After you leave school, it can be challenging to find a group of like-minded physician assistants in your area. Since most of us live rather fast-paced lifestyles, it can be challenging to find time to attend networking meetings.
Thankfully, online PA forums offer a solution: the ability to effectively network with people in your profession without spending hours on travel and mingling. Whatever your professional interest, there is an online PA group that can meet your needs.
Why Participating In Groups Is Important
Participating in groups and forums is an important part of any physician assistant practice. In addition to the social benefits, connecting with other professionals can help advance your practice and career in five other ways.
The medical field is challenging. Each day you may face obstacles like diagnostic dilemmas, uncooperative insurance companies, and tired colleagues. You may need support from a group of people who understand the complexities of what you do.
Your field is in a constant state of change and keeping up with the newest developments can be demanding. However, in a professional group or forum, colleagues work together to share new ideas and medical advancements, making it easier for you to offer the best care to your patients.
There was a time when you had to attend gatherings to meet peers and mentors in your industry. Today you only need a smart device, an internet connection, and a PA forum. Online professional groups allow you to leverage your precious time by connecting with people in your field from the comfort of your home.
Industry Standards Discussions
Industry standards are the backbone of your practice and fostering a deeper understanding of the science behind the standards helps build strong medical care. An engaging online discussion on industry standards at the end of the day might be just what the PA-C ordered.
Are you looking for a new job? When you build a network of friends across the country, you are often aware of job postings for PA-Cs before they are published. There is an advantage to being one of the first to apply.
Where To Look For New Forums And Groups
When you are searching for a group discussion centered on a specific topic, don’t limit yourself to a quick search online. If entering a few keywords into your favorite search engine doesn’t generate a group you’re looking for, you have other options.
While Instagram is a popular social media platform, Facebook continues to be the giant for discussions, groups, and information sharing. Use the Facebook search bar (on the top left side of the page) to search for professional PA-C groups in your field and/or your local area.
You may be surprised by the resources you find. If you don’t discover what you want, starting your own Facebook support group is easy, and Facebook provides you with plenty of tutorials.
This social media platform is specifically for professionals. LinkedIn offers a way for you to connect with others, publish your own content to an active audience, and find groups that meet your needs.
Choosing the Best PA Forums and Groups for You
When considering your options for a PA forum that supports your goals, be sure to consider your time commitment and immediate needs. Remember you have a limited number of hours in the day, so choose the groups that meet your purpose.
Those we have chosen to highlight are categorized by general, lifestyles, specialties, and geographic locations.
General PA Groups
Check out these forums where you’ll find colleagues from multiple specialties engaged in conversation about the profession or looking for a new job.
Physician Assistant Forum
This is a true public forum where you can post without registering. It maintains a range of topics including medical billing, specialties, the military, and state-specific content, but the highest number of posts are professional discussions. The activity varies depending on the topics, and there is a leader board of the most prolific contributors and most talked-about subject matter.
Physician Assistant Jobs
This public Facebook group started in 2012 and currently has 5,870 members. The objective is to give members a place to post and search for job openings across the U.S.
The group is active and has grown by 230 members in the past 30 days. Members post an average of about 3 jobs a day. If you’re looking for a new job, are fresh out of PA school, or know someone who is, this PA forum may be the ticket to greener pastures.
PA Forums and Groups For Various Lifestyles
These are examples of groups you can join that are centered around a lifestyle. For instance, if you’re a physician assistant and a mom, it’s important to network with other moms who can help you learn the skills you need to balance work and life. There are multiple types of groups available, so if the ones below don’t meet your needs, take to a search engine with your own unique set of keywords.
Physician Assistant Students and New Grads
Meeting other PAs after graduating from a PA program can be difficult. That’s why this public group works to unite PA students and new graduates throughout the U.S. It offers the unique ability to communicate different perspectives on education and collaborate with people from different backgrounds.
The group is active and growing. It has nearly 3,000 PA student members, and it added 145 of them in the last 30 days. Members post an average of twice a day, so the content is manageable and the discussions revolve around school and practice.
Interservice Physician Assistant Program (IPAP)
This public Facebook group was created in 2008 as a place for students, alumni, and staff of the Interservice Physician Assistant Program (IPAP) to share their experiences in the program. IPAP serves all branches of the U.S. military. It currently has 7,273 members, and it added 122 in the past 30 days.
The group is slightly more active than others, publishing an average of 4 to 5 posts a day. The group offers support to PA students, assisting in applications, paperwork, and networking.
Specialty PA Forums and Groups
There are multiple groups on Facebook and LinkedIn directed at physician assistant specialty practices. To find them, use their search bar and type your specialty + Physician Assistant/s. Be sure to search both with and without the “s” to find all available groups.
Nurse Practitioner and Physician Assistant Locums Travel Networking
This private Facebook group started in September 2017 and currently has 2,600 members. The focus of the forum is to discuss locum tenen positions around the U.S. These are PAs who travel to temporarily fill the duties of another professional.
It is growing, having added 70 members in the last 30 days. To post or read the discussions, you must request membership.
Interventional Radiology Physician Assistants & Nurse Practitioners PA/NP
This specialty-focused Facebook group is a small, private, and active group for physician assistants. It’s added 17 people in the last 30 days, and members average one post every couple of days. The group was created in 2008 and has continued to provide support to members for over a decade.
Dermatology Physician Assistants
This private Facebook group is focused on discussions and updates for all dermatological conditions and treatments. The group started in November 2017 and currently has 656 members. Itadded 19 members in the last 30 days, and it averages about 3 posts each day.
Physician Assistant Groups in Your Area
Connecting online with local groups gives you the opportunity to meet, network, and learn about local job openings. To find one in your area, use the closest large city name + Physician Assistant/s in a search engine’s search bar. Don’t forget to search Facebook and LinkedIn for local online groups, and consider searching for PA student groups too.
Physician Assistants in New York
The Big Apple has a private Facebook page dedicated to those who live in or practice around New York. The current 3,041 members use the group to make announcements, network, and post job openings. It added 38 members in the last 30 days and members post an average of once a day. The administrators clearly state the forum is not a place to discuss diagnosis or treatments.
Physician Assistants of Chicagoland
This private Facebook group was started in 2016 for PAs living and practicing in Chicago. The current 765 members post employment opportunities, practice recommendations, and thoughts about the profession. To gain access, you must provide a verifiable Illinois license and disclose where you practice. The group posts an average of once a day.
Making the Right PA Forum and Group Choices
You have multiple choices of forums and groups in Facebook and LinkedIn to meet your needs. As you look through those focused on your specialty, location or lifestyle, make choices that meet your immediate needs first.
Once you’re established in one group, you’ll have a better idea if the members meet your needs. Pay close attention to the minutes and hours you spend connecting, being sure it’s a good use of your time.