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Physician Assistant Karen Bass Elected Speaker Elect of California State Assembly

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Feb. 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The California Academy of Physician Assistants (CAPA) announced that physician assistant Karen Bass is the first African-American woman elected as Speaker of the California State Assembly. Bass, a member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants since 1990, is a former faculty member at the University of Southern California School of Medicine. Bass won her first seat to the California Assembly in 2004.

As a physician assistant (PA), Bass will bring a unique perspective to health care policy. Even though the PA profession is over 40 years old, there is still misunderstanding of what a PA is a does. Speaker-Elect Bass is a shining light in the California Assembly and because of her dedication to excellence and to focusing on California's broken health care system, she will most certainly help to shed some light the PA profession. A profession which has served the health care needs of millions of patients over the past 40+ years.

Physician assistants are licensed health care professionals who practice medicine as members of a team with their supervising physicians. PAs deliver a broad range of medical and surgical services to diverse populations in rural and urban settings. As part of their comprehensive responsibilities, PAs conduct physical exams, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret tests, counsel on preventive health care, assist in surgery, and prescribe medications.

Within the physician-PA partnership, physician assistants exercise autonomy in medical decision making and provide a broad range of diagnostic and therapeutic services. In addition to clinical practice, PAs may also be found in education, research, and administration.

PAs are trained in intensive educational programs accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). Because of the close working relationship PAs have with physicians, PAs are educated in the medical model designed to complement physician training. On graduation, physician assistants take a national certification examination developed by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants in conjunction with the National Board of Medical Examiners. To maintain their national certification, PAs must log 100 hours of continuing medical education every two years and take a recertification exam every six years.

For additional information about physician assistants or the physician assistant profession, go to the Academy's Web site,

SOURCE California Academy of Physician Assistants (CAPA)
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