The Role of a Physician Assistant in Headache Medicine

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July 27, 2022
July 4, 2022
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The Role of a Physician Assistant in Headache Medicine

As a Neura Health member, you are treated by a board-certified Neurologist specializing in headache medicine. In addition, a Physician Assistant (PA) works closely with your Neurologist as part of your care team, answering questions, helping you with follow-up visits. As a PA at Neura, I'm sharing more information about the role of a PA, especially one working in headache medicine.

What is a Physician Assistant?

The PA profession was established in 1967. The first PA class was composed of Navy corpsmen who served during the Vietnam War. Due to primary care shortages, these individuals were able to continue their medical experience and knowledge in civilian life. Since the 1960s the PA profession has continued to grow to help meet the high demands of health care services. As of 2021, the national estimate for board certified PAs was reported at 139,000.

PAs are passionate about providing accessible and quality care. We are trained healthcare professionals and taught under a holistic approach. There are now 287 PA programs in the U.S. Programs are 27 months or 3 academic years, a bachelor’s degree is required for acceptance. To obtain a license, PAs must graduate from an accredited PA program receiving a graduate-level degree and pass a certification exam. Due to the close working relationship with medical doctors, the PA curriculum is based under the medical model complementing physician training. In addition, to maintain certification it is required to complete 100 hours of continuing medical education every 2 years and a recertification exam every 10 years.

Physician Assistants provide care in all specialties and clinical settings. As a licensed practitioner, they are authorized to diagnose and treat illnesses, prescribe medication, order diagnostic labs and imaging, and perform procedures. PAs do treat patients with significant autonomy and in collaboration with a Physician. Working with the Physician is fundamental to the PA profession in enhancing delivery of highly quality care to patients.

How do PAs Treat Patients in Headache Medicine?

The PA role was created to focus on care in the primary care setting such as internal medicine and family practice. Although PAs are not limited to this area of practice and can provide care in any clinical setting or speciality. There are additional training options available such as post-graduate residency and fellowship programs. Some often work closely with the Physicians and undergo extensive training in that field of practice.

PAs in headache medicine work autonomously with Neurologists, and can diagnose and treat patients. In addition, most in-person headache clinics designate PAs to perform and complete in-office procedures such as lumbar punctures, administering botox treatments, nerve blocks, and trigger point injections. PAs are an important component to providing accessible healthcare and work in partnership with your Neurologist to help enhance your treatment journey.

I look forward to working with you when you join Neura as a member

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Jasmine Bhasin, PA-C
Jasmine Bhasin is a Physician Assistant specializing in headache medicine, based in the San Francisco Bay Area.
About the Author
Jasmine Bhasin is a Physician Assistant specializing in headache medicine, based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Prior to joining Neura Health, she worked in the Department of Neurology at UW (University of Wisconsin) Health where she specialized in migraine and headache disorders. Jasmine began her career in family practice and aesthetics where she adopted an interest in alternative medicine. She continues to focus patient care based on preventative medicine with a holistic approach, where treatment plans are incorporated with non-pharmacologic management such as lifestyle changes, alternative medicine, physical therapy, and supplements. She also performs botox injections, supraorbital nerve blocks, occipital nerve blocks, and trigger point injections. Jasmine completed her undergraduate degree in Human Development at UC San Diego. She went on to receive her Master of Science in Physician Assistant studies from Western University.

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