Jump to content

Is Colorado a PA friendly state?


Recommended Posts

Hi, I am almost done with my PA program in Las Vegas, and I am interested in going to Colorado to do some of my clinical rotations. I have heard from some of my instructors that Colorado is not a very PA friendly state. I find that hard to believe because Colorado has two PA programs itself. Please help. Opinions or experiences are welcomed.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, I am almost done with my PA program in Las Vegas, and I am interested in going to Colorado to do some of my clinical rotations. I have heard from some of my instructors that Colorado is not a very PA friendly state. I find that hard to believe because Colorado has two PA programs itself. Please help. Opinions or experiences are welcomed.

Link to post
Share on other sites

According to AAPA under state laws for CO. It says,

"SUPERVISION

New graduate PAs require on

-

site presence of supervising physician for 1000 working hours

.

Supervising physician must complete performance assessment at end of first 6 months of employment and quarterly thereafter for first 2 years of

practice.Twice-early assessments required subsequently.For experienced PAs new to a practice setting, supervising physician must complete performance review by the

end of the first 6 months and twice yearly thereafter. PAs practicing in acute care hospitals must abide by statutory requirements for supervision (must be in an area where

physician regularly practices or in a designated health manpower shortage area, physician must review medical records and PA’s functions must comply with board’s and facility’s restrictions and protocols).

Supervising physician must either be on site with PA or be readily available by telecommunication.A PA shall not have more than one primary physician supervisor for each employer. (A hospital system or HMO is

considered an employer.) A licensed physician other than the supervisor whose name appears on board forms may delegate the performance of acts

which constitute the practice of medicine to a PA. Such physician shall be termed the “secondary physician supervisor.”

 

This might be why some people say that CO might not be a PA friendly state because of the New graduate PAs require on site presence of supervising physician for 1000 working hours

 

.http://www.aapa.org/uploadedFiles/content/The_PA_Profession/Federal_and_State_Affairs/Resource_Items/Colorado_2013_rev.pdf

 

I hope this helps you out

Link to post
Share on other sites

According to AAPA under state laws for CO. It says,

"SUPERVISION

New graduate PAs require on

-

site presence of supervising physician for 1000 working hours

.

Supervising physician must complete performance assessment at end of first 6 months of employment and quarterly thereafter for first 2 years of

practice.Twice-early assessments required subsequently.For experienced PAs new to a practice setting, supervising physician must complete performance review by the

end of the first 6 months and twice yearly thereafter. PAs practicing in acute care hospitals must abide by statutory requirements for supervision (must be in an area where

physician regularly practices or in a designated health manpower shortage area, physician must review medical records and PA’s functions must comply with board’s and facility’s restrictions and protocols).

Supervising physician must either be on site with PA or be readily available by telecommunication.A PA shall not have more than one primary physician supervisor for each employer. (A hospital system or HMO is

considered an employer.) A licensed physician other than the supervisor whose name appears on board forms may delegate the performance of acts

which constitute the practice of medicine to a PA. Such physician shall be termed the “secondary physician supervisor.”

 

This might be why some people say that CO might not be a PA friendly state because of the New graduate PAs require on site presence of supervising physician for 1000 working hours

 

.http://www.aapa.org/uploadedFiles/content/The_PA_Profession/Federal_and_State_Affairs/Resource_Items/Colorado_2013_rev.pdf

 

I hope this helps you out

Link to post
Share on other sites

In my limited experience with CO I feel it is PA friendly enough, but the pay is pretty awful when you compare it to other states. Case in point, I was offered a hospitalist PA position salaried at $79K, standard benefits. CO is not the cheapest place to live either. I was also offered a hospitalist gig in VA, (Fredericksburg, which is a bit Mayberryish) but close to DC and Richmond at 91K, better benefits. There are countless factors that go into a state and the question, Is whatever state PA friendly" needs to specified to exactly what is you want or dont want to do.

I can say that the licensing process for CO is painfully slow when compared to other states Ive been licensed in (WA, VA) I feel the bottom line is where you want to live and practice. If it s CO, there are jobs for sure. They just dont as much as other places, but you do get to live in an awesome state.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Meaux is right. I live in CO but commute to work in WY where I get paid considerably more (would be even more if I still lived there due to the fact that WY has no income tax). CO has some restrictive laws on PA practice, especially for new grads as referenced above. You will also hear reference to the "mountain factor" which is apparently an excuse for employers of all types to pay people less to live in CO, since it is theoretically more desirable to live here. You really shouldn't have much trouble finding a PA job in CO that pays in the $45-50/hr range, but one can do much better if you have flexibility on where you want to live and what kind of specialty you are looking at getting into. CO is really a great place to live and we need more PAs here that are passionate about advancing the field, so I'd encourage you to come here to practice.

