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Hello all, Thank you for providing a medium for where prospective PA students can discuss concerns for their journey. I'm 33 years old I've been in finances for a while and due to some personal conflicts, I've decided to change careers to being a PA. When I was younger I was already working in real estates so graduating with a high GPA was not on the top of my priority. Now after 2 years of taking pre-reqs I have built my overall gpa back up to a 3.0 with a science GPA of 3.7. I have approximately 600 hours of HCE as EMT and about 200 from shadowing a PA and my GRE is 303. I know this is the age long question but what are my chances of being accepted into a PA program? I'm looking to apply to Touro manhattan and bayshore. Does anyone have any schools they can recommend that might give me a better chance at getting acceptance? I've put my entire life on hold to even come this far.... I'd appreciate any guidance that the community has to offer. Thank you in advance
Hello! I am a 30-year-old strongly considering a career change. I’m currently in media and when I think about what I want to do for the rest of my life..it is hard to imagine I’d be happy sitting in an office and dealing with people getting worked up over things that don’t really affect anyone’s life for the rest of my life. My current career path is one of those things of…I CAN do it…I’d could work really hard and get great at it, but I’m not sure it’s what I want. I do; however, imagine I’d be happy with the following life: Working one-on-one with people in a healthcare setting (Especially where I can empower women about their health and choices. More about this below). I would like to continue my hobbies. I want to have a family eventually, but I hope to balance this all. Also, FYI: I have been volunteering at a local hospital and also at a women’s clinic, worked as a PT aide and have already begun my prereqs. I’m currently working on getting more one-on-one patient care experience and have enrolled in a CNA program that begins in two weeks. My question is two-fold: 1) PA’s who have managed to make time for family/friends, hobbies...how did you do it? 2) I’ve listed the specific things I ‘d like to do in my career as a PA below. I believe I can do those working in an OBGYN setting or in a digestive health setting (grastroenerology). Are there any PA’s who had similar ambitions…if so, what areas of medicine are you in? Or do one of the careers listed below or some career path I haven't considered make more sense? I think I can achieve these things by becoming a PA and working on the rest in my own time. The draw of just continuing down my current path and avoiding more student loan debt along with all the obstacles I’ve been facing on my path to PA so far (I’ve been taking prereqs at a community college and boy is it different than my university experience), keep giving me pause. I want a vacation! Lol. Still the thought of having a more fulfilling career keeps brining me back. Things I’d like to do as a PA, (I’m aware I’ll have to do other stuff and there are things in the job that will not always be what I want, but that’s anywhere): Help people end digestive health issues, internal inflammation, obesity, hypertension...especially through a healthy natural lifestyle, but im aware not everyone is going to follow that ish...so whatever way pa's treat it Teach families preventative lifestyle choices to avoid childhood obesity and other (mostly preventable) issues Counsel women and girls in underserved neighborhoods about STI prevention, sexual health, ways to truly take care of the body including self love, nutrition and sexual discretion Help people stay slim through a healthy natural lifestyle Help people achieve beautiful glowing skin through a healthy natural lifestyle (so magazine-y of me i know, don't judge!) What area of medicine could these things fit under? Digestive Health/Gastroenterology, OBGYN, etc. Other Careers I’ve Considered along the way & why (including PA): Dietitian - While this path sounds cool, it has never felt worth it. It will be a huge debt increase, 4 more years of schooling and debt after already having $150k in debt from undergraduate and previous master’s ( I got the master’s out of desperation to escape my first job out of college…young and dumb), many people are having a hard time getting the required internship to graduate from their programs , the salary will not make sense for obtaining a second master’s degree (salary around $50k, I’d basically go back to school, get more debt and make the same amount I’m making now). There is no loan forgiveness program here. Physician Assistant - Very appealing as PA’s often get more one-on-one time with the patient and can work in underserved communities (and get student loan forgiveness for this). I really enjoy being in a hospital setting (I’ve volunteered in a hospital and a clinic), rooms where docs meet one on one with patients and just making people feel welcome/listening/offering support. PAs can work in any speciality so I would choose OBGYN or perhaps gastroenterology(but i’m not sure how much preventive work I get to do in that field). I’ve actually already started taking prereqs at the local community college, but I’m running into issues with student loans so I’m considering just applying to a post bacc program instead. The main issue I have with PA is that I’m afraid I will feel like I’d rather be a doctor because of the respect that comes with it. Perhaps I will feel respected as a PA too though if I choose the right setting with the right doctor? Also, I feel like later in my career I would probably like to open my own practice or start a non-profit org at least. Can I do this as a PA or would I be better off doing this as a doctor? I also wonder if I will get annoyed with pill pushing and recommending antibiotics/flu shots etc when in some cases (DEFINITELY NOT ALL) the better remedy might be to try make a lifestyle adjustment, remove excess from the diet etc. At the same time, I totally get that most of the population is not going to follow those suggestions or plans so I might have no choice but to push a pill their way. I just want to be a position where I help people understand the importance of these things. Random question: are there any natural health doctors that have PA’s? Research/MPH: I’ve thought about doing a dual PA/MPH for all the reasons listed above. If I do an MPH alone…I think I’d be a little confused in what to do with it. If I did it with PA, I’d feel like I’d have it just in case! Perhaps while I’m practicing I can also have an impact on community prevention programs with an MPH. Accessing a community’s needs and helping to research, write about and create effective programs to address those in regards to women’s health (the entire woman from OBGYN to self love) and holistic approaches. (I could even teach Pilates here maybe!) I really want to help the WHOLE woman). I'm also just a deep thinker in general, but I don't like thinking for the sake of thinking. I like to apply what I know. Physical Therapist: I was a PT aide for a short stint and though it's such an important field, I found it quite boring. I wouldn’t last long focusing solely on the physical in this kind of setting. Doctor - Same things listed above as PA. The downfall is that I am 30, have $150k in debt from my two other degrees. I actually wouldn’t mind studying, classes, etc…but that’s 4 more years until I see another paycheck….UMMMM. Not sure about that. Also, the work life balance...I've read on this forum and others is not so great. Is PA the route for the goals I listed above? Is it realistic to think I can enjoy life outside of work pursuing my hobbies as a PA? Thanks for reading!
I'm changing career, and need a blunt assessment before I even begin applying. My undergrad GPA is around 3.35, for both cumulative and science. I have the appropriate HCE for select schools (Peace Corps). The problem is my MPH GPA (3.2). I was working (data analysis and biostatistics, doing it for 9 years) while attending a top 10 school. Not the smartest decision, but I had to pay the bills. This doesn't change my overall GPA, but as I've heard grad grades are considered inflated and downward trends are app killers, should I even bother applying to PA schools?