Is Physician Assistant a Good Career?

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Is Physician Assistant a Good Career?

One of your alternatives if you want to start or advance your career in the medical area is to become a physician assistant (PA). A master’s degree in physician assistant studies is required to work as a P.A. This necessitates a significant amount of time, effort, and financial expenditure. You must determine whether this is the appropriate route for you. Continue reading to see if being a medical assistant is right for you.

Who Is a Physician Assistant?

Physician assistants, also known as physician associates, are everywhere in the medical field. They evaluate, diagnose, and treat patients using their medical skills, and they work as a team with other health care professionals to offer patient care.

The physician-PA connection is critical to the profession and helps to provide high-quality health care. Physician assistants have extensive autonomy in treating patients due to their advanced general medicine curriculum, structured after physician school.

What Does a Physician Assistant Do?

A physician assistant assists physicians in inpatient care. Cardiology and cardiac surgery, general medicine and surgery, orthopedics, cancer, trauma care, obstetrics and gynecology, and emergency medicine are some fields in which these experts operate.

Under the supervision of certified physicians, physician assistants conduct various medical tasks. They can have a variety of responsibilities and functions, including:

  • obtaining the medical history of a patient
  • ordering and evaluating different diagnostic tests, scans, and X-rays
  • assisting surgical professionals during procedures and operations
  • advising a patient or their family on how to manage a medical condition
  • giving patients and their families with moral support
  • ensuring that hospitalized patients get continuity of treatment
  • determining a patient’s clinical status

Types of Physician Assistant

Various occupations as a Physician assistant are discussed below.

Nurse- A nurse is in charge of patient care and is in charge pre-and post-operative care. A nurse must keep track of a patient’s medical data and monitor their progress. United States nurse wages vary from $3,625 (25th percentile) to $5,833 (75th percentile).

Pediatric Physician Assistant- A pediatric physician assistant assists pediatric physicians. They treat, diagnose, examine, and record patients under 14. Pediatric Physician Assistants earn between $20,060 and $531,507 a year in the U.S.

Orthopedic Physician Assistant- An orthopedic physician assistant assisted the physician in treating injuries to the bones, joints, ligaments, and muscles. It is updated, and an x-ray or C.T. scan is recommended to monitor interior damage or healing progress. The average orthopedic surgery Physician Assistant salary in the U.S. is $129,241, or 20% more than the national average.

How Much Does a Physician Assistant Make?

In 2020, Physician Assistants earned a median income of $115,390. That year, the top 25 percent earned $135,220, while the bottom 25 percent earned $95,730.

Physician Assistant Salary in the Different States

  • Texas: 120,836
  • Washington: $117,851
  • Florida: $107,761
  • Hawaii: $72,138
  • Kansas: $116,484
  • Ohio: $112,377
  • Arizona: $103, 663

How to Become An Physician Assistant?

The following are the steps you can take to become a medical assistant

Earn a Bachelor Degree

The initial step toward becoming a physician assistant is to obtain a bachelor’s degree. A bachelor’s degree in a physician assistant school will help you get started in this career. Many top colleges have entrance tests for the course as part of the admissions process. Standard entry tests for the same include the Central Universities Common Entrance Test (CUCET), the Combined Paramedical, Pharmacy, and Nursing Entrance Test (CPNET), and the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE).

Develop the Necessary Technical and Soft Skills

While obtaining your educational degree, you should build several vital technical and soft skills. Soft skills like listening, communication, collaboration, emotional intelligence, and attention to detail may be developed with practice and dedication. Regular training in these practical abilities and the application of theoretical principles can also aid in improving technical skills.

Create a Resume

It’s time to develop an outstanding CV once you’ve obtained the appropriate educational credentials and expertise. Highlighting your significant qualities and abilities may help you succeed. Examine several physician assistant job descriptions to uncover critical abilities that employers need since listing in-demand skills on your resume may help you land an interview.

Get Relevant Experience

Internships in hospitals and medical institutes can provide first-year students with the necessary experience. Find internships related to your field of study, as your success during the internship may lead to a full-time employment offer. Internships are also beneficial for expanding your professional network and seeking expert advice.

Apply for Open Position

You may start applying for appropriate physician assistant jobs once you have some experience, good abilities, and an outstanding résumé. You may also request job referrals from your college seniors and instructors. Before applying for a job, make sure your application is tailored to the position’s eligibility criteria and role.

Pros and Cons of Being a Physician Assistant

After reading this, you will know if this is the correct job for you. The pros and downsides of being a medical assistant are discussed below.

Pros of Being a Physician Assistant

Here Are Given Some Benefits of Physician Assistant

Stellar Job Outlook

You’ve probably heard that healthcare jobs are pretty secure, and the PA field is no exception. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 35% increase in demand for P.A.s through 2026. Thirty-five percent is insanely quick growth compared to all other employment sectors.

Above Average Salary

P.A.s are paid well. According to the B.L.S, the median compensation for P.A.s in the U.S. is around $108,430. Considering the average U.S. pay is $56,516 per year, P.A.s are doing rather well.

Remember, this is an average. Some P.A.s will make less than that, while others will earn well over $150k.

You Get to Practice Medicine

In many states, P.A.s perform comparable duties as physicians (MD, D.O.). In rural or underdeveloped regions, where physician recruitment is challenging, PAs may be the primary care providers.

Shorter Schooling than Doctor

Doctors, on the other hand, have more significant education. The undergraduate years and 4-year medical school. With residency and fellowship (depending on specialty), that’s well over ten years.

Cons of Being a Physician Assistant

Here are given some Cons of Physician Assistant:

Inconvenient Work Hours

You will almost certainly be needed to work evenings and weekends as a P.A. To add salt to injury, don’t be shocked if you’re also expected to be on call. While you may be able to find work that will get you out of this, such as a clinic or primary care job, you will most likely have a schedule that is less than optimal and not the traditional Monday through Friday 9 am-5 pm.

