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I am a pre-PA and am interested to learn about compensation packages from those of you who are employed by university health systems, particularly the University of California and particularly those who practice in a surgical subspecialty. A basic search through several UC medical center websites gives me an idea as to what a first year graduate would earn hourly at each of these sites, but no additional information about CME, licensing, or whether quarterly reconciliation bonuses are part of the pay scheme.

 

When I shadowed in the CVICU of one UC medical center, the PAs there were reportedly working 80-100 hours per week. Whether or not that number is inflated is beside the point; however, I would be interested to learn about those weekly hours beyond 40 (and those spent on call) are compensated.

 

Just to be clear to those lifers on the Forum, I have no interest in working those kinds of hours. I am not focused on trying to make the most money I can right out of the gate and kill myself in the process. Just trying to learn from those of you who have experience working in university hospital systems. Interested to know what the advantages are in terms of compensation, life-work balance and what the most obvious pitfalls are. In sum, is it more trouble than what it is worth it to work for a university health system?

 

Note about me: I currently work for a non-profit charity that provides plastic and reconstructive surgical services to victims of natural and man-made disasters. Working in an administrative capacity for this organization is what has energized me to seek clinical training as a PA. Its nice that PA compensation can be lucrative, but my chief focus in switching careers is to make a difference in the lives of my patients, whether domestic or international.

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