A cursory perusal of healthcare job boards reveals that not all physician assistant (PA) jobs are clinical in nature. In fact, PAs can find plenty of non-clinical job opportunities if they know where to look. The question for so many looking for that first job is what qualifies as a non-clinical position.
In medical terms, ‘clinical’ is defined as relating to direct patient care and/or observation. This means any PA job involving interaction with patients on a daily basis is considered clinical. Even if a PA isn’t diagnosing illnesses and writing prescriptions, regular interaction with patients makes their job clinical.
That may have you wondering just how many non-clinical jobs actually exist. There are quite a few. Below is just a sampling. If any of these jobs interest you, feel free to search for them here on our job board. You might find opportunities you never considered before.
PAs In the Insurance Industry
During your years of study to become a PA, did you ever consider working for an insurance company? Believe it or not, PAs play a critical role in helping insurance companies make decisions relating to worker’s compensation, short- or long-term disability, and even reimbursements for personal injuries.
Insurance companies need medical professionals capable of analyzing patient records and conducting interviews. Obviously, insurance adjusters and policy underwriters are not qualified to do the work. Fully licensed physicians are overqualified. Therefore, hiring PAs makes the most sense.
PAs In Biotech and Pharma
Companies in the bio technology and pharmaceutical sectors put PAs to work in all sorts of jobs. A PA might work alongside researchers and scientists to develop and test new medications. The same goes for new medical devices. PAs are also involved in research, communication and public relations, and even biotech and pharma sales.
If this sort of career has a downside, it is the fact that biotech and pharma jobs are not the most stable in the world. New biotech and pharma startups come and go with regularity. To find the most stable jobs, PAs need to search for opportunities with well-established companies that have been around for some time.
PAs In the Legal Field
Perhaps you couldn’t decide between medicine and law when you were younger. You struggled with the decision until it came time to choose a school. Well, guess what? You can combine your passion for both fields by working as a legal consultant. It is a real thing.
The American Academy of PAs in Legal Medicine is an industry trade group designed to help PAs already working as legal consultants or looking to get started. As a PA in legal medicine, you would put your medical knowledge and experience to work by assisting attorneys in making their cases. Testifying in court is a big part of the job, so just be aware of that.
PAs In Media
Yet another non-clinical PA job is that of media professional. PAs provide valuable services to media companies by writing articles, producing podcasts, appearing in live interviews, etc. Those who work mainly as medical writers spend as much time researching and analyzing information as they do putting together articles and a variety of publications.
It is true that the majority of PAs work in a clinical setting and under the supervision of a physician. But not all do. Clinical work is just the beginning for job seekers hunting for physician assistant jobs. There are other opportunities outside of the clinical setting, opportunities that offer the potential to develop very satisfying careers that put one’s training and skills to use in unconventional ways.