TOP TEN ATTRIBUTES DOCTORS LOOK FOR WHEN HIRING PHYSICIAN ASSISTANTS
1. Bedside manner. Ability to
successfully act as a liaison between patients and doctors.
2. Integrity and a strong sense of
ethics. Not afraid to ask for help when dealing with unknown variables.
3. Ability to be a team player.
Work with different personalities and draw on the strengths of each person to
make the overall team stronger.
4. Ability to soak up and retain
information and apply that knowledge, combined with skills, in new work
5. Flexibility within work
schedule. Open to both clinic and or based positions.
Ability to work with a demanding
weekly schedule and/or call schedule.
6. Experience prior to PA and/or NP
education in field of interest, whether paid or as a volunteer. (Physicians
love to see value-added skill-sets in related fields.)
7. Stable work history, which is an
indicator or workplace loyalty and dedication.
8. Topnotch communication skills,
both verbal and written. Fluency with EMR.
9. Currently licensed in state
where applying for position.
10. Ties to the area, i.e., family,
undergraduate education, etc.
Physician Assistants are health care professionals licensed, or in the case of those employed by the federal government are credentialed, to practice medicine with physician supervision. As part of their comprehensive responsibilities, PA's conduct physical exams, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret tests, counsel on preventive health care, assist in surgery, and write prescriptions. Within the physician-PA relationship, physician assistants exercise autonomy in medical decision making and provide a broad range of diagnostic and therapeutic services. A PA's practice may also include education, research, and administrative services.
PAs are trained in intensive education programs accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA).
Because of the close working relationship the PAs have with physicians, PAs are educated in the medical model designed to complement physician training. Upon graduation, physician assistants take a national certification examination developed by the National Commission on Certification of PAs in conjunction with the National Board of Medical Examiners. To maintain their national certification, PAs must log 100 hours of continuing medical education every two years and sit for a recertification every six years. Graduation from an accredited physician assistant program and passage of the national certifying exam are required for state licensure.
A Nurse Practitioner (NP) is a registered nurse who has completed specific advanced nursing education (generally a master's degree) and training in the diagnosis and management of common as well as complex medical conditions. Nurse Practitioners provide a broad range of health care services. NP's, in many states, are considered "Mid-level Providers/Practitioners" or "Physician Extenders," along with Clinical Nurse Specialists, Certified Nurse Midwives, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists and Physician Assistants. In a minority of states they work relatively independently (see scope of practice section in this article). In some states, NPs admit and follow their patients in hospitals. Some NPs work in emergency rooms evaluating, diagnosing and treating patients with lacerations and fractures. In some states, NPs open their own clinics and offices, in most other areas they work in collaboration with physicians, and in some states under supervision of a physician.In the US, NPs are licensed by the state in which they practice, and have a national board certification (usually through the American Nurses Credentialing Center or American Academy of Nurse Practitioners). Nurse Practitioners can be trained and nationally board certified in areas of Family & Community Medicine (FNP), Pediatrics, including Pediatric Acute/Chronic Care, Pediatric Critical Care, Pediatric Oncology and general Pediatrics (PNP), Neonatology (NNP), Gerontology (GNP), Women's Health (emphasis on reproductive & gynecological health) (WHNP), Psychiatry & Mental Health (PMHNP), Acute Care (ACNP), Adult Health (ANP), Oncology (ONP), Emergency Medicine (as FNP or ACNP), Occupational Health (as ANP), etc. These programs, offered by many universities with a School of Nursing, are graduate-level programs; upon successful completion, students are awarded a Master of Science in Nursing degree (M.S.N.). Nurse Practitioners treat both acute and chronic conditions through comprehensive history taking, physical exams, physical therapy, ordering tests and therapies for patients, within their scope of practice. An NP can serve as a patient's "point of entry" health care provider, and see patients of all ages depending on their designated scope of practice. The core philosophy of the field is individualized care. Nurse Practitioners focus on patients' conditions as well as the effects of illness on the lives of the patients and their families.