A physician’s assistant is someone who works in a support role in the medical field. They are still responsible for patient care, but their work needs to be done under supervision. This does not mean that a doctor needs to be present whenever they are working, but it does mean their work has to be signed off and checked. There are many reasons why you might consider becoming a physician’s assistant. Read on to find out what they are, and whether this career path could be for you.
Less Classroom Time
Doctors must spend many years learning how to treat people — it takes at least 10 years of study to become fully qualified, and more if you want to specialize in certain areas. Although obtaining a physician assistant degree is not easy, it will take much less time than it does to study to become a doctor. This kind of degree will take around four years and then there will be clinical rotations to take part in.
Since you can still treat patients and help them while still working in a hospital, many people find that the supervision they are under is a fair trade for less time studying and more time working.
Although doctors and physician’s assistants do carry a lot of the same work, physician’s assistants are able to focus more on their patients’ care and less on paperwork. Therefore, it can be more suited to those who prefer to be with other people and make time to talk to them. It is a very rewarding job.
Also, doctors will often be leaders in their personality types. They will want to gain promotions and become the best at what they do with a team behind them who they are in charge of. This is not the case for physician’s assistants who are happy to be part of a team rather than any kind of leader. Despite carrying out similar work, it takes an almost entirely different personality to be a physician’s assistant rather than a doctor.
We all have heard about the long hours and double shifts that doctors need to work in order to complete their training and get through their workload. Physician’s assistants can work much shorter hours and their shifts tend to be a lot more regular as well. This is ideal for those who have families and who want a good work life balance. They can still take care of their patients, but they don’t have to tire themselves out or miss out on special family occasions to do it.
The job is much more flexible too. Rather than studying for a specific specialism, a physician’s assistant can work in any department that they want to, since their degree will take them wherever they want to go.
A physician’s assistant is paid very well. The Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests that the average wage for a PA in 2018 was $108,610. For a job that is as flexible as you need it to be, and that has good working hours, this seems a very fair salary.