Medical Assistants & Physician Assistants: What’s the Difference?

Categories: Medical Assisting

Though similarly named, the Medical Assistant and Physician Assistant fields are actually very different. To help clarify what each of these careers entail, it is important to understand the specific roles and duties performed by professionals in each field. Physician Assistants Physician Assistants, or PAs, are given specific duties to perform from their supervising physicians or surgeons. Many duties that PAs perform on a regular basis include providing diagnostic, therapeutic, and preventative healthcare to patients; examining patients; treating minor injuries; prescribing medications; counseling patients; and helping to promote overall wellness. PAs are also responsible for administrative duties like taking medical histories, ordering and interpreting lab tests and X-rays, and helping to determine diagnoses. Many Physician Assistants work in primary care specialties like family medicine, emergency medicine, pediatrics, general surgery, internal medicine, orthopedics, or geriatrics. It is crucial for PAs to be quick to react to emergency situations, have a strong…