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Physician Assistants

An increased focus on primary care to reduce healthcare costs and improve care quality means that more mid-level patient care providers, like physician assistants, are needed to provide care in a variety of settings.

The demand for physician assistants in Western Massachusetts is growing due to health care reform and changing models of healthcare. An increased focus on primary care to reduce healthcare costs and improve care quality means that more mid-level patient care providers, like physician assistants, are needed to provide care in a variety of settings.

Physician assistants

Physician assistants provide a variety of diagnostic, therapeutic, preventive, and other healthcare services under the supervision of a physician or surgeon.  They often conduct complete physicals, provide treatments and counsel patients. PAs can also prescribe medications. Some physician assistants specialize in surgery or emergency medicine.

  • Care for patients directly by examining, instructing, treating and counseling them, especially in primary, preventative care situations
  • Evaluate patients and create care plans by taking medical histories, ordering and interpreting tests, and conferring with others in the care team, including physicians and nurses
  • Increase health care quality by helping patients manage chronic conditions so that they are less likely to need expensive or lengthy acute care at a hospital

Watch Video: American Academy of PAs – A quick and entertaining summary of what PAs are and what they can do.

Employment opportunities can be found in

Education and training requirements

Physician’s assistants most often hold a master’s degree. All physician assistants are required to pass a national certification examination. 

Physician assistants are also expected to have

  • Strong communication skills to work with care team and the patient to gather the information required to make accurate diagnoses
  • A comfort level with technology, including electronic medical records systems

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An Initiative of

This website was funded in part by Workforce STAT (Skills, Talent, Awareness, Training): Transforming Regional Capacity for Healthcare Education, Grant # CB18820. Workforce STAT was a $1.66 million Community Based Job Training Initiative through the U.S. Department of Labor. The website is also funded in part by a Healthcare Skills Gap Partnership grant through the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development. The grant program was funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and administered by Commonwealth Corporation.