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Excess of PAs in California?

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Whether you're a current PA, PA-S, or Pre-PA, is anyone else concerned that there may be a huge influx of PAs in California soon leading to a downward spiral of PA salaries?

 

There are currently 9 accredited PA programs operating in CA, and I just checked the ARC-PA site and the below schools are developing new programs:

 

California Baptist University

Chapman University

Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science

Marshall B. Ketchum Univiversity (Southern California College of Optometry)

Southern California University of Health Sciences

 

Not to mention 50+ new PA programs being proposed nationwide..

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Am I concerned? Not yet. The number of providers or distance for access of services per capita still makes practically every county medically undeserved. All of LA, San Bernardino, and Riverside counties have a high demand for services and not enough providers. Lots of physicians that I know are all retiring so I think it's a balancing act. Plus the number of new patients under the ACA will surge demand for providers.

 

I'm actually happy SCUHS is coming out with a program. They have such good faculty there! But on a side note, opening 1 or 9 additional programs in California won't change the number of PAs getting into the field. During our orientation at Touro Nevada over half of the students there are from California and many that I know who didn't get in found a place out of state to attend.

 

I don't think an increase in the number of programs will change anything. Artificial throttling like that will act like water running downhill. There may be a path that will be blocked but eventually that water will get to where its trying to go. That means in our scenario more NPs will be produced or physicians (people will go to the Caribbean).

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In 2010:

 

850k actively licensed physicians (half which are older than 50), 150k NPs (total, not all practicing), and 100k PAs (total, not all practicing) total POSSIBLE providers (excluding specialty providers like midwives, CRNAs, AAs, ect) =1.1 million. We still have a shortage. 313 million people in the US. 1 provider per 300 patients. This doesn't account for specialty (like pathology, radiology, anesthesiology, ect that don't really have a panel of patients in a general sense) or the fact that many providers see the same patient due to multiple co-morbidities requiring several specialist.

 

As for primary care, only 210k physicians, 56k NPs, 30k PAs practicing in primary care in 2010. Total PCPs= 296k. About 1 provider per 1000 patients in primary care, which could be significantly worse depending on where you live. We are also reproducing much faster than we are producing PCPs. I think over saturation of PAs is the least of our concerns.

 

I'm more concerned with automation. Input symptoms, HPI, ROS and an algorithm based on epidemiology and PMH deciding on labs, diagnosis, treatment, and only bringing in a human provider if the algorithm cannot predict with more than, for instance, 90% certainty of the disease state or if treatment requires a controlled substance. Nurse provides education on your way out. Proceed to pharmacy area with your bar code slip to have your meds auto- dispensed from a Pyxis.

 

Long way off, but possible IMO. Idiocracy wasn't a movie, it was a crystal ball ;)

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In 2010:

 

850k actively licensed physicians (half which are older than 50), 150k NPs (total, not all practicing), and 100k PAs (total, not all practicing) total POSSIBLE providers (excluding specialty providers like midwives, CRNAs, AAs, ect) =1.1 million. We still have a shortage. 313 million people in the US. 1 provider per 300 patients. This doesn't account for specialty (like pathology, radiology, anesthesiology, ect that don't really have a panel of patients in a general sense) or the fact that many providers see the same patient due to multiple co-morbidities requiring several specialist.

 

As for primary care, only 210k physicians, 56k NPs, 30k PAs practicing in primary care in 2010. Total PCPs= 296k. About 1 provider per 1000 patients in primary care, which could be significantly worse depending on where you live. We are also reproducing much faster than we are producing PCPs. I think over saturation of PAs is the least of our concerns.

 

I'm more concerned with automation. Input symptoms, HPI, ROS and an algorithm based on epidemiology and PMH deciding on labs, diagnosis, treatment, and only bringing in a human provider if the algorithm cannot predict with more than, for instance, 90% certainty of the disease state or if treatment requires a controlled substance. Nurse provides education on your way out. Proceed to pharmacy area with your bar code slip to have your meds auto- dispensed from a Pyxis.

 

Long way off, but possible IMO. Idiocracy wasn't a movie, it was a crystal ball ;)

 

"Welcome to Costco. I love you."

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I'm more concerned with automation. Input symptoms, HPI, ROS and an algorithm based on epidemiology and PMH deciding on labs, diagnosis, treatment, and only bringing in a human provider if the algorithm cannot predict with more than, for instance, 90% certainty of the disease state or if treatment requires a controlled substance. Nurse provides education on your way out. Proceed to pharmacy area with your bar code slip to have your meds auto- dispensed from a Pyxis.

 

Long way off, but possible IMO. Idiocracy wasn't a movie, it was a crystal ball ;)

 

 

I'm not scared of pure automation. I guarantee you I could transport 500 years into the future and I'll beat out any clinic that doesnt have a human attached, even if the robot is smarter than I am.

 

People want a human connection with their healthcare. Someone with a good personality who is good at talking to others will always beat out a robot, even if the robot is a lot "smarter."

