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Physician Assistants: PArtners in medicine Definition of PAs Physician Assistants (PAs) are licensed health professionals who Practice medicine with physician supervision Exercise autonomy in medical decision making Provide a broad range of diagnostic and therapeutic services

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Physician

Assistants:PArtnersin medicine


Definition of pas l.jpg
Definition of PAs

Physician Assistants (PAs) are licensed health professionals who

  • Practice medicine with physician supervision

  • Exercise autonomy in medical decision making

  • Provide a broad range of diagnostic and therapeutic services

  • May also perform educational, research, and administrative activities


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PAsPractice Medicine

  • Perform physical exams and take patient histories

  • Diagnose and treat illnesses

  • Order and interpret laboratory tests

  • Assist in surgery

  • Write prescriptions (in nearly all states)

  • Provide patient education and counseling


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PAs by Specialty

Other

14.4%

Emergency

Medicine

9.7%

Family/General

Medicine

26.5%

Surgery &

Surgical

Subspecialties

24.9%

Obstetrics/Gynecology

2.3%

Pediatrics &

Pediatric Subspecialties

4.0%

Internal Medicine

& IM Subspecialties

18.2%

Source: AAPA, 2006 Census


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Hospital

22.4%

PA Employers

HMO

2.1%

Group Practice

44.1%

Solo-Physician

Practice

12.9%

Other

18.5%

Source: AAPA, 2006 Census


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Community Need

“The geographic distribution of PAs more evenly matches the population than other primary care providers.

Seventh Report to the President

and Congress on the Status of Health

Personnel in the United States —

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


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PA Distribution

Northeast – 22.7%

North Central – 21.0%

West – 19.1%

Southeast – 23.7%

South Central – 13.4%

Source: AAPA, 2006 Census


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Where PAs are Authorizedto Prescribe

*

DC

No

Yes

*California PAs may write "drug orders" which, for the purposes of DEA registration, meet the federal definition of a prescription.

AK

HI

Guam

Source: AAPA 2007


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PA Education

  • Averages 26 months

    • Competency-based rather than degree-based

  • First 9 to 12 months in classroom:

    • Anatomy

    • Biochemistry

    • Microbiology

    • Pathophysiology

    • Pharmacology

    • Physical Diagnosis


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PA Education

  • Second 12 to 15 months in rotations

    (more than 50 weeks of clinical instruction)

    • Family Medicine

    • Emergency Medicine

    • Internal Medicine

    • Obstetrics and Gynecology

    • Pediatrics

    • Psychiatry

    • Surgery


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States with AccreditedPA Programs

DC

Yes

No

AK

HI

Guam

Source: AAPA 2007


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PA Certification

  • States require national certification.

  • To obtain certification, a PA

    • Must be a graduate of an accredited PA program

    • Must pass the national exam administered by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA)


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PA Certification

  • To maintain national certification, a PA

    • Must log 100 hours of continuing medical education (CME) every 2 years

    • Must sit for recertification exam every 6 years

  • Only health care profession to require recertification by exam every 6 years


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Growth of the PA Profession(number of people eligible to practice as PAs by year)

80,000

70,000

60,000

50,000

40,000

30,000

20,000

10,000

0

70

75

80

85

90

96

97

98

99

00

01

02

03

04

05

06

Source: AAPA 2007


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Physician

Assistants:PArtnersin medicine


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PA Fast Facts

There were approximately 64,000 practicing PAs as of January 2007.

231 million patient visits were made to PAs in 2006.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the number of PA jobs will grow faster than the national average for all professions, increasing by 50% between 2004 and 2014.

PAs wrote approximately 286 million prescriptions in 2006.

Source: AAPA 2007


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