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Pat Capps Covey College of Allied Health Professions
Department of Physician Assistant Studies
What Is a PA?
•  What is a PA?
•  The Program
•  Mission, Vision, and Goals
•  Curriculum
•  Admissions
•  Veteran Applicants
•  How to Apply
•  Tuition and Expenses
•  Technical Standards
•  Program Completion
•  Matriculation Requirements
•  Accreditation & PANCE
•  Scholarships
•  Primary Care
•  Faculty & Staff
•  Alumni
•  Resources
•  Contact Us

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Physician Assistants (PAs) are highly licensed health care practitioners who provide medical services traditionally performed only by a physician. The quality and value of the services they provide is well recognized and they are highly sought after by physicians and institutional employers in virtually all medical and surgical specialties and settings.

Physician Assistants take medical histories, perform physical examinations, and order and analyze diagnostic data such as laboratory tests, electrocardiograms and imaging studies. They also perform therapeutic procedures such as suturing, removal of minor lesions and casting. The Physician Assistant develops and implements a treatment plan and makes appropriate decisions regarding referral and findings to the supervising physician and other health professionals in developing a patient treatment plan. Physician Assistants also prescribe medication.

Patient education and counseling are important aspects of a physician assistant’s daily activities. Physician Assistants advise patients concerning preventive health care and provide education regarding the patient's medical problems. Physician Assistants also counsel patients regarding the management of health risk behaviors.

To perform at this level of responsibility, much of the education of Physician Assistants is provided by physicians in order to assure that the patient-care functions provided by the Physician Assistant are equivalent in quality to those of the physician who delegates them.

University of South Alabama Pat Capps Covey College of Allied Health Professions Department of Physician Assistant Studies