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Physician Assistant Program

Life long learning • Safe clinical practice • Respect for individual learning styles

The Profession

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The Physician Assistant is a professional member of the health care team who is qualified by academic and clinical education to practice medicine with supervision by a licensed physician. Following a medical model of patient care, Physician Assistants are qualified to perform a wide range of duties traditionally performed only by physicians.

Physician Assistants obtain patient histories, perform physical examinations, diagnose illness, determine treatment plans, order and interpret laboratory, diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, and prescribe medication as well as provide patient education, counseling and follow-up care. The Physician Assistant's scope of practice is delegated according to the medical discipline of the supervising physician, practice setting, level of expertise and institutional guidelines.

Employed in all health care settings and in every medical and surgical specialty, Physician Assistants function to increase access and enhance the quality of patient care while contributing to medical cost containment. Demand for Physician Assistant services is steady, with approximately two to three employment opportunities for every new Physician Assistant graduate.

For detailed information regarding the Physician Assistant profession on a national level contact the American Academy of Physician Assistants and the New York State Society of Physician Assitant (NYSSPA).

For further information about the SUNY Downstate Physician Assistant Program, please contact the Program Office at 718.270.2325 or send us an e-mail:

News & Events


Members of the 2018 Physician Assistant Class of SUNY Downstate Medical Center's College of Health Related Professions recently celebrated the founding – a half century ago – of the PA profession, at NBC's Today Show in Rockefeller Center, New York.

Downstate's College of Health Related Professions is also celebrating its 50th anniversary, along with Downstate's College of Nursing, School of Graduate Studies, and University Hospital of Brooklyn.

Pictured, left to right, are Charandy Jean Baptise, Fatuma Ali, Kimi Patel, Rachel Shadrouz, Sharee Knox, Tzipora Glanzman, Sebastien Delice, Adebisi A. Ojudun, Dr. Lorraine Sanassi, and Aniqa Bari.