Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Physician Assistant Week

October 6-12 is National Physician Assistant Week. Physician Assistants (PAs) are healthcare providers who are nationally certified to practice medicine as part of a team with physicians. They play an integral role in the healthcare team, from basic primary care to assisting in major surgery. Educated in the same medical model as physicians, PAs provide a broad range of services. PAs typically acquire extensive healthcare training and experience before entering an intensive three year graduate level program that requires the same prerequisite courses as medical school. First, PA students study the essential medical sciences such as microbiology, anatomy, and physiology. Following this, the remainder of their training is spent doing clinical rotations in the fields of family medicine, internal medicine, OB-GYN, pediatrics, surgery and emergency medicine, to name a few.

PAs must be licensed in their state to practice medicine. In order to maintain certification, PAs must complete a recertification exam every six years and obtain 100 hours of continuing medical education every two years. The “C” in the designation PA-C, refers to a PA’s current certification.

This week in October is chosen to celebrate the PA profession in honor of the birthday of Eugene A Stead, Jr, MD, the father of the PA profession. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of PAs in the US is expected to grow 20% by the year 2020. PAs will continue to play a vital role in the treatment of patients, especially in light of the changing face of healthcare today.

 Dr. Badia has two PAs, Shirisha and Brandie. Both ladies received Masters in Medical Sciences degrees from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale and were extensively trained by Dr. Badia. They are able to diagnose and treat skin conditions, write prescriptions, as well as perform biopsies, excisions, and laser procedures. We hope you get the chance to interact with Shirisha and Brandie, and join us as we recognize Physician Assistant Week.

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