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A Physician assistant (PA) is an individual who has successfully completed a Physician Assistant program and is licensed by the state (or states) to practice as a PA. Many applicants have Bachelor's or Master's degrees. Medical schools, colleges, community colleges, and teaching hospitals offer PA programs, which combine classroom and clinical study. The duration of study is approximately two years.
Physician assistants can take medical histories, examine and treat patients, order and interpret laboratory tests and imaging studies, treat minor injuries, instruct and counsel patients, and order various treatment modalities. In most states, PAs can also prescribe medications. Many states require certification and registration with the state medical board.
Physician assistants, who work only under the supervision of doctors, are employed in hospitals, clinics, and private offices. Two years of college and health care experience are common requirements for admission to physician assistant training programs..
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