When you’re talking to a Physician Assistant, what do you call them? In this article, I’ll explain how to address a Physician Assistant and to quickly talk about our medical title.
What to call a Physician Assistant
This is a common question for patients and colleagues as many PAs introduce themselves with their first name.
The current trend is that Physician Assistants will go by their first name or a simple Mr. / Mrs. / Ms. [last name]. And the best way to know which one to use is by listening to when your PA introduces themself.
Calling a PA by their first name is not disrespectful if that’s how they expect you to address them. And if you have any doubts, just ask! “How should I address you?”
I tend to go on a first name basis. “John” is easy to say while Mr. Elkhoury is typically more challenging to both pronounce and remember.
Calling us “doctor” or “doc” in a clinical setting is incorrect, because we are not Physicians. Even if we were to obtain a doctorate in some capacity, we would steer clear from that term during patient care matters to avoid confusion.
What title do Physician Assistants use?
The professional title of a Physician Assistant is usually abbreviated to PA-C. The “C” itself stands for “certified,” and indicates that the person passed the national boards examination provided by the NCCPA.
The degree that a PA may obtain varies from MMS / MMSc (Master of Medical Science), MPAS (Master in Physician Assistant Studies), or MHS (Master of Health Science).
So the title of a PA would oftentimes be presented as:
John Elkhoury, PA-C, MMS.
I hope this quick post helps to clear up how to address a Physician Assistant and how to decipher if a PA uses their academic title for anything. Any questions can be posted below.