What is a PA?

What do PAs do?

PAs practice medicine as a member of the healthcare team. They take comprehensive histories, perform complete physical examinations, order and interpret laboratory tests, diagnose and treat illnesses, develop treatment plans, counsel patients and their families, perform minor procedures, and assist in surgery.

Where are PAs employed?

You can find PAs in virtually any medical setting where you might find a physician. They work in private physician offices and clinics, hospital inpatient and emergency departments, and mental health facilities. They are employed by individual physicians, medical groups, hospitals, clinics, and federal agencies.

What does the future look like?

In 2021 the House of Delegates of the American Academy of Physician Assistants voted to change the name of the profession to Physician Associate. States will be implementing this change over the next few years. Many states in the nation have recently shifted from model of PA-MD supervision, to PA-MD collaboration, with more states pursuing legislative change to collaboration every year. 

PAs are listed as the fifth fastest growing profession in the United States according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. PA employment is projected to grow 31 percent from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations.
The PA profession is number three in U.S. News’ top 10 jobs of 2022. Data from the American Academy of Physician Associates' 2021 Salary Report lists the national median salary for all PAs to be approximately $115,000.

Additional Resources

To learn more about the field of PA Studies, visit the American Academy of Physician Associates.