Physicians are a very important part of the community. They are the people who possess the expertise and the license to provide medical care and to perform medical procedures. However, as much as they are needed, there seems to be a lack of doctors to accommodate everyone who needs medical assistance. Hospitals are unable to hire more doctors because this would mean they would have to have more funds to pay them and to provide benefits for them. Rural areas, where medical assistance is badly needed, are unable to pay for medical service and only a few doctors are willing to do volunteer work.
The good news is that there are Physician Assistants who are trained to handle medical tasks with the supervision and approval of the doctors that they work for. They are meant to cover for doctors when they have to attend to an emergency. These people are a big help for people who need medical assistance but are unable to pay for the services of a doctor. Although their salaries are not far apart, Physician Assistants or PAs are more accessible. Below is the physician assistant salary ranges.
Physician Assistant Salary Information:
When it comes to the average physician assistant salary, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that it was $86,410 as of May 2010. The lowest possible Physician Assistant salary was at $57,450 while the highest possible physician assistant salary one can receive was $117,720. There are several industries at which Physician Assistants can gain employment. Those with the most number of PAs are hospitals, outpatient centers, physician offices, the Federal government, and schools. The Physician Assistant salary for each of these industries vary. Hospitals, whether it be state, local, or private, provide the biggest Physician Assistant income which is around $89,500 while the lowest payer in the list of industries are schools. Just like Physicians, these professionals also work on-call, during holidays, and the weekends. Those who choose this type of work schedule get to earn a higher Physician Assistant salary as well.
Physician Assistant Education Requirements:
Typically, Physician Assistants need to have a Master’s Degree. In order to apply for a Master’s, an individual should have already obtained a Bachelor’s Degree and some work experience in a health care-related job, such as a paramedic or a registered nurse. However, the basic requirements may be different depending on the program and school that one choose to study at. Most programs for Physician Assistant education lasts a minimum of 2 years. There are 165 Physician Assistant programs that are accredited as of today. Most of these only offer a Master’s Degree while some also offer a Bachelor’s Degree. Although rare, there are schools that offer studies for a Graduate certificate or Associates degree. Your degree will greatly impact your physician assistant salary and benefits. Each program involves certain subject areas that are very similar to Medicine. This is to provide assistants with enough knowledge to handle a doctor’s tasks. Some schools allow students to work under the supervision of a Physician in order to gain knowledge and first-hand experience. Some acquire their permanent jobs this way. Every state in the United States require Physician Assistants to take the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination which is conducted by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants or NCCPA. They must also take continuous studies in order to remain certified. A re-certification exam needs to be taken every 6 years as well. These professionals may also choose an area of expertise, just like doctors. However, no matter what advanced training or studies they take, they will always have to work under the supervision and direction of a Physician.
Physician Assistant Job Description:
The typical tasks covered in the Physician Assistant job description involves examining patients, diagnosing medical conditions, and providing the necessary treatment or medication. Physician Assistants are required to work only with the supervision of a doctor. At work, they need to review a patient’s medical history and to perform a full physical examination on the patient. They are licensed to order diagnostic or laboratory tests and are trained to interpret and explain the results. They are also trained to formulate a diagnosis and to provide basic medical treatment. It is also their job to answer a patient’s questions and provide them with information that would be helpful to their certain condition or illness. Making a record of a patient’s progress as well as processing the paperwork needed for insurance are also part of their job description and physician assistant salary.
The BLS predicts a 30 percent increase in employment with regards to the Physician Assistant profession along with the physician assistant salary. The reason behind this is that more and more doctors are opting for a specific field of expertise, thus, more health workers that could provide preliminary medical assistance, such as Physician Assistants, will be needed. Those who wish to work in the medical field without having to undergo several years of studies can do so by opting to become a Physician Assistant instead.