Medical Subject Headings (MeSH): Physician Assistants

Physician Assistants (PAs) are healthcare professionals who are trained to provide diagnostic, therapeutic, and preventive healthcare services, as delegated by a licensed physician. They work under the supervision of a physician and are part of the healthcare team.

PAs are educated in the medical model and have completed a program of graduate level education that includes classroom instruction and clinical rotations. PAs are trained in a variety of medical specialties and are able to perform many of the same tasks as physicians, such as taking medical histories, performing physical exams, diagnosing and treating illnesses, ordering and interpreting diagnostic tests, and developing treatment plans.

PAs can practice in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, private practices, and long-term care facilities. They can work in primary care, emergency medicine, surgery, and a variety of other specialties.

PAs are licensed and regulated by the state medical boards, and must pass a certification exam to practice. They are also required to complete continuing medical education to maintain their certification.

The use of PAs in healthcare can help to improve access to care, increase efficiency, and reduce costs. PAs can help to alleviate physician shortages and provide more cost-effective care than physicians in some settings. They can also help to improve patient outcomes by providing more timely and appropriate care.

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