Individuals with a keen interest in medical science and patient care can seek the role of physician assistant (PA) in India. The minimum educational qualification required for a PA is a bachelor’s degree in multiple domains of science and medicine. PAs are an indispensable part of healthcare units as they work closely with licenced surgeons and physicians and are innately involved in patient care.
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Who is a Physician Assistant (PA)?
A PA is a medical practitioner who works closely with a physician or a surgeon. PAs are an integral part of healthcare centres as they have the responsibility of taking a medical history of patients, diagnosing illnesses or diseases, and taking part in the treatment process. They assist surgeons and physicians in providing patient care and performing surgeries.
Roles and Responsibilities
The key responsibilities of PAs are as follows:
- Gathering medical records of patients
- Administering physical exams
- Diagnosing medical conditions and diseases
- Interpreting diagnostic exams
- Determining treatment plans
- Treating illnesses
- Prescription of medicines
- Assist surgeons in surgeons
- Delivering patient care
Also Read: BHU BSc Nursing
A Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming a Successful PA
Step 1: The initial step is to complete Class 12 in either of the science stream– Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics (PCM) or Physics, Chemistry, Biology (PCB), or Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Biology (PCMB). Students must clear the 10+2 examination from an accredited school or college.
Step 2: Students have to take admission to an undergraduate course- BSc in Chemistry or BSc in Biology from a recognised university or college. They also have the option to secure admission to B. Pharma or BSc Nursing or D. Pharma courses from an accredited medical college.
Step 3: Graduates from the aforementioned courses can apply for jobs immediately after the completion of these programmes.
Step 4: To excel as a physician assistant, individuals are advised to enrol in a postgraduate programme- MSc in Chemistry, MSc in Biology, MSc Nursing, or M. Pharma. Furthermore, graduates of these master’s programmes can opt for MPhil or PhD to gain much-needed academic and professional experience.
An individual planning to have a lucrative career as a physician assistant must possess a combination of the following personality traits and technical and clinical skills.
- Theoretical understanding of human physiology and anatomy and pharmacology.
- Awareness of medical terminology.
- Practical knowledge of healthcare technology and medicine.
- Clinical skills such as interpretation of diagnostic tests, planning of a course of treatment, conducting of physical exams, and analysis of medical histories.
- Accurate documentation of patient information.
- Knowledge of medical procedures and adherence to safety measures.
- Ability to make quick and logical decisions after analysing complex medical tests and problem identification.
- Empathy, Compassion, and Patience.
Here are the eligibility criteria for different programmes;
- For Bachelor’s level, courses students must have secured 60% marks in their Class 12 examination.
- For Master’s level programmes, candidates should obtain a minimum of 55% marks in their undergraduate courses.
Types of Physician Assistants
These medical practitioners adapt themselves to different roles depending on their specialisation and the requirements of healthcare centres. Following are some of the various occupations available for PAs in India:
- Drug Safety Associate
- Radiology Practitioner Assistant
- Family Practice Physician Assistant
- Orthopedic Physician Assistant
- Pediatric Physician Assistant
The healthcare industry has a plethora of career opportunities for these medical professionals. They are highly regarded in the medical fraternity as they are considered the go-to professionals after doctors or in the absence of doctors during emergencies.
Below are the types of employment organisations, top recruiting organisations in India, and salaries for different job profiles of PA.
Types of Employment Organisations
Listed below are the most prevalent types of organisations that employ PAs.
- Nursing homes
- Diagnostic centres
- Government and private hospitals
- Trauma centres
- Educational institutions
Also Read: Paramedical Courses List
Some of the top private recruiting organisations in India are:
- Apollo Hospital
- Medanta Hospital
- Artemis Hospital
- Kauvery Hospital
- Kamineni Hospitals Pvt. Ltd.
- The Head & Neck Centre Hospital
- Shifa Hospital
- ERA University
- BKCC Heart Hospital
- DRG Job Placement Management and Consultant
The average annual salary of these medical practitioners in India is INR 3.2 lakh. The estimated monthly in-hand salary of this medical professional is somewhere between INR 22K to INR 24K. The annual salary range is INR 0.3 lakh to INR 6.2 lakh.
Ans. To become a PA in India, one must pass 10+2 in the science stream, complete graduation in Biology, Chemistry, or Pharma, and clear postgraduation in the science and medical courses as mentioned earlier.
Ans. The private and government healthcare facilities employ PAs in large numbers to provide high-quality patient care to patients. With the increasing incidences of chronic illnesses, the demand for PAs is increasing considerably.
Ans. B.Nusring and B.Pharma are ideal courses for people who want to become a PA in India.