General Question

MissPoovey's avatar

PA versus MD, who'd you rather?

Asked by MissPoovey (893points) October 20th, 2010

My granddaughter has been to the “doctor” only a few times. Everytime we go, we see the Physicians Assistant instead of the Physician. I have not had a problem with that, the woman seems knowlegable. The good thing about seeing her is we always get in on time and it is an easy appt. to get.
I was wondering what your thoughts were? Should I be holding out for the “real” doctor?

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11 Answers

WestRiverrat's avatar

If it is just for routine stuff, I don’t see why you can’t keep seeing the PA. It is usually cheaper to see the PA, and if there is anything the PA can’t handle, she will call in the Dr.

I think a PA you like, know and trust is better than a Dr you don’t.

Aster's avatar

I think PAs are extremely qualified to deal with a vast amount of health issues.

perg's avatar

I was perfectly happy seeing my previous doctor’s PA, especially given how impossible it was to get an appointment with the doctor herself. Then I was roommates for a couple of years with a PA, who is a brilliant woman. I’d be happy to place my health care in her hands… except she moved away (frowny face).

Rarebear's avatar

PAs are fine as long as they know their limitations.

gorillapaws's avatar

As @WestRiverrat has mentioned, a PA will consult with an MD if there’s anything beyond their expertise. I probably shouldn’t say this, but the PA in our practice is actually better at a handful of tasks than the surgeon is, likewise the surgeon is much better at other tasks, and has a deeper reservoir of experience and technical knowledge of particularly complex and nuanced issues. For routine issues, a PA may be even better than an MD, but if I were dealing with complicated drug interactions or rare conditions, I would probably hold out for an MD (I suspect any PA would probably agree).

wundayatta's avatar

I am fine with a PA. I also know it’s a good way to cut health care costs without sacrificing quality.

At first I thought this was a geographic thing: Pennsylvania vs Maryland. For the record, it’s PA for me there, too!

Seaofclouds's avatar

I don’t mind seeing PAs. As long as I feel they are competent in what they are doing and I am comfortable talking with them, I’m happy (and that goes for any medical professional I am seeing).

marinelife's avatar

I think that a real doctor should see your parent once in a while.

YARNLADY's avatar

In my experience, a PA is fine for any routine visit, as long as a doctor is readily available for consultation. At Kaiser, the PA will spend time with me asking and answering questions, then the doctor breezes in and out unless I need something.

GeorgeGee's avatar

Hmm, I thought this question was about Pennsylvania (PA) versus Maryland (MD). Never mind :P

Trillian's avatar

@GeorgeGee Coming from the guy who wants to know if it’s ok for a cat to lick his nuts…. ;-) It’s almost karma.

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