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Physician Assistants

Glenda Cardona, PA-C – BreatheAmerica El Paso A physician assistant, also known simply as “PA”, is a nationally certified and state-licensed medical professional that practices medicine with physicians and other providers. PAs practice medicine and prescribe medication in all 50 states, including the District of Columbia and all U.S. territories with the exception of Puerto Rico.

After completing the same prerequisite courses as medical schools, physician assistants go through approximately 26 months (3 academic years) of rigorous training including a total of 2,000 or more clinical hours of clinical rotations in family medicine, internal medicine, OB/GYN, pediatrics, general surgery, emergency medicine and psychiatry.  Once a student graduates PA school, they must pass the six-hour Physician Assistant National Certification Exam (PANCE) administered by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA). Once certified, the PA must obtain a license in the state they wish to practice in. In order to maintain certification, a PA must pass a recertification exam (PANRE) every ten years and complete 100 hours of continuing medical education (CME) every 2 years.  “PA-C” after the physician assistant’s name means that they are currently certified.

Physician Assistants work in all specialties and settings. They treat patients in hospitals, physician offices, rural and urban community health centers, nursing homes, retail clinics, schools and university-based facilities, industrial settings and correctional institutions. PAs work in family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, cardiology, pulmonology and gastroenterology, just to name a few. They may take your medical history, perform physical exam, diagnose and treat illness, order and interpret blood tests and imaging services, counsel on preventive care, assist in surgery and write prescriptions. You may find that it is a lot easier to book an appointment with a physician assistant, especially if you need to be seen on short notice.

Here at BreatheAmerica, we want to recognize and celebrate the value of more than 100,000 clinical practicing PAs throughout the nation.

Make an appointment to see your Physician Assistant today and get your health back on track!

Information gathered from AAPA.ORG