Jump to content

How hard is it to switch specialties?


Recommended Posts

If I cant get into derm I am gonna have to go into another specialty, and im hoping this would be temporary and I could switch into derm later? Please excuse my complete ignorance, but do I need to do a derm residency before I can get a job as a derm PA or if I am a family med PA can I just apply for a derm job?

Link to post
Share on other sites
If I cant get into derm I am gonna have to go into another specialty, and im hoping this would be temporary and I could switch into derm later? Please excuse my complete ignorance, but do I need to do a derm residency before I can get a job as a derm PA or if I am a family med PA can I just apply for a derm job?

You can do anything you want, thats the wonderful lateralization of PA realm. It may look favorable to an employer to have a residency in some places while others want to train in their own way. This lateralization we as a profession are on the brink of losing do to CAQ and the promotion of post graduate residency programs for the PA profession.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I can only speak for myself. However, I spent my first 3 years out of PA school in Family Medicine after which I worked in Neurology for almost 2 years and have recently been working in Neurosurgery for the past several months. Each time the only amount of time that was needed before I went to the other specialty was a long weekend, and that was due to my preference of a little break. As we are currently trained as generalists we can switch specialties very easily it is all on what the employer wants. With regards to a residency, that would most likely improve your chances of getting into Derm, but I do not feel it would be required at this point in time. Best of luck.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been a PA for forty years and because I choose to serve my profession on both the state and national levels as president of NYSSPA and five national groups , I made the decision to work part time or per Diem in every specialty so that I may know the pain of the PAs in the trenches. I have served in every specialty but Psychology, Neurology and hematology/Oncology. I learned tremendous bites of knowledge and I think I became a good advocate for my colleagues. Continue to learn as it is fun and keeps you alive longer unless you drive and read at the same time.

Bob

Link to post
Share on other sites
You can do anything you want, thats the wonderful lateralization of PA realm. It may look favorable to an employer to have a residency in some places while others want to train in their own way. This lateralization we as a profession are on the brink of losing do to CAQ and the promotion of post graduate residency programs for the PA profession.

 

You will always be able to move laterally as a PA, just as a doc can as well. There will be more defined measures of competency for people entering the field though, which is a good thing.

Link to post
Share on other sites
If I cant get into derm I am gonna have to go into another specialty, and im hoping this would be temporary and I could switch into derm later? Please excuse my complete ignorance, but do I need to do a derm residency before I can get a job as a derm PA or if I am a family med PA can I just apply for a derm job?

 

What is you experience with PAs and dermatology that makes you want to focus on that one field?

Link to post
Share on other sites

"You will always be able to move laterally as a PA, just as a doc can as well. There will be more defined measures of competency for people entering the field though, which is a good thing. "

 

 

Because our NCCPA board certification is not enough of a defined measure of competency to change fields of practice? Will making lateral movement more difficult benefit the individual PA or field to which he chooses to move?

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Moderator

transitioning into procedure based fields is becoming more difficult in inpatient settings because hospitals want to see that you have done something before to credential you to do it again.

if you have an sp who loves to teach and will set up a mentoring program for you to log supervised procedures, etc it is doable.

many docs just want you to move the meat so the skill set you arrive with is the one you are stuck with. in my group of 18 empa's only 4-5 do LP's for example(me included) because we could demonstrate that we had done them before. the docs in the group have no interest in teaching new skills to the pa's.

a residency is a viable way to change specialties because it gives you new knowledge and a procedures log...

Link to post
Share on other sites
"You will always be able to move laterally as a PA, just as a doc can as well. There will be more defined measures of competency for people entering the field though, which is a good thing. "

 

 

Because our NCCPA board certification is not enough of a defined measure of competency to change fields of practice? Will making lateral movement more difficult benefit the individual PA or field to which he chooses to move?

 

I don't think that the current generalist NCCPA cert/recert is an adequate measure of the knowledge base and skill needed for specialty PA practice.

If the specialty exam process works well, it will benefit both the individual PA and the field.

The individual PA will have the necessary core knowledge topics in black and white.

The field will get the PAs who have put in the time and dedication to learn that knowledge and be tested on it.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Moderator
I don't think that the current generalist NCCPA cert/recert is an adequate measure of the knowledge base and skill needed for specialty PA practice.

If the specialty exam process works well, it will benefit both the individual PA and the field.

The individual PA will have the necessary core knowledge topics in black and white.

The field will get the PAs who have put in the time and dedication to learn that knowledge and be tested on it.

regarding the CAQ, sempa just came out with a position statement on it...very opposite to what the aapa said about caq's....

http://www.sempa.org/Content.aspx?id=361

Link to post
Share on other sites
You will always be able to move laterally as a PA, just as a doc can as well.

 

I don't see how you can compare the lateral mobility of a PA with that of a physician. Sure, residents can leave their program and start over in a different one, but it's very difficult and uncommon to make this change after training. Rarely will you hear of physicians giving up their status as an attending, not to mention their salary, and entering a residency program all over again in a different specialty - with resident pay - in, likely, a different location. Once you have bills (let alone a family to support), it's tough to uproot, move and start all over again. Sure, you may be able to forgo your intern year, but you're still going to do another residency just like anybody else fresh out of medical school (6 years for those who have moved into surgery).

Link to post
Share on other sites
I don't see how you can compare the lateral mobility of a PA with that of a physician. Sure, residents can leave their program and start over in a different one, but it's very difficult and uncommon to make this change after training. Rarely will you hear of physicians giving up their status as an attending, not to mention their salary, and entering a residency program all over again in a different specialty - with resident pay - in, likely, a different location. Once you have bills (let alone a family to support), it's tough to uproot, move and start all over again. Sure, you may be able to forgo your intern year, but you're still going to do another residency just like anybody else fresh out of medical school (6 years for those who have moved into surgery).

 

 

I never said anything about the ease or liklihood of either a PA or doc making a specialty transition. I said that PAs are not LOSING the ability to do so.

The referenced quote:

 

You can do anything you want, thats the wonderful lateralization of PA realm. It may look favorable to an employer to have a residency in some places while others want to train in their own way. This lateralization we as a profession are on the brink of losing do to CAQ and the promotion of post graduate residency programs for the PA profession.

 

We are not losing mobility. Both professions have mechanisms in place to do such a thing.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

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