A Answers (1)
Kathleen Handal, MD, Emergency Medicine, answeredPhysician assistants, commonly referred to as PAs, can function in a similar role as the emergency medicine (EM) doctor. However, their licensed roles may vary from state to state. One difference between them and the MD or DO doctor is their education; a PA degree is a two-year program versus at least an eight-year program for the ER doctor. If they are certified, they will have PA-C after their name. PA-Cs are required to log continuing medical education (CME) hours every two years and pass a recertification exam every six years. Each hospital sets parameters for supervision of PAs but typically they work under the supervision of the doctor on duty in the ER. They may see and treat patients but confer with the doctor as necessary. You can always request to talk with the EM doctor if you feel your needs aren’t being met by a PA.