What Do Physician Assistants Do? – Mikhail Lezhak, PA

Ask Mikhail Lezhak what physician assistants do and you may be surprised by the answer. In the past, all professional medical care was performed by doctors and nurses. But doctors and nurses often spent a lot of time doing repetitive work that limited the time they had to focus on their specialty.

Mikhail Lezhak, Physician AssistantPhysician assistants, especially those in urology, may be called upon to do any of these things to assist the doctor:

  • Patient history checks, both directly with the patient and with recorded medical records. They will review records and update records. Based on what they learn, they will brief their supervising physicians about anything noteworthy
  • Perform physical exams. They can do the basic exams, but they also are trained to spot symptoms that require more advanced medical care
  • Order and interpret basic laboratory tests
  • For many relatively minor types of injuries, they may be qualified to handle the direct treatment
  • Assist surgeons doing surgical procedures
  • Perform minor surgical procedures, including suturing (making stitches); immunizations and injections; setting up, monitoring and removing intravenous feeds
  • Perform preoperative and postoperative care, including managing infection prevention
  • Prescribe medications as permitted
  • Provide patient counseling on medical issues, including self-care and follow-up
  • Set up health management plans and diets
  • Assist in maintaining a healthy, safe and sanitary healthcare environment, in accordance with health laws, regulations and accepted medical practices
  • Help maintain the proper stocks of medical supplies
  • Work with administrators and administrative staff to assure a more smoothly operating medical care environment

Essentially, PAs perform tasks that free up their supervising doctors for more difficult and complicated health issues. If this job sounds a lot like what nurses do, you are right. There is considerable overlap of responsibilities within medical communities.

In Florida, physician assistants do have a limited ability to prescribe and dispense medications. The ability for PAs to prescribe drugs is based on a written agreement between the PAs and their supervising board-certified doctors. That written agreement must have the following:

  • Effective for only five years, whereupon a new license is required
  • Requires the PA to take 10 continuing medical education credits before each license renewal period, including three hours about safe and effective prescribing of controlled substances
  • Only effective with that one PA-doctor agreement; it must be remade if the supervising doctor changes
  • Filed with the Florida Board of Medicine

There are some drugs that a PA cannot prescribe. For example, a PA working in urology cannot prescribe many of the same drugs that a PA working in psychiatry would prescribe, and vice-versa. Thus, there is local accountability for physician assistants within Florida about how they handle drugs.

Supervising doctors may have their PAs handle such duties as researching new medical device company products and keep the doctors advised on new drug formularies. PAs may be asked to scan medical journals for interesting issues as well as follow interesting and related legal cases involving their profession. They may help in medical research.

Just like nurses and nurse practitioners, PAs help the system run more smoothly by letting those who specialize spend more time on their side of the practice. The doctors can function more professionally as medical experts, and administrators can spend more time working with business management.

When you see Mikhail Lezhak, PA, at Advanced Urology Institute, you are seeing someone who has a wealth of training and experience in many of the same functions performed by a licensed medical doctor. Rest assured that your doctor still has you in good hands when your visit is with a medical professional who is a PA. For more information about physician assistants, visit the Advanced Urology Institute website.

Janelle Bunce, PA – Becoming a Physician Assistant

The field of medicine offers many opportunities for people who want to dedicate their lives to helping others. With hard work and study, almost anyone with a desire to work in healthcare can achieve that dream. One growing role in this field is that of the physician assistant who plays an important and involved role in patient care.

Unlike doctors, who spend up to a decade or longer in training, physician assistants can complete their degree programs in as few as six years. This makes earning credentials and beginning a rewarding career less costly and achievable in less time.

Janelle Bunce, PA from Naples, FLAlthough they may not be doctors, physician assistants have some of the most important jobs in healthcare and carry a great deal of responsibility. They assist with surgeries, see patients independently and take an active role in decision making with the doctors. They are an important part of the patient experience and share in the satisfaction of participating in overall patient care.

Physician assistants in the field of urology address a variety medical issues. From urinary incontinence, kidney stones and vaginal prolapse to an overactive bladder, a physician assistant in the specialization of female urology can assist doctors in treating a wide range of conditions while creating lasting relationships with their patients.

One physician assistant who is enjoying a rewarding career in urology is Janelle Bunce, PA. The educational requirements made it possible for her to begin assisting doctors within six years of beginning the required degree program. Janelle enjoys working with a team of nurses and doctors to ensure that her patients receive top-notch care. Her story and success are an inspiration to anyone with a desire to pursue a career in medicine.

Dedicated urology physician assistants, like Janelle Bunce, PA can be found providing excellent patient care every day at the Advanced Urology Institute. For more information, visit the Advanced Urology Institute website or make an appointment for a consultation today.

How Do I Know If I Have a Kidney Stone

Kidney stones is the common term for the medical condition of renal lithiasis or nephrolithiasis. The stones are made up of salts and minerals that form into hard deposits inside your kidneys.

