South Florida Hospital News
Sunday September 22, 2019
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October 2015 - Volume 12 - Issue 4

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Let’s Celebrate Physician Assistant Week – October 6-12, 2015

Physician Assistant (PA) Week, which takes place Oct. 6-12, is one week every year dedicated to acknowledging physician assistants and the amazing work they do every day. PAs are a powerful force for better health for millions of patients across the country. All week long, PAs, PA students, employers, patients and others come to recognize the hard-working people in this essential and fast-growing profession.
 
Why celebrate PAs? Because of PAs, the healthcare system is stronger and more patients get access to high-quality, cost-effective care.
 
A physician assistant (or PA) is a nationally certified and state-licensed medical professional who practices medicine on healthcare teams with physicians and other providers. They practice and prescribe medication in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the majority of the U.S. territories and the uniformed services.
 
PAs take medical history, conduct physical exams, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret tests, develop treatment plans, counsel on preventive care, assist in surgery, write prescriptions, make rounds in hospitals and nursing homes. Most importantly, PA’s take care of patients in every medical setting.
 
The Miami Dade College (MDC) Physician Assistant Program is nationally renowned and graduates fifty students every year. Ninety-eight percent of the students graduating from the MDC PA program practice in Miami Dade County and are employed by private physician practices, large hospital systems, local nursing homes, and surgery centers. Most programs are approximately 27 months and require the same prerequisite courses as medical schools. Most programs also require students to have about three years of healthcare training and experience. Students take courses in basic sciences, behavioral sciences and clinical medicine across subjects such as anatomy, pharmacology, microbiology, physiology and more. Students then complete a total of more than 2,000 hours of clinical rotations in: Family medicine, Internal medicine, Obstetrics and gynecology, Pediatrics, General surgery, Emergency medicine and Psychiatry.
 
October 6-12 is the week to celebrate these great professionals who work tirelessly every day to improve access to care and improve the health and well-being of patients in South Florida.
Dayne Alonso, Miami Dade College, School of Health Sciences, Physician Assistant Program, can be reached at Dalonso1@mdc.edu or (305) 237-4261.
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