Top 5 Reasons to Become a Physician Assistant

Feb. 27, 2020
physician assistant standing in hallway

The secret is out: Medical school may no longer be the optimal path to a highly rewarding career in healthcare.

More and more, students are choosing to pursue Physician Assistant Studies programs—such as the brand-new Physician Assistant Studies program at Assumption—in lieu of attending medical school.

It’s easy to understand why. Physician assistants can do nearly everything a physician can—from examining patients and making diagnoses to prescribing medication and assisting in surgery—and they graduate faster, with less debt, and with unlimited career potential.

Physician assistant is ranked the No. 3 career in America by U.S. News & World Report. Here are the top 5 reasons you may want to become one:

  1. You’ll get to work sooner—and with less debt.
    It takes less than three years of graduate school and clinical training to become a physician assistant (PA). In contrast, physicians must spend four years in medical school and three-to-seven years in residency before earning their medical license. Less schooling means less tuition debt and a shorter path into the workforce, putting PA Studies graduates on solid financial footing faster than their medical school counterparts.
  2. You can pursue all of your interests—not just one.
    While medical doctors must pick a subspecialty, physician assistants are trained as generalists. Once you earn your PA license, you can work in any area of healthcare—from surgery to orthopedics to oncology. And unlike MDs, it’s easy (and common) for PAs to move into different roles as their interests and personal needs change. For example, you may start out in pediatrics, enjoy a stint in emergency medicine, and move into education. The options for PAs are limitless!
  3. You’ll reap exceptional financial rewards.
    Medical doctors are known to earn high salaries, but the pay of PAs is also impressive. Most physician assistants can expect to earn starting salaries of $87,000 and above, and, according to the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants, as of April 2019 the average PA salary was $110,567.
  4. You can achieve the ideal work-life balance.
    While physician assistants have a great deal of responsibility, they generally experience less stress and more flexibility than physicians do. PAs benefit from reasonable work hours and can spend most of those hours responding to patients’ needs—giving them more time for a fulfilling career, family, and other pursuits.
  5. You’ll enjoy outstanding job security.
    Working as a physician assistant is personally rewarding—and also a safe bet in today’s ever-changing economy. As demand for healthcare services continues to grow, so will the need for physician assistants. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the projected job growth for PAs in the United States through 2028 is 31%—making it one of the fastest growing jobs in the country.

Interested in becoming a PA? Here are three reasons to pursue your path at Assumption: Our Physician Assistant Studies program is new, innovative, and reflective of the healthcare industry’s ever-changing needs.

Learn more about the Physician Assistant Studies Program