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  1. Good afternoon all! Prefacing my first post by thanking everyone for their contributions - this forum has provided me with excellent info on the PA profession. Now, a little bit about me: I graduated from University in May of 2015, and have been struggling with the decision of whether to go into clinical medicine or research since my freshman year. I dipped my toes into both realms throughout college, working as a research assistant for 2 years, and as an emergency room patient advocate for 3 years. My current job is split between both fields as well - I am a research coordinator but act as clinical support (taking vitals, monitoring patient progress, advising in care plans, etc.) when needed. I hoped that some exposure to both fields would pull me in one direction, but the scale has yet to tip, and my experiences have only fueled my passion for both fields almost equally. I've contemplated the M.D / Ph.D route a few times, but the time-commitment doesn't align with the goals I have for my personal life. I've been told to just get an M.D degree, since I'd be able to do both, but the docs that I work with seem to have trouble balancing both seeing patients and working on their research, and tend to shine in one area over the other. The M.D route additionally doesn't appeal to me for a variety of reasons, which I'm sure you've all heard, so I wont spend time explaining my pick of PA over MD, unless someone here thinks it might be relevant to providing advice, of course. I'd like to complete both degrees in order to work on clinical interventions as both a provider and a researcher, but don't know where to start. Does it make sense to go to school for one first over the other? I've heard of the of Wake Forest dual degree program, but don't want to just bank on that and not have a back-up plan. Any advice would be much appreciated. Thank you again!
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