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Pre-Physician Assistant

Physician Assistants (PA) are health professionals licensed to practice medicine with physician supervision. PAs are formally trained to provide diagnostic, therapeutic, and preventive healthcare services, as delegated by a physician. Working as members of the healthcare team, they take medical histories, examine and treat patients, order and interpret laboratory tests and X-rays, make diagnoses, and prescribe medications. They also treat minor injuries by suturing, splinting, and casting. PAs record notes, instruct and counsel patients, and order or carry out therapy. PAs may be the principal care providers in rural or inner city clinics, where a physician is present for only 1 or 2 days each week. In such cases, the PA confers with the supervising physician and other medical professionals as needed or as required by law. PAs also may make house calls or go to hospitals and nursing homes to check on patients and report back to the physician. They are trained to function in a variety of settings such as private offices, clinics, hospitals, emergency departments, health maintenance organizations, neighborhood health centers, armed services, and federal and state agencies. In 2010, Money Magazine listed Physician Assistant as #5 on the list of America's 50 Best Jobs.

Related career titles

Physician assistant

Resources available at the Career Center*

Career Opportunities in Health Care
Careers in Health Care
Careers in Science
Everything Guidee to Careers in Health Care, The
Exploring Health Care Careers
Opportunities in Health and Medical Careers
Opportunities in Physician Assistant Careers
Top 100 Health Care Careers

*Books are available for checkout.

Related pre-physician assistant links

K-State Pre-Health Professions Program

American Academy of Physician Assistants

National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants

American Medical Association

Physician Assistant History Center

Physician Assistant Education Association


Physician Assistant Education Association