Physician Assistants (PAs) are highly trained members of the health care team who practice medicine with the supervision of licensed physicians, providing patients with a wide range of services that would otherwise be performed by physicians. Specific duties are defined by state regulation and practice setting, but include a variety of both diagnostic and therapeutic procedures.
Utilizing a medical model of patient care, PAs are trained to obtain medical histories, perform complete physical examinations and minor surgical procedures, diagnose illnesses, order and interpret routine diagnostic tests, develop treatment and management plans, suture wounds, set fractures and assist in surgery. PAs also provide education to patients regarding illness, health promotion and disease prevention.
Since its inception over 40 years ago, the physician assistant profession has grown in size, stature and recognition. Demand for PA services is rapidly increasing, making the profession one of the fastest growing health care careers. PAs are now fully integrated into the health care system and are highly valued as medical professionals with a proven record of high quality patient care and efficient and cost effective delivery.
The Physician Assistant profession is one of the fastest growing and highly regarded professions in the country. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has consistently ranked the profession among the 30 fastest growing occupations. According to the BLS 2010-11 Occupational Outlook Handbook, physician assistant jobs are expected to increase by 39% between 2008-2018.
The PA profession was also ranked in the US News & World Report's 30 Top Careers for 2009. Their rankings considered quantitative and qualitative criteria such as: job satisfaction, training difficulty, prestige, job market outlook, and salary in determining their list of best careers offering outstanding opportunities. Visit their website to find out more.