What Qualities Should I Have to Succeed in This Career?
Physician assistants have similar responsibilities to medical doctors in diagnosing and providing treatment to patients in a variety of healthcare settings. While this makes it an exciting career for those interested in medicine, it also means the job entails great responsibility. Answer these questions to determine if you have the qualities you'll need to succeed as a physician assistant.
|Do you consider yourself emotionally strong?||Yes or No|
|Are you a confident problem solver?||Yes or No|
|Do you communicate well?||Yes or No|
|Do you enjoy working as part of a team?||Yes or No|
|Are you compassionate?||Yes or No|
|Do you have a strong work ethic?||Yes or No|
|Are you adaptable to different situations?||Yes or No|
|Are you comfortable multi-tasking?||Yes or No|
|Are you outgoing?||Yes or No|
|Are you comfortable supervising others?||Yes or No|
Why Do I Need to Consider These Questions?
Do you consider yourself emotionally strong?
As a physician assistant, you may have shifts where you treat multiple patients who are in pain and may have to deal death on a regular basis. You will need emotional stamina and stability to successfully make this a long-term career.
Are you a confident problem solver?
While physician assistants work under the supervision of doctors, you may often handle patient assessment, treatment and care independently. You should be observant and detail oriented in your evaluations and self-confident in your decisions and solutions to problems.
Do you communicate well?
Physician assistants need exceptional communication skills. You will need to be able to write clearly to compose patient reports for colleagues and supervising physicians, verbally explain treatments and illnesses to patients, and read body language and other non-verbal communications when interacting with patients.
Do you enjoy working as part of a team?
Physician assistants typically work closely with a team of doctors, surgeons, nurses, medical assistants and other professionals to assess and treat patients.
Are you compassionate?
As with any patient-facing medical professional, physician assistants should be naturally compassionate, sensitive to patients' feelings, and enjoy caring for others.
Do you have a strong work ethic?
Physician assistants need to be very dedicated to their work, as they often have long shifts and may be on call evenings and weekends.
Are you adaptable to different situations?
Whether they work in an emergency room, surgical unit or general practitioners office, a physician assistant's daily responsibilities are never routine. Because, on any given shift, you will meet a variety of patients with different ailments and may encounter unexpected emergencies, you should be flexible, adaptable and enjoy the challenge of facing the unexpected.
Are you comfortable multi-tasking?
As a physician assistant, you will juggle a variety of responsibilities every day. Along with meeting with multiple patients, you may have to order and follow up on diagnostic tests, prescribe appropriate medications, consult with colleagues, and keep detailed records of your work.
Are you outgoing?
Physician assistants spend a great deal of time with patients, doctors, and other medical professionals. To enjoy this career, you should be naturally outgoing, sociable, and friendly.
Are you comfortable supervising others?
In some work settings, physician assistants manage staff members, such as nurses and medical assistants.
How Do I Decide What to Do Next?
Did you answer 'yes' to the majority of these questions? If so, you will want to consider the training required to become a physician assistant. You will need to earn a master's degree from an accredited physician assistant graduate program and, upon graduation, be licensed before you may practice in this field. To qualify for admission to a physician assistant graduate program, you will need to have completed a variety of undergraduate science classes, such as biology, chemistry, and anatomy.