Find up to date salary information for jobs by country, and compare with national average, city average, and other job positions.

Physician Assistant Job Description

Job Title: Physician Assistant

Overview/Summary of the Role:
A Physician Assistant (PA) is a licensed medical professional who works under the supervision of a physician to provide patient care. PAs perform a variety of diagnostic, preventative, and therapeutic procedures in various healthcare settings. They help patients manage medical problems and promote healthy lifestyles. PAs are responsible for working with physicians and other healthcare professionals to deliver high-quality care and ensure optimal patient outcomes.

Responsibilities and Duties:
Some of the responsibilities and duties of a Physician Assistant include:

1. Conducting physical exams and documenting medical histories.
2. Ordering and interpreting diagnostic tests such as X-rays or lab work.
3. Prescribing and administering medications.
4. Developing and implementing treatment plans.
5. Performing minor procedures such as suturing and casting.
6. Counseling and educating patients on health-related topics.
7. Collaborating with physicians and other healthcare professionals to deliver comprehensive care.
8. Maintaining accurate and complete medical records.
9. Participating in quality improvement initiatives to promote patient safety and satisfaction.
10. Contributing to the education and training of medical students and residents.

Qualifications and Skills:

Hard Skills:
1. Knowledge of human anatomy, physiology, and pharmacology.
2. Proficiency in performing physical exams and diagnostic tests.
3. Competence in prescribing and administering medications.
4. Familiarity with healthcare laws and regulations.
5. Ability to use electronic health record systems and other medical software.
6. Knowledge of medical terminology and protocols.
7. Ability to perform minor procedures.

Soft Skills:
1. Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
2. Strong critical-thinking and problem-solving skills.
3. Ability to work collaboratively with physicians and other healthcare professionals.
4. Empathetic and compassionate approach to patient care.
5. Strong organizational and time-management skills.
6. Ability to work under pressure and in a fast-paced environment.
7. Commitment to continuous learning and professional development.

Education and Experience:

1. Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution.
2. Completion of an accredited Physician Assistant program.
3. National certification through the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA).
4. State licensure to practice as a Physician Assistant.

1. Master's degree from an accredited institution.
2. Prior healthcare experience as a medical assistant, nurse, or other healthcare role.
3. Familiarity with specialties such as surgery, internal medicine, or pediatrics.

Licensing (if applicable):
In the United States, physician assistants must be licensed to practice in all 50 states. To become licensed, an individual must have completed an accredited physician assistant program and pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE) offered by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA).

Typical Employers:
Physician assistants can be found working in a variety of settings including hospitals, clinics, private practices, and other healthcare facilities. They may also work in schools or other settings where they provide medical care to employees or students.

Work Environment:
Physician assistants tend to work in fast-paced and high-pressure environments. They may be required to work long hours or be on call for emergency situations. They typically work in healthcare settings, either alongside physicians or in a more independent capacity.

Career Pathways (both leading to this position and next positions):
To become a physician assistant, an individual must have completed a bachelor's degree and then attend a physician assistant program. After completing the program, the individual must pass the PANCE to become licensed.

From there, physician assistants may choose to specialize in a specific area of medicine or work their way up to a leadership position within their organization. Some may also choose to pursue additional education and become physicians or other healthcare professionals.

Job Growth Trend (USA and Global):
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of physician assistants in the United States is projected to grow 31 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. This growth is due in part to an increasing demand for healthcare services and a shortage of physicians. The job growth trend for physician assistants is also positive globally, as many countries are experiencing similar healthcare workforce challenges.

Career Satisfaction:
Physician assistants generally report a high level of satisfaction with their job. They are able to work in various medical specialties, providing patient care, performing physical exams, diagnosing illnesses, ordering and interpreting tests, and prescribing medications. Additionally, they are able to work in various settings including hospitals, clinics, and private practices. The job is also challenging and intellectually stimulating, which contributes to job satisfaction.

Related Job Positions:
Some related job positions include medical assistants, nurses, nurse practitioners, and physicians.

Connected People:
Physician assistants interact with other healthcare professionals such as physicians, nurses, medical assistants, patients, and their families.

Average Salary:
In the USA, the average salary for a physician assistant is around $108,000 per year. In the UK, the average salary for a physician assistant is around £37,000 per year. In Germany, the average salary for a physician assistant is around €50,000 per year. In India, the average salary for a physician assistant is around ₹360,000 per year. In Brazil, the average salary for a physician assistant is around R$85,000 per year.

Benefits Package:
Typical benefits packages for physician assistants include healthcare insurance, retirement plans, paid time off, and continuing education opportunities.

Schedule and Hours Required:
The schedule and hours required for physician assistants vary depending on the setting in which they work. Many work full-time and may work long hours, including weekends and holidays, depending on the needs of their patients. However, there are some opportunities for part-time work as well.

Level of Autonomy:
Physician assistants typically work under the supervision of a licensed physician, but they do enjoy a certain level of autonomy. They can evaluate patients, order diagnostic tests, develop treatment plans, and prescribe medications. However, they must collaborate with their supervising physician on more complex cases, and they cannot perform certain procedures without the physician's guidance.

Opportunities for Professional Development and Advancement:
Many physician assistants pursue advanced degrees or certifications to specialize in a particular area of medicine or to take on leadership roles within their organizations. Some become professors, researchers, or administrators. Additionally, physician assistants can gain experience and advance in their careers by taking on more complex cases and assuming additional responsibilities.

Specialized Skills or Knowledge Required:
To become a physician assistant, individuals must complete a master's level program that includes coursework in anatomy, pharmacology, clinical medicine, and other areas. Additionally, physician assistants must have strong communication skills, critical thinking abilities, and the ability to work well under pressure. In some cases, specialized knowledge or skills may be required depending on the area of medicine in which the physician assistant works.

Physical Demands:
Working as a physician assistant can be physically demanding, as they must be able to stand for long periods of time, lift and move patients, and perform other tasks that require physical strength and stamina. Additionally, they may work long hours and be on call during off hours.

Tools and Technologies Used:
Physician assistants use a variety of tools and technologies in their work, including medical equipment such as stethoscopes, blood pressure cuffs, and otoscopes. They also use technology for medical record-keeping, communication, and research. As technology advances, physician assistants must stay current on new tools and devices that can improve patient care.

Work Style:
Physician assistants must be able to handle high-pressure situations and make decisions quickly. They should also have strong problem-solving and critical thinking skills. The job requires attention to detail and the ability to follow protocols and procedures accurately. Physician assistants should be patient-focused and have a passion for helping people. They should be able to work efficiently and remain organized while handling multiple tasks at once.

Working Conditions:
Physician assistants work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, primary care clinics, and specialty practices. They may work long hours, including evenings and weekends. Although they generally work in indoor settings, they may be exposed to infectious diseases and other hazards in some situations.

Team Size and Structure:
Physician assistants work as part of a healthcare team and must collaborate with physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals. They may work closely with a specific physician or work with multiple providers in a practice. They may also supervise medical assistants or other staff members.

Collaboration and Communication Requirements:
Communication is critical for physician assistants as they communicate with patients and colleagues throughout the day. They must be able to explain health conditions and treatment plans to patients and families. They must also be able to work collaboratively with physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals to provide the best possible care.

Cultural Fit and Company Values:
Physician assistants must share the company’s values and philosophy of patient care. They must also be committed to lifelong learning and professional growth. A cultural fit is important to ensure that the physician assistant can align with the team’s goals and values while delivering the best possible patient care. It is important that physician assistants are compassionate, empathetic, and have excellent bedside manners to build strong patient relationships.