U.S. News’ top 3 tips to PA wannabes
U.S. News and World Report
today posted an article about the PA profession
in the “Best Graduate Schools” section of its website.
“Why Physician Assistant School May be Right for You,” the subhead of which proclaims, “It's one of the fastest growing careers in the country. Learn about how to get into a top program,” offers three basic but spot-on bits of advice for prospective PA students. It also describes the profession, but with a few sloppy factual errors.
The decision between PA school and medical school is one that an increasing number of college graduates and young medical professionals are facing. With the economy tight in recent years, demand for physician assistants has increased, as they are capable of practicing medicine at roughly the same level as a full-fledged physician, but at a much lower cost, which makes them an appealing asset to medical providers looking to trim budgets.
The errors, while disappointing for a publication of U.S. News’s caliber, aren’t too damaging. Specifically, the part about most programs being two years can be fact-checked and proven false with a simple Google search, and the statistic attributed to the AAPA (“there will be 150,000 practicing PAs in the U.S. in 2020”) overstates the academy’s projection by 8,000 in the rosiest growth scenario and by more than 40,000 in the bleakest growth scenario, according to an easy-to-understand report that anybody can find and access at the AAPA’s site in three clicks.
Still, put this one in the good PR column.