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Physician Assistant Employment
As of 2008, physician assistant employment totaled 74,800 jobs. This is actually larger than the number of PAs who are practicing because there are a few who are employed at two or more jobs. As an example of this, some PAs work in a healthcare facility but also work for a supervising physician. In fact, according to the American Academy of Physicians Assistants, about 15% of those with Physician Assistant Employment worked in more than one clinical job at the same time.
The number of PAs is expected to grow by 39% from 2008 to 2018. With the passage of the affordable care act it is likely that physician assistants will play a larger role in providing access to the millions of new patients that will enter the healthcare system over the coming years of implementation. Many doctors will be forced to add multiple physician assistants to deal with the new patient load and to meet lowerprovider payments that are expected.
Physician Assistant Employment In physician’s offices
About 53% of physician employment jobs are in physicians’ offices while an estimated 24% are in surgical hospitals–both public and private–and also in general practice and specialty medical offices. The remaining physicians assistants were mostly in health maintenance organizations, outpatient care centers, public and private colleges and universities and the federal government. Interestingly enough, very few PAs are self-employed.
Employment opportunities for PAs are expected to grow much faster than the average and are rated as “good,” especially in rural and inner-city areas.
Cost-effective and productive members of the healthcare team
The thing about physician assistants is that they can be cost-effective and productive members of the healthcare team. This is because they can relieve doctors of routine duties and procedures. It is clear that physicians and other healthcare providers will use more physician assistants as the various states continue to expand their scope of practice by allowing them to perform or procedures.
While the majority of PAs today work in physician’s offices, there is expected to be a growing number of jobs in such institutional settings as hospitals, public clinics, prisons and academic medical centers.
A great outlook
Physician assistant employment as is not only a career with a bright outlook, it also pays extremely well. The average mean wage of a PA working in the office of a physician is $84,720. Those working in outpatient care centers have an annual mean wage of $87,060 and those employed in general medical and surgical hospitals have an average mean wage of $86,850.
Work on your own
While a PA must be supervised by a physician (called a collaborative physician), he or she does not necessarily have to be in the same office. A number of PAs work by themselves in satellite offices or in remote, underserved areas. The supervision by a physician can be in person, by telecommunication or by some other means–for example, the physician may be available for consultation as required.
Specialize to earn even more
PAs can do even better if they become qualified for one of the several physician assistant specialties available. For example, PAs working in cardiovascular/cardiothoracic surgery show a mean annual wage of $110,468 and those specializing in dermatology can expect to earn about $104,474. And PAs in neurosurgery have a mean annual salary of $98,024. Physician Assistant employment provides a lot of specialty opportunities, check out the charts at Physician Assistant Salary.