Whenever you visit an urgent care center, you may notice that you are not always examined by a doctor, but instead, you are seen by a physician’s assistant. By utilizing physician’s assistants, urgent care facilities are able to see more patients a day and lessen the wait times for their patients. If you are wondering whether you’re receiving the best care by being examined by a physician’s assistant rather than a doctor, don’t worry. PAs are highly trained and licensed to examine patients. In many states, they can even prescribe medications.
Duties of an Urgent Care Doctor vs. a Physician Assistant
The job functions between these two professions overlap on many aspects. Physician assistants are able to examine patients, diagnose, take patient history and even develop and carry out treatment plans. The only area PA’s are not licensed in is surgeries. They may assist the acting surgeon but may not perform the surgery themselves. They can perform small procedures such as suturing wounds.
The only other major difference is the autonomy of the profession. Doctors have the ability to work autonomously and under their own conditions whereas physician assistants work under the supervision of the doctors.
Education and Training
The amount of graduate and postgraduate training also differs between these two professions. To become a doctor, you must complete four years to obtain your undergraduate degree from medical school, about two years to obtain your MD and then anywhere from three to seven years of residency training before you can get a license to practice medicine.
Physician assistants do not require as many years of schooling. You must complete a four-year undergraduate degree and complete an accredited Physician Assistant program. This generally takes about two additional years. You will then receive continued training and testing throughout the course of your career.
Get Help from Las Vegas Urgent Care Today
While doctors specialize in one area of medicine, physician’s assistants continually study each aspect of medicine. At Las Vegas Urgent Care our number one priority is our patients. Our staff is knowledgeable and equipped to handle all of your needs to get you feeling better as quickly as possible. If you are feeling under the weather, make an appointment with Las Vegas Urgent Care today.