A Physician Assistant (PA) is a healthcare professional who is authorized by the state/province to practice medicine as part of a team with physicians. A Physician Assistant is concerned with preventing, maintaining, and treating human illness and injury by providing a broad range of health care services that were traditionally performed by a physician. Physician Assistants conduct physical exams, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret tests, counsel on preventive health care, assist in surgery, give medical orders and write prescriptions. Physician assistants work in hospitals, clinics, and other types of health facilities, and exercise autonomy in medical decision making as determined by their supervising physician. A clinical internship precedes obtaining a license to practice as a Physician Assistant. Renewal of licensure is necessary every few years, varying by state.
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