Kidney stones can be caused by many different factors and can show up in different sections of your urinary tract. They may travel from the kidneys to your bladder, and from the bladder to the ureter. Sometimes kidney stones occur when the urine is too concentrated, which allows minerals to coalesce and crystallize. Heeding early signs like painful urination and an irregular urge to pee can help you seek medical help earlier and get treatment.

Pain from Kidney Stones

How can you be sure that kidney stones are causing your pain?
Because there are other maladies that have similar symptoms to kidney stones, a visit to your urologist may save you from uneccesary grief. Some symptoms of kidney stones include:

  • Acute pain below the ribs on the side of your body or in your back. The pain may intensify or shift to various locations as the stones travel along the urinary tract.
  • Pain located in the lower abdomen or groin
  • Pain that fluctuates in severity
  • Painful urination
  • Cloudy or discolored urine (pink, red or brown)
  • Foul-smelling urine
  • Persistent need to urinate or urinating more than usual
  • Urinating in small amounts
  • Nausea and consequent vomiting
  • Chills and fever due to associated infection

You could have just one of these symptoms or several. If you are experiencing severe discomfort along with nausea or blood in your urine, you should seek medical help.

Kidney stones do not usually cause any permanent damage if treated early and correctly. You may be able to drink plentiful amounts of water, take a pain medication, and be able to pass the stone on your own. However, if the stones get lodged in the urinary tract or cause a urinary infection, more aggressive treatment may be in order.

Tests for Kidney Stones

There are several ways your doctor can test for kidney stones that will also reveal their size and precise location. These tests include:

  • Imaging tests: The imaging technology to determine if you have kidney stones includes X-rays, CT scans and ultrasounds.
    CT scans are more thorough than X-rays and result in lucid composite images of kidney stones. Ultrasound is also used to create images of the affected area.
  • Blood tests: Your doctor can determine if your have too much uric acid or calcium in the blood, which can cause kidney stones to form.
  • Urine tests: These lab tests can detect minerals that cause kidney stones in your urine. They can also reveal if you lack elements that prevent stones from forming.

Treatment for Kidney Stones

Your doctor can determine if sound-wave therapy can resolve the problem or if surgery is indicated due to stones being too large to pass, causing infection or other damage. If you are able to pass the stone on your own, saving it for your urologist to examine can help your doctor determine what causes your stones and what can be done to prevent additional ones from forming.

If you would like more information about kidney stones and their treatment, schedule a consultation at the Advanced Urology Institute location nearest you or visit the website.

What does a physician assistant do?

Physician assistants, as the name suggests, are professionals whose main job is to assist physicians in their work. They work under the supervision of a qualified and registered physician and even when the physician is not physically present, they are expected to report on their activities to their supervising doctor.

To qualify as a physician assistant, you must obtain a bachelor’s degree with an emphasis on science courses such as anatomy. You need to apply to a Physician Assistant Training Program to obtain a masters degree. The training programs are quite intense, combining theoretical and practical classes in a hospital environment. After completing the training program, the student must pass the Physician Assistant National Certification Examination.

The Role of Physician Assistants.

Janelle Bunce: Physician AssistantPhysician assistants work in all areas of medical practice, from basic primary care to geriatric care, pediatrics, and even emergency medicine. Their roles can be summarized:

1. Studying diagnostic tests and developing basic treatment plans

Physician assistants can perform, order and interpret diagnostic tests. They also are authorized to perform physical tests on patients. Based on the results of the tests, physician assistants can develop a treatment plan but only after consulting with the physician. They are allowed to prescribe medication as part of a treatment plan.

2. Educating patients on preventative health

Physician assistants devote their efforts to educating patients and their families on the steps that can improve disease management and prevent its worsening. They also help by warning and educating people about harmful habits and health hazards.

3. Collecting Patient Histories

When patients go to a facility for the first time, physician assistants interview them to obtain any family history that might have a bearing on the patient’s state of health. Such records are maintained at the hospital and they inform the treatment plan of a patient.

4. Assisting in Surgical Procedures

Some physician assistants focus on being surgical assistants. They perform pre and post surgical roles such as preparing and counseling the patient and monitoring the healing process after surgery.

The essence of a physician assistant’s job is to lighten a physician’s work load. They make sure that the small number of doctors available see as many patients as possible. Physician assistants play a key role that makes them vital to any medical facility’s operation. At the Advanced Urology Institute for instance, every physician is teamed up with one physician assistant to ensure maximum productivity. For more information, visit the Advanced Urology Institute website.

Chelsie Ferrell Becoming a Physician Assistant, ‘I Always Knew that I Loved Medicine’

Video: Chelsie Ferrell Becoming a Physician Assistant, ‘I Always Knew that I Loved Medicine’



Ms. Chelsie Ferrell received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology from the University of Missouri in 2009. She received her Masters of Science degree in Medical Science from Nova Southeastern University in 2013, where she was a Chancellors List Scholar. [Read Full Article…]