This website was developed and is maintained by the North Central Wisconsin Area Health Education Center.

Physician Assistant
Physician assistants work in primary, specialty, and long-term care, providing patient services under the supervision of a licensed physician. Their scope of practice includes performing routine examinations, diagnostic tests, rehabilitative and preventive health care, health screening management of therapy for chronic health problems, minor surgical procedures, assisting with surgery and issuing prescription orders and medications.

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Specializations
Surgeon Assistant assists surgeons in the operating room.
Anesthesiology Assistant assists the anesthesiologist with duties.
Neonatology assists neonatologists (specialists in diseases and care of newborns).
Emergency Medicine assists emergency room physicians.

Other Specializations:
Family Practice
Internal Medicine
Geriatric Medicine
Pediatric Medicine

Work Activities/Environment
Physician assistants or PA's work in a variety of settings including physician's private offices, hospitals, clinics, public health clinics, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers. They support and consult with the physician regularly. Physician assistants are trained to perform patient examinations, treat various injuries, order diagnostic tests such as X-rays and some may prescribe medications. Laws and regulations vary for practices of physician assistants. The responsibilities of a physician assistant can be emotionally and physically demanding but also challenging and rewarding. Physician assistants' hours may vary depending upon where they work although it usually is a 40-hour work week. They may be on-call, and they may work evenings, early mornings, weekends and holidays.

Academic/Special Requirements
Students must complete an accredited formal education program and have completed at least 2 years of college. Some programs require at least some experience in the health care field. Most PA's hold a bachelor's degree and PA programs last 2 years. They are usually offered in medical schools, allied health, community colleges, hospitals, and a few have clinical teaching affiliations with medical schools. Students take courses in anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, nutrition, physiology, microbiology, pharmacology, clinical medicine, geriatric and home health care, disease prevention and medial ethics. Clinic training is included in a variety of specialty areas. These rotations are usually served under the supervision of a physician looking to hire a PA. By completing and passing a certification exam, one may use the title "Physician Assistant Certified" or PA-C. To remain certified, PA's must have 100 hours of Continuing Medical Education (CME) every 2 years and pass a recertification exam every 6 years.

Educational Institutions
Carroll University
Concordia University
Marquette University
University of Wisconsin - La Crosse
University of Wisconsin - Madison
University of Wisconsin - Marathon

Pre-Professional Programs
Alverno College
Marian University
Marquette University
Ripon College
University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire
University of Wisconsin - Green Bay
University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh
University of Wisconsin - Parkside
University of Wisconsin - Platteville
University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point
University of Wisconsin - Stout
Viterbo College

Hospitals with Associated Educational Programs
Gundersen Lutheran
Mayo School of Health Sciences

Salary
Average $67,540

Professional Organizations
American Academy of Physician Assistants
2318 Mill Rd., Suite 1300
Alexandria, VA, 22314-1552
703/836-2272
www.aapa.org

National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA)
12000 Findley Rd., Suite 100
Johns Creek, GA, 30097-1409
678/417-8100
www.nccpa.net

Physician Assistant Education Association
655 K Street NW, Suite 700
Washington, DC, 20001-2385
703/548-5538
www.paeaonline.org/


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