not too many pa's going into radiology. those that do are generally former xray techs and do mostly interventional. I reviewed the RPA website and it looks like the only difference between an rpa and an appropriately trained pa in this setting is that the pa can write for procedural sedation as needed and the rpa can not.also if something goes wrong, the pa knows how to evaluate and treat medical patients and the rpa does not. for instance a pt who has an mi in the rad suite. the pa could interpret the ekg, intubate, run the code, etc while most rpa's do not have this ability. rpa's probably will replace most rad pa's because they will be much more affordable due to their training being limited to radiology. most rad pa's probably make 80k+ per year and I expect rpa's make less than that.best of luck with your practice.-e
found this ad for a rad pa on a pa job site:
Practice includes fluoroscopy, general reading, hospital and outpatient imaging offices. We are interested in training a physician assistant that is a registered Radiologic technologist to perform fluoroscopy and general procedures such as ct guided biopsies, fb removal under fluoroscopy,etc.
can rpa's do biopsies and other similar surgical procedures? my understanding(correct me if I am wrong) is that they can not. practices that are looking to basically add an associate partner will probably continue to use pa's for this reason.
Rad Assistants will have the ability to perform such procedures. In fact, the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT) is working in conjunction with The American College of Radiology to develop a program of study for advanced Radiologic Technologists to enter in order to be able to perform these procedures. The difference is that the Rad Assistant will be able to perform their own Fluoroscopy while PAs and NPs who are not licensed to perform Fluoroscopy, obviously, will not. I called the ASRT myself and inquired about the new program (myself being a registered Technologist in both Radiography and Interventional Technology I was very curious.) However, from my name you can see that I decided upon a different route. I totally recommend Rad PA or Rad Assistant. Radiology is a fascinating field and I am proud to be a part of it.