BECOMING A PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT
A physician assistant is a medical professional graduated from a physical assistant educational program that is accredited and is licensed to practice medicine under the direct supervision of a physician. The physician assistant can do physical examinations, diagnose ailments, treat people, assist surgeries, prescribe medications, provide counseling and involve in patient education. The physician and the physician assistant work as a team and provide high quality care for the patients.
The physical assistant education program
The physical assistants are trained similar to the physicians under the accredited physical assistant education program. This program has a curriculum that is similar to the medical school and has both classroom and clinical approach of instructions. This is a rigorous education program for about 27 months equipping the applicant to face any medical situations even in the absence of a physician.
Getting admission for a physician assistant program is very competitive and requires two years of college courses involving basic sciences such as anatomy, physiology, biology, microbiology and chemistry. Also the applicants for a physician assistant education program should have prior experience in health care and should have completed courses on behavioral management. This is similar to the pre-medical studies undertaken by a student of the medical school.
The curriculum in the physician assistant program comprises of various subjects such as anatomy, patho- physiology, physiology, biochemistry, microbiology, diagnosis, behavioral science,pharmacology, medical ethics and clinical lab science. Moreover the physician assistant should undergo clinical rotations for more than 2000 hours. They should also complete 100 credit hours of continuing education every two years.
The clinical rotations mainly give importance to ambulatory clinics, long term and short term care, facilities and physician offices. The clinical rotations include various disciplines such as internal and family medicine, general surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, psychiatry and emergency medicine.
Duties of physician assistant
The physician assistants work as a team with the physician in providing health care to patients. The physician delegates the duties for the physician assistant which is carried out by the physician assistant. The physician assistant can make autonomous decisions of the patient care independent of the physician when needed. Also the physician assistant can provide health care to patients in rural areas even in the physical absence of the physician communicating through telecommunication. As the physician assistants are also trained similar to the physicians they share the same therapeutic and diagnostic reasoning.
The physician – physician assistant team model is an excellent way of dispensing high quality health care to the patients. Some researches even prove that the quality of treatment of the physician assistant is as good as that of the physician and the patient satisfaction is also the same as that of a physician.