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I think Drew had a PA program that was suspended or put on probation by the ARC-PA

 

also, I think Southern California College of Optometry and Southern California University of Health Sciences might be the same program

 

compared to Pennsylvania, the number of PA schools isn't too high, esp since CA is by far the most populous state in the US

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I think Drew had a PA program that was suspended or put on probation by the ARC-PA

 

also, I think Southern California College of Optometry and Southern California University of Health Sciences might be the same program

 

compared to Pennsylvania, the number of PA schools isn't too high, esp since CA is by far the most populous state in the US

 

 

Drew is in the process of re-launching their MA Degree PA Program.

 

Southern California College of Optometry and Southern California University of Health Sciences are two different schools. SCCO is in Fullerton and SCUHS is in Whittier. I did a few pre-reqs through the SCUHS. SCUHS has been training chiropractors for years.

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Its been my experience that people look at LA, San Diego, Orange, Riverside counties, and assume that the whole state is saturated with PAs. Up where I'm at, there's less than 170 PAs in total encompassing 3 counties that I plan to work in (an area that has >700k people). And I know that the Kaiser and Sutter Health hospitals employ a great chunk of them; that leaves much to be desired for the other clinics, etc. It all depends on where you live (and are willing to live) in CA. I don't plan on having any issues with jobs up here in my neck of the woods when I graduate.

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I am just about ready to send in my application to UC Davis, Loma Linda, and WesternU. I know it's still a while before I have to decide but UC Davis and Loma Linda are my top picks with WesternU being somewhat of a back up plan.

 

I am from Southern California and would like the option of obtaining a job in Southern California following PA school. I was wondering how important it is to network during clinical rotations in the areas you wish to work after.

 

For example, if I go to UC Davis will it be much more difficult to find a job in SoCal because my rotation sites are all up in NorCal or do most people not even get hired by preceptors they rotated with? Thank you.

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"Says in the chart you're F'ed up."

 

"Put this one in your butt and this one in your mouth...wait, no. Put THIS one in your mouth and THIS one in your butt."

 

You know, on the bright side, using that wand thing would probably knock a lot of time and money off of PA school. It might still be worth it. A good wand worker who was able to keep the butt wand and mouth wand separate would probably earn enough for a trip to starbucks every day or so.

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"Put this one in your butt and this one in your mouth...wait, no. Put THIS one in your mouth and THIS one in your butt."

 

You know, on the bright side, using that wand thing would probably knock a lot of time and money off of PA school. It might still be worth it. A good wand worker who was able to keep the butt wand and mouth wand separate would probably earn enough for a trip to starbucks every day or so.

 

lol We had a pt swab positive for e. coli in her nostril yesterday ... I said what, does she pick her butt and then pick her nose? laughter. seriously tho, it can reside there, always good to be mindful of these things in the surgical environment.

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having worked in CA before as a PA I agree with Corpsman2pa. there are not too many PAs in california, it is an issue of distribution. too many PAs want to work on the coast and fewer want to work inland. if you averaged across the state you would find there are not enough pas for all the available jobs. if you look just at la county and the bay area you would say there are too many for the # of jobs there.

as a long time ca resident most of my positive thoughts about california are in relation to the coast. I had to do my paramedic internship in the central valley in fresno and hated it there on many levels. for those who like the heat and the politics there(say if you are from texas...) fresno might be just the place you are looking for.

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fresno is definitely the headcheese of ca, worst air quality too, i believe. but i hear they have a great mall. i never saw it, only a strip of hwy running by countless shacks of homeless individuals and i do mean countless. ah well, life exists in its forms as it does. maybe someone can go there and help clean things up a bit.

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Even Fresno is too far south for me...I like to keep things north of Sacramento :) Everything south of that is, well, southern CA to me!

my definitions are all in relation to the coast:

socal =santa barbara and south to mexico. (think santa barbara is too far north? you haven't been on campus at ucsb...)

central coast= north of santa barbara to south of santa cruz.

northern ca = santa cruz and north to the oregon border.

 

everything not on the coast is " eastern california" and undesirable to my way of thinking.

some folks think ca should be 2 states, northern and southern. I think it should be 3; northern, southern, and eastern. or we could just give everything not within 100 miles of the coast to nevada...:)

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Santa Cruz/San Francisco is actually more like Northern Central, to tell you the truth, as it's a 6 hour drive from SF to Humboldt.

geographically true but folks in favor of splitting the state into north and south(and there are actually a lot of these folks) talk about SF as the capitol of the new state of northern california while LA would be the capitol of socal.

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mmmmmm, mendocino...one of my favorite places on the coast. almost took a job there as a medic in the early 90's. I would have been the first paramedic in the county as they only had emt-intermediates there then but they wanted to pay me as an emt-int. as well which was a deal breaker.

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mmmmmm, mendocino...one of my favorite places on the coast. almost took a job there as a medic in the early 90's. I would have been the first paramedic in the county as they only had emt-intermediates there then but they wanted to pay me as an emt-int. as well which was a deal breaker.

 

I just left work there to start PA school at Stanford. It's one of the better paying ambo gigs in the state. A couple of our medics even commute from southern Oregon (Medford and Klammath Falls), one of them is one of the old EMT-II to paramedic converts.

It's about as chill of a job as you could ask for. Beautiful scenery, rippin' TCs and water rescues, low call volume, and a post in Mendo at the new firehouse (Think mid-afternoon jogs on the bluffs after your nap). It was tough :;-D:.

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