PAs are sometimes the unsung heroes. We have been around for fifty years, quietly taking care of patients. The subspecialties use our skills in the OR, the cath lab and the IR suite. Many successful MDs have very competent PAs at their side. We know this, but much of the American public doesn’t.
Many of us are happy to continue down this path. We roll our eyes when someone tries to describe the profession in mainstream media, and manage to get it wrong almost every single time. We gracefully educate the public about what we do and why. We shrug off “short coat” remarks, and comments from our circles about pursuing an MD degree. It’s a thankless job—sometimes. And, we will always have the attitude bred into our education of serving the underserved and being a bridge for those who need access to quality healthcare.
I would never knock our roots. This is a noble profession—realized or not by the public. There are some definite perks to our profession, and I love what I do, but … .
Today, I want to recognize those who are stretching beyond the typical clinician position. I call them the “PA entrepreneurs.” These are people who are dreamers and will not be held back by the restrictions of our license. They are thinking outside the box and working to create their own perfect job. I have had the privilege of entering into this whole new world of opportunity that our education allows admission to. And a professional degree is only one piece of a greater idea.
Since I’ve tapped into this group of entrepreneurs, I’ve learned a lot about what we can accomplish. There are PAs all over this country doing truly unique and forward-thinking “side gigs,” or even replacing their income entirely with small businesses. There are PAs who have built mini empires of urgent cares that they own and operate. There are PAs who run their own health and wellness businesses. House calls, pre-PA admissions coaches, fitness and life coaches, selling essential oils, consultants, CME products … the list of PA-owned small businesses continues.
There is something in the air … I’m not sure what it is. Maybe, we have established ourselves enough that we can now start branching off from the traditional roles? Maybe, we are realizing how much more we are capable of? Maybe, it’s time to incorporate more of a business side to our education!
This is something that I hope the current and next generation of PAs realize: We can practice medicine in underserved areas. (There will always be that need, and our profession will always step up to the plate.) But we can also be the boss! We can own our own clinics, our own businesses, our own destinies.
I think I deserve to explore my possibilities and take a risk on an idea. Heck, I may even go back and get my MBA! If you want to talk with other like-minded people, join the Physician Assistant Entrepreneurs group on Facebook. Throw ideas back and forth with your peers that are as crazy as you are.
It’s thrilling to learn about what others are doing with this awesome education we have received. And, you might just stumble across something really great that changes the course of your entire career!
Rachael Jarman, PA-C, is a supervisor for advanced practice providers within an urgent care clinic group in Minnesota. Recently, Rachael started a business as an admissions coach for pre-pa students, called PA Trek. And she (and her husband) are raising three “wild little girls,” with their free time spent zipping around in a vintage camper.