What does a physician assistant do? If you are asking this question, you are probably weighing your options for starting a career in the medical field. While you may love the idea of becoming a doctor, the thought of spending years in medical school and thousands of dollars on your education may not sound as great. You don’t have to give up on your dreams of entering the medical field, because you can just become a physician assistant!
A physician assistant is about the closest you will ever come to being a doctor without going through medical school to actually become one. You will be able to do many of the things that doctors do in their offices every day for their patients, including giving medical advice and writing out prescriptions. Some practices allow a physician assistant to maintain a caseload of their own patients, while working closely under a doctor who can help if there are problems.
As a physician assistant, you will have employment options in a variety of settings. You may find yourself working with children in a pediatrician’s office, or you could end up in a cosmetic surgery office doing consults with Botox patients. Your career may end up in a local hospital in any of their divisions. Medical clinics also actively hire physician assistants. If there is a doctor on the staff, there is likely to be a position for a physician assistant.
While being educated as a physician assistant, you can decide to specialize just like doctors do, or to go with a general practice. If a certain element of medicine grabs your attention, you can elect to take coursework so you are prepared to work in that field.
On the job, this position requires a lot of desk work as well as interaction directly with patients. Below you will find a quick overview of the duties, though the exact requirements will vary depending on where you work and what you choose to specialize in (if you specialize at all). There are different laws regarding what an assistant can do in different states, so you will have to be aware of those laws.
What administrative tasks are required from a physician assistant? The majority of the office work is focused on insurance claims, pharmacies, and coordinating with other doctors on behalf of patients. This may entail calling in prescriptions, securing referrals for patients who need specialist, and working with insurance agencies and government officials to ensure all expenses are covered.
It is basically the job of the physician assistant to make sure the doctor can do their job without complications. All of the loose ends need to be tied up so the doctor can attend to the needs of patients without wasting time on paperwork and phone calls.
It is common for doctors to have a large network of patients, but physician assistants can have a heavy caseload as well. A complete visit with a physician assistant can include a comprehensive medical history, an overview of symptoms and problems, a diagnosis, and the prescription of medications. A physician assistant can do everything the patient requires, and that includes prescribing medications that are controlled.
When problems come up or the assistant is not sure about a course of action, the doctor is always standing by for assistance. Sometimes work will be carried out alongside a physician, but in many cases the majority of a physician assistant’s work is done independently.
After learning everything that a physician assistant can do, you may be wondering why they are not treated as full doctors. It is very easy to understand when you think about the extra training and experience a physician must obtain before taking on their title and establishing a practice. It must be noted that as a physician assistant you will have to go through some advanced learning, but you won’t be required to go through the strenuous programs required to become a doctor.