Tag Archives: Doctor’s Assistant

Becoming a Doctor’s Assistant

Doctor’s Assistants are certified medical professionals who work closely with doctors or surgeons to provide medical care to patients. Their responsibilities include examining patients, diagnosing injuries and illnesses, providing treatment, writing prescriptions, making rounds in hospitals, maintaining patient’s progress record, assisting in surgeries, educating patients and their families on health issues, and performing other assigned tasks in the setting.

Doctor’s Assistants work in various health care settings such as doctor’s offices, hospitals, clinics, emergency medicine facilities, nursing homes, outpatient care centers etc. They mostly work full time. They may work even in weekends, evenings or holidays.

Educational Requirements

To become a Doctor’s Assistant, the aspiring candidates need to earn a four- year bachelor’s degree program in science. Then, the candidates have to complete a two-year education program approved by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA).

The program includes classroom and laboratory instruction in subjects such as human anatomy, physiology, pathology, pharmacology, clinical medicine, physical diagnosis, and medical ethics. It also includes hundreds of hours of supervised clinical training in several areas, such as family medicine, emergency medicine, pediatrics etc.

However, most of the job aspirants have experience as registered nurses or as EMTs and paramedics before they apply to a physician assistant program.

Licensure and Certification

Since the practice of a Doctor’s Assistant requires to be licensed in all the states of USA, the aspiring candidates must have to pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE). These professionals can obtain exam-based certification from the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA).

Skill Set

Apart from clinical knowledge, Doctor’s Assistants possess various traits such as empathy towards patients, attentive to details, compassionate to work, ability to maintain calm and react effectively in emergency situation, physical stamina to work for long duration, ability to establish and maintain cordial relationship with patients and medical staff, record keeping skills, excellent verbal and written communication skills, competent in computer application etc.

Job Outlook and Salary

The job outlook for a Doctor’s Assistant remains excellent in USA. According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the growth rate for job opportunities in this profession may rise 38% from 2012 to 2022, much higher than the average for all occupations. The average annual salary of a Doctor’s Assistant was $ 90,930 in 2012.