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Physician Assistants

Also called: Certified Physician Assistant (PA-C), Family Practice Physician Assistant, Physician Assistant Certified (PAC), Physician's Assistant

Where in the Coast Guard? In the Coast Guard: Physician's Assistant; Physicians Assistant

What they do:
Provide healthcare services typically performed by a physician, under the supervision of a physician. Conduct complete physicals, provide treatment, and counsel patients. May, in some cases, prescribe medication. Must graduate from an accredited educational program for physician assistants.
On the job, you would:
  • Examine patients to obtain information about their physical condition.
  • Make tentative diagnoses and decisions about management and treatment of patients.
  • Prescribe therapy or medication with physician approval.


  • medicine and dentistry
  • therapy and counseling
Math and Science
  • biology
  • psychology
Arts and Humanities
  • English language
  • customer service


Basic Skills
  • listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
  • reading work related information
Problem Solving
  • noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
People and Technology Systems
  • thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one
  • figuring out how a system should work and how changes in the future will affect it


  • communicate by speaking
  • listen and understand what people say
Ideas and Logic
  • make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
  • use rules to solve problems
Visual Understanding
  • quickly compare groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things
  • quickly know what you are looking at
  • add, subtract, multiply, or divide


People interested in this work like activities that include helping people, teaching, and talking.
They do well at jobs that need:
  • Integrity
  • Attention to Detail
  • Concern for Others
  • Dependability
  • Cooperation
  • Stress Tolerance


You might use software like this on the job:

Medical software
  • ChartWare software
  • Electronic medical record EMR software
Spreadsheet software
  • Microsoft Excel
Office suite software
  • Microsoft Office software


Education: (rated 5 of 5)
master's degree or
bachelor's degree
usually needed

Get started on your career:

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Job Outlook

Bright Outlook
New job opportunities are very likely in the future.
per year, on average
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See more details at O*NET OnLine about physician assistants.