Family medicine is the most common specialty for physician assistants. Physician assistants are skillfully trained to examine patients, order and interpret laboratory tests and X-rays, diagnose and treat medical conditions, and instruct and counsel patients.
Before you apply to a Physician Assistant program, you need to shadow a PA to make sure this is the right field for you and that you truly understand what it is that a PA does.
Most programs also require significant hands-on patient experience. This means that you should have worked in a health care setting doing, for example, jobs such as phlebotomy, certified nurse assisting, or working as an EMT.
Some studies have shown that PAs save as much as 20% of the costs of medical care and can perform at least 80% of the functions in an ambulatory care practice. This means that the field will continue to grow as we seek ways to cut health care costs.
Physician Assistant Family Medicine Responsibilities:
-Working as members of the healthcare team, the PAs take medical histories, examine and treat patients, order and interpret laboratory tests and x-rays, make diagnoses, and prescribe medications.
-May also treat minor injuries by suturing, splinting, and casting
-PA will record progress notes, instruct and counsel patients, and order or carry out therapy.
-May order medical and laboratory supplies and equipment and may supervise technicians and assistants.