What is a Physician Assistant?

Physician Assistants are licensed and certified health care providers practicing under the supervision of a licensed physician. PAs are currently in high demand due to the increasing shortage of physicians. PAs are filling the shortage by making health care more affordable and accessible and providing families with the care they desire from health care professionals. To date, more than 90,000 certified PAs practice in every setting, including medical and surgical specialties.

PAs provide a broad range of health care services including (but not limited to):

  • Conducting physical exams
  • Ordering and interpreting tests
  • Diagnosing illnesses
  • Developing treatment plans
  • Performing procedures
  • Prescribing medications
  • Advising preventive health care
  • Assisting in surgery

After receiving training from an accredited program, typically lasting 27 months, PAs must pass the National Certifying Exam (PANCE) administered by the National Commission on Certification of PAs and obtain a license from the state in which they wish to practice.

Additional information on PAs can be found on the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) website.

Watch the MPAS videos below to learn more about the MPAS student experience.