Missouri State University

What is a Physician Assistant?

Assistant inspecting a patient.Physician assistants are health professionals licensed to practice medicine with physician supervision. Physician assistants are qualified by graduation from an accredited physician assistant educational program and/or by certification by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants. Within the physician/PA relationship, physician assistants exercise autonomy in medical decision making and provide a broad range of diagnostic and therapeutic services. The clinical role of physician assistants includes primary and specialty care in medical and surgical practice settings in rural and urban areas. Physician assistant practice is centered on patient care and may include educational, research and administrative roles.

Source: American Academy of Physician Assistant's Professional Practice Council