Physician Assistant (PA)

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.
  • Family Practice
  • Internal Medicine
  • Geriatric Medicine
  • Pediatric Medicine

Work Activities/Work Locations

  • Physician Assistants work in primary, specialty, and long-term care, providing patient services under the supervision of a licensed physician.
  • They handle common problems and educate patients, allowing doctors to concentrate on the more difficult cases. They can treat cuts and burns, apply and remove casts, give injections, and take blood samples. They perform minor office surgery and give emergency care, as well as assisting doctors in major surgeries.
  • Their scope of practice include performing routine examination, diagnostic tests, rehabilitative and preventive healthcare, health screenings management or therapy for chronic health problems, minor surgical procedures, assisting with surgery and issuing prescription orders and medications.
  • They support and consult with physicians regularly.
  • Laws and regulations vary for practices of physician assistants.
  • PA’s work in a variety of settings including physician’s private offices, hospitals, clinics, public health clinics, nursing homes, and rehabilitation centers.

Advantages and Disadvantages

  • Physician Assistants enjoy working in the field of medicine. Their responsibilities can be emotionally and physically demanding but also challenging and rewarding.
  • They always have physicians to consult with, which removes some of the stress of working in the medical field.
  • They also have more flexible hours than physicians do.
  • Some would like to work independently instead of always for a doctor.

 

Getting Started

Career Outlook