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What Do Physician Assistants Do?

Physician Assistants or PAs, as they are commonly referred to, are medical professionals who practice medicine under the supervision of a licensed primary physician. The standard training of physician assistants is usually two years to acquire the required certification for registration as a PA.

What do Physician Assistants do?

In order to make this career choice, you need to fully understand the physician assistant’s job description. The tasks performed are similar to those of physicians but under the supervision of a primary physician. Though, in certain rural and remote areas, the physician assistant can effectively take on the role of a primary physician.

The job description of Physician Assistants is:

  • Examine patients and gather information on their conditions
  • Perform physical examination, take history and check on their progress
  • Perform procedures like suturing, wound care, immunization, injections and infection management
  • Prescribe medicines with the approval of the primary physician
  • Performing the different diagnostic tests by means of electrocardiograms and X-rays
  • Counseling of patients
  • Actively supervise and work with technicians
  • Assist primary physicians in carrying out complicated medical procedures


How to Become a Physician Assistant?

Education is not the only determinant when one wants to become a physician assistant. Certain traits like patience, perseverance and the ability to work in hectic schedules and excellent communication skills, both written and oral always come in handy when you intend to choose this as a career.

Physician Assistants are not limited to one field. Almost every medical field requires a PA to reduce the workload. There are various fields of medicine to choose from, some of the common fields include;

  1. Pediatrics
  2. Family medicine
  3. Orthopedics
  4. Surgery
  5. Geriatrics
  6. Internal medicine
  7. Emergency medicine


Physician assistants work an average of about 40 hours a week with numerous calls to attend to emergency situations. If you have what it takes, then this should not be a bad choice for your future plans after high school. The average salary of physician assistant for a well experienced one lies in between $119,000-$200,000 per annum. Those with minimal experience earn about $89,987 per annum.

Salaries vary with level of expertise, years of experience and educational advancement. The area of expertise also determines how much one is going to pocket. Also, PAs working in different fields of medicine are paid quite differently.

The location of work is also a great determinant in salary negotiations, because, those working in staffing firms earn more that those located in specialty hospitals. Full time physician assistants earn more than part time physician assistants.

If you don’t intend to go into full time medicine, then this is the perfect way to contribute into the medicine profession. Physician Assistants contribute immensely especially with the decreasing numbers of medical practitioners.

If you think that you have what it takes to become a Physician Assistant in any medical field of your choice, then this is the site that will keep you updated on the latest on what do physician assistants do.

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