Skip to main content
Sign In
 

What is a Physician Assistant?


Physician Assistants are skilled members of the health care team qualified to provide a broad range of health care services in practice with a licensed physician. PAs perform medical interviews and physical examinations, screening and interpreting results of diagnostic studies, diagnosing patients, implementing treatment plans, counseling patients regarding illness and preventative medicine, monitoring patients, and facilitating access to appropriate health care resources. These services may be provided to individuals of any age in various settings.

Physician Assistants must graduate from programs accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission for Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA), be certified by the National Commission for Certification of Physician Assistants, and be licensed or registered by the individual’s state board of medical examiners. Continued certification requires 100 hours of continuing medical education every two years and passing the recertification examination every ten years. The proficiency and cost effectiveness of the physician assistant demonstrate PAs are an important source of health care within the state of Colorado, nationally and internationally.
 
Physician Assistants work in a variety of clinical practice settings with physicians. PAs may work in any setting from large academic institutions to remote rural areas. PAs work in hospitals, single and multi-specialty practice groups, public and private clinics, armed services and many other settings. PAs work in every area of medicine including primary care and specialty and subspecialty practice. More information on the work setting and salaries of PAs may be found through the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA).