Physician Extender Job Description
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Physician Extender Job Description

The role of physician extender.physician extender salaries and job prospects
        Physician extender is a health care provider who is not a physician but who performs medical activities typically performed by a physician. Physician Extenders may order tests and make referrals related to the Member’s medical needs. Physician Extenders function as an agent of the physician.

Physician Extenders include: :

Nurse Practitioners

Perform physical exams, diagnose and treat acute health problems, chronic diseases, and order, perform or interpret diagnostic studies within the scope of their practice and license. Nurse Practitioners work in the same practice as a physician (PCP or specialist) and may act as an Assistant Surgeon if certified under applicable state law.

Physician Assistants:

Performs physical examinations, diagnosing and treating illnesses, ordering and interpreting lab results, suturing wounds and assisting in surgery within the scope of their practice and license. Physician Assistants work in the same practice as a physician (PCP or specialist) and may act as an Assistant Surgeon if certified under applicable state law.

Certified Nurse Midwife:

This is a registered nurse, who has successfully completed a program of study and clinical experience in nurse-midwifery. The scope of practice includes prenatal, postpartum and routine gynecology. Certified Nurse Midwives work along with OBGYNs and may act as an Assistant Surgeon if certified under applicable state law.

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists:Care for patients, before, during and after surgical or obstetrical procedures. They monitor every important function of the patient and individually modify the anesthetic to ensure maximum safety and comfort.

Registered Nurse First Assistants:

Professional caregivers who assume the responsibility for providing technical assistance under the direct supervision and direction of the operating surgeon. Registered Nurse First Assistants may act as an Assistant Surgeon if certified under applicable state law.

Clinical Nurse Specialists:

Registered licensed nurses who are experts in a defined area of knowledge and practice within a selected clinical area of nursing. Clinical Nurse Specialists may act as an Assistant Surgeon if certified under applicable state law.


               Provides health care services to patients under the direction and responsibility of a physician. May assist in performing the physical examination of patients or research participants. Compiles patient medical data including health histories and the results of physical examinations. May administer or order diagnostic tests and may assist in interpreting test results. May perform therapeutic procedures. Develops and implements patient management plans, thoroughly documents observations, and records progress notes.

The average salary for a physician extender was $51,000 according to a June 2010 SimplyHired report

Job prospects:

Employment is expected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations. Employment of physician Extenders is expected to grow by 39 percent from 2010 to 2018, much faster than the average for all occupations. Projected rapid job growth reflects the expansion of healthcare industries and an emphasis on cost containment, which results in increasing use of PEs by healthcare establishments.

                 Job opportunities for PEs should be good, particularly in rural and inner-city clinics because those settings have difficulty attracting physicians. Job openings will result both from employment growth and from the need to replace physician assistants who retire or leave the occupation permanently. Opportunities will be best in States that allow PEs a wider scope of practice.

               PEs can also actually increase physician productivity in some instances. A recent AMA Center for Health Policy Research study reported that solo physicians who employ non-physician providers see more patients per hour, per week and per year and report higher net incomes than those who do not. 

                Patients are generally pleased with the quality of care delivered by PEs. Some PEs can be utilized efficiently and effectively in both primary care and specialty practices. The range of services a particular PE can provide will depend upon the scope of her license under state laws, as well as the needs of the practice and the physician’s views of the PE role. In primary care practices, nurse practitioners (NPs) and PAs are often responsible for direct patient care, including performing routine examination and review of medical histories, and also will be increasingly involved in telephone triage, patient education, counseling and health awareness. In specialty practices NPs and PAs can be utilized for pre-operative and post-operative care, assisting at surgery, hospital rounds, in-office procedures, as well as patient education and awareness. In addition to their directly billable services, these PEs can increasingly be utilized to provide non-billable services, thereby freeing the physicians for the performance of remunerative activities.

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