Physician assistants (PAs) are relative newcomers to the medical field. The position has only been around since the late 1960s, but in the years since then PAs have become an indispensable part of health care. They were initially seen as a solution to physician shortages, but that’s not the only role they play.
PAs are usually team players. They’re educated as generalists, understand medical workflows, and are flexible in where and how they work. Physician assistants bring a lot more to the table than many people give them credit for, and they’ll make a fine addition to your team.
A Physician’s Right-Hand
According to Jennifer Anne Hohman, physicians assistants act as a “right hand.” Hohman, who is assistant director of professional advocacy at the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA), says “PAs work in concert with physicians, complementing the ability to deliver a comprehensive range of medical and surgical services to diverse patient populations.”
PAs always work under a supervising physician. They’re more than just assistants, though, in that they’re qualified to practice medicine without someone always looking over their shoulders. They form a key player in medical teams, supporting a physician’s work and making their job easier.
Physician assistants earn a median salary of $101,480 per year. By comparison, median pay for physicians and surgeons is equal to or greater than $208,000 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2016.
Because physician assistants earn less money than a physician they’re a more cost-effective option for your practice. Like physicians and nurse practitioners they’re still highly qualified to provide medical care. In fact, the Affordable Care Act recognizes PAs as one of three primary care providers (PAs, Nurse Practitioners, and Physicians). But hiring one will be a lot easier on your finances than hiring another physician.
Higher Patient Satisfaction
While some patients may have questions about whether they should be seeing a physician assistant or their regular doctor, patient satisfaction doesn’t suffer when you hire a PA. In fact, there’s a good chance you’ll see your satisfaction rates go up.
A physician assistant’s job involves handling part of the physician’s workload. By performing tasks such as assessing a patient’s health, compiling a medical history, and performing certain treatments PAs free up physicians’ time and make it so patients experience shorter waits when they try to see a doctor.
Quality Medical Care
One key difference between physicians and PAs is in their education. After earning a Bachelor’s degree, physician assistants complete three years of medical training in an accredited program. These programs include more than 2,000 hours in clinical rotations. Before entering practice, they must also pass a national certifying exam and qualify for a state license.
This sort of education is a fantastic background for working in the medical field. Find a qualified physician assistant to hire and you can rest assured you’re delivering quality medical care. RadCoverage can help you with that. We specialize in connecting your practice with the sort of qualified medical professionals that you want to hire. Contact us to get started.