A physician assistant or physician associate (PA) is a healthcare professional licensed to practice medicine with supervision of a licensed physician. A physician assistant is concerned with preventing, maintaining, and treating human illness and injury by providing a broad range of health care services that are traditionally performed by a physician. Physician assistants conduct physical exams, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret tests, counsel on preventive health care, assist...
Physician assistants typically need a masterís degree from an accredited educational program. Earning that degree usually takes at least 2 years of full-time postgraduate study. Most applicants to physician assistant education programs already have a bachelorís degree and some healthcare-related work experience. All states require physician assistants to be licensed.
Physician assistant work can be both physically and emotionally demanding. Physician assistants spend much of their time on their feet, making rounds and evaluating patients. Physician assistants who work in operating rooms often stand for extended periods. Although the work can be stressful, helping patients can be rewarding.
Learn what a career as a Physician Assistant is really like. Read our anonymous reviews!
As a PA, you have a lot of versatility because you can go into any field that you fit well into, but you are not locked into a specialty. If you decide to change specialties, you are able to do so. Additionally, you spend less time in school and thus have more time for your family. You have a supervising doctor available to assist you if needed, but you can function autonomously without him or her, so you can assist patients in the same capacity.
1. Privilege to practice medicine after comparatively short educational time (contrary to MD) 2. More flexibility in changing specialty/setting (comparing to MD) 3. Less extra responsibilities than MD (on call schedule, running practice and etc.)
As a physician assistant I can work autonomously, but also consult with the doctor if necessary. There are also many fields to specialize in and as a pa i would not need to retrain to change specialties since i will be cross trained
Great hours and schedule. Less school than a physician.