Physician Assistant

By: Ashlyn Sutton

Job Description

Physician assistants practice medicine under the direction of surgeons or physicians. Unlike a registered nurse, physician assistants are able to prescribe medications and provide any needed treatment. PA's diagnose injuries and illnesses and can order or carry out therapy.

"Physician Assistant"

Certification Necessary to Practice

  • 10-year certification maintenance process

- Have to earn 100 CME (Continuing medical education) hours every 2 years up to 10 years

- At the end of the 10 year certification maintenance, you must pass a recertification exam (PANRE- Physical Assistant Recertifying Exam)

- If you do not earn or log all required CME credits by 11:59pm, December 31 of your certification expiration year, your certification time will be extended for one-month to make sure the hours get completed.

"Maintenance Certification"

Education Requirements

The majority of PA programs have the same similar prerequisites

  • Complete at least two years of college coursework in basic and behavioral sciences before applying to a PA program
  • Chemistry
  • Physiology
  • Anatomy
  • Microbiology
  • Biology
  • Healthcare experience with hands-on care
  • Most students have a bachelor's degree and about three years of healthcare experience before entering a PA program

"Become a PA"

Typical Day

At 8am you arrive at the supervising physician's office. You sit down with the doctor and discuss appointments for that day. Around 9am you go to separate rooms and begin seeing patients. You can order blood tests, X-rays, EKGs, and prescribe medicine. Some people might need to be admitted to the hospital. There are more serious cases where you might have to suture a patient who cut his knee.

"Physician Assistant: A Day in the Life"

Average Salary Income

Skills Necessary

- Emotionally stable

- Detail oriented

- Work well independently

- Compassion

- Good problem-solving skills

- Confidence

- Hard-working

"10 Traits Every Physician Assistant Needs"

Practice Settings

Many practice within primary care areas, including family care. A hospital setting is also common. Other practice areas are general surgery, surgery specialities, and emergency medicine.

"Physician Assistant Profession (PA)"

3 Fun Facts

1. A PA does most of the day-to-day job of a doctor.

2. The employment of PA is supposed to grow because of the increase in health services

3. PA was ranked the Second Best Job in the US in 2009

"10 Facts You Should Know About a Physician Assistant"

A Day in the Life - Physician's Assistant