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The Humanitarian Side of Physician Assistant Studies

Thousands of physician assistants make their vacations humanitarian, but few were expecting the experience they had the first time they set foot in the developing world and began treating people from another culture who speak a different language with limited resources! Here are some core guidelines for disaster response to satisfy that gifted, orderly mind of yours and ensure you have a delightfully effective trip.

The Physician Assistant in Disaster Response—Core Guidelines

Monumental disasters shine a bright light on the strengths and weaknesses of disaster response. One of the biggest challenges is coordinating human and material resources as multiple groups launch relief efforts in response to a man-made or natural disaster.

One of the simplest things a physician assistant (PA) can do as an individual to lessen the burden is to resist the urge to simply show up without any notice at a disaster site. To contribute productively to disaster relief, individual PAs need to plan in advance, preferably by joining a competent, organized relief organization.

Making a financial contribution to disaster relief is one critical way individuals can help.

But many providers have professional or family responsibilities that limit their ability to pick up and leave on short notice for several weeks at a time. For those providers, sending money to various relief organizations is a meaningful way to contribute to the recovery and restoration process.

This paper provides basic guidelines for those PAs who are able and willing to contribute clinically to disaster relief efforts.

The Bigger Picture

Events such as tornadoes or chemical spills can create disasters for the communities they touch. When this occurs, it disrupts social structures, and multiple, inter-dependent needs arise. Medical assistance may be just one need among numerous others.

Offering even basic assistance may depend upon the ability of everyone to travel across disrupted highways. Providing heat or refrigeration for cooking meals for refugees and humanitarian workers may depend upon the restoration of electricity or the arrival of generators.

Medical providers involved in disaster relief cannot focus only on providing medical care: they must dig latrines, hand out water or take care of other urgent needs. Clinicians must be willing to see the bigger picture and be prepared to do what is needed most when they arrive on site.

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Personal Statement of Purpose Help for Admission to Physician Assistant Master's Degree Programs.

The Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MS or MPAS) Program prepares students for clinical positions as primary care physician assistants. The course of study usually requires at least two years of consecutive coursework for students who have met the prerequisite requirements and been admitted to the program. Admission is limited and competitive.

 Physician assistants are highly skilled medical professionals who have for over 40 years functioned as members of a team delivering quality healthcare. Working alongside physicians, PAs provide medical services traditionally performed by physicians. These services include taking medical histories, performing physical examinations, ordering and interpreting tests, diagnosing and treating medical conditions, educating and counseling patients, performing minor medical/surgical procedures, and, in most states, prescribing medications. Specific PA's duties are determined in accordance with physician supervision.

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