When compared to becoming an MD, taking a physician assistant program in school would take less time, and cost less money overall. So, in a way you could say that becoming a physician assistant is “easy.” Having said that, however, there is a lot you have to do to become a physician assistant. While you might never make as much as a medical doctor – like a surgeon – getting through a physician assistant program can lead to a really good lifestyle.
Becoming a Physician Assistant – the Three P’s
- Plan – The first part of your journey to become a PA should be planning. Do you want to finish your college first then enter a PA program? Or do you want to start with a physician assistant program from the get-go? These are important questions that you need to answer before you can proceed.
- Pick – Once you know more about what you want, you can begin to narrow down different schools. Picking the right college or university is important if you want to be successful as a physician assistant. Start with a “short list” of five to ten schools and gradually weed out any that don’t feel right or are missing some of your requirements. Ask for other opinions if you want.
- Proceed – Eventually, you are going to have to choose a path. Picking the right college is easy if you do the planning stage correctly and know exactly what you want to achieve and what you need to reach your goals. This makes the decision of picking a school easier for many people. Make sure you don’t hesitate too long, however. Pick a path as soon as you can.
Once you know what type of PA program you want to follow, find the most suitable school for your personal goals. Taking your time and making sure you are a good fit with the curriculum as well as the social aspects of a school will go a long way in setting you up for success. The life of a physician assistant is not for everyone, but if you want to make a good living and help people every day of your life, it may be what you have been seeking.
We’re going to help you out by creating a list of pros and cons. We are going to start with the negatives, but we’re going to be honest and give it to you like it really is.
- You are not going to make as much as you would if you were a physician. Even at the top end of the scale – around $80,000 per year – the amount is going to be less than an MD.
- Some training is needed, but it is easy, takes little time, and is not as expensive as medical school. In general, most PA programs can be completed in around 100 weeks – compared to 150+ weeks for most medical school programs.
- In some instances, if your supervising physician has strange or long hours, you may be required to work odd hours as well. This is not the case for all jobs, though.
- No long, expensive stints in medical school is one of the biggest pros of being a PA. You will still be able to make a very good living compared to a lot of other career paths you could take and a PA program can usually be completed in 100 weeks.
- The life of a PA is very exciting with no two days ever the same. For example, some days you may be in the lab working with test results while other days you may be working directly with patients – who are different every day in some cases.
- You can specialize in various areas easier so you can find something you truly enjoy.
- No long, irregular hours like a physician or surgeon in some cases. This will vary on your specific job, but it is easy to get a “normal” work schedule if you are a physician assistant.
- No need to try to fight your way into medical school and pay the expensive fees. A lot of colleges have great PA programs for you to follow.
- Physician assistants are in high demand, which means job opportunities are very good. Additionally, salaries have been increasing for this career field.
The pros quite easily outweigh the cons in this case, you are probably wondering how to proceed toward the good life. The next step is simple to comprehend but difficult to put into action for some people. Hopefully, you are the type of person who can buckle down and charge forward toward a goal in life.
To achieve the good life – in any career you choose – you need to be the best you can be. Again, this sounds like common sense – and it is – but you really need to wrap your head around the idea of putting everything you have into being a great physician assistant. Whether you are just starting down the road to becoming a PA or you are one now, paying attention to the details is important.
A physician assistant is actually a very prestigious and noble career choice for many reasons. If you think you have what it takes, you need to study, learn, and gain experience so that you can be a grade A assistant to whichever physician you are assigned to work with. Being a physician assistant is a fulfilling way to reach the good life. And while the good life may be different for everyone, if a great salary and a rewarding job helping people sounds good to you, a PA position is a good idea.
While the title assistant may throw you off a bit, think about all the great assistants throughout time. Where would the main character he without the assistant? Sherlock Holmes without Watson? Batman without Robin? You see where we’re going with this? Sometimes playing the role of helper is just as noble (and fulfilling) as being the person in the limelight.
Physician assistants help doctors by performing routine care. This includes giving physicals, tests, talking to patients or prescribing medication. All of this happens under a doctor’s supervision, but it is a lot of responsibility. And with the responsibility comes a lot of rewards. The good news – for you – is that there is a shortage of PAs currently, which means this is a career choice that is in demand.
There you are, sitting on the couch flipping through television stations just thinking. Your friends are all doing well in their careers and here you are still wondering what you are going to do with your life. While there are a lot of careers out there, perhaps a late night infomercial starts playing, letting you know about the good life that can be had by a physician assistant. Suddenly, the light comes on.
Why shouldn’t you work toward the good life? You may not know a lot about being an assistant to a physician, but luckily, we are here to help. Whether or not it is fate that you ended up here on this page in the vastness of the Internet we will leave for you to decide. The important thing is that we have you interested in taking control of your life.
Below, we are going to look at physician assistants, including the pros and cons associated with the career choice. We will also show you how being an assistant to a physician can lead you to the ever elusive good life. Be warned, the “answer” may surprise you. Ready to get going? Great. We have a lot to cover, but it’s easy to see you are already interested.