Physician Assistant

phy·si·cian as·sis·tant: a person certified to provide basic medical services under the supervision of a licensed physician

Education for a Physician Assistant includes:

  • Bachelor’s degree (4 years)
  • Master’s Degree from an accredited Physician Assistant Program (24-36 months) in which students are trained in the medical model, similar to physicians

Where does a Physician Assistant work?

In ALL fields of medicine – family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, women’s health, surgery, surgical subspecialties, etc…

What do they do there?

  • Evaluate & treat patients
  • Write prescriptions
  • Order & interpret diagnostic tests
  • Assist in surgery
  • Perform minor procedures
  • Work as part of the interprofessional health care team

Licensure for PA Practice

  • Following graduation from an accredited PA Program, PAs must pass the Physician Assistant National Certification Exam (PANCE) to earn their certification (“C” in PA-C)
  • Once certified, PAs may apply for licensure in any state under the supervision of a licensed physician (MD or DO)
  • PAs must take the Physician Assistant National Recertification Exam (PANRE) every 10 years in order to maintain their certification
  • Licensure is available to PAs in all 50 states as well as several other countries
  • Requires 100 hours of continuing education every two years.
  • PAs must take a recertification exam every 10 years.

Professional Associations

American Academy of Physician Assistants
North Carolina Academy of Physician Assistants