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Physician Assistant (PA)

Description: Physician Assistants (PAs) practice in all areas of medicine under the supervision of a physician. 

Duties:

  • Take and review patient medical histories
  • Examine patients
  • Order and interpret diagnostic tests
  • Diagnose a patient’s injury or illness
  • Provide treatment, prescribe medication, and develop a plan to address a patient’s condition
  • Collaborate with physicians and other healthcare professionals
  • Maintain detailed medical records

Interested in becoming a PA? Click here for more information.

Training:

  • Requires a Bachelor’s Degree and the completion of prerequisites in biology, chemistry, physics, and social sciences
  • Must complete a Master’s Degree in a physician assistant program
    • Usually takes 2 years to complete
    • Includes coursework in anatomy, physiology, pathology, clinical medicine, pharmacology, physical diagnosis, and medical ethics
    • Requires clinical training in family medicine, internal medicine, emergency medicine, and pediatrics, among other specialities
  • Must pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE) from the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants to receive license

Salary: $98,510 (annual mean wage in Pennsylvania)

Work Environment: Physician’s offices, hospitals, outpatient care centers

Job Outlook: Expected to increase 37% from 2016 to 2026

(Source: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/physician-assistants.htm)