Physician Assistant


Provide healthcare services typically performed by a physician, under the supervision of a physician. Conduct complete physicals, provide treatment, and counsel patients. May, in some cases, prescribe medication. Must graduate from an accredited educational program for physician assistants.

Related Job Titles

Certified Physician Assistant (PA-C), Clinical Physician Assistant, Family Practice Physician Assistant, General Surgery Physician Assistant, Midlevel Provider, Orthopaedic Physician Assistant, Physician Assistant Certified (PAC), Physician Extender, Physician's Assistant, Surgical Physician Assistant

Primary Tasks
  • Examine patients to obtain information about their physical condition.
  • Make tentative diagnoses and decisions about management and treatment of patients.
  • Prescribe therapy or medication with physician approval.
  • Administer or order diagnostic tests, such as x-ray, electrocardiogram, and laboratory tests.
  • Interpret diagnostic test results for deviations from normal.
  • Obtain, compile and record patient medical data, including health history, progress notes and results of physical examination.
  • Instruct and counsel patients about prescribed therapeutic regimens, normal growth and development, family planning, emotional problems of daily living, and health maintenance.
  • Visit and observe patients on hospital rounds or house calls, updating charts, ordering therapy, and reporting back to physician.
  • Provide physicians with assistance during surgery or complicated medical procedures.
  • Perform therapeutic procedures, such as injections, immunizations, suturing and wound care, and infection management.
  • Mix pharmaceutical preparations, according to written prescriptions.
Education Level
  • Master's degree 50%
  • Bachelor's degree 30%
  • Professional degree 15%
Wages
Median wages (2013) $44.70 hourly, $92,970 annual
Employment trends
  • Employment (2012) 87,000 employees
  • Projected growth (2012-2022) Much faster than average (22% or higher)
  • Projected job openings (2012-2022) 48,900

 

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