My favorite thing about my career is seeing all types of patients--across the age spectrum, male and female, etc.--with all different types of acute concerns. I love getting to do procedures such as splinting, suturing, incising and draining wounds, etc. I also love that every single day of work over the last decade has been different from the last.
Another positive to my career, is that I could get out and get to caring for patients after my 27 month PA school program. I wanted to get married and start a family after school and didn't want to necessarily be in school, residency, internship, etc. for 8+ years as some medical school specialties require. In addition, as a PA, we are trained generally and can switch specialties if desired. We all have to take a general board certified exam every 10 years, but essentially if you wanted to work in pediatrics and then switch to surgery, urology, orthopedics, OB/GYN, etc., you could do so without having to go back to school and go through a residency. This flexibility was and is amazing to me!!
A few of the downsides of my job include not always getting to follow patients. If I see them in Urgent Care, I don't always get to follow up with them if I have referred them back to their primary care provider or a specialist. This way I don't always form the type of relationship with a patient that a primary care provider does. Another downside is that since we see patients on a walk-in basis, I don't have any control over my schedule. We might be 2-3 hours behind at one point and since patients don't schedule appointments, we can't really space them out to avoid getting clumped together with long wait times.