What PA’s Really Do

Answering the question what does a physician assistant do, can be pretty complex seeing that the physician assistant profession has many different specialties and subspecialties that range from; pediatrics, oncology, emergency and behavioral medicine, cardiovascular, radiology, microbiology dermatology, infectious disease, orthopedic, primary care, anesthesiology and more, in which each job description is completely different. But considering this fact, there is more basic answer to what does a physician assistant do, which is an individual that practices medicine under a limited amount of supervision from the physician that is one staff that provides therapeutic, medical as well as diagnostic help and service and in general, can provide around 70 – 80 percent of the services that a physician administers. A basic overview of what a physician does on a daily basis can involve job duties that include:

  • Gathering the medical history from patients as well as assessing patients through certain physical examinations.
  • Recording as well as analyzing tests as well as interpreting them to patients.
  • Diagnosing diseases and disorders.
  • Tending to wounds as well as slinging and casting injuries and can also include giving immunizations and injections.
  • Prescribing medicine under the supervision of a physician. (Although depending on your state, they may have laws against PA’s providing prescriptions)
  • Recording whether a patients is progressing or not as well as counseling patients on therapy that is vital for their recovery.
  • Assuming certain duties of a manager like the supervision of medical assistants as well as technicians and ordering medical equipment and supplies.
  • Counseling patients on their short term and long term therapy, which can include counseling family members as well, and counseling patients on coping with physical as well as emotional problems that may come up in their daily life. This can involve medicative care or alternative therapy.
  • The possibility of the recruitment of new physician assistants especially in a busier environment.  As well as the possibility of taking on the position that the physician usually has if the physician is often out of the office, which requires the PA to keep in contact with the physician or doctor by phone and/or email.
  • Providing resources for patients as well as referring them to other specialists if need be.
This is a broad overview of what a PA does on a daily basis, but can be different depending on the state in which you reside as all states have different rules, laws, and regulations. When it comes to legality and other encompassing criteria that PA’s must follow when it comes to what a PA does, here is an idea of the standards a practicing physician must meet:
  • Keeping up with technical as well as professional knowledge through activities like learning programs, PA publications, workshops and along with professional physician assistant societies.
  • Adhere to requirements that are set by the state as well as local and professional laws and requirements, as well as staying current on changing laws.
  • The protection of both theirs as well as the patients legal along with their personal rights.