Tag Archives: mid-level providers

Physician Assistants: From Clinic to O.R., Partners in Health


[Content warning: this episode contains discussions interprofessional trust and understanding that people who complain about mid-level creep will find disturbing. Listener discretion is advised.]

Partners in Health

Physician Associate (formerly Physician Assistant) students learn the preclinical curriculum right along side their Doctor of Medicine colleagues here at Iowa. Of course, that means they learn the same things, but also the level of trust and mutual understanding between the two professions is that much more explicit. October 6 to 12 is Physician Associates Week, and PA1 producer Noah Vasquez rounded up some classmates–Olivia Quinby, Emily Sarvis, and Noah Herkert–to talk about how they chose their future profession, what they’re learning, and what their plans are after they graduate.

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Physician Assistant Week!


A relatively new partner in medicine, the Physician Assistant has become vital to team-based healthcare


  • The Physician Assistant can do most things an MD can do, aside from prescribing certain kinds drugs, and they don’t usually practice independently.
  • Iowa’s interesting because PA students train with MD students during their didactics. This close contact means that trust is established early between the two professions.
  • PAs must amass so many hours of clinical activity before they enter school that they start with MUCH more experience than MDs usually do.

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It’s PA Week across this great land, and to celebrate we’ve got physician assistant students on the mic. PA2s Liz Patton and Chris Ball join M2s Rick Gardner and Brianna Wright to talk about their relatively young profession. Why did they choose to pursue a career as a physician assistant? What do PAs actually do, and how is it different from the jobs of other healthcare pros? What’s the training like? Let’s dive in!

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