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What is a PA?

A Physician Assistant (PA) is a medical provider that practices medicine under the supervision supervision of a physician. PAs practice very similarly to physicians, because their training is characterized as, “the medical model,” the same way physicians are trained. Most PAs are trained by other Physician Assistants and by physicians at medical schools or at hospitals that have residencies for physician training.
While most PA programs are two years in length versus four years of medical school, most programs boast that PA students receive two-thirds of the material taught in medical schools. The major difference between PAs and physicians is what occurs after the degree/certification process. Physicians must complete residency and tests to practice medicine, whereas PAs must pass a national certifying exam and must find a supervising physician before practicing medicine.
What does all this mean?
1. PAs usually have extensive medical experience prior to     attending their formal training, versus medical students     are usually right out of college with little medical     experience.
2. PAs have less total formal training than medical     students
3 While there are some optional residency programs for     PAs, most PAs begin practicing after graduating, and     medical students must  attend  residency before     practicing.
4. Physicians practice in the specialty of their residency,     and PAs are trained in primary care and can practice in     any specialty at any point in their career without going     back for more training.
5. PAs are dependant practitioners, meaning they always     work with a supervising physician and don’t open their     own practices. This means the  final decision is usually     the supervising physician’s, and the final liability is the     supervising physician’s.
6. PAs make less money than physicians in their same     specialty, even though most work similar hours and are     just as productive as many physicians.
7. Most PAs are paid with a base salary and a production     bonus.

PAs work in all aspects of medicine. There are many specific organizations for PA specialty groups.
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