Assistants (PAs) Work under the direction and supervision of a physician
to provide a variety of medical care services. They are called upon to
take detailed medical histories, perform physical examinations, and order
diagnostic laboratory tests and X-rays. They then identify and report any
abnormalities that they find after conducting these tests and
examinations. Physician assistants can also care for minor injuries by
suturing wounds, applying and removing casts, and splinting and bandaging.
They may also be in charge of making rounds at a hospital in an effort to
observe and record the progress of patients. A key role in the
physician-PA relationship is assisting with counseling patients on
preventative care, medical problems, and prescribed medications and
treatments. PAs may choose to specialize in areas such as surgery,
geriatrics, public health, anesthesiology, obstetrics, neonatology,
occupational medicine, or orthopedics. The physician assistant is a vital
member of the medical profession because they allow physicians to handle
more complex patient problems. Individuals interested in this line of work
should enjoy working with people, have good oral and written communication
skills, and be able to make decisions quickly.
Physician assistants work in a variety of
health care facilities that include hospitals, physicians offices,
clinics, community health centers, and government facilities. They may
work alone or with other health professionals such as registered nurses
and licensed practical nurses.
High School Preparation:
interested in becoming a physician assistant should take high school
courses in biology, chemistry, algebra, psychology, sociology, English,
literature, health occupations/medical professions education, computer
skills, medical technology, and geometry.
Requirements for admission into a physician
assistants program vary greatly. Most programs require at least four years
of undergraduate study and some work experience in the health care field.
PA programs are usually two years in length. Upon completion of an
accredited PA program, students must pass an examination given by the
National Commission for Certification of Physician Assistants. After an
individual becomes certified, they must apply for a license from the
Mississippi State Board of Medical Licensure to practice in this state.
Due to changing requirements, contact the Board for up-to-date licensing
Students interested in physician assisting
should contact schools for information on admission and course of study.
For educational institutions in
offering this course of study click here.
Employment opportunities for physician
assistants are expected to be excellent over the next decade. Job
opportunities for this profession are expected to increase 21 - 35%
through the year 2012. Opportunities will be particularly good in areas
and settings that have difficulty attracting physicians, such as rural and
inner city clinics. PAs are also being utilized in routine duties and
procedures that would otherwise have to be done by physicians. Another
reason for this positive job market is new state laws that limit the
number of hours that physician residents can work. This is causing
hospitals and clinics to use PAs in order to supply some physician
of Physician Assistants
950 N Washington
Physician Assistant Programs
950 N Washington