Physician Associates (sometimes also called Physician Assistants) are an important part of the healthcare system, and this is the week when we celebrate them!
There are about 150,000 Physical Assistants in the U.S. right now, and the field is growing faster than most occupations. The profession began in the 1970s as a response to physician shortages. The physician shortage has continued to be a problem across the nation, and PAs are an important part of the solution.
PAs are licensed clinicians who have graduated from a professional PA training program. They are required to have at least 2,000 hours of clinical experience. They must complete 100 hours of continued education every two years in order to maintain their certification.
The professional organization for PAs, the AAPA, determined last year to change the name from “Physician Assistant” to “Physician Associate.” This change is expected to correct the misconception that PAs are assistants to doctors. In fact, they are state-certified healthcare professionals who diagnose and treat patients, prescribe medications, and work with a healthcare team to achieve the best possible health outcome for all their patients.
PAs go beyond
The theme for this year’s PA Week is “PAs Go Beyond!” The idea is to recognize that the philosophy behind PA training emphasizes care for the whole patient.
PAs work in every medical setting, from private practice to hospitals, and they can be found in every medical and surgical specialty. One thing they all have in common: a commitment to patient-centered, team-focused care. PAs stand up for their communities and go beyond the basics of patient care.
MANA is proud to have several PAs on clinic staff. Nicole Delaney is one. She is on staff at MANA Urgent Care, where Steven Johnson is also a PA. Anna Hudson and Ben Sexton are PAs at MANA Family Medicine South.
If you see any of our PAs this week, it’s a great time to let them know that you appreciate them!