Tel. +44 (0)20 7287 4414
Tel. +44 (0)20 7287 4414
The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.
The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.

Bruges Group Blog

Spearheading the intellectual battle against the EU. And for new thinking in international affairs.

A Physician Assistant's Amazing Role in Healthcare


Physician assistants (PAs) are rapidly becoming integral providers in healthcare. Their advanced medical training, versatility, and collaborative approach enable PAs to help fill provider gaps, increase access, coordinate care, and elevate outcomes. Pursuing a career as a Physician Assistant offers tremendous rewards and growth opportunities. PAs earn excellent salaries while making a real difference in patient lives through quality medical care. The demanding yet exciting PA role allows for providing hands-on medicine with versatility across specialties. PAs get to diagnose, treat, and develop care plans while avoiding the full length of medical school. With doctor shortages worsening, skilled PAs are in high demand nationwide. Being a PA means earning strong pay to practice medicine directly with patients, all without the burdens of being the lead physician.

Certain states offer especially favorable environments for PAs thanks to good salaries, autonomy, scope of practice laws, and high demand.

The PA's Crucial Role

After obtaining a master's degree and passing a national exam, PAs can prescribe medications, examine patients, order tests, assist in surgery, and more under a licensed physician's supervision. PAs perform physical exams, diagnose illnesses, develop treatment plans, counsel patients on health issues, assist with medical procedures, and can even serve as a patient's primary care provider.

With an average salary around $115,000, PAs deliver cost-effective care. Their generalized medical education allows working across specialties from family medicine to emergency departments to psychiatry. This versatility makes PAs extremely valuable in addressing provider shortages.

PA practice is centered on patient-focused, team-based care. PAs emphasize clear communication, coordination amongst health professionals, and a holistic view of a patient's physical and mental health needs. Their compassionate, comprehensive approach improves outcomes.

The PA role was designed to be collaborative in nature, working alongside and under the oversight of a medical doctor or doctor of osteopathic medicine. While PAs can examine, diagnose, and treat patients, as well as prescribe medication in most states, they are not fully independent providers. A supervising physician must be available for consultation and collaboration on medical decisions.

The degree of physician oversight required varies by state. Some states allow more autonomy for experienced PAs working in rural or underserved areas. However, PAs are still legally required to have an official supervising physician to enable their practice.

Best States for PAs

Several factors make a state favorable for PA practice, including autonomy, demand, and compensation. Highlights of the best states to be a PA include:

New Mexico - Extensive PA autonomy in rural areas with provider shortages. Also strong PA salaries.

Maine - Wide PA scope of practice. Shortage of primary care in rural regions boosts demand.

Iowa - High PA salaries and autonomous rural practice after successful physician collaboration.

Oregon - Broad PA prescribing authority and practice independence, especially in underserved areas.

Washington - High PA salaries and autonomy. Huge need for primary care providers.

Vermont - One of the highest employment levels and incomes for PAs. Scope steadily increasing.

Utah - Law grants very wide PA practice authority comparable to physicians.

Alaska - Significant prescribing independence and scope of practice for PAs.

Physician shortages will continue boosting reliance on PAs across many states. PAs bring immense value through versatile skills, collaborative mentality, personalized care, and cost-efficiency. Their role in filling healthcare gaps and improving outcomes continues to expand. For PAs seeking the best opportunities, states allowing greater autonomy and incomes will lead the way. 

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Director : Robert Oulds
Tel: 020 7287 4414
Chairman: Barry Legg
The Bruges Group
246 Linen Hall, 162-168 Regent Street
London W1B 5TB
United Kingdom
Founder President :
The Rt Hon. the Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven LG, OM, FRS 
Vice-President : The Rt Hon. the Lord Lamont of Lerwick,
Chairman: Barry Legg
Director : Robert Oulds MA, FRSA
Washington D.C. Representative : John O'Sullivan CBE
Founder Chairman : Lord Harris of High Cross
Head of Media: Jack Soames