About The PA Doctor

ThePADoctor.com is a project of several certified Physician Associates (PAs) who either hold or are seeking doctoral degrees in medicine, health, or related fields.

What’s the point?

  • Though PAs have been around for 50 years, some people still don’t really understand what a PA is, what they can do, and why you should see one.
  • Their previous title, Physician Assistant, didn’t describe the high degree of autonomy that these well-trained providers command.
  • Beyond bad branding, too many rules and regulations across the US are more about controlling potential competition than they are about patient safety.
  • With doctoral degrees for PAs becoming increasingly common, we felt some form of quality control was necessary. We can’t influence accreditation, but we can call it as we see it.

Why are some articles written anonymously?

Because the internet brings out the worst in people. To protect our families, our jobs, and our patients, we’ve all decided to write under the same pen name: The PA Doctor. It also allows us to be in more places at once. Occasionally, guest posts will be credited to a particular author but when any author desires the ability to speak freely without fear of retribution, they are offered some shelter under a pseudonym.

Do You Take Submissions or Contributions?

Yes, but we reserve the right to edit for clarity and fit.

If you’re interested in contributing an article relevant to PAs, the practice of medicine, or health in general, please leave a reply. Your response will not be published.

Privacy Policy, etc.

If you really want to, you can review our Privacy Policy or Terms and Conditions.

10 thoughts on “About The PA Doctor

  • Dale T. McKinney, PA-C

    Thank you for creating this space.

  • Thank you, this is really needed.

  • J.G. Franklin

    I loved your article laying out the rationale for why healthcare IS NOT a right!! Very well done!!

  • Hello,
    I was wondering if you have heard of the bridge doctorate of medical sciences program at Butler University?
    If so, what do you think of it?

    • It looks to be one of the better ones out there and one of the few truly clinical degrees.

  • If I get my DMS degree can I be called a doctor in any clinical settings or solely in academic settings? I can’t find anything concrete online just a lot of opinions.

    • We are of the opinion that “doctor” denotes a level of education and not a specific profession. It is a term of respect and is not the property of any one specific clinician type. We believe that any clinician with a clinical doctorate has the right to use the title “doctor” even where unjustly prohibited by law. To educate patients and prevent occasional confusion, credentials and licensure should always be disclosed and displayed whether MD, PA, OD, DO, DPM, etc.

  • Andrew Laurence


    I am currently in PA school, but I also own and operate a health coaching and consulting business on the side.

    I have stumbled on your content while searching for independent contractor positions in the PA field as I think more about my future.

    I was wondering if your organization had more resources or advice in regards to parts of the industry that are more friendly to contractor positions.

    I prefer the 1099 designation as a business owner and due to the tax-favorable income strategies.

    I look forward to hearing from you all!

    -andrew Laurence

    • Hi, Andrew. I would think your best bet is to look into locums if you’re interested in contract work but that’s not a great way to start as a new grad.

      In my experience, employers try to shirk responsibility by giving employees the designation of “independent contractor” when in most cases, they would be legally categorized as employees. For example, if they provide the equipment and control your schedule, you’re likely an employee and you deserve all the benefits of being an employee.

      Sure, there are some drawbacks to being an employee as well. For example, you won’t get reimbursed for work-related expenses anymore and you’re stuck with whatever benefits you’re offered, e.g. if your 401k or health insurance stinks, you’re largely out of luck.

      As an independent contractor, you can choose your own benefits and deduct all of your expenses but it’s not for everyone. Taxes will be more complicated and you’ll pay 100% of the payroll taxes. You’ll also be responsible for finding and funding your own benefits which some folks never get around to. A locums or staffing company can help with staying busy but they’ll take a huge chunk of your pay.

      My advice would be to find a good mentor and continue to hone your skills for a few more years. Make sure you get a comprehensive benefits package. Let them do the administrative stuff, you worry about medicine. I would even consider a residency if I had the option. Then when you know your way around the exam room, you can better navigate the locums world.

      Hope this helps. Best of luck!

  • Dear PA Doctor and Fellow PAs,

    Here is an opinion piece published in STAT News today, which I wrote about the PA title change: https://www.statnews.com/2023/06/02/physician-assistants-associates-pas-new-name/

    I hope it becomes an opportunity for meaningful dialogue in the PA community and greater healthcare professional ecosystem.

    Please feel free to share any thoughts and/or criticism on this thread or with your own colleagues. I am completely open to any feedback, whether positive or negative. I have only respect for everyone at the AAPA, and our profession.

    Humbly and gratefully,

    Peter Young, PA-C


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