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Online Physician Assistant Degrees and Careers

Physician assistants work under the supervision of a physician or surgeon and practice medicine. Physical assistant jobs involve a variety of health care functions in therapeutic, preventive, and diagnostic medicine with an emphasis on patient care and performing as part of a medical team. In locations where a doctor is in demand and a regular physician isn't available on a full-time basis the physician assistant takes on the role of primary health care provider. The physician assistant records medical histories, treats patients, orders laboratory tests and interprets the results, treats minor illnesses and injuries, and prescribes medications. Some physical assistants work in specialties that include emergency medicine, pediatrics, geriatrics, surgery, and therapy.

Education & Career Opportunities in Physician Assistant

Physical Assistant jobs are in high demand and are increasing at a faster rate than most occupations. According to the most recent statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, physician assistant jobs could see up to 39 percent growth between 2008 and 2018. Medical schools, four-year universities, and community colleges offer physician assistant degrees.

Most prospective students already have a college degree or experience in health care. All states require Physician Assistants to pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination administered by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA). The exam is open only to graduates of an accredited PA program. In 2009 physician assistants earned a median salary of $84,420, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.


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