Physician Associate (PAs) are medical professionals that provide services under the supervision of physicians. PAs are trained to provide diagnostic, therapeutic, and preventive healthcare services, as deemed necessary by a physician. Although PAs are educated as generalists in medicine, many PAs work in specialty fields, including cardiovascular surgery, orthopedics, and emergency medicine. Most PAs work in the primary care specialty areas of family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, and obstetrics and gynecology.
Physician Associates typically do the following:
- Work under the supervision of a physician.
- Take medical histories.
- Examine and treat patients.
- Order and interpret laboratory tests and X-rays.
- Make diagnoses, and prescribe medications.
- Treat minor injuries by suturing, splinting, and casting.
- Record progress notes, instruct and counsel patients.
- Order or carry out therapy.
- Prescribe medicine, when needed. For a current list of accredited PA programs, visit: http://directory.paeaonline.org/.
The links below provide basic information for students interested in attending PA
school. Please see the side-bar for additional links that contain more in-depth information
about applicant credentials, required coursework, and the process for applying to
Resources for Pre-PA Students
- Pre-PA Quick Facts
- Pre-PA Direct Patient Care Opportunities
- Pre-Health Matrix
Helpful Handouts for Pre-PA Students
What should I major in?
While most pre-PA students believe they have to major in Biology, your major really does not matter. In fact, as long as you successfully complete the courses required for admission into your preferred PA program, you are welcome to major in any field that you are most passionate about.