What does a Physician Assistants do?

What does Physician Assistants (PA) do?

You may be wondering what a Physician Assistant does. What are the roles played by Physician Assistants and so on?

 Who is a Physician Assistant (PA)?

Physician Assistants are healthcare professionals that are versed enough in performing roles similar to a Physician or Doctor. They have the capability of providing primary health care to patients. Physician Assistants are licensed and can diagnose, treat and even prescribe medication to patients.

Physician Assistants are very well trained medical practitioners who can serve as the principal healthcare provider of a patient

Since Physician assistants can diagnose, treat and even prescribe medications to patients, what then is the need of a Physician or Doctor?

It is important to be aware that PAs are not Doctors. There are so many things that differentiate a Doctor from a Physician Assistant.

By revealing the few distinctions between a Doctor and PA, I believe you would have a more clear understanding of what PA do.

Difference between Physician Assistants and Doctors?

Physician Assistants may be able to deliver a significantly high degree of professional healthcare service, but they are not Physicians.

PA works in collaboration with Licensed Physicians. They provide supportive roles to Doctors. They, therefore, help to alleviate the workload of Physicians.

Physician Assistants are also able to bridge the gap between doctors and nurses. They may play both roles efficiently.

A significant difference between a Physician and a Physician Assistant is Qualification. PA is not as qualified as Physicians. For instance, PA is not qualified to perform surgery on their own. If a disease of a patient is life-threatening, PA may not be able to handle the situation.

In summary, PA assists Physicians in providing primary care to patients. This helps the Physician to be able to extend their care to more patients.

Overview of the Roles of Physician Assistants

PA can provide almost the same roles as Physicians. An overview of the roles played by PA include;

  • Diagnose Diseases
  • Run Physical Examination
  • Treat Diseases
  • Prescribe Medication
  • Assist in Surgery
  • Set Fractures
  • Interpret Lab tests
  • Counsel Patients

PA, therefore, practice medicine with a team of physicians, surgeons, and other healthcare workers to ensure that quality health care services are delivered to patients.

Work Environment of PA

A greater percentage of PA work in Physician offices. PA also work in Hospitals either in the state, local, and private sectors, Outpatient care centers, Educational services at the state, local, and private level, Employment services.

The duties of a PA can be very demanding. It requires moving around and attending to patients. PAs who work in operating rooms spends long hours on their feet.

How to Become a Physician Assistant

PA typically need a master’s degree from an accredited educational program. All states require PA to be licensed.

Job Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) employment of PA is projected to grow 31 percent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations. As the demand for healthcare services grows, PA will be needed to provide care to patients.



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