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What is a Physician Assistant?

So, you are thinking about a career as a physician assistant.

Well, that’s awesome!

The question is, do you have what it takes?

Keep reading to find out more…

If you are interested in becoming a physician assistant, you are in good company. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the workforce is made up of 106,200 physician assistants in the United States.

So, is there any room left for you?

Great question!

And the answer is yes.

Employment of physician assistants is projected to grow by 37 percent from 2016 to 2026, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. Growth will occur for a number of reasons.

Demand for healthcare services will increase because of the growing and aging population. Growth of the population means more need for healthcare services generally, and members of the large baby boom generation will require more medical care as they age. An increase in the number of patients with chronic diseases, such as diabetes, will also increase healthcare demand and, in turn, drive the need for healthcare providers including physician assistants who often provide preventive care and treat the sick. Furthermore, increases in incomes may improve access to healthcare services, and advances in medical technology will continue to increase the number and types of treatments available.

Physician assistants can provide many of the same services as physicians. PAs are expected to continue to have a growing role in providing healthcare services because they can be trained more quickly than physicians. Team-based healthcare provision models will continue to evolve and become more commonly used. Physician assistants will have growing roles in all areas of medicine as states expand allowable procedures and autonomy, and as insurance companies expand their coverage of physician assistant services.

Who is becoming a physician assistant?

According to datausa.io, the physician assistant workforce is 66.4% female.

What personal qualities and characteristics make a good physician assistant?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the following qualities are important to have as a physician assistant.

Communication skills. Physician assistants must explain complex medical issues in a way that patients can understand. They must also effectively communicate with doctors and other healthcare workers to ensure that they provide the best possible patient care.

Compassion. Physician assistants deal with patients who are sick or injured and may be in extreme pain or distress. They must treat patients and their families with compassion and understanding.

Detail oriented. Physician assistants should be observant and have a strong ability to focus when evaluating and treating patients.

Emotional stability. Physician assistants, particularly those working in surgery or emergency medicine, should work well under pressure. They must remain calm in stressful situations in order to provide quality care.

Problem-solving skills. Physician assistants need to evaluate patients’ symptoms and administer the appropriate treatments. They must be diligent when investigating complicated medical issues so they can determine the best course of treatment for each patient.

The bottom line: If becoming a physician assistant is something you feel passionately about, the one word of advice we will give you is: Go for it!