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
02.05.2018
The Physician Assistant maintains the standards of professional practice and demonstrates competence for patient care through continuous assessment, diagnosis, planning, implementing and evaluating patient care and education. The Physician...
01.02.2018
Rhinology and Sinus Surgery; Full-time 40 hours per week The Physician Assistant maintains the standards of professional practice and demonstrates competence for patient care through continuous assessment, diagnosis, planning, implementing and...
04.25.2018
VCU Health System's Acute Pain Management Team is seeking a full time Physician Assistant. The Pain Management Physician Assistant will assist the health care team in the care of patient with complex pain conditions throughout the continuum....
04.25.2018
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...
04.25.2018
VCU Health System's Internal Medicine - Heart Failure and Transplant Section 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)....
04.25.2018
VCU Health System's Pre - Op Anesthesia Clinic 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,...
02.21.2018
The Physician Assistant will work in our busy clinic setting, providing evaluation, examination and care for patients with a wide variety of ENT problems. The candidate will work closely with our Mass. Eye and Ear physicians to provide...
04.08.2018
The physician assistants in the Department of Neurosurgery manage a broad spectrum of neurosurgical and neuro-critical care conditions on the surgical floor, as well as the neuro intermediate care unit and neurocritical care unit. Physician...
04.25.2018
Master's Degree PA Opportunity - Wound Care & Hyperbaric Medicine - Lynchburg, VA Centra Medical Group, based in beautiful Lynchburg, VA, has an outstanding opportunity for an energetic and talented Physician Assistant to join our UHMS...
04.25.2018
Physician Assistant Location: Boston, MA Category: Physician Assistant Department: Office of Dr. Talmo - 765150 Position Type: Regular Shift: Day Shift Hours Per Week: Full time 40 hours per week FT/PT/PD: Regular GENERAL SUMMARY: To...
04.01.2018
Urology Physician Assistant/Nurse Practitioner Excellent opportunity for a nurse practitioner/physician assistant to join six urologists, one office practice physician, and three other allied health professionals as a member of our...
04.25.2018
The Physician Assistant provides health care services to individuals, families and communities. The PA is both an independent and collaborative health care provider who works independently with a physician preceptor. The primary emphasis of the...
04.18.2018
This position is responsible, within the legal limitations, for assisting the physician staff of the Department in the provision of medical services to patients. Performs initial evaluations, coordinates treatment plans and monitors progress,...
04.02.2018
Physician Assistant Opportunities in Emergency Medicine Eastern Maine Medical Center has opportunities for Physician Assistants to join a hospital staff team of 4 Physician Assistants and 21 Physicians, supported by most sub-specialties and...
01.25.2018
Physician Assistant Opportunities in Emergency Medicine Eastern Maine Medical Center has opportunities for Physician Assistants to join a hospital staff team of 4 Physician Assistants and 21 Physicians, supported by most sub-specialties and...
  1. Physician Assistant Boston, MA Mass. Eye and Ear Infirmary
    The Physician Assistant maintains the standards of professional practice and demonstrates competence for patient care through continuous assessment, diagnosis, planning, implementing and evaluating patient care and education. The Physician...
  2. Physician Assistant Boston, MA Mass. Eye and Ear Infirmary
    Rhinology and Sinus Surgery; Full-time 40 hours per week The Physician Assistant maintains the standards of professional practice and demonstrates competence for patient care through continuous assessment, diagnosis, planning, implementing and...
  3. Physician Assistant Richmond, VA VCU Health System
    VCU Health System's Acute Pain Management Team is seeking a full time Physician Assistant. The Pain Management Physician Assistant will assist the health care team in the care of patient with complex pain conditions throughout the continuum....
  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
    VCU Health System's Internal Medicine - Heart Failure and Transplant Section 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)....
  6. Physician Assistant Richmond, VA VCU Health System
    VCU Health System's Pre - Op Anesthesia Clinic 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,...
  7. Physician Assistant Boston, MA Mass. Eye and Ear Infirmary
    The Physician Assistant will work in our busy clinic setting, providing evaluation, examination and care for patients with a wide variety of ENT problems. The candidate will work closely with our Mass. Eye and Ear physicians to provide...
  8. Physician Assistant Boston, MA Tufts Medical Center
    The physician assistants in the Department of Neurosurgery manage a broad spectrum of neurosurgical and neuro-critical care conditions on the surgical floor, as well as the neuro intermediate care unit and neurocritical care unit. Physician...
  9. PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT Lynchburg, VA Centra Health
    Master's Degree PA Opportunity - Wound Care & Hyperbaric Medicine - Lynchburg, VA Centra Medical Group, based in beautiful Lynchburg, VA, has an outstanding opportunity for an energetic and talented Physician Assistant to join our UHMS...
  10. Physician Assistant Boston, MA New England Baptist Hospital
    Physician Assistant Location: Boston, MA Category: Physician Assistant Department: Office of Dr. Talmo - 765150 Position Type: Regular Shift: Day Shift Hours Per Week: Full time 40 hours per week FT/PT/PD: Regular GENERAL SUMMARY: To...
  11. Physician Assistant Bangor, ME Eastern Maine Medical Center
    Urology Physician Assistant/Nurse Practitioner Excellent opportunity for a nurse practitioner/physician assistant to join six urologists, one office practice physician, and three other allied health professionals as a member of our...
  12. PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT Greenville, SC St. Francis Hospital
    The Physician Assistant provides health care services to individuals, families and communities. The PA is both an independent and collaborative health care provider who works independently with a physician preceptor. The primary emphasis of the...
  13. Physician Assistant Boston, MA Tufts Medical Center
    This position is responsible, within the legal limitations, for assisting the physician staff of the Department in the provision of medical services to patients. Performs initial evaluations, coordinates treatment plans and monitors progress,...
  14. Physician Assistant Bangor, ME Eastern Maine Medical Center
    Physician Assistant Opportunities in Emergency Medicine Eastern Maine Medical Center has opportunities for Physician Assistants to join a hospital staff team of 4 Physician Assistants and 21 Physicians, supported by most sub-specialties and...
  15. Physician Assistant Bangor, ME Eastern Maine Medical Center
    Physician Assistant Opportunities in Emergency Medicine Eastern Maine Medical Center has opportunities for Physician Assistants to join a hospital staff team of 4 Physician Assistants and 21 Physicians, supported by most sub-specialties and...