A physician assistant is a mid-level health care provider who provides care within a medical model. The main aspect of the PA profession is working as part of an integrated team with physicians and other health care providers in order to substantially improve patient care. Although a supervising physician and the state laws governing the PA profession help to determine the scope of a PA’s medical practice, a physician assistant exercises considerable independence while diagnosing and treating patients. A licensed physician assistant can practice in numerous health care settings and can choose from a wide variety of specialties (Medex Northwest, 2012). The schooling of a physician assistant is attained in accredited programs that can last anywhere from 24 to 36 months. The first year of school is typically dedicated to intensive classroom and laboratory training. The second year of schooling is generally spent in approximately ten closely supervised clinical rotations in a variety of surgical and medical specialties. A typical PA student will accumulate more than ...
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...ant for physician assistants. Opposition to the PA profession is strictly based on the knowledge and training received during accreditation programs. However it is now shown that the length of a program does not determine the competence of its students. Both a PA and MD receive an extensive background in medicine and the health care field, with PAs receiving a more general and well-rounded education in multiple specialties. Based on this refutation and the results from the numerous patient satisfaction surveys, it is evident that a PA is just as valuable in the medical field today as a MD. Therefore a patient’s perception of the care received during a medical visit should not decrease because they are seeing a PA instead of a MD. The value and competence of a PA has been and will continue to be proven as the opposition towards this profession is rendered irrelevant.
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