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College of Health Sciences > Physician Assistant Studies Program > Info About the PA Profession
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The Physician Assistant Profession

A Physician Assistant (PA) is a health care professional licensed to provide medical care with physician supervision. PAs practice a medical/physician model of patient care, which centers on treating diseases and emphasizes the biological/pathologic aspects of health, assessment, diagnosis and treatment. In accordance to the regulations of a particular state’s medical licensing board, PAs function as an extension of a supervising physician.

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Physician Assistant Career Opportunities, Job Outlook, and Salary

Job prospects for the PA profession are very encouraging. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics expects PA jobs to increase by 27% from 2006-2016, much faster than average for all occupations, making it one of the top 10 professions for future job growth in the next 10 years.

In a 2008 census taken by the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA), over 93% of all PAs in the state of IL are employed within the profession. Salaries are competitive and job security for PAs is excellent. In this time of economic uncertainty, healthcare professionals are expected to continue to be in high demand.

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Licensure for Physician Assistants

PAs are licensed to practice in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, as well as Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. Certification for PAs is obtained by passing The Physician Assistant National Certification Examination (PANCE).

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