Is Becoming a Physician Assistant Worth It?


It’s easy to feel lost as you’re working your way through medical school. With endless options when it comes to careers and specialties, it can be tough to make a final decision regarding his or her healthcare career. One of the biggest questions that many health professionals are asking themselves is, “is becoming a physician assistant worth it?” On one hand, you’ll be working closely with physicians and will make a solid wage. On the other hand, you’ll be going through even more rigorous schooling that can often become very expensive. So, is becoming a physician assistant worth it? Below we’ll take a look!

Is Becoming a Physician Assistant Worth It?

Less Classroom Time (Usually)

You’ve already spent countless numbers of classes during your medical schooling, so do you really want to spend more coffee-fueled nights during study sessions. Well, this really depends on what type of career you want to pursue. Compared to becoming an MD, the physician assistant schooling and course load are actually much lighter. Qualifications vary from state to state, but most physician assistants become licensed after completing a four-year degree followed by a 25-month accredited physician assistant program and then a one-year clinical rotation. You’ll be able to complete these requirements in about half to time it takes to become a licensed physician.

is becoming a physician assistant worth it?

However, if you’re still asking yourself, “is becoming a physician assistant worth it? You’ll also need to realize it’s still a lot of schooling. If school was never your strong suit, this might not be the right career. Physician Assistant schooling is intense, and you’ll often be moving around different facilities to learn from various specialties. While some enjoy the variety, others could find it too overwhelming.

The Stability of Work

Another major benefit of becoming a physician assistant is the stability you’ll have when it comes to the work week. Most PAs will work a traditional 9 to 5 shift or they’ll work extended hours but have two or three days off at a time. They can work their required shifts and clock out without having too much spill over to their off-duty hours. They are not often mandated to take a call or to cover hospital patients. So, is becoming a physician assistant worth it when it comes to the work/life balance? In most cases, yes. There are, however, some medical professionals who get bored with the traditional 9 to 5 and might opt to find a career that offers different hours from week to week. Either way, it’s all about finding the ideal balance between work and home!

The Money

It’s no secret that physician assistants make a good amount of money. With all the schooling and hands-on learning you’ll have to endure, it’s only right that you’re financially compensated for all your hard work. Salaries vary by specialty, city, and years of experience, with surgical subspecialties often paying more and experienced PA’s earning more money. However, the median salary according to the BLS as of 2015 is $98,180. This is certainly a stellar wage for those medical professionals who will certainly need to pay off growing student loans. However, there are some medical professionals who want to be even more ambitious. It’s no surprise that full-licensed doctors will almost always make more money than a PA. Again, it comes down to your desire to go through that extra schooling with the hopes that you’ll land a higher paying job.

So, is becoming a physician assistant worth it? Well, that’s only for you to decide. There are a lot of factors that come into play when you’re deciding whether or not you want to pursue this new career. If you have any other questions about becoming a physician assistant, feel free to comment them below! If you’re already a physician assistant, take a look at the thousands of assignments we have to offer!

Author: Troy Diffenderfer

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