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WHAT IS A PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT?

A physician assistant, or PA, is a qualified medical professional who practices medicine with the supervision of a licensed physician. The concept of the profession originated in the early-to-mid 1960's as a way to enhance medical care to people residing in medically underserved areas. The care of the underserved remains an ongoing goal of the profession.

Physician assistants provide direct medical care to patients. They work in all 50 states, Guam, and the District of Columbia. PAs practice in a wide range of medical settings, including; physician offices, military and Veterans Administration installations, nursing homes, industrial health and correctional institutions.  They always work in conjunction with a physician and can have a wide array of responsibilities including:

PAs can prescribe medication in the majority of states. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a continued strong demand for physician assistants in the future.



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