The Physician Assistant? What is that, you ask? Physician Assistants (PAs) are health care professionals who practice medicine with physician supervision. They conduct physical exams, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret tests, counsel on preventive health care, assist in surgery, and write prescriptions just as a Doctor would.
Typically, their schooling involves a year or two of academics and then follows a rigorous year of internships, or clinicals. The education they receive follows a medical model, with emphasis on data gathering, diagnosis and treatment. After they pass their national board certification exam, they are licensed to practice under a supervising doctor. PAs do not need to specialize, they can work in any field including Primary Care, Urgent Care, Emergency Medicine, Surgery or Pediatrics. PAs are known to be passionate and take the time to listen their patients as well as treat them in a safe and efficient manner.
So the next time the receptionist tells you, “I’m sorry, the Doctor is unavailable but you can see the PA,” you know you can now be confident saying, “okay!” Click here to read a more on why seeing a PA is a great idea!