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  1. @ERCat where do you live? That kind of pay is ridiculous, I’ve onky heard of around $150,000 after maybe 3-5 years. Ultimately, money isn’t the biggest concern obviously. I want to work in medicine, help others, and I’m super interested in participating in studies - just not as my career. Anyways, the main concern with PA is that they do all the same work as a Physician (so it seems and I’ve been told) and make 1/3 as much, etc. I know you said you make a lot, but I think you got super lucky. I’ve never heard of that kind of starting pay and most job listings around me are $90 - $120k for new graduates. Regardless, I’m still on my undergrad and trying to decide. I would say PA would be a backup plan. I’m more interested in Anesthesiologist Assistant or MD. I like surgeries and anesthesia and the OR setting, like I have absolutely no interest to work in family care. The only thing outside of surgery I would consider is something like internal medicine. As crazy as it sounds, I’m not the biggest people person, but I love helping them. I just can’t deal with trivial stuff like colds and the flu all day and writing prescriptions. I’d prefer my patients under general anesthesia. ;) Or just less patients and in internal medicine possibly. Regardless, I want a good work/life balance too. I want a family and kids. Your post was SUPER insightful though, so thank you for it. It seems like you have a great gig.
  2. @EMNP I didn’t mean to only say surgeon. Just to clarify, if I went the MD route, it would be to either be a surgeon or anesthesiologist. I want to be in an OR setting and both seem nice. I’ll try to shadow both, but I’m still curious to know what you’d think.
  3. I can’t tell if you’re joking or not, are you really not liking being a PA so far? The pay isn’t as important of a deciding factor for me, but it still is obviously one. I know doctor’s make more, but AA’s have a better schedule and can actually have a life outside their work too. If I went the MD route, I would definitely want to be a surgeon, which sounds like ungodly hours, but I’ve heard that plenty of your schedule is more on you. You can be a PA and work 80 hour weeks or you could be a MD and work 50. Or vice versa. Ultimately I want to provide the best care for my patients, I just want a life and family that’s healthy outside of work as well. Are you not liking being a PA so far?
  4. @Boatswain2PA so you’re not liking being a PA? How long have you been in the field?
  5. @camoman1234 my only concern with this approach is that I’ll have to go to a community college for about half of my prerequisites. Do you think this will effect my chances? I’m between deciding the PA route or MD. Really undecided so far. Leaning towards PA, but I have years of undergrad left and I don’t want to HAVE to do PA. If that makes sense. I want the option of both, but I’m skeptical about community college.
  6. Okay, I know this is such a basic question, but I’m genuinely curious and it’s good to hear different perspectives. Plus, everyone situation is diffferent. I’m currently going the a Anesthesiologist Assistant route (for now), but I’m kind of iffy about possibly going to med school. Currently 24 and just started working on my undergrad What made you choose PA over MD/DO?
  7. I watch a lot of YouTube channels of PA’s, MD’s, etc. 90% of them didn’t have a traditional route into med school and faced some sort of challenge. Look up Buck Parker on YouTube, if you don’t mind cursing. The guy didn’t get into any schools, ended up going to a med school in the Caribbean, took a year off here and there, etc. Plenty of struggles but ultimately ended up a general surgeon. I’m 24 and just now starting my undergrad and never even cared about starting late. Don’t overthink it. When you’re 85 years old, you’re going to regret not finishing - not that you finished a little later than the next guy. Everyone has their adversities - you clearly have had plenty. I filed bankruptcy at 21, only graduated high school with a 2.6 GPA, and have absolutely no clinical experience. I’m now 24 and finishing up my 5th undergrad course and maintaining a 4.0 while working 60 hours per week, just recently started a one-for-one company that I’ve always wanted to do, and I’m also attending a second college (tech school) to become a surgical tech. I get questionable about things too, but that’s just human nature. We question every life decision, from your undergrad major to your wedding day. Push the negative thoughts aside and keep going. In terms of other things, I’ll echo what everyone else has said. Stop eating horribly ASAP. That will literally make your mood worse by eating horribly on top of stress. Look into intermittent fasting or a ketogenic diet (I do both) as a start. Many people will advise against keto, but I think they’re not open-minded enough or fully educated to make the assumptions they do. Regardless, fasting is a beautiful thing and increases your focus too, which you’ll obviously need the next few years. Get some quality sleep and a good schedule that’s persistent. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t. Once you finish, write a book about all the stuff you’ve been through and help others. This dark portion in your life is just a chapter. We all have those chapters at times, but the next page holds much more great things for you. And lastly, stay positive. Just think about it. Being negative will only attract more negativity in your life. I try to stay super positive and I’m really happy, but I used to have really bad depression. I avoid negative people. If someone’s complaining about trivial stuff, I leave the room. Avoid all this toxicity and stay positive. If you stay negative, positive people like me won’t be in the room. I hope that makes sense and I’m not trying to sound mean. I’ll be 28 by the time I’m applying and I MIGHT even consider med school, so don’t even think of 28 as a bad thing. You got this and I’m looking forward to your success story in the future.
  8. You can major in whatever you want as long as you take the right prerequisites too. Personally, I always tell people to major in their interest. Keep in mind what you’d want to do if you didn’t get into PA school.
  9. @rev ronin thanks for your input. My main concern is I’m attending Arizona State online while living in Georgia, so some of my prerequisites will be online - although the labs will be in person. I’m hoping this doesn’t hurt me in the future. I’ve reached out to a lot of PA/AA programs and most accept them, but I MIGHT want to go the med school route. So I’m thinking an online undergrad with the missing prerequisites from a community college may not make me the most competitive candidate. I have the grades, though.
