Western University(WesternU) of Health Sciences offers pathways to six of the top 10 jobs in the U.S., as ranked by U.S. News and World Report.
The jobs are: No. 1 physician assistant, No. 3 nurse practitioner, No. 4 medical and health services manager, No. 5 physician, No. 9 dentist, and No. 10 veterinarian. The Top 100 Best Jobs of 2021 are rankings of all jobs across all disciplines and careers.
WesternU has nine graduate health colleges that integrate and work together interprofessionally, said WesternU Senior Vice President and Provost David Baron, DO, MSEd. The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated how critical it is for different disciplines to coordinate their efforts in caring for patients and maintaining public health.
“Interprofessional education is not something we do in the abstract, we do it as part of our curriculum. Students learn to be respectful and appreciative of what other professions provide. That is the future of health care delivery,” Baron said. “All of our deans work very closely together. They problem solve together. At WesternU we are interested in taking care of the whole person. We are able to demonstrate where health care is going, and where it is going is a collaborative, interprofessional way. At other schools you can read about it. At WesternU, you get to live it.”
Topping the list of best jobs is physician assistant. PAs diagnose illnesses, develop and carry out treatment plans, assist in surgeries, perform procedures and guide patients. A 2015 AAPA study found that more than 96 percent would recommend their physician assistant career to others. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 31.3 percent employment growth for physician assistants between 2019 and 2029. In that period, an estimated 39,300 jobs should open up, according to the report.
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WesternU offers a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies (MSPA) degree through the College of Health Sciences (CHS), which has several highly-ranked programs in the Best Jobs list.
“The PA profession is still very young and for it to be No. 1 for jobs validates the need for the profession,” said CHS Department of Physician Assistant Education Chair Roy Guizado, MS, PA-C. “As a PA educator, this type of news provides motivation for the students currently in PA programs who are undertaking a very challenging curriculum so that they can be providing health care in the very near future. As a practicing PA, this news is rewarding in that the profession is being acknowledged from many different angles to come up with the same conclusion I have always had: PAs do meet a need in health care, PAs provide excellent health care, and PAs are happy to be PAs.”
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