Medicine…a Dying Profession??

Why should anyone want to become a member of our crazy profession?  With Physician Assistants  (PA) and Nurse Practitioners (NP), aren’t we a dying profession?  I mean, you go to school, then more school, and then more school.  All this just to come out owing enough money to buy a couple houses!!

If I could do it again, I’d probably consider the PA/NP route as oppose to the MD route more than I did.  Thinking about my career goal, which is to be a critical care pulmonologist, I could have done the same thing going the PA route.  At the hospital I currently work at, there at PAs working in the ICU’s and even doing medical procedures that resident physicians are not allowed to do.  In the outpatient world, PA/NPs are gaining a much stronger presence in becoming patient’s primary “docs”.  I can’t tell you how many patients I see in the hospital, refer to their outpatient PAs /NP as their “doctor”.

Think about it seriously, nowadays, you can go to PA school which takes a lot less time and is much cheaper, and do a lot of the same work as a physician.  And when you are done, you’ll still make a decent amount of money and have more time off.  WHY BECOME A DOCTOR ANYMORE??? DOESN’T ALL THIS FRUSTRATE YOU!!! ARRGGG!

LOL…actually, it doesn’t frustrate me one bit.   You see, a lot of physicians complain about the surge of PAs/NPs just as I have described it above.  But let’s think about this logically.  Are we in a job shortage ?  Are we really losing jobs to PAs/NPs? Nope.  In the past few months, I’ve probably gotten over 100 job offer emails.  We need MORE Medical Doctors, not less.  PAs/NPs serve a great role in offloading the less acute and demanding medical issues.   And from a business perspective, if you can higher 2 PAs to do these tasks instead of 1 physician, why not?

Then comes the complaints of salary.  Personally, I have little pity on physicians who complain about making too little money.  Seriously, if you are making over $100,000/yr, you are making more money than probably 99% of people in the world.  Let’s be real!  We shouldn’t be in this field because we are greedy, but rather because we have the ability to help others.  “Oh, but what about the loans we have to pay…” I reiterate….you are making more money than 99% of people in this world.  To whom much is given, much is required of!

Indeed, we need to protect our field, but we should not be irrationale and try to stop a so called “take over” from ancillary professions who in the end will probably give us better lifestyles.  It is important that our DiverseMedicine students understand that the Physician Assistant/Nurse Practitioner route is a viable option for them as well.  It is not a competing option.  So, Medicine is NOT a dying profession.  We continue to flourish and thrive.  Ponder That!!!

2 thoughts on “Medicine…a Dying Profession??

  1. Profile photo of Dr. Jared DavisDr. Jared Davis

    I agree. Physician extenders (PAs/NPs/CRNAs) are not taking jobs form physicians, but rather fill a need for healthcare providers that cannot me met by physicians alone.

    With that being said, it is a shorter route to a medical profession with a fair amount of autonomy and overlap of responsibilities (and also with comfortable pay).

    But being a doctor is still unique in the autonomy that you have, and the knowledge that you have is more extensive (as a result of the longer schooling/training).

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