A physician assistant (also referred to as a “PA”) is a licensed health care professional who works under the supervision of a physician. Physician assistants complete an undergraduate degree, followed by intensive medical programs that prepare them to work with a physician. These professionals are taught to diagnose and treat medical problems, preparing them for a career as an extension of physician care. At Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA), physician assistants may be a key component of a patient’s care team.
The physician assistants at our five state-of-the-art cancer hospitals work with doctors and clinicians, performing duties that vary based on their educational background, their state of employment, their departmental position and other factors. The physician assistant’s responsibilities at CTCA® include working with patients in a clinical context, assisting physicians and performing certain medical procedures. PAs are typically responsible for conducting physical exams and may be involved in diagnosing and treating various illnesses. Physician assistants may order and interpret tests or prescribe certain medications. At CTCA, they provide a broad range of diagnostic and therapeutic services and help counsel patients on preventative health. Together with other members of the care team, physician assistants educate and empower patients to take a key role in their health care decisions.
When physician assistants are certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants, the designation is signaled by the credentials that follow their names: PA-C. Physician assistants at CTCA are part of a multidisciplinary team of doctors, nurses and other cancer care clinicians committed to providing personalized, comprehensive cancer care.