You Will be Under Pressure

A physician assistant is accountable for the lives of their patients and will have a daily job to perform. Remember, everything will be done under the supervision of a doctor. Because of the frequent change you will encounter in the healthcare industry; you may find this work quite stressful. You’ll have a lot of chores to perform by deadlines, and you’ll be wearing many hats in this profession, which is one of the most significant disadvantages of being a physician assistant.

You Need a Supervising Physician

You will always require a supervising physician, no matter how proficient or independent you become as a medical assistant (source). Different states will have different criteria for determining what that means, but the final consequence is that you’ll never be completely independent.

Best Colleges for Physician Assistant Study

Here are the Best Colleges in the U.S.A. for Physician Assistant Study:

University of Washington

The University of Washington School of Medicine’s P.A. Program is based in Seattle. It provides a Master’s or Bachelor’s degree in Clinical Health Services (MCHS or BCHS). A Certificate of Completion is awarded to all students who complete the program, and they are now eligible to take the national certification test. The MEDEX PA core curriculum will be required of all masters-level students. It focuses on primary care and increasing access to healthcare for those who are underserved.

Eastern Virginia University

Norfolk, Virginia, is home to Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS). EVMS is not associated with a college or university, and it oversees training at several medical sites around the Hampton Roads area.

Eastern Virginia Medical School’s Master of Physician Assistant (M.P.A.) The program employs cutting-edge teaching methods and a wide range of tools to give students with exceptional educational experiences. The PA program is split into two halves, lasting 28 months over seven semesters.

Stonybrook University

Stony Brook University was one of the first universities to offer a physician assistant program. Today’s candidates come to the program with many academic and professional experiences.

Two of Stony Brook’s main qualities in their P.A. program include a low teacher-to-student ratio and a collaborative learning style.

University of Colorado

In Aurora, CO, the University of Colorado (C.U.) School of Medicine offers a Physician Assistant program. It is a graduate-level program that leads to the granting of a Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS). The full-time, 36-month program educates students in primary care across the lifespan. Students in the Child Health Associate/Physician Assistant (CHA/PA) Program can choose from various tracks to enable them to tailor and extend their learning beyond the primary curriculum.

Yale University

In 1970, the Yale PA Program was established. The PA Program’s founders, Jack Cole, M.D., chair of the Department of Surgery, and Alfred Sadler, M.D., established the first P.A. Program in the United States, emphasizing emergency medicine and surgery. The program began teaching students as generalist P.A.s in the mid-1980s. The Yale PA Program’s Class received the Masters of Medical Science degree (MMSc) for the first time in 1999.

Baylor University

The Baylor College of Medicine programs routinely rank among the best in the country. Baylor College of Medicine is one of the nation’s major health science centers, with its headquarters in its biggest medical center. The College of Medicine was the first in Texas to award a Master of Science degree for a P.A. program, and only the fourth in the U.S. A 13-month didactic and 17-month experiential learning phase make up the Master of Science Physician Assistant Program. The program offers a didactic curriculum in medicine that includes fundamental science, behavioral science, and pre-clerkship sciences.

Drexel University

In 1891, Drexel University was established in Philadelphia. It is one of the top ten private employers in Philadelphia and a significant driver of regional economic growth. A Master of Health Science degree is awarded to Drexel University Physician Assistant Program graduates.

Students are allocated to established clinical training facilities supplied by the DUPAP for rotations and clinical practica after the classroom phase.

Shenandoah University

Shenandoah University (S.U.) was founded in 1875 in Winchester, Virginia. The curriculum is aimed to educate students for careers in primary care, and it places a strong emphasis on serving underserved groups. The delivery of health care is done collaboratively.

The PA Curriculum is a 30-month, accredited, an eight-semester program that leads to a Master’s degree in P.A. studies.

Saint Louis University

It is located on the Medical Center of Saint Louis University (S.L.U.) in St. Louis. Graduates of S.L.U.’s medical assistant program will get an M.M.S. after completing the 27-month curriculum.

The didactic component is made by preclinical lectures, small group discussions, laboratory sessions, and demonstrations.

George Washington University

Students at the George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington, D.C., develop excellent primary care and public health foundations. There are two graduate programs available:

  • Master of Science in Health Sciences (MSHS)
  • Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) degrees are available (M.P.H.)

Best Online Courses for Physician Assistant

Here Are Listed Best Online Courses

How to Become An Physician Assistant By Udemy

Do you want to know more about physician assistants and what it takes to become one? Do you find it difficult to decide whether or not you want to pursue a career as a medical assistant and how to get started?

Apply Now

To Prescribe or Not To Prescribe? Antibiotics and Outpatient Infections By Edx

This course would benefit from physicians in family practice, primary care, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, emergency medicine, pharmacists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and other allied health professionals.

Apply Now

Advanced Practice Provider/Physician Assistant: Opioid Use Disorder Medication-Assisted Treatment Waiver Training By Coursera

This online course is made available by a collaboration between the University of Virginia School of Medicine (UVASOM) and Nursing (S.O.N.), as well as the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry (AAAP), the M.A.T. waiver training’s Data 2000 sponsor. The AAAP generated this content, which has been used with permission. This course highlights critical challenges impacting prescribing professionals regarding new opioid prescribing and management standards and recommendations for acute and chronic pain treatment.

Apply Now


P.A.s have many employment responsibilities, such as switching from patient care to administration or utilization control. P.A.s can also go from working at a clinic to working in a medical institution or military. You’ll enjoy employment stability because of the flexibility and expected growth.

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