What is a Physician’s Assistant?
A physician’s assistant, also known as a PA, works with physicians to provide care to patients. They are trained professionals who are qualified to conduct physical exams, provide treatment, counsel patients, order and interpret diagnostic tests, review medical histories, and many other important tasks. The difference between a physician’s assistant and a medical assistant is the level of training needed. A PA typically needs a master’s degree while a medical assistant needs only an associate degree to qualify for an entry-level position.
A physician’s assistant works in a variety of healthcare settings, but the most common setting include the following:
- Physicians’ offices
- Managed care practices
- Long-term care facilities
- Rehabilitation units
What Do Physicians’ Assistants Earn?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, t median annual wage of physician assistants was $86,410 in May 2010. The top 10 percent of PAs earned more than $117,720. Salaries vary depending on geographic location, setting, years of experience, and education level. Most PAs complete a graduate-level program and attain full certification.
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