I might want to be a PA.

Please check the RRCC PA program homepage for the dates of general information sessions. These sessions are provided by the faculty for those who would like more information about the PA profession and the RRCC program.

What Is a Physician Assistant?

Physician assistants (PAs) are health professionals licensed to practice medicine with physician supervision. PAs perform a comprehensive range of medical duties, from basic primary care to high-technology specialty procedures. PAs often act as first or second assistants in major surgery and provide pre- and postoperative care.

In some rural areas where physicians are in short supply, PAs serve as the primary providers of health care, conferring with their supervising physicians and other medical professionals as needed and as required by law. PAs can be found in virtually every medical and surgical specialty.

The PA’s responsibilities depend on the type of practice, his or her experience, the working relationship with physicians and other health care providers, and state laws. There are approximately 68,100 practicing PAs in the United States as of January 2009.

How Did the Profession Get Started?

The PA profession emerged in the mid-1960s to alleviate a problem of physician maldistribution and to increase the public’s access to quality health care. The first PA educational program was started at Duke University in North Carolina. The first PAs were former medical corpsmen who wanted to use their medical skills in civilian life.

This information comes from the AAPA website. Please see the AAPA website for more information about physician assistants