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PA-C to Hospital Administration or mid-level management

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I thought this would be the best place to post this. I'm curious if any PA's have practiced on the clinical side for a while then transitioned to the administrative side of medicine - how likely is this? It seems nurses have an upper leg in regards to administrative duties all the way up to CNO and higher etc - every case management or clinical director position listed is for RN's etc. 

 

That aside, I'm curious if any PA's after graduating ventured off to the administrative side and if not, is it possible to get some administrative experience? 

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It is possible. The guy who helps coordinate some of our VA rotations is the Chief of a Compensation and Pension clinic. It's not as common, but I think that will change in the next 20 years.

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No reason why not.

Many nurses and docs that become administrators dont expand upon their original education.

Others get an MBA or certificate in hospital management.

No reason why any hospital admin position cant be filled by a PA.

Only thing to consider is if you will take a hit in pay transitioning to a nonclinical position.

Good luck.

G. Brothers PA-C

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How much marketable would a PA be if they went back and received their MHA degree and chose to go through the administrative route? I was thinking about the VCU or UAB-Birmingham MHA program that has an internship and paid-administrative residency component

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there is a member group of PAs in management. They have an annual conference at the Cleveland clinic maybe ?  You should joint ... network with them at upcoming AAPA ... get involved in hospital committees and then make some moves. 

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Thank you very much!

there is a member group of PAs in management. They have an annual conference at the Cleveland clinic maybe ?  You should joint ... network with them at upcoming AAPA ... get involved in hospital committees and then make some moves. 

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I was originally on the PA route (obtained a BS in respiratory care and worked as a RT for 3yrs); however I deviated from the path because I was frustrated at the inefficiencies in healthcare. I attended a MHA program (the equivalent of) and completed a summer internship and was offered a position as an administrative fellow. I ended up joining a small healthcare consulting firm and completely hated the role. In addition, life happened and I spent a few months in the hospital. It made me realize how much I missed bedside care and that I would be much more satisfied on a personal level by working directly with patients again. 

 

I am going back to the bedside on a FT basis and will get involved in QI/PI/patient safety projects on the side for professional development. However, the plan is still to apply to PA school in 2-3yrs down the road once I get my clinical skills back up and retake the GRE as well as a few pre-reqs. 

 

Given my perspective, I would recommend a full-time MHA program like VCU, Hopkins, UAB, Michigan only if you really want to get away from clinical management roles. These programs will give you a great overview of the business side of healthcare, however there is very little taught in regards to clinical leadership. You are better prepared for the CEO/COO trajectory, rather than the CNO/CMO-type trajectory. You will be prepared for roles such as a project manager or administrative manager in areas such as finance, revenue cycle, operations, etc. If those are roles you are interested in your clinical background will be a small differentiator, however you may not be fully utilizing your clinical knowledge in those types of roles. Also, be prepared for a potentially large salary decrease. Many of these entry-level roles pay $50-70k depending on your location. 

 

If I could do it all over again I would've opted for a CAHME accredited distance program such as Michigan or U of Minnesota. These programs tend to be cheaper versus the on-campus programs, in addition there is the opportunity cost of losing one's income for 2 yrs plus the added loans if one attends full-time. Like another user mentioned, you probably have a better chance by getting involved in committees and applying the knowledge from your MHA/MBA program and becoming more visible. Definitely something to consider. On the other hand if you want to "re-brand" yourself then a full-time program would suit you well. 

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