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What is a PA?

With its growing popularity, you’ve probably either seen a PA yourself or heard the term in conversation. While you may have a general understanding of the profession, there is often confusion when it comes to their roles and abilities.

A Physician Assistant, or PA, is a nationally certified and state-licensed medical professional. They practice autonomously while under the supervision of a physician. These providers are able to take medical histories, perform physical examinations, make diagnoses, prescribe medications, and assist in surgeries.

After receiving their undergraduate degree, a PA attends a medical training program that is a combination of classroom studies and clinical experience. Here, they gain general medical knowledge and learn a wide variety of skills. These programs are generally 3 academic years or 27 months long and consist of over 2000 clinical training hours. Upon completion, they must pass a certification exam and complete licensing and credentialing requirements.

PAs are unique because their general medical background gives them the flexibility to practice in different specialties without having to go back to school and retrain. Their broad training also allows them to provide a wide spectrum of patient care. Practicing in every healthcare setting and specialty, this flourishing profession is dedicated to transforming medicine.

Established in 1967, this profession currently has over 159,000 providers in the United States. PA is the #2 job in the world with a projected growth of 28% over the next 7 years. We are excited for the future of the PA profession and believe they can be a valuable asset to any healthcare team!