07 May

Physician assistants are professionals who cannot be overlooked in the healthcare field, as they provide key support to physicians. This time, we will explore the steps to take to hire a physician assistant and ensure you select the right candidate, as this will benefit not only the medical practice but also patient care and satisfaction.

What does a physician assistant do?

A physician assistant is a trained and licensed healthcare professional who works under the supervision of a physician. They may perform a wide range of clinical and administrative tasks to support medical care, such as physical examinations, diagnosing illnesses, interpreting laboratory and diagnostic tests, prescribing medications, performing minor medical procedures, and providing health advice. 

In addition, they can work in various medical specialties, such as family medicine, surgery, pediatrics, and emergency medicine. 

How to hire the right physician assistant + tips

To find the right candidate, it is essential to define the desired qualities and skills:     

Define the ideal physician assistant

  • Qualifications: Physician assistants must be licensed by an accredited institution. 
  • Experience: Previous clinical experience in other positions, performance, and the ability to adapt to new challenges are also important. 

Define your recruiting goals

Before starting the recruitment process, you will have to define your objectives. Not only with respect to the position and the needs but often with respect to the budget:

  • Full-time or part-time: Analyze whether the position you need to fill is part-time or full-time. As we mentioned before, this may depend on the needs of your medical team and whether there is already another person to cover part of the schedule or your budget. 
  • In-house or staffing agency: Another important definition is whether to hire internally or through an agency. Both have pros and cons. For example, doing it internally may generate fewer costs, but with an agency, you ensure faster hiring without getting too involved, and you are sure that they will choose a qualified person who adapts to all your needs and values. 

Among other tips, we also recommend using references to obtain information about the candidate's performance, conduct detailed interviews, and do some practical test before formalizing the hiring process.     

Write a job description

Being transparent is critical when writing a job search. It makes it easier to understand the vacancy and attract the right candidates. An accurate job description helps applicants understand the responsibilities and requirements of the position, which improves the selection process's effectiveness. 

When looking for a physician assistant, clarity in the job description is even more important due to the technical and sensitive nature of the medical field. A job description should include:

  • Responsibilities: Here, you need to include the tasks to be carried out. For example, you could perform physical exams, assist in minor medical procedures, and provide basic nursing care. 
  • Requirements: At this point, you will have to indicate what you expect from your candidate, whether it is exclusive or not. For example: degree, how many years of experience needed, place of residence, work skills, etc. 
  • Benefits: Here, you can include how you differ from other workplaces in terms of attracting candidates. For example: competitive salary, growth opportunities, and more vacation time, among other things. 

Define the interview process and start interviewing candidates

Once you have written the job description and received candidates' applications, you must establish a straightforward and effective interview process. Here are some steps you can take to define the hiring process and start interviewing candidates for the position: 

  • Review the applications you received.
  • Pre-select the best candidates for an interview.
  • You can pre-select over the phone to ensure that what you both expect is aligned.
  • Conduct face-to-face interviews for a more complete discussion.
  • Ask for references to verify their experience.
  • Finalize the hiring process by detailing the work schedule, benefits and salary to the chosen candidate. 

Carefully select and onboard your new hire

Once you have selected your ideal candidate, providing them with solid training and effective onboarding is critical to ensure a successful transition into their new role. This includes familiarizing them with the team, procedures, protocols, and systems specific to the practice. 

Why hire a physician assistant?

Hiring a physician assistant has multiple benefits. It improves efficiency by delegating administrative and clinical tasks, allowing physicians to focus on patient care, and increasing access to care by reducing wait times and expanding the range of services available.