Jump to content
PAS2014

Psych PAs?! New Grad Considering Psych Job.

Recommended Posts

Hey all!  I'm interested to hear from any current psych PAs out there!  I'm a new graduate and heavily considering taking a job in forensic psychiatry.  I am curious to see how you all feel about your choice to work in psych?  

 

Job responsibilities?  

Scope of practice?  

Are you content with your field of medicine?  

Do any of you handle other conditions in your position (other than psychiatric conditions)?  

If you wanted to leave psychiatry some day, do you feel you would be able to move into another specialty?  If so, what specialties do you feel would be good "lateral" moves?

 

Thank you all for your time!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't speak to the field of forensic psychiatry, I work in outpatient psych.  I have a ton of autonomy considering I graduated 12/2015 and have only been on my own with patients in this practice for the last 7 months.  I often wish I had more "supervision".  I see too many patients.  I am always behind.  I don't get paid enough to be dealing with all that I deal with.  I can't prescribe suboxone yet because the law that allows me to do that is too new for the required training to be available.  Otherwise I have pretty much the same scope of practice as the docs.  They see my patients periodically just to check in..  It is nonetheless an incredibly satisfying job.  I do play PCP sometimes because I don't want to be treating something as a psych problem when it is a physical problem, for example diabetes and hypothyroid.  If I were to change specialties I would do neurology.  There is an awful lot of overlap between neuro and psych.  I would never ever ever ever want to be in primary care much as I loved the rotation in PA school. 

 

A huge component of psych is listening, not only because it makes patients feel good but because it is really nice not to waste your own time treating the wrong thing.  If you can't suspend judgement for the sake of giving proper care yet still enforce the rules as appropriate this is not the specialty for you.  Likewise if it is upsetting for you to be immersed in the ins and outs of extralegal substance abuse and at the same time deal with addicts kindly but not indulgently this is not the specialty for you.  It is one constant ongoing judgement call after another.  There is no absolute "standard of care".  It is incredibly subjective for better or for worse. 

 

Best of luck to you whatever field you decide on.

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is all great information, thank you!  My background is in mental health, so I'm not new to the daily grind of behavioral disorders, substance abuse, etc.  I have no problem drawing the line when necessary and do easily keep an open mind.  I just haven't found any psych PAs in my neck of the woods - many, many PMHNPs.  I will be the first PA that my state (department of mental health) hires in psychiatry!  I just wanted to see what opinions were out there from PAs.  I appreciate your response!  I am currently sitting at about 99% likelihood of taking the psych job.  Your first job out of PA school is a big decision!  I think so anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is all great information, thank you!  My background is in mental health, so I'm not new to the daily grind of behavioral disorders, substance abuse, etc.  I have no problem drawing the line when necessary and do easily keep an open mind.  I just haven't found any psych PAs in my neck of the woods - many, many PMHNPs.  I will be the first PA that my state (department of mental health) hires in psychiatry!  I just wanted to see what opinions were out there from PAs.  I appreciate your response!  I am currently sitting at about 99% likelihood of taking the psych job.  Your first job out of PA school is a big decision!  I think so anyway.

 

That's great jumping into psych from the get-go.  If I may suggest,  try emulating a psych residency.  Around a year of medicine then psych galore.  Gotta always rule out medical and substance.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll be solely inpatient.  My main assignment will be on the longest-term unit, so there will be a lot of comorbidities to deal with.  And I'll be in charge of most of the admissions that come in from the prison.  So, I think I'll get a good mix of medical stuff my first year.  I have asked specifically to be credentialed as medical staff as well as psychiatric staff, and they have agreed

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×

Important Information

Welcome to the Physician Assistant Forum! This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn More