Physician Assistant Vs Physical Therapist: Differences, Similarities, Best Career Advice In 2022

Choosing a career in the healthcare field is always quite difficult especially when all the careers have to do with helping and saving lives. This brings about comparison in the different healthcare fields. For example, Physician Assistant vs Physical Therapist. Therefore, it will be best to show the differences between Physician Assistant vs Physical Therapist. So, in the end, you will get to make the right choice of career path to follow.

There’s not much of a difference between a Physician Assistant Vs Physical Therapist. One is actually not more preferred to the other. So, there is nothing to worry about.

However, These two careers are also involved in a range of other medical procedures. For this reason, we will be showing the difference between Physician Assistant Vs Physical Therapist, it’s differences, similarities, and other things you need to know about PA vs PT.

Before we continue, let’s go through the table of content below to get an overview of what the article entails.

Physician Assistant Vs Physical Therapist(PA vs PT )

What is Physician Assistant(PA)?

Physician assistants are integral members of the health care team in many hospitals and clinical practices.

Also,  a physician assistant (PA) is a mid-level medical practitioner who works under the supervision of a licensed doctor (an MD) or osteopathic physician (a DO).

Usually, a PA does not need to perform his duties only when the supervising physician is around provided he has been well trained and knows how to discharge his duties appropriately.

What Is Physical Therapist(PT)?

Physical therapists are movement experts who improve quality of life through prescribed exercise, hands-on care, and patient education.

Also, Physical therapy (PT) is known as physiotherapy is a paramedical profession that uses force and mechanical movement (biomechanics or kinesiology), manual therapy, exercise therapy, and electrotherapy to solve deficiencies and enhance mobility and function.

Physical therapy tries to improve the impairment itself by increasing mobility, aligning bones and joints, or lessening pain.

What Are The Difference Between Physician Assistant And Physical Therapist(PA and PT )?

The major difference between Physician Assistant And Physical Therapist is that both provide opportunities for patient care, but a PA will never be a truly autonomous practitioner, while a PT can if he/she so chooses. PA is very limited in terms of employment arenas as compared with PT.

#1 Physician Assistant vs Physical Therapist – Job/Duties

Physician assistants (PAs) examine patients, prescribe medicine, and order diagnostic tests. In most cases, they work under the supervision of physicians or surgeons.

But they can work more independently in some states, rural areas, and inner-city areas, consulting with physicians only when they need help with cases.

Duties Of A Physician Assistant(PA)

Here are the duties of a PA

  • Interview and examine patients to determine a diagnosis.
  • Order tests to ascertain the nature and extent of illnesses and injuries.
  • Prescribe medications and suggest lifestyle changes to remedy medical problems. 
  • Stitch wounds and set bones.
  • Administer immunizations.
  • Maintain patient records and provide documentation for insurance companies.

On the other hand, Physical Therapists work essentially with people recovering from injuries. Their goal is to get patients back in motion with exercises, massage, and other techniques.

The focus of physical therapy is on preventing injuries, and it can also help people avoid surgery or long-term reliance on medications.

Duties Of Physical Therapists

Here are the duties of physical therapist

  • Diagnosing physical problems restricting movement because of an illness or injury.
  • Using exercises and other techniques to ease pain and boost mobility and muscle strength.
  • Developing fitness and wellness programs aimed at preventing injuries and encouraging a more active lifestyle.

#2 Physician Assistant vs Physical Therapist – Education

Most physician assistants need at least a master’s degree to practice which typically takes between 24 and 27 months to complete (2-3 years).

For those who want to climb higher on the career ladder may decide to pursue a doctoral degree and this takes between two and three years.

This is mostly important for those that are through with their bachelor’s degree.

Meanwhile, physical therapists hold a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree, which usually takes three years to complete. However, earning a master’s degree is necessary. A typical master’s degree in physical therapy program takes about two years.

Most importantly, take note that both the DPT and the master’s programs require an undergraduate degree.

#3. Physician Assistant(PA) vs Physical Therapist(PT) – Licensing/Certification

Physician assistant licensing laws vary by state but common requirements include graduating from an accredited physician assistant program, meeting fieldwork requirements/completing your training from the approved program and passing a national certification exam.

While, for Physical therapy, you must be licensed as a physical therapist. So, to sit for the National Physical Therapist Examination, you have to be a graduate of an accredited physical therapy school.

#4 Physician Assistant vs Physical Therapist – Work Place

Basically, physician assistant work in the hospital, but there are other place they can work

While, physical therapy happens in a PT’s office. But, in some occasion physical therapy take place in:

  • Fitness centers
  • Outpatient clinics or offices
  • Home health agencies
  • Schools

#5 Physician Assistant vs Physical Therapist – Job Outlook

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of physician assistants is expected to expand by 31% from 2018 to 2028, and that’s really very significant.

So, the increased demand for medical services from an aging population and efforts to limit the costs of delivering medical services performed by doctors are factors impacting this growth.

Still, on the report,  the employment of physical therapists is projected to grow 22 percent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations. 

This demand for physical therapy is expected to come from aging baby boomers, who are not only staying active later in life but are susceptible to health conditions, such as strokes, that may require physical therapy.

Furthermore, physical therapists will be needed to treat people with mobility issues stemming from chronic conditions, such as diabetes or obesity.

#6 Physician Assistant vs Physical Therapist – Pay/Salary

According to payscale.com, their report says that the average salary of a physician assistant is $96,561.

Also, from BLS reports that physical therapists earn $89,440 per year that is, $43.00 per hour.

What Are The Similarities Between Physician Assistant(PA) And Physical Therapist(PT)?

Irrespective of the differences that may exist between these two, physician assistants (PA) and physical therapists (PT) are quite similar in some ways.

The major similarity between a PA and a PT is that they are both important members of the allied health professions.

Secondly, both the PAs and PTs work in hospitals, clinics, medical centers, and so on.

Also, Both physician assistants and Physical therapy educate people on how to prevent and avoid injuries. They both aim to improve your overall functioning, quality of life, and knowledge about how to maintain your health and well-being.

Lastly, PAs and PTs participate directly in patient care, educating patients, and working toward positive patient outcomes.

What Are The Best Schools For Physician Assistant(PA)?

Below is a list of the best universities that offer physician assistant(PA) programs. Also, click on each of the schools for information on their PA programs.

Which Schools Are The Best For Physical therapy(PT) In The USA?

Here is a list of some of the schools that offer the best physical therapy(PT) programs in the USA. Do well to click on each of them for more information on the program.

Which Is Best Between Becoming Physician Assistant(PA) AND Physical Therapist(PT)?

Generally, these two allied health professions are unique and distinct to each other. However, knowing what to pursue depends on your individual, choice, and career goals.

If you really want to work in the medical field but can’t dedicate a lot of years nor invest a lot of money into studying, then, you can become a PA. But, If you want to help lessen people’s pain, then you can go for PT.

In addition, if you want to do your job and also earn more, you can compare the salaries of the two allied health professions and go for the higher on.

CONCLUSION

Both physician assistants and physical therapists are allied health professions and they are involved in a range of other medical procedures. However, despite the fact that they both treat similar conditions, they have their differences.

Nevertheless, the type of career one needs depends on his/her specific condition and individual needs.

In addition, knowing your career and individual goals will help you decide on what is better for you between the PA and PT as someone who wants to pursue a career in the healthcare field.

i hope this career help you make the right decision.

FAQS

What is Physician Assistant(PA)?

A physician assistant (PA) is a mid-level medical practitioner who works under the supervision of a licensed doctor (an MD) or osteopathic physician (a DO).

What is Physical Therapist(PT)?

Physical therapists are movement experts who improve quality of life through prescribed exercise, hands-on care, and patient education.

Who makes more money physician assistant or physical therapist?

According to payscale.com, their report says that the average salary of a physician assistant is $96,561.
Also, from BLS reports that physical therapists earn $89,440 per year that is, $43.00 per hour.

What are the similarities between physician assistant and physical therapy?

#1. The major similarity between a PA and a PT is that they are both important members of the allied health professions.
#2. Both the PAs and PTs work in hospitals, clinics, medical centers, and so on.
#3. PAs and PTs participate directly in patient care and work toward positive patient outcomes.
#4. They educate patient

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