While many people love the thought of becoming a doctor and helping patients recover from various illnesses, the prospect of spending eight years completing medical school is daunting and often financially impossible. However, rather than give up on their career dreams, more and more people are choosing to become a physician’s assistant. With employment prospects expected to increase 40 percent through 2018, it’s a career that’s well worth considering. If this sounds like the career for you, here are five benefits of working as a physician’s assistant.
Providing access to healthcare
Since many rural areas have trouble attracting physicians, a physician’s assistant can help fill the gap. By doing so, they can provide greater access to healthcare to those living in rural and isolated areas who otherwise may have to go without proper care. Along with seeing patients in an office, a physician’s assistant may also be able to make house calls and visit patients in a hospital when necessary.
Compared to many careers, a physician’s assistant can make an excellent salary. Based on data from Birmingham University, annual salaries are between £30,000 and £40,000.
Shorter training period
Becoming a physician’s assistant doesn’t necessarily require the same amount of education that a doctor requires, those interested in the position are encouraged to enrol in specialised training programmes at universities throughout the UK. In most instances, a physician’s assistant needs to complete a training programme lasting only two years. While the first year is spent mainly in the classroom, the second year is filled with clinical rotations.
Fewer administrative responsibilities
Since a physician’s assistant works under the supervision of a physician, they don’t have to worry about various administrative responsibilities such as marketing, malpractice insurance or supervising other employees. Because of this, they have much more time to spend treating patients.
A variety of specialities
While completing their training program, a physician’s assistant can work in a variety of specialities. Therefore, after completing their training program, they could choose a speciality, such as primary care, surgery, paediatrics, or others.
As the healthcare industry becomes more complex and numerous people find themselves in need of care for various illnesses, the role of physician’s assistant will become much more important and healthcare recruiters will come calling. Whether working in a rural area helping patients in need of care or deciding which speciality from which to choose, it’s clear being a physician’s assistant can offer numerous benefits that other careers find hard to match.
What advice do you have for those who are thinking of working as a physician’s assistant? Tell us by tweeting @CareerCamel.
Photo: manualsmedicalstaffing / Flickr
I’m a freelance writer and blogger who focuses on business, health and other various topics. I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in communication from UCLA and currently reside in Santa Cruz with my dog, Sassy.