1. Spare yourself the 4 long years of medical school
Oh no thank you, 2 years of torture is plenty for me! In medical school, the first two years revolve around the sciences, anatomy, physiology and pharmacology. These are torturous years that are more background information than what is actually used on a day to day basis in the work place. As PA’s however, our education is highly directed. We are expected to know our sciences the day we arrive. In our first didactic year, the education completely focuses on all the important diseases and how to handle patients and medications. This method of education makes PAs very prepared to practice medicine the first day of rotations. After only one year of rotations, we are ready to start our first job! There is no need to prolong the process. We are given high expectations and have the opportunity for high achievement.
2. Dodge the residency
Physicians seem to be a glutton for punishment. In a residency, doctors are worked like a dog… and paid like one. Residents are expected to know enough to work independently, but never seem to be treated with the respect they definitely deserve. Residency programs are 3 years or more, which is a long time to work under those painful conditions. As PA’s, we are able to work in the field of our choice without this painful rite of passage.
3. You have back up
It is human nature to get over whelmed sometimes in our jobs, but as medical professionals, we make life and death decisions every day. As PA’s, we know that if we are ever unsure of what to do, we have a doctor right there behind us ready to make the difficult decisions. It’s nice to have a guardian angel in the medical field.
4. Switching fields is easy as pie
Just imagine: You’re working in a family practice office and one day you say to yourself, “I want to do neurosurgery.” Boom! One month later, you are assisting in neurosurgery. You know what is crazy? This is actually possible. There is no excuse for getting bored in a profession where almost anything is possible. We are uniquely able to pursue any field we are passionate about without undergoing an additional residency. Working as a physician assistant is an amazing privilege.
5. Your wallet will thank you too
Regardless if you are a physician assistant or a physician, your student loan payments are guaranteed to be ridiculous. However, as a physician, you acquire twice the amount of student loans and due to limited income in residency programs, large amounts of interest is acquired. By the time physicians are financially capable of making significant contributions to their student loans, the physician assistants have already paid of all of theirs. Sure, physicians make more money than PA’s, but that salary gap is getting smaller and smaller as the demand for PA’s grow! Many practices would rather add a PA to the team than add another doctor to save money on an extremely valuable practioner.