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About PAs
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Physician Assistants (PAs) are health professionals who are nationally certified and state licensed to practice medicine and prescribe medication in every medical and surgical specialty and setting.  PAs practice and prescribe in 50 states, the District of Columbia and all U.S. territories with the exception of Puerto Rico.  PAs are educated at the graduate level, with most PAs receiving a Master's degree or higher.  In order to maintain national certification, PAs are required to recertify as medical generalists every 10 years and complete 100 hours of continuing medical education every two years.  

 

PAs perform a comprehensive range of medical duties, from basic primary care to high-technology specialty procedures. PAs often act as first or second assistants in major surgery and provide pre- and postoperative care.

 

PA education is modeled on physician education. PA program applicants must complete at least two years of college courses in basic science and behavioral science as prerequisites to PA training.

 

In some rural areas where physicians are in short supply, PAs serve as the primary providers of health care, conferring with their supervising physicians and other medical professionals as needed and as required by law.

 

 


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