Types Of Physician Assistant | Physician Assistant Specialties

Physician assistants are not to be confused with medical assistants as many of the job duties are different. Physician assistants are actually very similar to doctors. They can diagnose and treat patients, order laboratory tests, prescribe medications, and set broken bones just to name a few. Like doctors, they can choose a specialty, including:


Types Of Physician AssistantHere are types of Physician Assistant

Emergency Medicine – Physician assistants who work in the emergency room have to know how to handle a fast-paced environment. They can find themselves dealing with an emergency situation, draining abscesses, evaluating patients with abdominal pain, suturing wounds, and so much more. The average salary is around $116,000.

Radiology – These physician assistants are responsible for performing needle biopsies, initial scan or x-rays, fluoroscope procedures, and insertion and removal of IV catheters. In some cases, they also administer and monitor conscious sedation. The salary is $150,000.

Psychiatry – Duties for this specialty include diagnosing and treating mental illness, recommending medication dosage, and updating their supervisor on each patient. Employment is often found in hospitals that have in-patient psychiatric units, jails, prisons, private mental health clinics, and county mental health facilities. The salary is nearly $126,000.

Dermatology – This field has become competitive and financially rewarding for physician assistants due to the increased risk of skin cancer and the fact that cosmetic procedures are on the rise. Some of their duties include diagnosing and treating skin conditions as well as performing medically necessary and cosmetic procedures. They make around $129,000.

Surgery – This is one of the most common specialties, and physician assistants can work in any number of surgical specializations such as cardiothoracic, neurosurgery, or orthopedic. They are responsible for performing pre-admission assessments, working as first-assistants in the operating room, and providing post-operative care. Surgical physician assistants can also find employment in office-based practices and step-down units. The salary is $110,479.

Pediatric – Not many physician assistants work in this specialty. But those who do, treat children in hospitals and babies after a high-risk delivery. The salary is around $71,000.

Urgent Care – Patients seen at an urgent care facility often have an acute illness as opposed to one that is emergent in nature. Duties include diagnosing and treating conditions such as strep throat and pneumonia, suturing wounds, and draining abscesses. The salary ranges between $104,000 and $130,000.

Obstetrics and Gynecology – This is a popular specialty, and these physician assistants work in doctors’ offices, maternity wards, or operating rooms. Depending on the work environment, responsibilities may include performing cervical cancer screenings and pap smears, diagnosing urinary tract infections, and prescribing prenatal vitamins. The salary is $120,741.

Internal Medicine – This includes several areas such as cardiology, hematology, and neurology. Generally, these physician assistants work in a clinical setting where they provide treatment to patients who have  a chronic condition that is complex in nature. The salary is $98,555.

Primary Care – These physicians assistants cover a wide variety of specializations such as family medicine. They perform a host of duties including diagnosing illnesses and counseling patients on diet and exercise. This specialty is currently in high-demand and the salary is usually in the upper $90,000 range.

Occupational Health – Those that work in this specialty are responsible for providing care for people who were injured on the job, though some work within large companies in order to provide primary or walk-in care services. The salary is a little over $98,000.

Nursing Home/Long-term Care – Physician assistants who work in nursing homes and long-term care facilities provide care for older patients who have acute or chronic conditions as well as help improve their quality of life. The salary is $101,000.

Hospitalist – These physician assistants work in all areas of the hospital in order to treat acute and chronic conditions. The salary is around $102,000.

Your salary may be different from those listed above as it will be determined by your location, education, certification, and experience. To learn more about these physician assistant specialties, please contact us.