Bone and Joint Blog

What is the Difference Between a Physician Assistant and a Doctor?

Posted Sep 25, 2020 11:14:00 AM

When the time comes to seek medical care for an orthopedic injury or condition, there are some key factors that everyone considers: convenience, skill and expertise, and bedside manner to name a few. What you might be less likely to consider is whether you should see a physician or a physician assistant (PA). However, many patients are pleasantly surprised to learn the full scope of services that PAs are able to provide and the growing number of benefits they bring to healthcare.

Physician Assistants are Medically Trained

The key difference between medical training of a doctor and physician assistant is time. Typically, doctors complete four years of medical school, followed by an internship and residency. PAs, on the other hand, complete their training in two years. During those two years, they see and experience many of the same scenarios as their medical doctor counterparts, including surgical procedures. In addition, many PAs choose their path following a career which has already given them experience in the medical field, such as paramedic.

Physician Assistants can Write Prescriptions

Given their extensive medical training, PAs have the skill and expertise needed to conduct physical exams, order tests, determine diagnosis, and provide treatment options to patients, including writing and refilling prescription medications.

Physician Assistants Work Under the Direction of a Physician

PAs can provide many of the same services that a doctor can in a clinic setting, but they do all of it under the watchful eye of a supervising physician. If a PA is ever uncertain regarding a patient’s condition or appropriate course of treatment, there is another, experienced medical professional to whom they can turn, essentially giving patients two providers in one.

Physician Assistants are Easily Accessible

Most doctors have a day packed with patients, procedures, and red tape. Physician assistants, however, have much lighter patient loads with which to contend. Their schedules tend to be more open, making them easier to schedule a quick appointment with and often meaning that they have greater amounts of time to devote to each case.

Orthopedic Physician Assistant Brusly

When it comes to orthopedic care in and around the Baton Rouge area, Bone and Joint Clinic has become a leader in every aspect from initial diagnosis to surgical repair. Now, our team of experts has expanded to embrace the many positive patient benefits that can come from quality PA-provided care as well. Joseph Halphen is a certified physician assistant, currently treating patients in our Brusly location. If you are experiencing orthopedic troubles and are ready to experience exceptional care from a qualified PA provider, contact us today and request an appointment with Joseph.

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