Physician Assistant Job Description

Physician Assistant Job Description, Skills, and Salary

Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of a physician assistant. Feel free to use our job description template to produce your own. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as a physician assistant.


Who is a Physician Assistant? 

A physician assistant is a member of a medical team, which includes doctors, surgeons, nurses, and other healthcare professionals. Usually called a PA, he or she provides major medical services that include conducting inspections, ordering tests, diagnosing injuries and illnesses, managing treatment, prescribing medications, and monitoring progress. The physician assistant can be named by his or her medical profession, such as a family doctor, general surgeon, or plastic surgeon’s assistant.

Sometimes, a physician assistant is incorrectly called a doctor’s assistant, implying that he or she assists the doctor but he is not the main medical provider. Instead, physician assistants provide primary care for patients. A licensed doctor must supervise the PA, but he or she does not have to be on the premises of a medical institution while the physician assistant is working.

Physician assistants provide high-quality medical care and services to patients and their communities. They provide most of the same preventive, diagnostic, and medical services as physicians, including education and patient care. Although a physician assistant has a lot of autonomy when diagnosing and treating patients, it is still subject to the supervision of the physician oversight.

A wide variety of medical services are provided by physician assistants in clinical practice. They can provide these services in nearly all medical and surgical specialties. The profession offers many of the same services that physicians provide, but with an increasing number of patients from different parts of the country


Physician Assistant Job Description

Below are the physician assistant job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write a job description for your employee. The employer can use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.

Physician assistants can play many roles and perform many tasks. These include:

  • Provide high-quality healthcare to patients
  • Treat, diagnose and counsel patients.
  • Get medical histories
  • Do physical exams
  • Create and implement treatment plans.
  • Assist physicians during surgical operations
  • Follow procedures
  • Work together with the patient’s healthcare team to create an appropriate care plan
  • Distinguish between abnormal results and normal results to identify early stages of mental, physical, and emotional problems.
  • Provide education and consultation for health maintenance and prevention.




It can be easy to think that physician assistants don’t need much education because the job title includes the word “assistant”.Perhaps, a two-year degree is sufficient.

A master’s degree from an accredited university is required for anyone who wants to become a physician assistant. This is two years of post-graduate study after a four-year degree. To become a physician assistant, the individual will need six years of education.

PA programs require applicants to have not only four years of education but also at least one year of medical experience. The specific requirements for admission will vary depending on which program the individual is applying to but can expect to require two to four years of undergraduate coursework with a focus on a related field.

Many people who enter a PA program have had work experience as an EMT or registered nurse.

There are generally five steps that lead to becoming a physician assistant.

  • Completion of your bachelor’s degree in science or healthcare
  • Have experience working in or volunteering in the healthcare sector.
  • Register for ARC-PA-accredited programs
  • A master’s degree program lasting between 2 to 3 years.
  • Pass the PANCE licensing exam.


Essential Skills

A physician assistant’s skills are unique because they have to be able to communicate with patients and provide medical advice. These skills include:

  • Humility
  • Multitasking skills
  • Detail-Oriented
  • Interpersonal Skill
  • Superior Communication
  • Compassionate
  • Problem Solver
  • Emotionally stable
  • Work independently and as part of a team
  • Confidence

A physician assistant is not responsible for all the problems you may face. Many patients don’t realize the significance and importance of a physician assistant. Patients may feel frustrated if they don’t understand the difference and may insist on seeing a doctor.

Here is where patience and humility will be most useful. Some patients might not be able to appreciate your education and training and may even dismiss your abilities. You will succeed as long as you can handle rare situations.

A PA must also be able to ask for help from doctors. You should not be able to ask for help from a physician if you don’t have the necessary skills. A properly trained and educated medical doctor will have more experience and knowledge than you.


How to become a Physician Assistant

Any individual that wishes to become a physician assistant has to have a master’s degree from an approved program or a level with the very same similarity of instructional standards and also requirements or higher. Throughout a designated physician assistant program, you will certainly need to complete academic programs and also hands-on scientific hours.

This is imitated clinical institutions, and the program can occupy three years if you take part in the program as a permanent pupil. You will additionally be needed to complete a nationwide accreditation examination, obtain state licensure, and also preserve your accreditation with continued education and learning.

Action 1: Complete a Bachelor’s Level.

To begin your course to become a licensed physician assistant, you have to complete a bachelor’s level. In theory, you can have a bachelor’s level in any type of subject. In practice, it will enhance your chances of entering a very reputable physician assistant program if you pick certain undergraduate degrees, such as pre-med, biology, chemistry, nourishment, psychology, or sociology. If you do not finish a degree in these majors, you should be sure to complete all of the required courses that approved PA programs need for the authorization of candidates, such as anatomy, genetics, microbiology, natural chemistry, calculus, stats, technological writing, and more.


Action 2: Master’s Coursework and Scientific Rotation.

Along with the ideal bachelor’s level, you will certainly likewise have to finish a variety of demands to be accepted right into the very best programs, such as the following:

  • Volunteer hours or work experience in client treatment
  • Work training as a physician assistant
  • Minimum Grade Point Average of 2.75 or 3.0
  • Community service
  • A passing GRE or MCAT score Letters of recommendation
  • Background check Drug screening Life assistance qualification.

