A physician assistant (PA) is a licensed healthcare provider who practices medicine under the supervision of a doctor. PAs have advanced education, training and skills to provide patients with preventive, diagnostic and treatment services. While PAs can work in any area of medicine, they often work in family medicine, internal medicine, and pediatrics.
A PA typically:
Evaluates a patient’s medical history and educates the patient about wellness and disease prevention
Provides routine and preventive healthcare services including immunizations, sports and school physicals, pelvic exams, Pap tests, contraceptive counseling, and sexually transmitted disease (STD) screenings
Orders and interprets laboratory and imaging tests and prescribes medications
Diagnoses and treats acute diseases and conditions including infections and injuries
Screens, treats and monitors a range of chronic health conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, thyroid disease, heart disease, and depression
Performs minor procedures including setting fractures and stitching lacerations
Provides cancer screenings including skin and thyroid exams
Works closely with the supervising doctors and other healthcare team members to ensure patients receive optimal, seamless healthcare
A PA may also be known as a PA-C (physician assistant-certified) or a doctor assistant.
There are 132836 specialists practicing Physician Assistant (PA) in the United States with an overall average rating of 4.1 stars. There are 1730 hospitals in the United States with affiliated Physician Assistant (PA) specialists, including Spectrum Health Zeeland Community Hospital, Spectrum Health United Hospital and Hartford Hospital.