A Comparison Of 4 Medical Professions

There are a lot of different specializations within the medical community, but you can describe most of them with the word “physician.”  However, there are three medical jobs that don’t fall under this category, and it can be important to understand what makes them different from traditional medical professionals.


This word can describe doctors, surgeons, psychiatrists, and specialists of every stripe.  When you go to see someone about an ache or pain, odds are a physician is the sort of person you’re looking for.  Some of them are primary care professionals, GPs and dentists whom you see without any referral and with whom patients can have personal relationships.  Others tackle special cases identified by primary care doctors.

Physician Assistants

PAs are one response to the unpopularity of general medicine since specialist fields tend to pay much better.  A PA has a license to practice medicine and must pass a strict certification standard to qualify for that license, but their training focuses on general medicine and isn’t as extensive as the traditional path of a physician.  They also receive training in building medical teams based on a specific patient’s needs.  As a result, a medical student can become a PA faster and take on less debt while a hospital doesn’t have to pay as high a salary.  PAs are in very high demand.

Nurse Practitioners

NPs are another replacement for GPs and act in a primary care role.  Becoming one is simply a matter of going through additional training after becoming a nurse, and unlike regular nurses they have the power to practice medicine, diagnose illnesses, and prescribe treatments.  For nurses this is a big advantage, since the extra responsibility comes with a higher salary.  It’s also good for patients, since an NP has the authority to take action during a medical crisis without having to wait for a busy doctor to turn up.

Medical Scribe

The biggest difference between medical scribes and the other categories on this list is that scribes have no license to practice medicine.  This makes them less helpful in dealing with patients, but they can still help by transcribing notes, navigating EMR systems, taking phone calls and setting up appointments, retrieving and logging test results, and all the other administrative tasks that go on in every clinic, hospital, and medical facility.  This frees up the nursing staff and other medical professionals to interact with their patients and otherwise put their training to good use.

PAs, NPs, and physicians can all act as scribes, but that uses up time they could spend more productively and is a leading cause of physician burnout.  Hiring professional scribes like the ones placed by ProScribe helps clinics, hospitals, emergency departments, and other organizations work at full speed and see more patients every day.  While you might worry about putting more people on the payroll, medical scribes can pay for themselves in extra patients and extra job satisfaction.