Honored Contributor
Posts: 8,859
Registered: ‎05-15-2016

Re: Discussion of the role of Physician Assistants

I see midlevels in speciality clinics all the time and have been very pleased. 

Honored Contributor
Posts: 36,457
Registered: ‎01-08-2011

Re: Discussion of the role of Physician Assistants

I have only seen a PA once and needed to be seen that day.


I wonder if "PA issue" has fueled the development of "Concierge doctors"?

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 7,813
Registered: ‎03-20-2010

Re: Discussion of the role of Physician Assistants

I have had really good experiences with PAs.  I have found that I have a better chance to get to explain things to a PA  and get real explanations since most doctors try to get you in and out and on the the next appointment.  I  have been misdiagnosed by doctors many times.  I was treated for asthma for over 15 years and kept telling both my doctor and the doctors in the ER that breathing treatments were not helping and that since my oxygen levels were not down there had to be something else going on.  Finally when I was out of breath really bad I went to a 24 hour health center and saw a PA who actually listened and referred me to an asthma and allergy specialist who confirmed no asthma bit vocal chord dysfunction.  I would rather see a PA or nurse practioner.


Honored Contributor
Posts: 8,645
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Discussion of the role of Physician Assistants

@Sooner wrote:

If I have the flu I go see my PA, not the dr.  If I tell her I need drugs, I get them.  He doesn't think I am as bad as I know I am with the flu or bronchitis etc., so I go to her.   I usually have to go back in a few days if it's him!  LOL!!!


Otherwise he is great and not someone to throw pills at every little thing, but the PA and I KNOW the flu and associated ills and how it goes with ME.


PA's I have known (three) have been fantastic and for things like a flu test I needed quickly, getting in during flu season, etc. they are WONDERFUL!  


The Univ. of Oklahoma had a great curriculum for PA's many years ago.  They are well trained and can start off at a great salary!  They started year one placing every one graduated. . . It's a 2 year program I believe. 




It used to be a 4-year-plus internsthip program but I don't know now.  Everything in educated is abbreviated.

Regular Contributor
Posts: 157
Registered: ‎12-15-2020

Re: Discussion of the role of Physician Assistants

Personally, I've found the PAs and NPs I've dealt with in specialty settings as good as or better than dealing with the physician supervising them.

A physician's license # is attached to the supervision of these people.  If they aren't properly supervised the license is at stake and it also opens them up to lawsuits.  A good doctor will have good people working for him/her.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 9,742
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Discussion of the role of Physician Assistants

@namealreadytaken wrote:

PAs are far more and better educated than RNs

Agreed!  When my DH had to see a specialist concerning Lyme we went to see someone who was many months backed up with patients.  This was a long drive and we stayed overnight. 


The PA that we saw spent 5 hours (yes you heard right!) with DH going over fine details regarding his health issues.  I was very impressed with how intelligent and educated this man was....more knowledgeable than many MDs.  The actual specialist did pop in for about 10 minutes to go over a few things.


Of course it's really up to the individual and your comfort level.  You could see the PA and still make an appointment down the road to see the cardiologist.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,294
Registered: ‎03-19-2010

Re: Discussion of the role of Physician Assistants

A PA literally had a part in saving my life.  She saw me when I could not get into my regular MD for a problem I thought was very serious.  She sent me to the emergency room, telling me not to get into an accident on the way there........little did I know at that time what she was talking about.  I saw my regular MD after this incident and would take the PA anyday over her.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,184
Registered: ‎12-02-2013

Re: Discussion of the role of Physician Assistants

My doctor is a sole practitioner and doesn't have a PA while DH's cardiologist and ablation doctors have  cardiology PA's.  


Appointments with the PA's are for routine follow-ups.  Those with the specialist doctor are usually preceded with PA's who take routine tests and review prescriptions and ask if there are any issues.  Then the specialist comes in and takes over the appointment.  It's a better use of the physician's time.


For me, I went to an urgent care site and instead of getting treated for bronchitis, got meds for sinus.  By the time I got to my PCP, the bronchitis was very severe.  Went back and complained to the staff:  they noted that I was only to see  a doctor if I ever returned.


For my dermatology appointment, I will only get an appt with the doctor...even if I have to wait.

We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.
Sir Winston Churchill
Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,235
Registered: ‎03-28-2010

Re: Discussion of the role of Physician Assistants

It has been my experience that if a PA or NP within a speciality group has education/ccertification within that speciality (cardiology, pulmonary, etc.)  I also prefer an appointment with an MD, especially a first appointment.  Going forward, I'm usually okay with a NP/PA within reason.  I left my daughter's pediatrician office because in the 4 years we were going there, my daughter saw her pediatrician once.  Could never get an appointment.  Would always have to be with a NP or PA.  Once we did have an appointment months in advance, and a week before they called me and said she was out of the office.  Shortly after that we changed doctors and we're very happy with new one.  When looking at doctors, I look at their staff.  If they have a lot of PA's and NP's, I don't go there because you just can't get appointment with MD.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,801
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Discussion of the role of Physician Assistants

While I was undergoing chemo treatments for cancer I saw the NP about as many times as I saw my Medical Ocologist. I always found her to be just as knowedgeable, sometimes more, about my many complaints of side effects. She went way out of her way to address any concerns. Of course the MD was always available if I wanted to see her.