Physician Assistant Career
The first step in starting your physician assistant career is to attain a degree that is relevant to the PA field, which when it comes to degrees, a bachelors degree in physician assistant studies is the minimum requirement needed to attain an entry level job as a physician assistant. Now although this is the minimum requirement, almost all the physician assistants working today have gotten their masters degree in physician assistant studies, which not only provides one with a better chance of getting a job as a physician assistant, but it will also provide them with a better income over the course of their physician assistant career. Now one shouldn’t get their degree from just any college, the college must be an accredited physician assistant school as you must do your training through an accredited PA program in order to start a career as a physician assistant as this is the major requirement needed to take the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE) The PANCE is the competency evaluation for those who have graduated from a physician assistant school, and your ticket to starting your physician assistant career.
Physician Assistant Career Job Duties
Now as far as what you will be doing on the job as a physician assistant, some of the general job duties of the PA job description consist of:
- Evaluation as well as diagnosis of a myriad of disorders.
- Taking the medical history of patients.
- Interpretation of lab tests like x-rays, cat scans, CT scans and more, as well as explaining the results to the patient.
- Wound care.
- Deciding if one should employ alternative therapy as well as helping them understand the therapy regimen.
- Treatment of minor injuries.
- In many rural areas, the physician assistant will act as the primary health care provider as the physician is often times out of the office, which is when the PA will need to be in contact with the physician by phone and/or email for when they need to consult the assistance of the physician.
- The physician assistant career can also consist of prescribing medication to patients if ones states laws and regulations permit it.
Bear in mind that this is a general overlook of what a PA does at work, but the job description can range if one chooses to work in one of the physician assistant specialties. But all in all the physician assistant career permits one to be able to do anywhere from 60 to 80 percent of the job duties that a physician can do, which the real scope of a PA practice will ultimately be dictated by the practice of the physician that they are working with.
Physician Assistant Career Salary
When it comes to how much a physician assistant can earn, well there are many different factors that dictate ones salary, but one can expect very good pay, as the average salary for a physician assistant is above $85,000 to $90,000 per year. Some of the main factors just like any other career include; where you live, what type of facility you work in and how busy it is, type of degree as well as how much experience you have. Now this total can be a lot higher if one chooses to become specialized in one of the physician assistant specialties, which some of them include; dermatology, surgery, orthopedics, oncology, pediatrics, family medicine among others, which the first three are ranked as the highest paid physician assistant career salaries, as one can earn above $100,000 a year as a specialized physician assistant.
Physician Assistant Career Outlook
The career out look for physician assistant careers is excellent, which the career is expected to explode in the next 10 years, in which time the need for physician assistants will increase at a rate faster than the average of any other career, providing one with a very stable and secure physician assistant career with great pay.