The Advantages and Disadvantages of Being a Physician Assistant

Nowadays in the health care industry, the third fastest growing career in the world is that of the physician assistant. By the year 2016, the demand for this job is expected to increase by 40% because it has also been predicted that there will be a serious shortage of physicians in the year 2016. With these predictions, anyone who decides to take on this profession will without a doubt have a bright and secure future. Even though this is a great career to get into, it still has its ups and downs. Lets first get into the pros and advantages of being a PA.

The Advantages
  • Because of the fact that this is the third fastest growing career in the world right now, the salary and bonuses that come with this job are phenomenal. The average salary range for a PA is $60,000 to $110,000, and there are PAs who make over $120,000. The salary of almost every career in the health care industry is based on a number of factors. Factors like the disciplinary/malpractice history, work experience as a PA, and academic background. No matter what, the salary for a physician assistant will be high because of what this job brings to society concerning health care.
  • The tasks and duties that PAs perform on a daily basis are very challenging and at the same time they are rewarding. Day after day there are new things to learn and obstacles to get through. You’ll get a sense of fulfillment helping others who are suffering and completing tasks using the education and training you worked hard to master and achieve.
  • As a PA, its going to be very easy to move from different health care departments. You’ll have the option of transferring from one department to another such as pediatrics, neonatal, emergency or ICU. A decade ago, there were a lot of limitations for what a PA was allowed to do, but here in 2011 its seems endless with the shortage of physicians around.
  • This medical profession is highly respected and valued by health care workers like physicians and surgeons because it takes so much stress off their shoulders. PAs can do pretty much do all the tasks that were traditionally meant for the physician.

The Disadvantages
  • A physician assistant will always be supervised a surgeon or a physician. It doesn’t matter how much work experience the PA has, their academic background or their skills. They will always be supervised. Its because of this that when it concerns patient care, the PA has to always work collaboratively with a physician to determine the right treatment.
  • Even though PAs are doing most of the tasks that were usually done by physicians, their pay will still be lower in comparison to a physicians’.
  • Every 6 years a PA is mandated to take a re-certification exam to keep their certification. So even though they are already a working PA, they still have to do Continuing Medical Education (CME) up until they decide to quit their job or retire from it.
  • PAs are always doing a lot during the day. It can get very hectic to say the least. They have a ton of tasks that they have to do such as clinical and administrative. They work in the office and they handle patients. In the office they’ll either be updating patient records based on patient appointments or they’ll be helping the physician with whatever office tasks they need done.

Being a physician assistant great and its filled with tons of experiences. You’re going to see a lot of new things, do a lot of different things, and you’ll most definitely learn things about yourself as a person. Working with people does this too you so get ready for a exciting career if this is the one for you.


  1. Thank you very much for this enlightening information.

  2. Thanks! It helped a lot =)