Physician Assistants

Physician Assistants

This is a discussion on Physician Assistants within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Just wondering if there are any PAs on the forum? I am a PA student in Canada, where the profession is relatively new. I am ...

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Thread: Physician Assistants

  1. #1
    Member Array palmpalm's Avatar
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    Physician Assistants

    Just wondering if there are any PAs on the forum? I am a PA student in Canada, where the profession is relatively new. I am also interested in moving to the USA where I have a concealed carry permit (but don't in Canada--yes, I may legally carry in YOUR country but not in my own :( ).

    The medical establishment here is fairly antigun and I made the mistake of letting some of my classmates know I have guns. I took a couple of them shooting but a few others freaked out and REPORTED me to med school officials. They then told me they reported me and I said "So, you reported me for being a law-abiding firearms owner who has all the appropriate licenses and permits and is simply following the law?" They were not sure what to say to that.

    I think I know there are a few physicians on the board and I would love to chat with you as well but am more interested in hearing from PAs.


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    Senior Member Array deafdave3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by palmpalm View Post
    Just wondering if there are any PAs on the forum? I am a PA student in Canada, where the profession is relatively new. I am also interested in moving to the USA where I have a concealed carry permit (but don't in Canada--yes, I may legally carry in YOUR country but not in my own :( ).

    The medical establishment here is fairly antigun and I made the mistake of letting some of my classmates know I have guns. I took a couple of them shooting but a few others freaked out and REPORTED me to med school officials. They then told me they reported me and I said "So, you reported me for being a law-abiding firearms owner who has all the appropriate licenses and permits and is simply following the law?" They were not sure what to say to that.

    I think I know there are a few physicians on the board and I would love to chat with you as well but am more interested in hearing from PAs.
    The further south in the US you go, the more you'll find gun owners and gun lovers in the medical field.
    A CCW is like a parachute; if you need one, and don't have one, you'll probably never need one again.

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    Senior Member Array AlexHassin's Avatar
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    Not a PA myself but if you do not mind what’s your specialty? I know quite a few in the emergency departments I meet when doing EMS work. Also got assigned to one during clinical rotations. It actually looks like a pretty good field to be involved in, if I was going to do medicine full time,. Form what I have heard it seams that in America there are a lot of PA’s in larger cities hospitals and quite a few at rural clinics. take what I have to say as the grain of salt it is.

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    Member Array merlin82plus's Avatar
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    When my daughter was a high school senior I went with her to an open house at a local college that trains PAs. Sounded like a nice career choice. Less pay than doctors, but much easier to change specialties for a PA - unlike a doctor, who would have to go through more training, residency, etc in order to change to a different type of medical practice. She didn't wind up going into that field, but I thought about it myself after hearing the pitch !

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    Member Array palmpalm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexHassin View Post
    Not a PA myself but if you do not mind what’s your specialty? I know quite a few in the emergency departments I meet when doing EMS work. Also got assigned to one during clinical rotations. It actually looks like a pretty good field to be involved in, if I was going to do medicine full time,. Form what I have heard it seams that in America there are a lot of PA’s in larger cities hospitals and quite a few at rural clinics. take what I have to say as the grain of salt it is.
    Hi Alex,

    As a student, I don't yet have a specialty. :) I have strong interests in internal medicine, cardiology, neurosurgery, and orthopedic surgery though.

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    Member Array palmpalm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merlin82plus View Post
    When my daughter was a high school senior I went with her to an open house at a local college that trains PAs. Sounded like a nice career choice. Less pay than doctors, but much easier to change specialties for a PA - unlike a doctor, who would have to go through more training, residency, etc in order to change to a different type of medical practice. She didn't wind up going into that field, but I thought about it myself after hearing the pitch !
    Yes, it is pretty cool. The pay is very good (the median is about $90,000 but I know PAs making a lot more than that) and the work is the same as the work of a physician more or less. We practice medicine with autonomy but under supervision (i.e. we are diagnosticians and make our own decisions but our supervised by a physician to whom we report). My program is almost identical to the M.D. program at my med school. We take the same exams as the M.D. students just do a slightly shorter clerkship (13 months instead of 17 months) but rotate through most of the same services. PAs are new in Canada and are function mostly as a pilot project in my Province but, so-far, people seem very happy with them/us and the PAs who have graduated from my program are performing at the same level as graduating M.D.s so that is nice to know. I am excited to finish school. But, like I said, Canadian gun laws suck and, though I legally own firearms, I am not permitted to carry a handgun for self-defense (we do have the permits but they are almost NEVER given out). I have a CCW permit for the State of Maine which also allows me to carry in some other states. Got it thanks to the good people on this forum actually. In addition to gun laws, I am, politically, more aligned with American values than Canadian ones. We shall see what happens.

