7 Ways To Advance Your Career as a Physician Assistant

Congratulations! After years and years of work and study, you are now a physician assistant. Although this accomplishment already puts your life on a great trajectory, you should still strive to do the very best in your field. To that end, this article will explore seven ways to advance your career as a physician assistant.

1. Network

Many physician assistants know they want to advance their careers but are not certain where or how they want to move up. They might be dissatisfied with where they work but have no other places to consider. Their primary goal is just to keep options open.

If you are in this place, interested in career advancement but without any clear goal, the best way to get ahead would be to network. By networking within your field, you meet a wide variety of people. Some may present career opportunities. But even if they do not instantly give you a job, networking will still allow you to hear stories about overcoming career obstacles. Other people’s success will motivate you to make decisions about your future.

2. Conduct and Share Research

Whereas PAs in the past were not seen as sources for research, recent trends in the industry are changing that perception. PAs across the world are discovering how to develop their careers with thought leadership. PAs can now stand out among the crowd by conducting their own studies and sharing their reports at medical conferences.

This is one of the more creative ways to advance your career as a physician assistant. PAs who dip their toes into research are pioneers in their field. They are changing the common misconception of PAs as second-tier doctors and showing their abilities to contribute to the ongoing, important discussions within the medical community.

3. Get Certified

Physician assistants can receive certifications from a variety of agencies, such as the American Association of Medical Assistants. For some positions, additional training is a requirement. It is now rarely enough just to have the basic credentials. To become a well-respected, capable PA in the field, you must have additional qualifications, often gathered through certifications.

Some PAs begin studying for certifications immediately after they complete their training. It may be wise to collect certifications and build your professional resume shortly after you begin work. If you let too much time pass, you become complacent and lose sight of your goals for career advancement. To be a successful PA, you must always look for opportunities to build your credibility.

4. Supervise a Team of PAs

Management skills are sought after and appreciated in all fields, medical or otherwise. PAs who can step up as team leaders shine brightly in the eyes of their managers and supervisors. If you want to move forward in your career, look for leadership opportunities among your peers. If you have the organizational skills to keep everyone’s schedule in order, you have greater value than you might realize.

After all, it can be extremely difficult to remember who is unavailable to work because of a holiday, a sickness, or a family member’s illness. Juggling all these balls requires extreme focus and organization skills.

5. Stick To a Position

Although some PAs may feel the pull to constantly seek out the next best career opportunity, they can often add more value to themselves by sticking to one medical office for several years. Working for one employer will allow you to gain helpful experience, which will prove useful when you do decide to go out and look for the next opportunity.

Furthermore, employers appreciate people who can prove their loyalty. If your resume shows someone who jumps around from job to job, position to position, it may look like you would be a dangerous person to bring on. After all, what is the point in training you if you leave the work as soon as the training is complete?

If you want to go the distance as a PA, have patience. Do not be in a rush to leave every job, but instead focus on what you can learn from each opportunity. You may find that your current position has more to teach you than you even realized.

6. Delve Into a Specialization

Once you have more experience, you should consider a specialization for you career. A specialization can make you a more attractive job candidate because it shows you are invested in learning more about your trade and work. Employers love people who seek out chances to increase their value and capabilities.

The process of gaining a specialization, which may include certifications and training programs, will bulk up your resume. Imagine how future employers will review your work if you can show an aptitude for a vital area of medicine. If it is the same area as the one practiced by the employer, then you have an excellent shot of getting the job. If the employer does not practice your specialization, it at least shows how much you care about improving your work as a PA.

7. Attend Training Programs

If there is one point you should take away from this article, it is that more experience and training will yield a more successful career as a PA. One of the simplest ways to continue your education is to attend training programs. Going to these events will make you more proactive in your career. Even if you do not have a clear direction, it’s helpful to check out what’s new in the world of medicine and PAs.


With its high earning potential, fulfilling work, and excitement, the PA career path is one of the most sought after in the medical field. Every year, people work immensely hard to get the chance to be a PA. However, once they have attained that position, they can still go so much further.

If you are a PA looking to advance your career, hopefully this article gave you some ideas for how you could make a real impact. Maybe you are looking for new responsibilities, or maybe you just want to network with your peers. However you choose to advance, just make sure you remember how valuable you are.

And make sure you fully understand why physician assistants need malpractice insurance. If you’re interested in a quote for PA malpractice insurance, contact Baxter & Associates today at 800-641-8865.

7 Ways To Advance Your Career as a Physician Assistant