Enter the emergency room of MidMichigan Medical Center in the rural community of Gladwin, and chances are you’ll be treated not by a physician but by Physician Assistant Erin Sherer. From ordering and interpreting x-rays, to stitching up cuts, to writing prescriptions, Erin — like all licensed PAs — is exceptionally well qualified to complete an array of medical procedures traditionally performed by physicians. Rest assured, with Erin on your case, you’re in excellent hands.
Erin Sherer is an exemplary representative of the rapidly expanding number of Physician Assistants working in health care. Today, you’ll find PAs like Erin playing a central role in all areas of medicine — from the patient’s bedside to the operating table to the front of a university classroom. Licensed to practice medicine with physician supervision, PAs perform many of the same duties as their physician counterparts; they conduct physicals, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and decipher tests, counsel patients, write prescriptions, assist in surgery, even teach other aspiring PAs.
Above all, they’re making a tremendous positive impact on the quality of health care and patient outcomes. Just ask the physicians who collaborate with them in the daily delivery of care. Increasingly, doctors have come to rely on their PAs as valued partners. The PA-physician relationship is built on mutual trust and respect. Physicians entrust PAs to expertly assume many of the primary care responsibilities, freeing doctors to focus their energies and time where they’re needed most. PAs, in turn, are rigorously trained to know when to make medical decisions, and when to refer patients to specialized physicians.
This complementary relationship is at the core of the PA education model, which closely mirrors the medical training doctors receive — only in a highly accelerated format. Introduced in the mid 1960s, in response to a shortage of primary care physicians, the earliest PA programs were based on the fast-track training received by World War II doctors. In fact, the first PA students were Navy corpsmen who had received medical training while serving in the Vietnam War.
Today’s PA students — many of them women — may look a lot different than their corpsman predecessors, but they undergo equally rigorous, highly intensive training and preparation. On top of their heavy course load, PA students conduct clinical rotations (much like medical students), and pass a national certification examination — which they are required to retake very six years. PA Erin Sherer vividly recalls the challenge of PA school and preparing for the exam. “There were many things that I simply opted out of, because I had to focus my time and energy toward studying. Like sleep, for example!”
The result of this extreme level of dedication, commitment and sacrifice: Physician Assistants have become instrumental and integral members of their medical teams — valued by physicians and appreciated by patients. Their work is not going unnoticed. Celebrated every year between October 6 ¬– 12, National PA Week honors the vital role PAs play in elevating patient care. Joining in the chorus of praise, is medelita™ — makers of premium lab coats and scrubs professionally tailored for women working in health care. Women like Erin Sherer.
In honor of National PA Week, medelita is pleased to feature PA Erin Sherer on its Women In Healthcare web page. Says medelita founder and fellow PA Lara Manchik,“PAs like Erin exemplify the extraordinary level of professionalism, competence and dedication of women working in health care. We are proud of the contributions PAs have made to patient care. They deserve to feel comfortable and confident as they perform their important work. Our mission is to help them feel great about what they do — and look great while they’re doing it.”
To all PAs — past, present and future — medelita salutes you. You have raised the bar in patient care. We’re pleased to help raise awareness for the critical work you do.
Medelita has one purpose – to reinvent the way women of all healthcare professions present themselves at work by offering the highest quality, best fitting, and most comfortable scrubs and lab coats available. Medelita caters to professional women who want their uniforms to embody the poise and confidence already displayed from within. For more information, visit our website at http://www.medelita.com or call (877) 987-7979.
About National PA Week
National PA Week is celebrated each year October 6-12. The week serves to celebrate the significant impact PAs have made and continue to make in health care, expand awareness of the profession and to salute the outstanding growth of the Physician Assistant profession. For more information, visit http://www.aapa.org/.
Via EPR Network
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