Duties and responsibilities
A physician assistant in obstetrics and gynecology is responsible for managing a broad range of patient care issues in both inpatient and outpatient obstetrics of gynecology settings. Like all other physician assistants, they are only licensed to provide care under the supervision of licensed physicians. The license gynecologist may not always be present – the amount of interaction depends on what is agreed between the PA and the physician and on the state rules and regulations. Their typical responsibilities and duties include:
- Performing annual exams on females
- Providing family planning services
- Providing pre-natal and post-natal care
- Addressing menopause issues
- Conducting necessary treatments on patients (e.g., infections)
- Analyzing record, reports and test and examination results to diagnose medical conditions
- Discussing any results with patients
- Explaining procedures to patients
- Monitoring patients over the course of their pregnancy
Physician assistants complete a physician assistant education program. To do this, they must have a bachelors degree that focuses on science and experience in healthcare. The physician assistant education programs usually take at least 2 years of full-time study and include a master’s degree. PA’s then need to become licensed, meaning they must pass the certifying examination.
Skills and relevant work experience
As well as completing all the relevant medical training, obstetrics and gynecology PA’s will need skills such as:
- Written and verbal communication skills, as PA’s will need to communicate with patients, coworkers and with specialists throughout the whole treatment process.
- Sensitivity, as the nature of a obstetrics and gynecology PA’s work is sensitive and should be treated with discretion
- Teamwork skills, as general surgery PA’s will work in a close environment with surgeons and physicians
- Compassion, as obstetrics and gynecology PA’s will be approached by patients with problems that they find embarrassing and personal. Gynaecologists must show the utmost understanding and compassion
- Dexterity, as obstetrics and gynecology PA’s may have to use sharp tools and therefore must have excellent hand-eye coordination
- Attention to detail, as obstetrics and gynecology PA’s need to spot issues with patients during checkups and when providing care
Most obstetrics and gynecology PA’s will work full time and they may have to work long and irregular hours. Although unlikely, obstetrics and gynecology PA’s may be on call, which means they may find themselves working nights, weekends or holidays!
According to salary expert, the average annual salary for obstetrics and gynecology PA’s in the United States was $130,160 as of 2020. At an entry-level, the average annual salary is $90,307 and at a senior level, obstetrics and gynecology PA’s can expect to earn around $161,943 per year.
Due to the growing and aging population, there will always be a demand for physicians assistants to help provide the surgical procedures necessary. The employment of PA’s as a whole is expected to grow hugely over the coming years, creating many exciting employment opportunities. Specifically, obstetrics and gynecology PA’s will be in demand to assist women through all the challenges they face. Obstetrics and gynecology PA’s can further progress, with increased knowledge and skills, to have more responsibility. For example, they may lead other PA’s and spend less time supervised by licensed physicians.