Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.

Physician Assistant VS. Family Doctor

kunnel_25kunnel_25 Registered User Posts: 80 Junior Member
edited July 2007 in Careers in Medicine
Whats your views on each? Which one WOULD YOU prefer?
Post edited by kunnel_25 on

Replies to: Physician Assistant VS. Family Doctor

  • stonecold23stonecold23 Registered User Posts: 1,595 Senior Member
    an MD has 8 years of extensive medical training vs. a PA with 2 years of much less intense training.
  • my$0.02my$0.02 Registered User Posts: 902 Member
    The PA will be an employee, will likely not take uncompensated call, and must be supervised by a physician. PA compensation could be more or less than that of a family doctor.

    See general info http://www.aapa.org/geninfo1.html and statistics http://www.aapa.org/research/ at the American Academy of Physician Assistants site.
    Results of the 2006 AAPA Physician Assistant Census survey indicate that the mean total income from primary employer for clinically practicing PAs working full-time (32 or more hours per week) was $84,396 (standard deviation $21,975); the median was $80,356. The mean total income in 2005 was $81,129.
    http://www.aapa.org/research/06inc-change.pdf

    The PA role is well defined, but it is differs from being a physician in many important ways. With tight health care budgets, PA working as physician extenders have good job prospects.
  • GoldShadowGoldShadow Registered User Posts: 6,160 Senior Member
    an MD has 8 years of extensive medical training vs. a PA with 2 years of much less intense training.
    PAs usually need a bachelor's degree, so it's technically 6 years. But physicians also have to go through residency, fellowships, etc.
  • BigredmedBigredmed Registered User Posts: 3,751 Senior Member
    PA is a great career choice.

    More freedom, less time (and thus money) spent in school, less call, and a lot of other positive aspects...

    Have a lot of friends who are PA's and they all really enjoy it. Most have actually gone into specialty fields, so they're not just limited to doing primary care.
  • happycollegemomhappycollegemom Registered User Posts: 1,170 Senior Member
    agree totally with bigredmed....i know someone in PA school and he says he's getting the same as MDs, except the THEORY behind the work is omitted. yes, they work UNDER MDs but for many, that's a good thing. and yes, they enter all specialties. on a personal view, i think MDs as we knew them prior to managed care, etc. are gone for the most part. it's a HUGE commitment, with HUGE loans afterward, with a terrible insurance system largely now in control. hard for truly committed docs to do what they want to do.
This discussion has been closed.