General Duties:

A physician assistant is someone who is assisting a physician. They are not the doctor’s personal assistant, instead, they aid physicians in the tasks and general duties they must perform. A typical
day for a PA involves doing rounds if they work in a hospital setting, taking vital signs, prescribing medication, meetings with other physicians to come up with a treatment plan for a patient.

What environment(s) and/or settings is this profession employed?

Usually, PAs are employed in hospital settings, physicians’ offices, and outpatient clinics.

What are the skills/qualities needed to be successful in this field?

Skills such as: observation, communication, sensory and motor coordination, and function intellectual-conceptual, integrative and quantitative abilities are skills that PA programs look for in their students.

What is the employment outlook? 

Currently, there is an expected 31% growth expected in this career in the next 10 years.

What is the average salary/earnings for this profession? What is the average indebtedness of professionals entering the field? 

Average salary ranges from $90-100k. In the Boston area, the salary ranges from $98k-128k.

Other healthcare professionals someone in this career may interact and/or collaborate with:

Occupational therapist, Physical therapist, Physician, Registered Nurse, Anesthesiologist assistant

What kind of educational training/qualifications does entry into this career require? 

PA programs are a Master’s program so some schools require the GRE or MCAT exam.

Professional Interviewed:

Giovana Gomez, Physician Assistant, North Providence, Rhode Island

How did they become interested in this field?

My interviewee became interested in the field after working as a medical assistant for over 7 years

What do they like about what they do?

Giovana likes the fact that she can work alongside with many physicians. Furthermore, she appreciates the autonomy she has now than as she did as a medical assistant.

How do they think their field will change in the next 10 years?

More people are learning that there are things such as a PA, so she believes that more people will become more interested and want to pursue a career in this field. Also, many primary care physicians are being overworked, she believes that PAs will begin to play an important role in primary care.

What is their advice for those interested in this career?

To not give up. Giovana said she knows how hard PA programs can be or even trying to complete the prerequisites for the PA programs can be a lot. But even in those hard times, don’t give it up. If you truly care about working in this field, try your best and never give up.