Mississippi physician assistants playing vital role in helping provide access to care

As physician assistants, they are highly trained extra sets of hands, extending the reach of physicians.

“It’s all about improving access to health care,” said Stone, who works with Tupelo dermatologist Drs. John Burke, Jeff Houin and Bradley Greenhaw. “We’re all working together to see more patients.”

The physician assistants are considered mid-level providers like nurse practitioners. They can diagnose and treat patients, write prescriptions and order and interpret medical tests.

They are supervised by physicians. They can see patients on their own or in collaboration with physicians. Unlike nurse practitioners in Mississippi, they don’t set up independent clinics, Tyer said.

“We are truly an extension of the physician with the ability to make independent decisions,” said Leah Jones, who serves as the president of the Mississippi Academy of Physician Assistants.



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