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Physician Assistant (PA)

Physician assistants (PAs) are health professionals who practice medicine under a doctor's supervision in medical and surgical settings. They can perform routine exams, order lab work and X-rays, prescribe medicines, and counsel people about their health.

A physician assistant completes an accredited PA program after college. Then he or she is eligible to take the Physician Assistant National Certification Examination (PANCE).

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerCatherine D. Serio, PhD - Behavioral Health
Specialist Medical ReviewerBrian D. O'Brien, MD - Internal Medicine
Last RevisedFebruary 25, 2013

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: February 25, 2013
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