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What do physician assistants and nurse practitioners do?

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Physician assistants and nurse practitioners have received advanced degrees and special training. The rules for what kind of care they provide are up to each state. Typically, they can provide many of the same services as a doctor, such as:

In some states, they can write prescriptions. They also may perform minor surgery.

  • Give exams
  • Treat minor injuries
  • Explain lab results

From: Who's Who at the Doctor's Office WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

Center for Advancing Health: “Your Doctor’s Office Demystified,” "Who’s Who in Your Doctor’s Office?”

American Nurses Association: “What Nurses Do.”

University of Rochester Medical Center: "Who's Who in Health Care."

California Department of Consumer Affairs, Physician Assistant Board: “Frequently Asked Questions about Supervising Physician Assistants.”

American College of Physicians: "Patient Centered Medical Home."

U.S. Department of Labor: “What Registered Nurses Do,” “What Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses Do.”

Reviewed by Minesh Khatri on July 30, 2019

SOURCES:

Center for Advancing Health: “Your Doctor’s Office Demystified,” "Who’s Who in Your Doctor’s Office?”

American Nurses Association: “What Nurses Do.”

University of Rochester Medical Center: "Who's Who in Health Care."

California Department of Consumer Affairs, Physician Assistant Board: “Frequently Asked Questions about Supervising Physician Assistants.”

American College of Physicians: "Patient Centered Medical Home."

U.S. Department of Labor: “What Registered Nurses Do,” “What Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses Do.”

Reviewed by Minesh Khatri on July 30, 2019

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What qualifications does a doctor have?

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