural primary care practice that focuses on...
  5. Physician Assistant Richmond, VA VCU Health System
    - Masters degree is required VCU Health System's Acute Pain Service is seeking a full time Physician Assistant For Ambulatory to provide medical and/or surgical care and treatment to a specific patient population under the supervision of...
  6. Physician Assistant Richmond, VA VCU Health System
    - Masters degree is required 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...
  7. Physician Assistant Richmond, VA VCU Health System
    - Masters degree is required VCU Health System's Emergency Medicince - Pediatrics ER 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...
  8. PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT Lynchburg, VA Centra Health
    Master's Degree Limbo Position - Vascular Surgery Limbo position to work on an as needed basis for our Centra Medical Group Vascular Surgery group, based in Lynchburg, VA. Our ideal candidate is a certified Physician Assistant that is...
  9. Physician Assistant Boston, MA Tufts Medical Center
    Req Number:10116710 Department:: Neurosurgery Schedule: Full-Time Regular Shift: Rotating shifts w/on-call Grade: 13 Hours: varies Contact Information: Address: 800 Washington St. Box 795 Boston, MA 02111 Job Details: Master's...
  10. Physician Assistant Boston, MA New England Baptist Hospital
    Physician Assistant Location: Boston, MA Category: Physician Assistant Department: Marcotte Administration - 716450 Position Type: Regular Shift: Day Shift Hours Per Week: Full time 40 hours per week FT/PT/PD: Regular GENERAL...
  11. Physician Assistant Boston, MA Tufts Medical Center
    Req Number:10066 Department:: Cardiothoracic Surgery Schedule: Full-Time Regular Shift: Various days/shifts Grade: 13 Hours: 8-4:30 Job Details: Atleast 1 year of experience required Customer service skills are required Tufts...
  12. Physician Assistant Boston, MA Tufts Medical Center
    Req Number:10117118 Department:: Cardiothoracic Surgery Schedule: Per Diem-Variable Status Shift: Various days/shifts Grade: 13 Hours: 8-4:30 Job Details: Licensure Required 3-5 years experience is required Bilingual Speakers are...
  13. 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...
  14. PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT Bozeman, MT Bozeman Health Services
    Under the direction of a supervising physician, the Physician Assistant (PA-C) for Palliative Care provides consultation services to patients within the scope of their license. Services include assessment, diagnosis, management and treatment of...
  15. PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT Lynchburg, VA Centra Health
    PA Plastic Surgery Physician Assistant Opportunity Centra Medical Group Plastic Surgery Center, located in Lynchburg, VA, has an opportunity available for a Physician Assistant to work in our growing practice. Opportunity highlights...