 

One barrier I'm noticing in CO as well as in WY is that NPs are starting to get the edge on PAs. I recently called about a job that was posted in CO looking for an NP, and asked if they'd consider a PA. I was told that a PA could not apply since the position would be supervising other NPs AND PAs. The hiring manager felt that only an NP was suited to this kind of position due to their doctoral level training and the fact that they can practice independently. This is a MUCH bigger problem and the first time I've encountered this specific barrier. It would be interesting to see if PA opportunities and salaries will start going down in states where NPs can practice independently.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Meaux is right. I live in CO but commute to work in WY where I get paid considerably more (would be even more if I still lived there due to the fact that WY has no income tax). CO has some restrictive laws on PA practice, especially for new grads as referenced above. You will also hear reference to the "mountain factor" which is apparently an excuse for employers of all types to pay people less to live in CO, since it is theoretically more desirable to live here. You really shouldn't have much trouble finding a PA job in CO that pays in the $45-50/hr range, but one can do much better if you have flexibility on where you want to live and what kind of specialty you are looking at getting into. CO is really a great place to live and we need more PAs here that are passionate about advancing the field, so I'd encourage you to come here to practice.

 

One barrier I'm noticing in CO as well as in WY is that NPs are starting to get the edge on PAs. I recently called about a job that was posted in CO looking for an NP, and asked if they'd consider a PA. I was told that a PA could not apply since the position would be supervising other NPs AND PAs. The hiring manager felt that only an NP was suited to this kind of position due to their doctoral level training and the fact that they can practice independently. This is a MUCH bigger problem and the first time I've encountered this specific barrier. It would be interesting to see if PA opportunities and salaries will start going down in states where NPs can practice independently.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Meaux is right. I live in CO but commute to work in WY where I get paid considerably more (would be even more if I still lived there due to the fact that WY has no income tax). CO has some restrictive laws on PA practice, especially for new grads as referenced above. You will also hear reference to the "mountain factor" which is apparently an excuse for employers of all types to pay people less to live in CO, since it is theoretically more desirable to live here. You really shouldn't have much trouble finding a PA job in CO that pays in the $45-50/hr range, but one can do much better if you have flexibility on where you want to live and what kind of specialty you are looking at getting into. CO is really a great place to live and we need more PAs here that are passionate about advancing the field, so I'd encourage you to come here to practice.

 

One barrier I'm noticing in CO as well as in WY is that NPs are starting to get the edge on PAs. I recently called about a job that was posted in CO looking for an NP, and asked if they'd consider a PA. I was told that a PA could not apply since the position would be supervising other NPs AND PAs. The hiring manager felt that only an NP was suited to this kind of position due to their doctoral level training and the fact that they can practice independently. This is a MUCH bigger problem and the first time I've encountered this specific barrier. It would be interesting to see if PA opportunities and salaries will start going down in states where NPs can practice independently.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I just got accepted into PA school so I do not know from a professional standpoint but I have lived in Colorado for almost 26yrs. Unfortunately I see many specialist which are all PA's and my PCP is also a PA. This is both in my hometown which is a very rurally community and a much larger community near CSU. PA's are everywhere here.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I just got accepted into PA school so I do not know from a professional standpoint but I have lived in Colorado for almost 26yrs. Unfortunately I see many specialist which are all PA's and my PCP is also a PA. This is both in my hometown which is a very rurally community and a much larger community near CSU. PA's are everywhere here.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I just got accepted into PA school so I do not know from a professional standpoint but I have lived in Colorado for almost 26yrs. Unfortunately I see many specialist which are all PA's and my PCP is also a PA. This is both in my hometown which is a very rurally community and a much larger community near CSU. PA's are everywhere here.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 7 months later...

I'm not yet a PA so I can't lend any concrete insight to this per se, but I work in and volunteer in a major hospital in the Denver metro area and there are plenty of PA's that work on both of those floors. I would never feel comfortable asking about their salary of course, but I think here, like many highly desirably places, a lot depends on how flexible you're willing to be (i.e. taking a second job in a rural community or somewhere like WY to supplement income) coupled with the amount of experience you've accrued. Again, this is only from the select PA's I've spoken with but those seem to be the common threads in their answers. Also, they've highly recommended to me to do a residency in my desired area of practice which they think will be almost de facto required in the future especially in a highly competitive / desirable area such as Colorado.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

I'm a practicing PA in Colorado. I know this thread is a bit old, but I'll share my experience:

 

Colorado is, for the most part, not the most PA friendly state. The reasons why are 1) poor compensation, and 2) low demand, and 3)NP competition.

