What is a PA?

What do physician assistants do?

They practice medicine with the supervision of a physician. 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 physician assistants employed?

You can find physician assistants 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?

Physician assistants are listed as the fifth fastest growing profession in the United States according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. They estimate an additional 39,700 PAs will be needed by 2026. The PA profession is number three in U.S. News’ top 10 jobs of 2017. Data from the American Academy of Physician Assistants' 2017 Salary Report lists the national median salary for all PAs to be approximately $102,000.

Additional Resources

To learn more about the field of Physician Assistant Studies, visit the American Academy of Physician Assistants.