physician assistant


Definition of physician assistant 

: a person certified to provide basic medical services usually under the supervision of a licensed physician

called also PA, physician's assistant

Examples of physician assistant in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Among those surveyed, 3,711 were physicians, and the rest were residents, nurses, nurse practitioners and physician assistants. Mary Bernard,, "Doctors report high rates of sexual harassment by patients, survey finds," 12 July 2018 Marshfield Clinic, founded in 1916 by six physicians, employs about 10,000 people, including more than 1,300 physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and other clinicians. Guy Boulton, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Expanding rural health care efforts, Beaver Dam Community Hospitals to join Marshfield Clinic Health System," 12 June 2018 The physician assistant program is pretty groundbreaking. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Full Q&A: 2U CEO Chip Paucek on Recode Decode," 14 Oct. 2018 For instance, 90% of employers offered sign-on bonuses for some physician assistants and nurse practitioners last year, up from 34% five years prior, according to data from Sullivan, Cotter & Associates, a health-care consulting company. Eric Morath, WSJ, "Employers Choose Bonuses Over Raises," 18 Sep. 2018 About an hour later, a physician assistant returned and pulled the MRI results up on a computer screen. Kerry Cromwell, Good Housekeeping, "My Little Boy Was Just 7 Years Old When He Had a Catastrophic Stroke," 26 July 2018 The package also pushes the opening of opioid recovery centers and allows for physician assistants and nurse practitioners to prescribe drugs that treat opioid addiction. Washington Post, "The Health 202: HHS is working to reunite migrant families. But it won't happen immediately.," 25 June 2018 Those looking to use medical marijuana can become certified for the program by a registered practitioner, like a doctor, physician assistant or nurse practitioner. Jonathan Wolfe, New York Times, "Marijuana in New York: Here’s How the Laws Are Changing," 20 June 2018 However, an increasing number of states are granting physician assistants more autonomy to increase healthcare access amid the doctor shortage. Maria Clark,, "Why physician assistant is the fastest-growing job in medicine," 15 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'physician assistant.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of physician assistant

1958, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

30 Nov 2018

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The first known use of physician assistant was in 1958

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More Definitions for physician assistant

physician assistant

physician as·​sis·​tant | \-ə-ˈsis-tənt\
variants: also physician's assistant

Medical Definition of physician assistant 

: a specially trained person who is certified to provide basic medical services (as the diagnosis and treatment of common ailments) usually under the supervision of a licensed physician

called also PA

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