 

There are 2 PA schools here and many employers harvest from those programs for new positions. Outside of that, all the jobs are corporate-based (Exempla, Concentra, Kaiser), and a few private practice gigs here and there. When I moved here after school it took me almost 4 months to find work as a new grad, and that's 4 months of me hitting the job boards and sending out CV's almost daily. Many job ads you see here request only NPs, or have a clear bias towards them. I'm not quite sure why but it probably has to do with their "doctorate" mystique.

 

Licensing wasn't awful....about 4 weeks for me. Delaware took 3 MONTHS.

 

Pay is terrible from what I know. The "mountain factor" referenced above is very real. Colorado is a desirable place to live and the growth here is explosive, so employers can capitalize on the job supply/demand by paying people less. I work in Occupational Medicine, which isn't exactly a lucrative specialty, but I'm only in the mid-$70's, which is about $15k less than what I could make in the midwest or east coast. I personally don't know any younger PAs here who are making over $80-85k, but there are some I'm sure.

 

Great lifestyle here, but pretty dismal job market, especially as a new grad. 

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 year later...

Been 2 years since the above post, and I would say not much has changed. 

 

If you are looking to live/work in Colorado, here are your options:

 

-Get a gig that is rural/underserved (usually in the eastern part of the state, AKA no man's land. They pay very well but are remote and typically in "cow towns".)

-If you are an experienced PA, getting work in Denver or the Front Range will be easier. Still lots of competition here though, and good jobs will go fast. 

-The giants are UC Denver, Denver Health, Kaiser Permanente, Centura, and Exempla. Kaiser will probably pay the best, as well as have the best benefits since they are union. Yes, union PAs.

-Small practices abound, but they tend to be mostly urgent cares and primary care type clinics.

 

Cost of living here is skyrocketing. Housing is outrageous and rent is steep.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Been 2 years since the above post, and I would say not much has changed. 

 

If you are looking to live/work in Colorado, here are your options:

 

-Get a gig that is rural/underserved (usually in the eastern part of the state, AKA no man's land. They pay very well but are remote and typically in "cow towns".)

-If you are an experienced PA, getting work in Denver or the Front Range will be easier. Still lots of competition here though, and good jobs will go fast. 

-The giants are UC Denver, Denver Health, Kaiser Permanente, Centura, and Exempla. Kaiser will probably pay the best, as well as have the best benefits since they are union. Yes, union PAs.

-Small practices abound, but they tend to be mostly urgent cares and primary care type clinics.

 

Cost of living here is skyrocketing. Housing is outrageous and rent is steep.

Any experience with the work environment west of the divide?  Specifically referring to mountain town jobs.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 years later...

I agree with all the above statements about how It’s not very PA friendly. Been working here since I graduated almost two years ago and they do not like new grads. It was really tough finding a job. Most places want 2+ years of experience. Also, there are way more NP position than PA. Cost of living is terrible compared to pay. It’s really unfortunate as it is a beautiful state and I love living here, but coming from Arizona where they are super PA friendly was rough. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

So I know this thread is old but I am interested in moving back to Denver Area after graduating from PA school.  I am a relatively new PA, almost 1 year experience under my belt, as internal med/hospitalist PA in NYC.  Prior to PA school I moved to Denver for 2 years and absolutely fell in love. 

My question is for those currently working in Colorado or Denver area.  Are you relatively happy being in CO?  I understand the pay isn't fantastic but considering the cost of living how well do you consider you are doing?  Are there jobs that I could find if I was looking to move out to CO or is the competition with NPs very difficult?  What about surgical specialties -- since i know most NP's dont do surgical?  Are you happy working in CO or do you think about leaving?

Coming from a state that is oversaturated with PAs and PA schools, would you say that CO is NP oversaturated and makes it very difficult to find a decent paying PA job?  Currently I am making close to 100K prior to taxes in NYC and am not sure if I would take anything less than 85-90K in CO.  I will probably stay out here another year or two to try to chip away at loans and such and get experience before really planning to make moves.  

I would really appreciate ANY advice/help and recommendations from PAs working in CO.  Thanks.  

Link to post
Share on other sites

It's been a few years since this thread was started. Have things changed? I actually have an interview I'm CO. I'm currently in a pretty PA friendly state, as far as laws go so would like to not down-step too much. Can PAs write prescriptions without limits or needing co-signing on scripts? By the way...this NP edge over PAs isn't Colorado-specific; it's really a trend nation wide from what I can see. So, are laws decent in CO for PAs?

 

Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk

 

 

 

 

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