The Importance of Physician Assistants

October 10, 2023

About Our Physician Assistants

At Beth Israel Lahey Health (BILH), our physician assistants (PA) work closely in collaboration with our physicians to provide continuing care for your overall health. Our physician assistants can be found working with patients seeking a range of services including the diagnosis of influenza, and other common illnesses, as well as aiding in minor procedures.

What is a Physician Assistant?

Physician assistants are licensed medical professionals who work directly with patients of all ages in a variety of specialties and services. PAs, who can often provide many of the same services as the physicians they work alongside, have master’s degrees in medicine from accredited programs and become accredited by passing state licensing exams. The programs, which normally span two years, focus on academic education along with clinical rotations. Advanced practitioners also keep up to date by practicing medicine, attending conferences and participating in continuing medical education courses.

Physician assistant candidates have a select number of qualifications that they must meet to be a successful PA. Our PAs are strong communicators who lead and serve patients with empathy and use their wide array of knowledge to benefit patients.

What Do Our Physician Assistants Do?

Many of our advanced practitioners do not practice as primary care providers but rather focus on team-centered efforts with our physicians to help care for patients. They’re able to assess, diagnose and treat all acute and chronic diseases. They provide counseling, coordinate care and educate patients about their illnesses. Like your physician, they’re able to prescribe medications, order laboratory and radiological tests and interpret those results.

Roles and Responsibilities of PAs 

  • Same-day care for urgent medical problems
  • Continuing care for an ongoing chronic condition (diabetes, high blood pressure)
  • Annual physical exams
  • Diagnose common illnesses
  • Prescribe medications

As BILH continues to expand as a system, we welcome healthcare professionals to take an opportunity to join our team. Learn more about how to become a BILH physician assistant today.