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Life As a Physician Assistant

Physician Assistant (PA) Example Provide healthcare services typically performed by a physician, under the supervision of a physician. Conduct complete physicals, provide treatment, and counsel patients. May, in some cases, prescribe medication. Must graduate from an accredited educational program for physician assistants.

What Do Physician Assistants Do On a Daily Basis?

  • Order medical and laboratory supplies and equipment.
  • Obtain, compile and record patient medical data, including health history, progress notes and results of physical examination.
  • Perform therapeutic procedures, such as injections, immunizations, suturing and wound care, and infection management.
  • Instruct and counsel patients about prescribed therapeutic regimens, normal growth and development, family planning, emotional problems of daily living, and health maintenance.
  • Visit and observe patients on hospital rounds or house calls, updating charts, ordering therapy, and reporting back to physician.
  • Make tentative diagnoses and decisions about management and treatment of patients.

Qualities of a Physician Assistant (PA)

These are the skills Physician Assistants say are the most useful in their careers:

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Service Orientation: Actively looking for ways to help people.

Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

  • Doctor
  • Surgical Physician Assistant
  • Surgical First Assistant
  • Surgeon Assistant
  • General Surgery Physician Assistant

Job Demand for Physician Assistants

In the United States, there were 106,200 jobs for Physician Assistant in 2016. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 37.4% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 39,700 new jobs for Physician Assistant by 2026. The BLS estimates 10,600 yearly job openings in this field.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Physician Assistants in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Physician Assistant (PA) are Arizona, Utah, and Florida. Watch out if you plan on working in Rhode Island, Mississippi, or Alaska. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Average Physician Assistants Salary

The salary for Physician Assistants ranges between about $69,120 and $151,850 a year.

Salary Ranges for Physician Assistants

Physician Assistants who work in Connecticut, Washington, or Alaska, make the highest salaries.

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Physician Assistants in different U.S. states.

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $92,880
Alaska $122,260
Arizona $101,590
Arkansas $99,280
California $117,230
Colorado $102,770
Connecticut $125,610
Delaware $105,300
District of Columbia $114,740
Florida $105,930
Georgia $103,190
Hawaii $121,120
Idaho $109,090
Illinois $108,260
Indiana $96,090
Iowa $110,550
Kansas $104,720
Kentucky $91,010
Louisiana $85,990
Maine $110,030
Maryland $108,180
Massachusetts $108,700
Michigan $110,240
Minnesota $116,200
Mississippi $81,130
Missouri $94,480
Montana $106,130
Nebraska $106,700
Nevada $116,850
New Hampshire $111,080
New Jersey $116,270
New Mexico $108,610
New York $117,000
North Carolina $104,680
North Dakota $107,340
Ohio $105,410
Oklahoma $104,200
Oregon $113,570
Pennsylvania $98,510
Rhode Island $103,710
South Carolina $103,710
South Dakota $102,830
Tennessee $87,700
Texas $109,590
Utah $102,710
Vermont $106,520
Virginia $99,340
Washington $123,980
West Virginia $104,180
Wisconsin $107,920
Wyoming $116,890

What Tools do Physician Assistants Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Physician Assistants:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Web browser software
  • Word processing software
  • Spreadsheet software
  • MEDITECH software
  • Medical procedure coding software
  • Epic Systems
  • Healthcare common procedure coding system HCPCS
  • Medical condition coding software
  • Electronic medical record EMR software
  • ChartWare EMR
  • Teleconferencing software
  • Teleradiology systems

Becoming a Physician Assistant (PA)

What education or degrees do I need to become a Physician Assistant?

Physician Assistant (PA) Degree Level

What work experience do I need to become a Physician Assistant (PA)?

Physician Assistant (PA) Work Experience

Where Physician Assistants Work

Physician Assistant (PA) Sectors

Physician Assistants work in the following industries:

Physician Assistant (PA) Industries

You May Also Be Interested In…

Those interested in being a Physician Assistant may also be interested in:

Career changers with experience as a Physician Assistant sometimes find work in one of the following fields:

References:

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More about our data sources and methodologies.

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