PAs work in physician PA teams and are educated in a collaborative approach to healthcare. Because of their general medical background, PAs have flexibility in the types of medicine they can practice. That makes them responsive to changing healthcare needs. PAs are uniquely suited to provide preventive care services in all settings, from primary care to surgery. PAs work in physician PA teams (PDF) teams and are educated in a collaborative approach to healthcare, which improves coordination of care and can improve outcomes.
They are educated in intense educational programs that last approximately 26 months (3 academic years). This relatively short training period means that PAs can quickly begin practice, helping offset the worsening physician shortages. Pas extend the care that physicians provide and increase access to care. Studies have consistently shown that PAs provide high quality care with outcomes similar to physician provided care. Additionally, studies have shown that incorporating Pas into office or hospital practice can improve outcomes. Studies have also shown that patients are just as satisfied with medical care provided by PAs as with that provided by doctors and do not distinguish between types of care providers.
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PAs work in concert with physicians, complementing the physician’s ability to deliver a comprehensive range of medical and surgical services to diverse patient populations. PAs’ rigorous education, versatility and commitment to individualized treatment help physicians and practices function more efficiently and enhance continuity of health care. Though more PAs are entering health care each year, there are still some common questions about the PA profession. These questions regard physician supervision roles, PA prescribing capability, third-party reimbursement policies, malpractice coverage concerns and how to hire a PA.
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