Physician Assistant Guide to Locum Tenens Jobs in California

Imagine for a moment that you are stuck in traffic on your way to work, bored of the same monotonous routine, and looking to experience new scenery and culture. Then, your phone vibrates. It’s your Barton recruiter with the answer. They share a new listing with great pay, your dream schedule, and it will start at a time that fits your current life. The only problem is that it is in California which you know very little about. That’s where Barton comes in!

locum jobs in california

What You Need to Know About California as a Locum Tenens Physician Assistant?

Our recruiters and staffing specialists do not expect you, the provider, to know ins-and-outs of every state in the country. To help you make an informed decision, we’ve compiled information from TripAdvisor, state government pages, and tourist information sources to give you a glimpse into life in California.

Click here for open physician assistant jobs in California!

California: A Brief History

California’s history is a captivating tale of discovery, innovation, and cultural diversity. From the Gold Rush that lured adventurers worldwide to the birth of the entertainment industry in Hollywood, the state’s past is as colorful as its landscape. The Spanish missions, the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, and the Silicon Valley’s tech revolution all contribute to the tapestry of California’s history, making it a place of endless fascination.

California was admitted to the Union as the 31st state in 1850, marking a turning point in its history. The state’s rapid growth and economic significance contributed to its becoming a cultural and economic powerhouse. With its diverse geography and endless activities, there is something for everyone to love in California, making it an ideal place to live, work, and play! 

What is there to do and see in California?

  • California boasts an array of breathtaking national parks, including Yosemite, Joshua Tree, and Sequoia & Kings Canyon. Visitors can marvel at majestic waterfalls, ancient trees, and stunning rock formations while enjoying activities like hiking, camping, and wildlife spotting.
  • Napa Valley and Sonoma County offer world-renowned wine tasting experiences amidst picturesque vineyards. Visitors can savor award-winning wines, indulge in gourmet cuisine, and enjoy the scenic countryside.
  • From the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Disneyland in Southern California to the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island in San Francisco, the state is brimming with iconic landmarks that capture the essence of American culture and history.
  • With a coastline stretching over 800 miles, California offers an abundance of beautiful beaches for sunbathing, surfing, and water sports. From the stunning beaches of San Diego to the rugged coastline of Big Sur, there’s a beach for every preference.

How close is California to other cities and states?

  • Los Angeles, California to Las Vegas, Nevada: Approximately 270 miles northeast; around 4 to 4.5 hours by car.
  • Los Angeles, California to San Francisco, California: Roughly 380 miles north; about 6 to 7 hours by car.
  • Los Angeles, California to Phoenix, Arizona: Around 370 miles southeast; approximately 5.5 to 6 hours by car.
  • San Francisco, California to Portland, Oregon: About 640 miles north; approximately 10 to 11 hours by car.
  • San Francisco, California to Lake Tahoe, California/Nevada border: Approximately 200 miles east; around 3 to 4 hours by car. 

California’s vibrant history, diverse array of attractions, and coastal location make it an irresistible place to live and work, offering an unparalleled blend of cultural, natural, and historical experiences.

Physician Assistant Scope of Practice In California


What is the Scope of Practice for Physician Assistants in California?

In California, physician assistants (PAs) enjoy full practice authority, enabling them to assess patients, diagnose medical conditions, order and interpret diagnostic tests, devise and implement treatment plans, and prescribe medications autonomously Granting PAs full practice authority benefits patients by providing high-quality, cost-effective, and accessible care, while reducing physicians’ workload. PAs are valuable members of the healthcare team, contributing significantly to patient care.

Can Physician Assistants Sign Death Certificates in California?

In California, physician assistants (PAs) are legally authorized to sign death certificates. This is supported by specific regulations that recognize their education, training, clinical experience, and collaboration with physicians. PAs undergo rigorous training, work in various healthcare settings, and are regulated by the Medical Board of California, ensuring patient safety and competence. This authorization aligns with efforts to streamline the death certification process and acknowledge the essential role of PAs in healthcare delivery.

Does California Recognize Physician Assistants as Primary Care Providers? 

