M.D. vs P.A. vs N.P. | The Different Types of Medical Providers | Healthcare Careers | NEIH

Updated: Mar 19


Physician Assistant school is an increasingly popular option for those interested in entering the healthcare profession in the role of a provider. What separates Physicians Assistant Schools from Medical Schools, or Nurse Practitioner programs is the obligation of time and the overall cost of education and training. Physician Assitant school is a masters level program that can be completed in less than 2 years which provides one of the fastest paths to a role as a healthcare provider. Here is a breakdown of the requirements for each career path.

Medical Doctor (M.D.)

After a bachelor's degree, you can apply to medical schools. Medical school can last anywhere from 4-6 years with and 5+ years of residency depending on the specialty. Medical school is very demanding many programs advise students not to work during there schooling to focus on the material being learning, which is not an economic option for most. Due to the great requirements of medical school, many people view a medical degree as unobtainable.

Medical School Requirements

  • Bachelors Degree

  • Cost: $91,304 to $179,000 ( High estimate with Room & Board, transportation and other expenses factored in)

  • 4-6 years of medical school (Additional Years with a Ph.D. option)

  • 3-7 years of Residency

The average cost of medical School

Total Time Spent In school

  • About 8-10 years, with Additional years of Residency

Nurse Practioner ( N.P. / A.P.R.N / D.N.P.)

Nurse Practitioners are registered, nurses

(RN's) that continue there education with masters or doctoral programs to advance their skills and evaluated there position within healthcare. Nurse Practitioners must choice there an area of specialty. Each area of specialization may come to a different cost and length of the program. Once a master or doctoral program is completed they can treat and diagnose patients or perform more procedures on patients under the title Advance Practicing Registered Nurse (A.P.R.N).


General Requirements and Average Cost

  • Bachelor's Degree in Nursing

  • Cost of a Bachelors Degree in the Science of Nursing: 40,000 - 100,000 Per Year

  • 1-year experience in an acute care setting as a Regestrited Nurse

  • The average of an MSN program (Masters in Science of Nursing): About $30,000

  • The Average cost an of DNP (Doctorate in Nursing Practice): is about $30,000

The Average Overall Cost to become a Nurse Practioner

  • Could cost in the ballpark of $180,000 (Including Bachelors, Masters and Doctoral Degree)

Average Time Spent in School

  • 6-10 years depending on the length of the program and type of education.


Physician Assistant (P.A.)

One interesting trait a career as a physician assistant has is that they are not locked into one particular specialty as is Medical doctors or Nurse Practitioners. Physician Assistants can freely jump from specialty to specialty when they chose too without having to go back to school for additional training.


General Requirements

  • Bachelors Degree in Science (Biology) or other health-related fields of study

  • Average Cost of Bachelors degree: About $26,000

  • Average of 1,000 - 3,000 hours of clinical experience

  • 2-3 year masters program

  • The average cost of a PA Masters program: $48,000 in total

The Overall Cost of Becoming a Physician Assistant

  • The average cost could be around $65,000. The number is very dependant on the cost of your bachelor's program and the PA program you choose this average can go up or down considerably based on where you chose to receive your education.

Average Time Spent in School

  • 6-8 years, some PA programs offer a dual master's degree where students also study in another area. These programs can increase time spent in school.


How New Educare Can Help You Achieve your Goals

New Educare offers over 20 healthcare training programs designed to help students get a foot in the door, in the role of one of these entry-level positions. For those interested in a career as a Medical Doctor taking up a trade program as a Phlebotomy Technician can help you get a job at a research facility and provide you access to research experience. Becoming a Patient Care Technician or Medical Assistant can provide you with clinical experience you need to in order to apply. Any of these healthcare programs will provide you with enough clinical experience for you to make an educated decision on if healthcare is the field for you.


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