About the Profession

What is a Physician Assistant (PA) ?

  • A physician assistant (PA) is a medical professional who works as part of a team with a physician.
  • PAs perform physical examinations, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret lab tests, perform many types of procedures, assist in surgery, provide patient education and counseling and make rounds in hospitals and nursing homes.
  • PAs make autonomous decisions regarding patient management and treatment in tangent with their supervising physician so that patients receive the highest quality of care.
  • All 50 states and the District of Columbia allow PAs to practice and prescribe medications.

PA Education

  • The PA educational program is modeled on the medical school curriculum with a combination of classroom and clinical instruction.
  • The PA course of study is graduate level, full-time, rigorous and intense.
  • A PA is a graduate of an accredited PA educational program who is nationally certified and state-licensed to practice medicine with the supervision of a physician.