We continue to celebrate PA Week here at Weatherby Healthcare and wanted to share experiences from another physician assistant who works with us, Diem Dang.
PAs enjoy flexibility and providing unique patient care
“I love being a PA because we have so much autonomy and can work in any field we’d like to: dermatology, ER, family medicine,” Diem, who specializes in cardiothoracic surgery, says. “We have a great flexibility with jobs and patient care.”
Though she considered medical school, Diem says she’s happy with her choice to become a physician assistant because the hours and lifestyle are less stringent. She also finds it most rewarding to spend time with her patients along the different parts of their journey back to health.
“I see patients from point A to point B, from before surgery, during surgery and then follow-up after surgery,” she says. “It’s pretty rewarding to see the whole process.”
Locum tenens offers a change of pace
The Houston, Texas, native began taking locum tenens assignments with Weatherby Healthcare in 2013 and says it’s been a welcome break from the rigors of private practice.
“A recruiter called at the right time when I needed an out and really wanted a change,” Diem says. “Weatherby is fast to respond, makes paperwork a lot easier and makes the transition from one job to the next easier.”
A favorite assignment so far was in Albuquerque, N.M., where Diem loved the weather, the staff she worked with and the atmosphere at the facility — but she says she’ll go almost anywhere.
“Locum tenens assignments have allowed me to go to a lot of places and be able to explore, and I wouldn’t have been able to do that with a regular job,” Diem says. “The flexibility and pay, along with the chance to work with amazing people, make it very rewarding.”
Making locum tenens work for you
Diem recommends PAs who are new to locum tenens find a reputable company and get everything in writing before agreeing to an assignment.
“Make sure you have a good relationship with your recruiter,” she says. “That is key more than anything, because they’ll help you with all the requirements. Don’t go with just anybody.”
Though her job isn’t perfect, Diem is proud to call herself a physician assistant.
“We have one of the greatest jobs in the world,” she says. “We work exceptionally hard with doctors every day to provide quality care. It’s a team effort.”