All the salary and medicine, none of the risk

A commenter sees physician assistants as the way to go:

The way to go is to be a PA (physician’s assistant). You get all the cool medical work and none of the responsibility. You make a very nice salary and after the Dr. who you work under pays all the malpractice insurance, you’re making just about as much as he is.

(via This Makes Me Sick)

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  • DNR Bflo

    Where I used to work the PAs did not have to take call or round in the hospital either. I made $25,000 more per year, but I was working 15 hours more per week (not including alternating weekend hospital rounds). I admit it…I was jealous! I’m $200,000 in debt from med school and they weren’t.

  • Rian

    Pharmacy is quite similar. (Though not as “cool”, I suppose.)

  • shadowfax

    We have a great cadre of PAs who work in our ED. They are a professional and happy bunch. It’s a great career for those who are interested.

    They make a lot less than the physicians. They are incentivized, and can easily make more than many office-based physicians, but the average PA salary is somewhat less than half the physician salary.

  • Martin O Gonz

    Delegating to Provide: Healthcare Supply and Demand. If your home was on fire would stop the volunteer firefighter from saving your home because he was not the fire chief? Physician Assistants proudly perform their “learned profession” with the active, delegative and collaborative involvement of a conscientious much more learned and better paid MD/DO. A better understanding of the relationship can be found at (American Academy Physician Assistant).
    Health care systems worldwide have developed and instituted “access” in a variety of ways. The PA profession began with a defined need and vision in 1967.
    Doherty, Coetzee in “Community health worker and professional nurses: defining roles and understanding relationships” (PubHlthNurs 2005) investigate the relationship in integrating a “supply” factor into the South AFrican health care system: “It is evident that community health workers (CHWs) are ideally suited to play a pivotal role in supporting the public health services. However, their role and functions are not formalized and the effectiveness of programs is often not rigorously evaluated”.
    To afford the compassionate care of people we need to be innovative and flexible.The “supply” requires it!
    PA’s have always understood the delegation and conscientiousness of the MD/DO is paramount. The “demand” required it!

  • Anonymous

    Our ER is dependent upon PA’s and they do a wonerful job. They make less than half than the MD’s but they get regular hours, employee benefits that we don’t, and it increases our liability exposure. There seems to be very wide variability in quality. Some of the PA’s come from expensive Masters’s degree programs and others come from a more limited program through the community college and county hospital. We usually have to go through about 3 before we find a keeper.

  • Anonymous

    “They make a lot less than the physicians. They are incentivized, and can easily make more than many office-based physicians”

    What is wrong with that picture? thanks for reminding me once again why I left primary care.