It is necessary to note that the entrance demands for approved PA programs will vary. You can discover a list of all approved physician assistant programs from the Physician Assistant Education And Learning Association. From there, you can determine the exact needs your favored programs expect you to meet. And also bear in mind that it is feasible to put on several PA programs at once via the Central Application Solution for physicians assistants.

When you begin a master’s program to come to be a PA, you can anticipate much more in-depth programs in medicine. Most of the programs can take up to three years. You can expect approximately two years of coursework and also at least 2,000 hrs in professional rotations. Keep in mind that some certified schools offer a bachelor’s level as well as master’s degree combination program for physician assistants that can minimize the amount of time it takes to complete both degrees.


Step 3: Pass the NCCPA – PA National Qualification Exam.

When you finish your physician assistant master’s degree, you will need to finish the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination, also described as PANCE, provided by the National Compensation on Qualification of Doctor Assistants. As soon as you have successfully finished the PANCE exam, you are legally allowed to make use of the title of Medical professional Assistant-Certified, additionally referred to as PA-C.

It is important to note that you must pass this exam successfully within six years of completing your master’s degree. You will certainly have the option to take the exam as many as six times. If you do not pass within six years, you will certainly need to finish an additional program. And also you should pass this examination to be able to apply for a state license. This holds of all states.


Tip 4: State Licensure and also Maintaining Certification.

You cannot practice as a physician assistant without state licensure. Once more, you must pass the PANCE examination before you can apply to the state board for your permit. The procedure to apply and to acquire a PA state certificate may differ from one state to another. You may need to complete added work experience under the guidance of a medical professional, or you might be tested on lawful procedures in the clinical sector.

When you have state licensure, you need to additionally possess a legal contract between you, the physician assistant, and a licensed doctor, specifying that the doctor will certainly serve as the manager of the physician assistant. This does not call for that the medical professional to be working at the same area of the PA in any way times.

All PAs must keep their national qualification whatsoever time. To do so, each needs to finish 100 hours of proceeding education in the medical market every 2 years. It is additionally a requirement to pass the Physician Aide National Recertifying Examination, additionally described as the PANRE, when every ten years.


Where to work

Years earlier, practitioners, as well as physician assistants, functioned practically solely in family medicine environments. Today, the role of these vital health care companies has broadened enormously, and physician assistants have a lot of choices when it concerns where they work.

From helping a single specialist to being utilized by a huge hospital or in an academic setting, physician assistants are also needed all over. So exactly how do you decide which method setup is best for you as well as your profession? These are simply 9 of the professional setups at which a PA can make an application for a job.

Health centers

This is the apparent one. From obstetrics to the operating room, there is plenty of options for work in medical facilities. There are additionally normally much more health care suppliers so if you encounter something you’re not familiar with, you will not be the only PA or on the premises.

Emergency departments

Similar to medical facility work, emergency work can be thrilling, exciting as well as difficult at one time. Yet obviously, you’ll be seeing immediate impact In this job setting. Below, you’ll be accountable for helping one of the illest and hurt in their best time of requirement. And also for those adrenaline junkies around, the emergency room setup is incredibly fast-paced. Prepare for anything in the ER.

Urgent treatment facilities

Urgent care centers exist somewhere in between family members’ treatment practices and hospitals. At a job in an immediate treatment facility, you’ll reach deal with a wide variety of problems while sending the most extreme cases to the emergency clinic. It’s a little bit of a slower speed than the ER, yet you’ll still need to assess the urgency (for this reason the name) of a range of situations swiftly.


Clinics are great places to dive even more into one kind of medicine or procedure if you want to specialize. From cosmetic to orthoscopic, there are numerous types of surgical procedures to acquire proficiency in and also lots of locations to work.

Community health centers

Comparable to urgent treatment facilities, community health centers also provide services such as family medicine solutions along with emergency treatment. These clinics are frequently part of a bigger health care company and also have even more resources.

Retail facilities

Found inside larger retail stores, these little clinics serve an expanding populace of people interested in standard healthcare, obtaining influenza shots as well as various other less-invasive procedures. They usually have certain hours and also have the benefit of a range of patients of all ages and also backgrounds. These sorts of centers are turning up a selection of drug stores as well as are useful for individuals who have a small medical need. Working right here is no tranquillity, you’ll still have to assess the nature of the emergency and also be able to establish when to send out somebody to their primary care physician or the ER.

Nurse-managed clinical centers

Nurse-managed medical centers are an addition to the health care globe. These clinical facilities use a range of therapies and services. Generally, at reduced expenses, because the overhead is reduced because there are no medical professionals are on personnel. So if you work here, you would certainly be accountable for basically running your very own method. Terrific straw for that return to.

Rural healthcare facilities

Rural health care facilities are frequently the only clinical centers within thousands of miles as well as serve smaller populaces that require treatment. Discovered in villages as well as on Indigenous American reservations, these centers provide opportunities to be associated with a wide range of procedures and also treatments as well as give care to individuals that require it.

In addition to work setups, there are likewise many different specialties physician assistants snd can work in. Previous work might provide you some insight right into which specialization you would certainly favor to operate in.


Physician Assistant Salary Scale

The average physician assistant wage in the United States is $101,476 as of November 29, 2021, but the income array typically falls between $94,330 and $108,976. Income ranges can differ widely depending upon many crucial aspects, including education and learning, certifications, added skills, the number of years you have spent in your occupation and other crucial factors.

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