Question About Interventional Physician Assistants:
I am a physician assistant student at a large American University. Presently, I’m in the middle of my clinical year, and I’ve just completed my 4th rotation. I have spent the last four months in and out of hospitals. Recently, I have been exposed to interventional radiology. Moreover, I was very impressed with the role that physician assistants play in this field of medicine.
Until recently, I had never even considered interventional radiology. However, I want to work in a field that is procedure driven. To that end, I am good with my hands and spent 13 years as a firefighter/paramedic which is very procedure driven. So naturally, I found myself very intrigued about interventional radiology as a possible career for a PA. Is there any way you could put me in contact with someone to answer some questions about a PA’s role within IR? Thank you for this website. It has been incredibly helpful, and I hope to hear from you soon!
Future Possible Interventional Assistant
Radsresident Answer For A Future Interventional Physician Assistant:
I agree that the best resource would be to talk to a PA that does interventional radiology. We do not have an interventional PA in our program to which to refer you. However, I have worked with a few interventional physician assistants during my residency and at a previous job a while back and I could shed some insight into what they do.
Both of the PAs that I had worked with functioned as an assistant in complex cases. Also, they were the primary operators in procedures such as PICC lines and ports. Moreover, they would see patients in “tube rounds.” If you haven’t heard of this term, it means they would talk to the patient and provide updates on the status of their catheters and interventions after the procedure. And, they would write the formal notes in the chart to document the condition of the patients. Also, they involved themselves in morning rounds before seeing the patients for the day. And finally, they performed the consents for procedures to reduce the workload for both attendings and residents during the day. Both PAs that I worked with served an invaluable role in the practices and became a critical part of the team.
Hope that gives you a little bit better insight into what they do,
Barry Julius, MD