Physician Assistant

Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration | Charleston, SC

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Posted Date 3/25/2020
Description The Physician Assistant will be assigned to interested facilities throughout VHA in support of COVID-19 operations and may be temporarily appointed (not-to-exceed 120 days) on an intermittent, part-time or full-time schedule in support of the VA facilities across the Nation.




The Physician Assistant provides effective care to patients characterized by using sound judgment in assessing, planning, implementing, documenting and evaluating patient care. This includes possessing the skill and competency to obtain thorough medical histories, perform comprehensive physical examinations, order appropriate diagnostic studies, interpret and analyze medical data, establish diagnoses, formulate and implement treatment plans, and modify treatment plans when appropriate.


Major duties consist of, but are not limited to:
  • Performs comprehensive medical assessments with advanced clinical knowledge and competence to function in a variety of roles;
  • Uses clinical skills and knowledge to complete comprehensive medical and physical assessments, and preventative medical services
  • Independently carries out assignments, coordinating with others as necessary and discussing scope of the assignment, approaches, timeframes, and execution phases with leadership;
  • Collaborates with other health-care resources to insure timely and appropriate care of patients;
  • Performs activities related to follow-up of abnormal lab and radiology results, keeping communication open with the patient/veterans and/or their families, and ensuring that staff is kept abreast on clinical conditions.

Work Schedule: Varies based on facility needs
Financial Disclosure Report: Not requiredBasic Requirements:
  • United States Citizenship: Non-citizens may only be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with VA Policy.
  • Education: Graduate of a PA training program, or of a surgical assistant program which is accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) or one of its predecessor organizations; AND A Bachelor's degree from an accredited PA training program or in another health sciences related field from an accredited college or university recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. (COPY OF TRANSCRIPTS MUST BE SUBMITTED.)
  • Certification: Current and continuous certification by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) is required for employment in VHA. (COPY OF CERTIFICATION MUST BE SUBMITTED.)
  • English Language Proficiency: PAs appointed to direct patient-care positions must be proficient in spoken and written English as required by 38 U.S.C. 7402(d), and 7407(d).
Grade Determinations: In addition to the basic requirements stated above, the following qualifications criteria must be met in determining the appropriate grade for appointment or promotion eligibility. Requirements for appointment or promotion to a specific grade are based on the candidate's ability to demonstrate the elements described.

Full Grade. In addition to meeting the basic requirements listed above, you must meet all the following requirements: Experience / Education. None beyond the basic requirements listed above.
Clinical Competencies - Clinical Proficiency
1. Provides effective care to patients characterized by the use of sound judgment in assessing, planning, implementing, documenting, and evaluating patient care for assigned patients. This includes possessing the skill and competency to obtain thorough medical histories, perform comprehensive physical examinations, order appropriate diagnostic studies, interpret and analyze medical data, establish diagnoses, formulate and implement treatment plans, and modify treatment plans when appropriate.
2. Works effectively and makes appropriate requests for assistance from the assigned physician and recognizes complex patient care situations where referral is appropriate.
3. References quality improvement information and organizes patient care needs to assure safe, efficient and cost-effective care.
4. Initiates effective actions in emergencies.

Intermediate Grade. In addition to meeting the basic requirements listed above, you must meet all requirements described above for Full Grade through VA employment or non-VA PA positions with equivalent scope and complexity. Individuals appointed or advanced to Intermediate Grade will have demonstrated the ability to analyze and solve more complex medical problems and meet the following requirements: Experience / Education 1 year of professional practice as a PA; or
Successful completion of a PA post-graduate residency program accredited by ARC-PA or by the U.S. Armed Forces; or Master's degree from a PA training program certified by ARC-PA or in another health-related field from an accredited college or university recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
Clinical Competencies - Clinical Proficiency
1. Effectively treats patients with more complex medical problems requiring a higher degree of clinical skill and competency than that expected of the previous grade.
2. Performs more complex diagnostic and therapeutic procedures requiring skills and competency, as applicable to the assignment, beyond that expected in the previous grade.
3. Practices with a higher degree of autonomy and seeks guidance from the assigned physician less frequently than expected of the previous grade.
4. Evaluates the delivery system of patient care within the area of assignment, presents findings and recommendations, and contributes to changes that enhance the quality and timeliness of care.

Senior Grade. In addition to meeting the basic requirements listed above, you must meet all requirements described above for the Intermediate Grade through VA employment or non-VA PA positions with equivalent scope and complexity. Individuals appointed or advanced to Senior Grade will have demonstrated the behaviors or responsibilities listed in one or more of the following categories: Clinical Proficiency, Education, Professional Development, Management/Administrative, and Research, as applicable to the assignment.
Experience / Education: 3 years of professional practice as a PA; or 2 years of professional practice as a PA and successful completion of a PA post-graduate residency program accredited by ARC-PA or by the U.S. Armed Forces; or 2 years of professional practice as a PA and a Master's degree from a PA training program certified by ARC-PA or in another health-related field from an accredited college or university recognized by the U.S. Department of Education; or A Doctoral degree in a health-related field from an accredited college or university recognized by the U. S. Department of Education.

Chief Grade. In addition to meeting the basic requirements under paragraph 2 above, candidates must meet all requirements described in this standard for Senior Grade through VA employment or non-VA PA positions with equivalent scope and complexity. Appointment or promotion to Chief Grade is based on the individual's demonstrated high level of clinical expertise, leadership ability, and the ability to function with a high degree of autonomy. Further, the PA candidate for Chief Grade will have demonstrated all the requirements of one or more of the following categories: Management/Administrative, Clinical Proficiency, Professional Development and Research.
Experience / Education: Generally, an individual in this grade is able to demonstrate the behaviors listed in the areas below after 5 years of professional practice as a PA; and The minimum education for this grade is a Master's Degree from a PA training program accredited by ARC-PA or in a health-related field of study. However, experience as a PA may be substituted for the Master's degree where the individual has an equivalent knowledge of the profession and has successfully undertaken a combination of difficult or complex assignments in several clinical, administrative, research and educational arenas which required a high degree of competence.

References: VA Handbook 5005/78, Part II, Appendix G8 Physician Assistant Qualification Standard

The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-13. The actual grade at which an applicant may be selected for this vacancy is in the range of GS-9 to GS-13.

Physical Requirements: This position requires visual acuity, keen hearing, clear distinctive speech, and manual dexterity. This position may require potentially extended periods of continued walking, standing, stooping, sitting, bending, pulling, lifting and pushing. Setting up or transferring equipment, supplies and objects may be required. The incumbent may be exposed to infected patients and contaminated materials and may require protective clothing in isolation primarily if in direct areas.

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