A Phisician assistant can change specialties with little training above their original education. There are some residency programs that are offered to those who are entering a specialized field. Some of those fields are oncology, orthopedics, or emergency room. The traditional residency program is one to two years in length and allow the candidate to receive a large variety of experiences in a limited amount of time.
PAs_report to a physician. They are especially present in underserved areas working with primary care providers, or may be the primary care provider. In either case, they are still required to report to the attending physician. In some cases, the only requirement is to have the MD sign the charts of the PA weekly. In other cases, the rules are more stringent. A PA can have their own clinic in most states. There are some states that do not allow a Physician’s Assistant to prescribe controlled medications.
The similarity between the nurse practitioner and the physician’s assistant are very much the same. The salaries are also very similar. They both provide services to patients that may have long distances to travel or live in underserved areas that do not have enough practicing physicians.
The education required after high school for a nurse practitioner will last six to eight years. A physician’s assistant can complete training in four to six years. The choice to select either as a profession will depend on your goals.
If you are a patient, you can be comfortable knowing that either of these health care professionals are well trained and are capable of assisting you with medical issues.