Physician Assistant Profession

What is a Physician Assistant?

Physician Assistants (PAs) are health professionals licensed to practice medicine with physician supervision.

  • PAs are qualified by graduation from an accredited physician assistant educational program and certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA).
  • Within the physician/PA relationship, PAs exercise autonomy in medical decision making and provide a broad range of diagnostic and therapeutic services.
  • The clinical role of PAs include primary and specialty care in medical and surgical practice settings in rural and urban areas.
  • PA practice is centered on patient care and may include educational, research and administrative activities.

Informational Web Sites

The American Academy of Physician Assistants,

The AAPA represents all physician assistants and offers a variety of services to its members. Their mission is to promote quality, cost effective, accessible health care and promote the professional and personal development of physician assistants. The annual conference is attended by many PAs and is a great source of Continuing Medical Education opportunities. The Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants can be read at

The American Academy of Physician Assistants
2318 Mill Road, Suite 1300
Alexandria, Virginia, 22314
Fax: 703.684.1924

The National Commission on Certification of the Physician Assistant, Inc,

NCCPA assures that certified physician assistants meet professional standards of knowledge and skills. The NCCPA is the only credentialing organization for PAs in the United States.

National Commission on the Certification of Physician Assistants
12000 Findlay Road, Suite 100 |
Johns Creek, GA 30097-1409
678.417.8100     FAX: 678.417.8135

Pennsylvania Society of Physician Assistants,

PSPA enhances quality medical care to the people of Pennsylvania through a process of continuing medical education, both to its membership and the public; to provide loyal and honest service to the public and medical profession; to promote professionalism among its membership; and to promote an understanding of the PA profession.

Pennsylvania Society of Physician Assistants
PO Box 128
Greensburg, PA 15601
Fax: 724.836.4449

The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant,

ARC-PA is the recognized accrediting agency that protects the interests on the public and PA profession, and the welfare of students by defining the standards for PA education and evaluating PA educational programs within the territorial United States to ensure their compliance with those standards.

Accreditation Review Commission on
Education for the Physician Assistant
John McCarty, Executive Director
12000 Findley Road, Suite 240
Johns Creek, GA 30097-1409
Fax: 770. 476.1738

Physician Assistant Education Association,

PAEA pursues excellence, foster faculty development, advance the body of knowledge that defines quality education and patient-centered care, and promote diversity in all aspects of physician assistant education.

Physician Assistant Education Association
300 North Washington Street, Suite 710
Alexandria, Virginia 22314-2544
Fax: 703.548.5539