What is a Physician Assistant?

What is a Physician Assistant? Everybody’s heard of this absolutely cool career, amazing benefits and an awesome yearly income, but not many know what exactly it is. Chances are that you are not interested in pursuing a career in this field and so you don’t need to know much about it, but since you are here, there is surely a slightest chance that you may take this up as a career, and so it will be a good idea to learn about what it is.

A Physician Assistant  is a highly trained professional that performs clinical procedures such as diagnosing and treating minor ailments (which are usually performed by a physician) under the direction supervision of a physician or a surgeon. Typically, a Physician Assistant(PA) performs the same functions as a doctor, except for when  dealing with highly complicated cases.

Physician Assistant

Even though a PA can be easily confused with a Medical Assistant, there is a huge distinction between the two. Medical Assistant is mainly responsible for everyday clinical and clerical tasks, whereas the PA examines and treats patients, takes medical histories, orders and analyzes laboratory results, treatsminor injuries and prescribes certain medications (read on how to become a Physician Assistant  here). Sometimes, they may also be assigned other managerial duties like ordering medical supplies, equipments and supervising teams of medical technicians and assistants. Although Physician Assistants work primarily under the supervision of a physician, they are also known to be the principal care providers in places where physicians are not easily accessible or regularly available. Physician Assistants are however required by law to consult with their supervising physicians on a regular basis.

Physician Assistants work in various types of health facilities including (but not limited to) hospitals and clinics and are required to have at least a two years post-graduate education from the accredited institute.

Check out the following video which gives a good overview of what is a Physician Assistant.

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