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
02.02.2017
Physician Assistant - URGENT CARE Temporary Full-time during summer months at the Bald Head Island location or PRN (as needed basis) for Southport, NC location The Physician Assistant is to provide immediate medical services for the...
02.22.2017
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...
10.14.2016
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...
02.22.2017
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...
02.22.2017
- Masters degree is required VCU Health System's Neurosurgery 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...
02.22.2017
VCU Health System's Surgery Trauma 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...
06.14.2016
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...
01.24.2017
The Physician Assistant under physician's supervision, obtains medical histories, performs physical exams, orders diagnostic tests and formulates treatment plans for clinic patients, and may perform medical procedures within scope of training as...
02.22.2017
Were a Little Different Our mission is clear. We bring to life a healing ministry through our compassionate care and exceptional service. We dont believe in jobs at Mercy, we believe in careers that match the unique gifts of unique...
01.02.2017
Req Number:100172 Department:: Cardiothoracic Surgery Schedule: Full-Time Regular Shift: Various days/shifts Grade: 13 Hours: 8-4:30 Job Details: Master's degree is required Licensure Required Atleast 1 year of experience required...
01.23.2017
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...
01.25.2017
Req Number:10081 Department:: Neurosurgery Schedule: Full-Time Regular Shift: Day shift Grade: 13 Hours: 40 hrs/ wk; Days Contact Information: Address: 800 Washington St. Box 795 Boston, MA 02111 Job Details: Master's degree is...
02.16.2017
Req Number:10116691 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...
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...
02.22.2017
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....
  1. PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT Southport, NC Dosher Memorial Hospital
    Physician Assistant - URGENT CARE Temporary Full-time during summer months at the Bald Head Island location or PRN (as needed basis) for Southport, NC location The Physician Assistant is to provide immediate medical services for the...
  2. 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...
  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 Neurosurgery 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...
  6. Physician Assistant Richmond, VA VCU Health System
    VCU Health System's Surgery Trauma 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...
  7. 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...
  8. Physician Assistant Hendersonville, NC Pardee Hospital
    The Physician Assistant under physician's supervision, obtains medical histories, performs physical exams, orders diagnostic tests and formulates treatment plans for clinic patients, and may perform medical procedures within scope of training as...
  9. Physician Assistant Oklahoma City, OK Mercy Hospital - Oklahoma City, OK
    Were a Little Different Our mission is clear. We bring to life a healing ministry through our compassionate care and exceptional service. We dont believe in jobs at Mercy, we believe in careers that match the unique gifts of unique...
  10. Physician Assistant Boston, MA Tufts Medical Center
    Req Number:100172 Department:: Cardiothoracic Surgery Schedule: Full-Time Regular Shift: Various days/shifts Grade: 13 Hours: 8-4:30 Job Details: Master's degree is required Licensure Required Atleast 1 year of experience required...
  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:10081 Department:: Neurosurgery Schedule: Full-Time Regular Shift: Day shift Grade: 13 Hours: 40 hrs/ wk; Days Contact Information: Address: 800 Washington St. Box 795 Boston, MA 02111 Job Details: Master's degree is...
  13. Physician Assistant Boston, MA Tufts Medical Center
    Req Number:10116691 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...
  14. 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...
  15. 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....