  10. @camoman1234 I appreciate your post. I really considered living off loans and focusing 100% on school, but I think I’ll go the other route. I work a good job in aviation right now while working on my undergrad. I’m also going to a tech school to become a surgical tech, so hopefully I can find a part time or weekend shift job and finish out my prerequisites strong. Thanks for the advice!!!
  11. I'm attending Arizona State University online. I live in Georgia and I'm 24 years old. ASU is a quarter-based system, which means I get college credits on a quarterly basis instead of a semester basis. All PA and AA schools (I'm interested in both) require a certain amount of prerequisite hours, but at ASU, I would be about an hour or two short in a lot of them, like biology, chemistry, organic chemistry, etc. So, me getting a degree in biology from ASU is kind of pointless, because I'd have to take some additional prerequisite classes at my local college anyways. I should also mention I have a job (in aviation) that pays pretty well - about $60,000 a year. I am also in the process of getting my Surgical Technician certifications, but this will take a year or so. With this being said, I have two options: A: Get my Surgical Tech school done and take a really low course load at ASU for Biology to ensure I maintain as close to a 4.0 as possible. Get about 60 of 120 credits from ASU (amount needed to transfer), then transfer to the University of Georgia. Finish my degree in biology, but live off loans. Try to find a part-time CST job while in Athens to keep them as low as possible. Continue with a low class load to keep a good GPA. This way, I'm keeping my grades high, but still getting some crucial clinical experience. Eventually graduate from UGA, a highly respected school in Georgia, with a degree in Biology. Then apply to programs. Most will be far away, so if I get accepted into one of those, I'll also probably have to live off loans for the two years of AA or PA school. Lots of debt, but better undergrad, experience (in life and classwork), and higher caliber school. B: Buy a mobile home for a great price ($13k practically brand new) - a home right next to my parent's. In 3 years, it'll be paid off and cost me half as much as renting. Continue my degree at Arizona State University (online) in something like psychology, since my prerequisites won't count the same anyways. Minor in personal health. Get my Surgical Tech school done and work part-time while attending ASU. Finish my psychology degree, then take the right prerequisites at my local college. Don't live off any student loans until I get accepted into AA or PA school. Option A seems nice. I can go to UGA, graduate with a degree in Biology, have that prestigious college (at least for my state) attached to my degree, finish everything on a physical campus, have easier access to volunteering in research studies at the campus, have 100% of my focus on my school and GPA (this is important as grades don't come naturally to me), and pretty much devote my life to making sure my prerequisites and overall GPA are top notch. The bad - I'd live off loans and accumulate a lot more debt and UGA is harder (could be a good thing for preparation) in their expectations. A lot of good, but the two bad are related to more debt and harder to get a good GPA. Option B seems good too, but not as appealing. I'll undergrad in psychology and minor in personal health (biology/chem/etc not available). Take all the right prerequisites at a local college that should be easier to pass versus UGA's standards. Save money by working as a Surgical Tech and paying $500/mo in a mortgage payment versus $1,000/mo for an apartment. SORRY TO RAMBLE. What's your opinion?
  12. @LT_Oneal_PAC That just doesn't seem very boring to me. I'll definitely have to shadow both to see, though. How do you feel about the future of AA's? The more I look into forums, the moor "doomsday" it seems with the usage of CRNA's. How do you feel about it?
  13. @LT_Oneal_PAC I thought the AA had to stand like in a ready position the entire time, but I'm still new to this, so I had no idea they were like kind of separated from the surgery. That's a bit of a bummer. So when you sit next to the patient, what's the scene like? Do they literally have the opportunity to read in the OR? I just read an article on the "controversy" between it, and it's surprising to me it's even a thing. I don't see how it would be considered sterile.
  14. @EMEDPA my literal only concern with AA is the boredom. I have a big fascination with just watching surgeries unfold, though. I'll have to shadow an AA sometime to see how it really is. I always see that "airways, book, coffee" quote now! The more I research it, the more common it pops up. Haha. I actually enjoy reading and have quite the library myself. If only one could read in the OR... *shrugs*
  15. @scott079 how'd you make the switch? I'm currently still going for my undergrad, so I have a good 3 years left before deciding, but AA seems like the better choice. Maybe a little more mundane, but better pay, fewer prereqs, better pay, seems like a better life outside of work too, etc. I know PA's who say you can make about $150,000 after a good 5 years, but with AA, you could surpass or meet that right out the gate (it seems). I try not to let money be a primary factor in my decisions, but really?! More money, more time off, still helping patients, being in the OR, the same amount of time for the program, like... What's the catch here? I just wanna help people in surgeries. If I'm the one putting them to sleep and watching vitals and whatnot, that's still fine with me - especially if I'm making $30k more starting out than a PA. It just seems like a better work-life balance too. Can't really find any cons other than it being a little mundane from time to time, but I don't see that. I mean, let's say you work 10-hour shifts and have some minor surgeries on the schedule - most lasting 2 hours. You get the patient ready, sedate them, watch the procedure, take them back to their room, eat a quick meal, grab the next patient, do it again... Next thing you know, you're watching like 5 surgeries in a day! That doesn't seem boring to me! Or maybe you have a long 10-hour surgery that's going to take your whole day. Okay, it may be a little more mundane that day. Boo hoo. I'm making 6 figures a year to help save people's lives. I don't get it - is there some sort of catch here? Haha.
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