The Beginning of a Profession: Physician Assistants
Physician Assistants, also known as PA’s, practice medicine under the supervision of physicians and surgeons. Physician Assistants perform physical examinations, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret lab tests, perform procedures, assist in surgery, provide patient education and counseling and make rounds in hospitals and nursing homes. In other words, PA’s do everything physicians do except perform surgery. However, physician assistants are not licensed to run their own private practice, so they usually work in environments like hospitals and clinics under the authority of a physician. Physician assistants study medicine as a team and exercise a range of practice and knowledge information alike to their fellow physician. PA’s go through two to three years of graduate schooling after obtaining their bachelor degrees and usually have an additional two to three years of healthcare experience. Physician Assistant school is modeled like the medical school curriculum. Both classroom and clinical applications are a part of PA school. Physician assistant is an extraordinary career with great potential and growing opportunities. History:
Founded in the mid 1960’s, the physician assistant field has been around for more than 45 years. The idea of having a physician assistant profession was first proposed in 1961 by a man named Charles Hudson. Hudson suggested the “creation of two new groups of assistants to doctors from nonmedical and non-nursing personnel” to the American Medical Association. In 1965, a man by the name of Dr. Eugene A. Stead, a professor of Medicine and Chairman of the Department of Medicine at Duke University at the time, established the first group of physician assistants. Dr. Eugene Anson Stead Jr, born on October 6, 1908, was a medical instructor, researcher, and best known as the founder of the physician assistant profession. He earned his undergraduate and medical...
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