Allied Health
Physician Assistant

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Salary: $61,331 - $91,332
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Hourly: $26.89 - $50.51
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Outlook: 4 Stars
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Length of Training: 6 years
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Career Explorer
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Roadmap
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Physician assistants (PAs) provide a wide range of healthcare diagnostic and treatment services under the supervision of physicians. (A physician assistant is not the same profession as a medical assistant. See "Medical Assistant" for more details about that career.) Their duties may include taking medical histories, performing physical examinations, ordering laboratory tests and writing prescriptions, treating minor injuries, assisting in the operating room and numerous other responsibilities. Physician assistants also help with patient education.

Areas of Specialization
Physician assistants have to complete a core group of educational requirements, but once this is done, they can seek additional training in a wide range of medical specialties including emergency medicine, internal medicine, surgery, pediatrics, and others.


Work Environment

Physician assistants work in hospitals, clinics, physician offices, nursing homes, and in other healthcare environments. The work week may include evenings and weekends (especially if the PA's work responsibilities include seeing patients in the hospital).