California recognizes physician assistants (PAs) as primary care providers, acknowledging their role in delivering high-quality healthcare. PAs are healthcare professionals with a master’s degree and national certification who can diagnose, treat, prescribe medications, and order tests. Their recognition as primary care providers reflects the state’s confidence in their ability to provide high-quality care and ensures patients have access to a range of healthcare providers, reducing wait times and improving care quality.

Can Physician Assistants Prescribe Schedule II Drugs in California?

In California, licensed PAs can prescribe schedule II drugs to their patients. They must have a valid license and have completed the required training. PAs must use their best clinical judgment to determine the appropriate medication and dosage for each patient. They must also provide patients with instructions on how to take the medication. PAs may also prescribe non-prescription medications, but they must still use their best clinical judgment. They are also responsible for monitoring the effects of medication on their patients and making any necessary adjustments.

Do Physician Assistants Qualify for Medical Staff Membership in California?

Physician assistants (PAs) in California are eligible for medical staff membership, which grants them privileges to practice medicine in certain settings, like hospitals. The application process involves submitting relevant documents and undergoing a review by the medical staff committee. If granted membership, PAs can provide various medical services under physician supervision, enhancing the healthcare system’s efficiency and quality of care.

Can Physician Assistants Order Physical Therapy in California?

In California, physician assistants (PAs) are authorized to practice medicine under physician supervision, including the ability to order and oversee physical therapy services. Their role helps reduce the burden on physicians and ensures that patients receive high-quality medical attention.

Can Physician Assistants Sign Handicap Parking Permit Forms in California?

In California, physician assistants (PAs) are legally authorized to issue disability parking placards. To obtain a placard, individuals must meet certain criteria and provide documentation of their disability, which PAs are qualified to evaluate and document. PAs play a significant role in ensuring individuals with disabilities have access to necessary parking accommodations, improving their quality of life and that of their families.

Can Physician Assistants Sign POLST/POST/MOLST/MOST/COLST Forms in California? 

In the state of California, PAs are legally authorized to sign Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) forms. These forms are designed to guide healthcare professionals in making decisions about life-sustaining treatments for patients who are seriously ill or have a life-limiting condition. By signing a POLST form, a PA can indicate the patient’s preferences for medical interventions such as CPR, intubation, and artificial nutrition and hydration. 

Can Physician Assistants Sign Do Not Resuscitate Orders in California?

In California, PAs can legally sign Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) orders, which document a patient’s wishes to not receive lifesaving measures in cardiac or respiratory arrest. The PAs must assess the patient’s decision-making capacity and document their wishes in the medical record. DNR orders are legally binding and override any previous directives, requiring healthcare professionals to respect the patient’s wishes. DNR orders are not intended to hasten death but provide a means for individuals to express their end-of-life care preferences. They are particularly beneficial for patients with terminal illnesses who do not want aggressive medical interventions.

What are the Continuing Education Requirements for Physician Assistants in California?

In California, physician assistants (PAs) must engage in continuing education (CE) to maintain their license and stay up-to-date with medical knowledge. The California Physician Assistant Board sets the CE requirement, which is currently 50 CE hours per two-year renewal cycle. Completing CE ensures PAs remain proficient in their clinical skills, promotes lifelong learning, and upholds patient safety. By fulfilling the CE requirement, PAs demonstrate their commitment to professional growth and contribute to the overall quality of healthcare services provided in California.

Find Your Next Physician Assistant Job with Barton

Barton coordinates your job search from start to finish!



We’ll schedule a phone consultation with a Barton Associates team member to discuss your interests, goals, and work history in order to get a sense of what you’re looking for in your next job.

Your Barton team will then go to work, compiling a list of open jobs in our extensive network that match your interests and skill set.



Once you’ve had a chance to evaluate your list of opportunities, your Barton rep will submit your information to facility you want to take an assignment at.

If there’s a match, we’ll work with the client manager on next steps.



Don’t worry! Barton Associates will handle licensing, credentialing, and travel arrangements before you arrive.

Your Barton rep will also work with your new facility to ensure you’re set up and ready to go on day one.


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