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if you're a physician assistant in CA, can you please answer some questions?

I'm super interested in this career. here are just a few questions I have about it:

1. is there many job opportunities? or is it hard to find a job?
2. how is work-life balance?
3. are you happy with your job?
4. what are some of the 'best/worst' specialities, according to what you've heard or experienced?
5. what does your salary look like? (sorry, I know this is private, but a range is fine)

thank you for your time :)

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3 answers

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Danielle’s Answer

I’m not a PA, but a medical student in a school that has a PA program that we collaborate often with… but I have extensive healthcare experience and I have quite a few friends in PA school. The jobs are out there, there’s tons of them - have a look at the website bls (dot) gov for prospects! There’s quite a bit of growth expected. In all the medical offices that I’ve practiced in, the PA’s were very happy with their work schedules and very many had families or were building them, and they had lots of fun outside of work and the funds to do so. You can search salaries for your area - the cost of living of CA is quite high so that’s something to consider - more of your paycheck is used up for basic necessities. You can specialize, so choose something you love! My PA friends are very happy in their careers in a plastic surgeon’s office, OBGYN, and family practice!

Danielle recommends the following next steps:

Reach out to PA’s in the community to shadow so you get exposure to the different lifestyles of different specialties
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G’s Answer

Hi! I’m a PA and absolutely love my job!

1. Finding a job is super easy! I get recruiting. calls and emails for PA positions all the time! It’s not about finding a job but finding a job that you will like! That’s a little more difficult based on what specialty you decide to go into.

2. Work life balance all depends on you. Based on the specialty you go into, some jobs offer the normal 8-5, while other jobs are more random schedule like The ER. So based on your interest in what specialty you want to work with- you figure out what your work life balance means to you based on that.

3. Absolutely love being a PA I highly recommend it to anyone who is considering it!

4. Worst/best specialty- again this is hard to answer. It depends on what you’re looking for. Exciting job that keeps you on your toes? eR, predictable job that is the normal 8-5, family practice, boring job but makes a lot of money, - derm. Best/worst changes based on what your interest are in which specialty and what your goals are as far as money/career

6. Salary range is huge! Any specialty you go into you’re more likely to make 3 figures after 2-3 years of having experience.
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Vinit’s Answer

Becoming a physician assistant can be a very rewarding career. I work with many physician assistants that love their jobs.

1. There is significant opportunity for physician assistance in many different fields including emergency medicine, surgical services, outpatient medicine.

2. Work life balance can vary depending on the specialty that you select but overall many of the PA that I work with chose their particular path based on work life expectations.

3. The ones that I work with all are very happy with their decision to enter the field

4. A choice of specialty will depend on your clinical interest. One of the great advantages of becoming a PA in my opinion is that you can change fields. This is very different from becoming a physician where you would have to do complete another residency to change fields.

5. Salaries can range quite a bit depending on the type of practice and hours worked.

Hope that helps, good luck!