A PA is trained as a doctor is trained, just in a more condensed (and rigorous) time period. In fact, at one of my PA school interviews a faculty member told us, "You're going to hate the medical students, they'll be out partying on the weekends while you study the same material, they just won't have to learn it as fast!" Because this is who I will be working in a team with, being trained with the same mindset as a doctor was important to me. Further, having to have the same pre-requisite courses to be a doctor, versus the pre-reqs to be a nurse, was important to me. These courses (O-chem, biochem, etc) require you to learn and think critically on a different level than nursing pre-reqs. I know we may never use this knowledge again, but to me, it sets PAs and doctor's apart. Additionally, it's alarming to me that many nurse practitioner degrees can be earned online. Another huge reason for me is that PAs graduate as general practitioners, skilled to practice in any specialty, while NP's must select a specialty. Disclaimer: I know many fantastic, awesome NP's and nurses, and I admire each of them! We are all a team, and our common goal is for the good of the patient. These are just a few of my reasons for choosing the PA route.