    In the mean time, I was hoping to find some fellow PAs on the board.

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    VIP Member Array Madcap_Magician's Avatar
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    I work at a major teaching hospital in the Midwestern US, and I LOVE my midlevel care providers.

    They do for me all the stuff that consultants are too lazy or busy to do and residents are too stupid to do.
    Not my circus, not my monkeys.

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    Member Array palmpalm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SamRudolph View Post
    I work at a major teaching hospital in the Midwestern US, and I LOVE my midlevel care providers.

    They do for me all the stuff that consultants are too lazy or busy to do and residents are too stupid to do.
    What do you do? Are you a physician?

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    Squawker is a PA. He may chime in with some advice.

    Or, you can look him up in the list of members section and send him a PM (private message).
    -Bark'n
    Semper Fi


    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

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    Member Array freethead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SamRudolph View Post
    I work at a major teaching hospital in the Midwestern US, and I LOVE my midlevel care providers.

    They do for me all the stuff that consultants are too lazy or busy to do and residents are too stupid to do.
    You just need to work harder at training the residents. They learn medicine from the consultants, and everything else they need to know from the allied health staff. It's the everything else that trips them up.... (May favorite is when the senior residents start to feel "frisky" in the spring and think they don't need to work. Just remind them that once they get out in the REAL world, they will have to do the work. ie. Arrange for billing, starting an office, hiring staff, negotiating with your new partners about why you have to be on call for all the Holidays etc.)

  11. #11
    VIP Member Array Madcap_Magician's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by palmpalm View Post
    What do you do? Are you a physician?
    HA! No, I'm lowly allied health staff.

    Our residents are generally very smart kids, and our consultants are world-class, but a lot of them were smart in school and dumb on the bus, if you get my meaning.
    Not my circus, not my monkeys.

  12. #12
    Distinguished Member Array Squawker's Avatar
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    Yep, like Bark'n said, I'm a PA, and have been one for the past 22 years. I love my profession, and I've worked in a lot of different areas in medicine. I started with my first job, working in the cardiac stress lab at a medical college hospital. My job was technically called a "Research Assistant", and carried faculty rank, which was pretty cool. Two days a week, the cardiology fellows rotated through, and the cardiologist responsible for the fellows supervised the labs with them on those days. At least until he figured out that I had learned quite a lot, and he turned their clinical training over to me. He would meet with them for an hour in the afternoons, but the rest of the time, I would go over the hows and such of both treadmill and pharmacological stress tests. Most of our tests we done with thallium, and a few straight treadmill tests. I then went into Pediatric Critical Care, working in an ICU, and family medicine, correctional medicine, and urgent care, which is my favorite. The nicest thing about being a PA in this country id that if there's a job in a field that interests you, but you don't have any experience in it, if you find someone who'll hire you, then they need to fill in the knowledge that you lack. Money is good, as was mentioned, around $90-100K, or $40-$50/hour. There are places that I've earned less, and places where I've earned more. When I left my job in California to return to Vegas, I was making around $125K. Unfortunately, I've been out of work for quite a bit. Vegas has been a ***** since I returned. It was great for the 10 years that I was here 1991-2000, but not now. Our economy is in the toilet, and most of the jobs that I've seen have been in fields where I have no interest in working. But I still love being a PA, and I'll keep looking for my next job. Feel free to PM me if you have any specific questions.
    "We are the people our parents warned us about!" J. Buffett

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