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Hello! I'm currently in my undergrad program taking my prerequisites for PA school. I plan on graduating in the Spring of 2023 and applying for PA school that same year. As I begin my PA school research, I keep having self-doubts on my ability to learn the content in PA school, which questions my ability to "make it" as a PA. While I am doing well in my undergrad/prerequisite courses, I fear I am not genuinely learning the information - just merely memorizing and doing well on exams. My question is: Will I/How badly will I struggle in PA school if I don't remember/didn't efficiently learn the coursework from prerequisites like Biology/A&P/Chemistry? I do not fear applying for PA school/getting accepted (aware that it may not happen the first time I apply), but my current GPA is 3.8 and I've been working full-time as a medical assistant for 3 years (plenty of PCE, HCE & shadowing). However, I fear getting into PA school and having the feeling of "what did I get myself into". I've had PAs that I work for all tell me that I can do it, but I keep having this lingering self-doubt that my ADHD brain and I will not be able to grasps concepts like others will due to my lack of deep understanding during prerequisites (and just having recently been diagnosed with ADHD & still learning what medication works best for me). Is this feeling normal? Thank you to whoever can give me some honest insight!
IMHO there is a great deal of potential in this specialty. This article is a few months old but the numbers are solid... https://www.managedcaremag.com/archives/2018/1/shrinking-psychiatrist-shortage According to this article ' Nationally about 1,800 PAs, or roughly 2% of the total number practicing, specialize in psychiatry'. Looking at Psychiatrist shortage ' From 2003 to 2013, the number of practicing psychiatrists declined by 0.2%, to 37,889 nationally by 2013. During the same decade, the number of adult primary care doctors increased by 9.5%, to 211,121 total, and by 14.2% to 862,444 among physicians overall'. ' By 2015, 60% were 55 years or older'. I know.... You are thinking that new grads need experience for this type of work. This is not true. The right personality and an opportunity are all you need.... That and a desire to work in mental health, I should say... Of course you can apply for a clerkship. I found 7 programs here: https://medicine.yale.edu/psychiatry/education/medstudents/pa.aspx https://medicine.uiowa.edu/psychiatry/education/fellowship-programs/physician-assistant-pa-psychiatry-fellowship https://www.houston.va.gov/Education/Physician_Assistant_Residency_Mental_Health/Physician_Assistant_Residency_Mental_Health.asp https://www.novanthealth.org/careers/psychiatric-fellowship.aspx https://www.carolinashealthcare.org/education/Center-for-Advanced-Practice/Fellowships/Behavioral-Health https://medicine.missouri.edu/departments/psychiatry/fellowship-program/physician-assistant-fellowship http://www.brookdalehospital.org/psychiatry-residency.html