When embarking on a career as a physician assistant, you should look into what specialty you should pursue, as annual pay can range much higher for certain specialties. You, of course, want to do what you love, but at the same time make good salary. Check out different salaries and see which specialty clicks with you.
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What is a Physician Assistant?
Physician assistants is very much like a physician, however they are termed medical support professionals and their work must be supervised by a doctor. They do many of the same duties as a doctor, such as examining patients, prescribing medications and ordering tests.
Highest Paying Specialties for Physician Assistants
Of all specialties surveyed, dermatology is the highest paying specialty for physician assistants. They earn an average of $126,000 to $129,000 per year.
Following that, the next highest paying specialties are critical care at $125,000 a year, emergency medicine $123,000, general surgery $112,000, and pathology and radiology, both making about $111,000 a year.
PA Growth Opportunities
There are many growth opportunities for physician assistants. To take advantage of the growth opportunities to the fullest, you should get as much experience working in the workplace as you can. Choosing a high-paying specialty is just the start. If you can get productivity pay, this pay scale allows you to earn much more than other salaried physician assistants. If you work in a medically underserved area, you can also find programs available for loan forgiveness.
Employee vs Independent Contractor in Medicine
PAs who work as independent contractors earn more than those who are classified as employees. When self-employed, physician assistants can work temporary assignments or even contract with other healthcare facilities. If you decide to be self-employed, review all the responsibilities that go along with it.
As an employee or as an independent contractor, you are going to be required to sign a contract when starting work at a facility. These contracts can contain a lot of fancy text and cover many areas. You want to ensure the wording and format is right, and that all the points vital to your future are covered thoroughly. Have a contract attorney review your contract to ensure your interests are taken care of properly.
What Should I Look for in a Contract?
Many ask what should I look for in a PA contract? When about to start working as physician assistants, you will find a new area to understand that wasn’t taught in your school. Schooling hasn’t covered how to negotiate a contract, or even what should be in a contract. Anyone about to sign a contract as physician assistants must know what to ask for. A PA has numerous responsibilities within a practice and this should open the door to negotiate certain terms in the employment contract.
Looking at Entry Level New Jobs Similar to a Nurse Practitioner
First of all, good advice is to continue to look at jobs and what is being offered. It will help in understanding what your options are in a contract and what can be negotiated. You’ll want to know if the contract you are going to sign is far off from comparable positions. There’s the AAPA Salary Guide with can help you see what sort of salary you can get depending on your location, experience and specialty.
Are Oral Contracts Enforceable?
Without a question, you should never do an oral contract. This must be mentioned as even though it seems to go unsaid, there are employers out there who agree to a salary increase verbally, but this isn’t recognized as enforceable legally. Anything agreed to verbally should be put in the contract in writing. The most standard contract points you will want covered are:
- Start Date
- Vacation Days
- On-call Pay
- On-call Schedule
- Health Insurance
- Life Insurance
- Disability Insurance
Other points you may want to review and ensure that they are covered thoroughly in the contract are malpractice insurance, productivity commission, license fees, and loan repayment. An important part of reviewing a contract is knowing what would make you walk away. Are there points that would just not settle for? What would be a deal breaker in this job?
Legal Help Provides the Skills and Experience Needed
Before plunging in and signing a contract, you should consult a contract attorney. They can review the contract to ensure it is binding, the wording and format is correct, and that all important points are covered. The attorney can also help in the negotiation of certain points. This will ensure you won’t be sorry later that some point was not negotiated when it should have been.
Is It Worth Becoming a Physician Assistant?
Many ask is it worth becoming a physician assistant? The answer to that question may be different for different people. When considering a career as a physician assistant, there are many things that need to be studied in order to determine if it is going to be a career worth your while. For something to be worth your while, it must justify the time or work that is required to achieve it. Only you can make that determination. Physician assistants do many of the same duties as traditional physicians. You will recognize them in the below list of physician assistant specialties duties:
- Examine and interview patients
- Prescribe medications
- Order tests when needed to work out the nature of illness or injury
- Set bones
- Administer immunizations
- Maintain patients’ records
The Difference between a Physician and PAs
Although both are responsible for their patients’ care, PAs are classified as medical support professionals. Their work needs to be supervised by a physician. They can’t perform surgeries but can assist in the operating room. The monitoring they receive varies from state to state. There are many reasons that becoming a physician assistant would be a wise choice. Not everyone wants to pursue the lengthy education to become a doctor, and a PA is a bit easier to achieve. There is less time required in a classroom. The time commitment is shorter than doing medical school. You can get a Master’s in two to four years. Other pluses:
- You get good pay as a PA
- You can transition easily to different specialties
- You will work more regular hours than a doctor
- You are in a job that is in demand
A Rewarding Career with High Salaries
It is no doubt that working as physician assistants could be very rewarding. You are helping people and saving lives. The focus is on patient care and you don’t have to worry about the huge responsibilities of a medical practice. You are a vital part of a team and will find that extremely satisfying.
Signing a Contract in Different States
You will find that when you start work in a clinic, hospital, or doctor’s office, you will have a contract to sign before beginning. It is important that you have it reviewed by a professional so any points you desire are covered and/or can be negotiated.
Medical Contract Attorney
When your PA agreement is reviewed by an experienced attorney, you will find financial benefits which end up outweighing the cost of the review. Leave it to the experts. If you are in need of assistance with an employment agreement or contract review schedule a Physician Assistant Contract Lawyer with Chelle Law today!