Physician Assistant training is usually 2 to 3 years in duration. Unlike physicians, who must complete a minimum of three years of residency after completion of medical school, PAs are not required to complete such residencies. PA training is sufficient to assist physicians as extenders. However, due to lack of formal/clinical training, the autonomy provided to some PAs exceeds their mandate. Complex cases should be seen by a physician. In particular, complex drug abuse related issues should be evaluated and treated by qualified physicians.
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