Physician Assistant

813 Words2 Pages
Thesis: Physician assistants are well-recognized and highly sought-after members of the health care team who, with doctors, provide quality care to patients. In order to do that, training, hard work, and a good education are required. I. As history says, physician assistants have always been a much needed commodity in health care. A. Who came up with the idea for a physician assistant? 1. Dr. Eugene A. Stead, Jr. came up with the idea in 1965. 2. He was chairman of the Department of Medicine at Duke University. B. Why was there a need for physician assistants? 1. There was a shortage and uneven distribution of primary care physicians. 2. He selected Navy corpsmen who received considerable medical training during their military service in Vietnam. He based the curriculum on the fast-track training of doctors during World War II. II. Physician assistants are skilled health care practitioners who offer many common medical services. A. Physician assistants have many demanding responsibilities. 1. Physician assistants can collect historical data, order lab tests, interpret lab results, read EKG’s, teach and counsel patients, assist physicians in rounds, and record patient progress under a physician’s supervision. 2. Physician assistants also have patient contact such as physical exams, suturing of wounds, assisting in surgery, giving injections and immunizations, venipuncture, applying casts, and prescribing medications all under a physician’s supervision. B. Physician assistants have training to care for eight out of ten people who visit a family practitioner. C. What does the job involve and what are your limitations set by the doctor? III. While physician assistants can do many things, there are differences between them and doctors. A. Besides the title, doctors and physician assistants have slightly different responsibilities. 1. Physician assistants practice medicine with the supervision of a physician while a doctor is an independent practitioner. 2. The doctors have complete responsibility for the care of the patient. Physician assistants share the responsibility. 3. Doctors also make themselves available for the more difficult and complex procedures. B. The main difference between a physician assistant and a doctor is education. 1. The Physician Assistant Program is about two-thirds of the time one would spend in medical school. 2. Physician assistants don’t have an internship or a residency. IV. One of the most important things a physician assistant can have is a good education. A. The first two years of college are very important. 1. A physician assistant will take a college curriculum and have classes

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