Physician assistant (PA)

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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).




The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.