I'm sorry if it came like I was making that comment toward you. It was more a comment at the show, which looked to me like it was denigrating the entire profession. PA's have to practice under the supervision of a physician, but they can do pretty much anything a primary care doctor can do, aside from a few limitations on the types of prescriptions they're able to write. Topher presented it as being "mostly scut work." "Scut work" is doctorspeak for menial labor type things--tracking down lab reports and x-rays, fetching supplies, running simple tests; "Scut" is an acronym for "some common unfinished tasks," and the people within a hospital who do it are usually called "medical students."
This show is what it is, and as annoying as I find some of the rather loose depictions of medical science, I understand that some of that is for dramatic reasons. Putting down an entire profession, whose practitioners spend almost as much time in school as full-on physicians (3 years versus 4), as glorified gophers bothered me. It's a hard job to get into, and in a lot of cases it's full of people who work just as hard as doctors for less money and respect.
And no, I'm not a PA. When I decided to go back to school in my early 30s, I thought very seriously about it, but ultimately decided I'd be willing to put myself through an extra year of school. So I'm going to be one of those old residents that Topher was talking about.
I'm sorry for the rant. This (the show, not your comment) touched a nerve in a way that actually bothered me a lot. When they goof with the medicine (or put their stethoscopes in their ears backward, which drives me nuts), I roll my eyes and annoy my husband by pointing it out. But something like this, you know, maybe talk to someone who's been inside a hospital.
And don't even get me started on the magically portable ECMO.