Becoming A Physician Assistant
Physician assistants work to prevent and treat human illnesses, diseases, and injuries through the care they provide under the direct supervision of licensed physician or surgeon. They’re capable of working in all areas of medicine, including primary care, outpatient care, family care, emergency medicine, and even psychiatry. Depending on the are, PA’s may even make house calls, visit nursing homes and other care-like facilities to treat patients.
A PA’s Job Description.
PA’s are trained to give medical exams, diagnose particular illnesses and injuries, and provide treatment to aid the patient. They can, but not limited to; prescribe medicine, review patients’ medical records, order and diagnosis tests, counsel patients, complete paperwork, prescribe medicine. They can also supervise over medical assistants and technicians. Most physician assistants work full-time, which may include nights, weekends, and/or holidays. Those who work on-call, must be ready at a moment’s notice to be called into work.
The Needed Certification.
Regardless of the state of practice, all PA’s must be licensed. Most often then not, aspiring physician assistants must have a Bachelor’s degree, followed by the successful completion of an accredited PA program. The latter takes at least two years of full-time study and can pay off with a Master’s degree.
The Career Path.
Along with their Bachelor’s degree, aspiring PA’s should rack up a few hours of healthcare work experience which can be received through PA programs that usually take about 26.5 months to complete; First year coursework will cover human anatomy through lab and clinical trainings while the second year will consist of clinical rotations. Physician assistants become knowledgeable in pathology, pharmacology, physiology, radiology, gynecology, biochemistry, microbiology, geriatrics, orthopedics, and pediatrics. They also learn the importance of medical ethics, prenatal care, emergency medicine, and internal medicine.
A PA’s Area of Employment.
PA’s are needed in physicians’ offices, hospitals, nursing homes, care centers, colleges, and other healthcare related facilities.
The Important Salary Information.
The median pay range for physicians assistants, in 2010, was $86,410. Those who work in colleges, universities or other professional like schools that are either state, local, or private; Are the ones that make less at about $80,810 a year. Physician assistants that work for the government or in a private owned office make about the same at $85,000 a year. Working at an outpatient care facility or a hospital (regardless of whether it’s state, local, or privately owned) will pay from $88,000 to $90,000 a year. However, those in the top 10% of their field potentially earn more than $117,000 a year while someone just someone just starting out may only make about $57,450. At the median range, that’s about $41.54 an hour.
Physician Assistant Job Outlook
Physician assistant salary comparison by state
New Hampshire (NH)
New Jersey (NJ)
New Mexico (NM)
New York (NY)
North Carolina (NC)
North Dakota (ND)
Puerto Rico (PR)
Rhode Island (RI)
South Carolina (SC)
South Dakota (SD)
Washington DC (DC)
West Virginia (WV)