The Pros of Becoming a Physician Assistant


Photo by Riccardo Pelati on Unsplash

Cody High School students often want to pursue medical degrees after graduation. I am one of those students desiring to be in the medical field, but I want to have a set schedule; I want to have a life. In order to balance work, fun and family, I have decided to become a physician assistant.

The amount of schooling is one of the benefits of being a PA. As a doctor, you must go to undergraduate school and medical school. Then you start your internship and move on to a residency. After years of practice and many sleepless nights, you then obtain a license to practice medicine or perform surgery. The final step is national board certification and obtaining a state license. As a PA, you take an undergraduate program for four years before acceptance to a 27-month program that includes a year-long clinical rotation. Physician assistants are tested every ten years on their knowledge, making their education ongoing.

PAs also have a bigger focus on patient care rather than practicing medicine. They can examine, diagnose, suture and assist in surgery. Depending on the state and practice they are working for, they can also work alone and/or prescribe medication.

Additionally, the job increase rate for physician assistants is higher. Career outlook for doctors is only at a 13% increase in the next ten years while PAs are at a 37% increase, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This means by going into the position of “helper,” I will have a better chance of finding a job.

Doctors will always be important to society and the medical field, but as time goes on, physician assistants will continue to become more prominent and sought out.