PA Profession

Physician Assistants (PAs) are highly trained professionals who provide patient-centered medical care services as part of a health care team working collaboratively with licensed 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 just over 50 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.

For more information on the Physician Assistant profession, please visit the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) and the Oregon Medical Association.

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 Occupational Outlook Handbook, physician assistant jobs are expected to increase by 37% between 2016-2026.

The PA profession was also ranked 3rd in the US News & World Report's 100 Best Jobs for 2018.  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