What is the difference between an MD and a Physicians Assistant

A patient asked me today what the difference in training is between a M.D. and a Physicians Assistant. I scratched my head and said ” I think you are asking the wrong question.”  When I check out any health care provider I check to see where they earned their bachelors and their professional training. While professional degrees have minimal educational standards which varies from state to state. The colleges where they receive their training can be dramatically different in both number of courses and clinical competency.  I would much rather have a Physicians assistant who graduated from Florida than an M.D. who graduated from India. A Sarasota Graduated Osteopathic Physician than a Medical Doctor who graduated in Central America. As more and more for profit institutions are turning out students who on paper are  qualified to sit the Florida boards I have started using where the Doctors Graduated from much more than their degree to determine their excellence.   I graduated from Palmer College in Davenport Iowa and Dr. Mason Graduated from the University of Louisville Kentucky.   Both are top notch programs.

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