Scott Francis, P.A. is a physician assistant who brings many different backgrounds and more than ten years of experience to his medical work. Since becoming a PA, he has worked in an orthopedic group, an infectious disease center, and in hospitals. He is also a military veteran. These experiences help him to quickly recognize certain unique types of urology problems.
Physician assistants are required to go through rigorous medical training that is approved by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants. The physician assistant’s main responsibility is to relieve their supervising board-certified medical doctors of most routine medical work. Asking proper medical questions and making general evaluations can be quite substantial for specialist doctors like urologists.
To become physician assistants, students first must have graduated with a bachelor’s degree, preferably within a related field such as biochemistry. Entrance is competitive, so Graduate Record Exam scores, prior medical experience, grades from undergraduate classes and social activities all become factors for admission. The personal motivation of the student is also important, and they must explain why they want to become physician assistant.
The graduate program lasts for more than two years and includes about a thousand hours of classroom and laboratory experience. After the completion of most classes, they can start their required two thousand hours of supervised clinical experience, which may take another year. At the end of the program, they must pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam, a five-hour exam with 300 questions covering over three years of knowledge intake. This is a grueling exam and not for the faint of heart!
Physician assistants must renew their license every year. They are also required to have at least 100 hours of continuing medical education, helping them to review what they have learned as well as learning about the newest techniques and programs.
Physician assistants always work as part of a team. Scott Francis, P.A., working in urology, is under the direct supervision of a board certified medical doctor. At the Advanced Urology Institute in Naples, Florida, he also works with other physician assistants, urologists, nursing staff and clinic personnel to help give the best medical care possible. For more information, visit the Advanced Urology Institute website.