Physician Assistant

By: Liz Devanny

Occupation and Description

A mid-level health care practitioner who works independently w/ physicians to provide diagnostic and therapeutic care.


Before being able to practice:

  • Pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE)
  • Get licensed by the state they wish to practice in

To maintain practice:

  • Complete a recertification exam every 10 years
  • Complete 100 hours of continuing medical education (CME) every 2 years

"What Is a PA?" AAPA. Web. 14 Jan. 2015. <>.

Daily Activities

  • Take your medical history
  • Conduct physical exams
  • Diagnose and treat illnesses
  • Order and interpret tests
  • Develop treatment plans
  • Counsel on preventive care
  • Assist in surgery
  • Write prescriptions
  • Make rounds in hospitals and nursing homes

"What Is a PA?" AAPA. Web. 14 Jan. 2015. <>.

Education Requirements

  • 6 years of school
  • Masters Degree
  • Require the same prerequisite courses as medical schools
  • About three years of healthcare training and experience.
  • They then complete a total of more than 2,000 hours of clinical rotations in:
  1. Family medicine
  2. Internal medicine
  3. Obstetrics and gynecology
  4. Pediatrics
  5. General surgery
  6. Emergency medicine
  7. Psychiatry

"What Is a PA?" AAPA. Web. 14 Jan. 2015. <>.


$44.70 hourly, $92, 970 annually

"29-1071.00 - Physician Assistants." 29-1071.00 - Physician Assistants. Web. 14 Jan. 2015. <>.

Skills Necessary

Practice Setting

  • Hospitals
  • Physician offices
  • Rural and urban community health centers
  • Nursing homes
  • Retail clinics
  • Schools and university-based facilities
  • Industrial settings
  • Correctional institutions
  • The uniformed services and other federal government agencies

"What Is a PA?" AAPA. Web. 14 Jan. 2015. <>.


  • good investigate and social skills
  • handle stress well
  • detailed oriented
  • be humble

"5 Soft Skills Employers Seek in Physician Assistants – 10/2/2013." 5 Soft Skills Employers Seek in Physician Assistants. Web. 15 Jan. 2015. <>.

Fun Facts

  • Even though physician assistants and nurses have a similar job profile, the difference between their works lies in the philosophies that are tutored to them during practice and before that during training.
  • The sudden boom of physician assistants is accredited to the fact that the health care industry is growing constantly and the lack of medical services in rural areas of the country are becoming more obvious now.
  • Since the health care industry is growing so fast, the job of a physician assistant is in great demand. Thus there is much sense in taking up the course as it has much bright things to offer you in the future.

"Physician Jobs | Physician Recruitment @ Physician Depot." : 10 Facts You Should Know About a Physician Assistant. Web. 15 Jan. 2015. <>.