Friday, May 08, 2009

What’s it like to be a….Physician’s Assistant?

What does a normal day look like? Is it consistent throughout the year? If youíve had this position for a while, how have things changed?
I work in a family practice setting so I see patients ranging from infants to the elderly. I work from about 7:45-5:30/6:00 seeing many different cases every day, ranging from the common cold to lacerations to diabetes, etc.

What other, if any, positions have you held prior to your current job? How did you get to where you are now?
None. I got my bachelorís degree majoring in Spanish and went on to PA school immediately after graduating.

What kind of training/education did you have? What would you suggest? What qualifications/skills/attributes make someone successful in this position?
Like I said, I got my degree in Spanish but took all the pre-requisites that PA schools require (biology, chemistry, etc). I also volunteered for a summer in a large urban hospitalís ER and soon after worked as a nurseís assistant in the hospital. All PA schools require you to have a certain number of patient-patient contact hours.

What are the rewards in your position? Challenges? What makes a good day for you?
Rewards: taking care of someoneís life. Itís very rewarding diagnosing conditions and following patients until they are well-controlled/cured, etc. The rewards in my job are limitless. Every day I feel blessed to be able to use my knowledge to better someone elseís life. Challenges: My job is tiring at times since we have a very busy practice. I find myself frustrated/saddened dealing with patientís who I believe to be drug-seekers. Thank goodness we donít see many!

What trends or changes do you foresee in the next 5-10 years?

Even more PAís in the workforce.

How could a person find out more about your field?
Visit the American Academy of Physician Assistant website at

Can you suggest any careers which are similar to yours?
Nurse Practitioner

When you were growing up, did you have any interests that you have built into your work?
I have always been interested in the medical field.

What obstacles have you overcome to get to where you are today?

LOTís of studying!

Posted by Bonnie Speyers on 05/08 at 08:49 AM

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