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Hello, I am currently struggling to decide which field I want to pursue ( Master's in Health Administration vs Physician Assistant). I want to interact with patients but I also want to focus on managing hospitals and program implementation. Do you guys have any suggestions on what I can do that could expose my to both of my interests or if one has a higher job demand than the other? Any feedback is appreciated!
Hello folks! I am curious as to what all of your experiences are w/ healthcare administration degrees (masters, doctorates, etc) for PAs. I am planning to start an MHA or one of the DMSc degrees available to PAs within the next few years. Now, I know that is not to say I really HAVE to have another degree to work my way into administration roles in the future, but I believe it will make me more competitive when I am up against MBAs, MHAs, MDs and RNs w/ advanced admin degrees. I have been looking at some of the DMSc degrees that are popping up (Rocky Mountain, Lynchburg) and am interested how they compaire for admin roles vs the tried-and-true MHA or MBA. Do any of you have any of these degrees, and how are you utilized? Are you finding yourself competitive when seeking out admin roles? Any recommendations of programs? TIA!
Hello, I’ve been a ‘lurker’ and finally decided to post. I have decided after much reflection to change careers and start the journey to become a PA. (Sorry for the crazy long post) I had lifesaving surgery as a child so my lifetime experience with physicians and the healthcare community starts there. It's weird but hospitals have always given me a sense of calm. I went to college on academic scholarship with the goal of becoming a physician. Most people do poorly in the beginning of college and rally. My issue is the exact opposite. I did quite well in the first few years but after some compounding family issues in the last 3 semesters, my GPA absolutely tanked. I graduated with a Chemistry degree (GPA 2.85) in 2004. Along with the ongoing family issues, I was demoralized and my confidence shattered. Graduate and professional school would never be an option. After (hiding) working in basic research labs for some time, the healthcare bug returned and I happily got an MHA (GPA 3.53) in 2011. At the time, I thought it would be a good way to combine my love of healthcare with a stable, “safe” career. Currently I work in Health Administration at a local hospital. To put it simply, I can’t imagine doing this for the rest of my career. Although I do my job well, it is truly mind-numbing. This isn’t what I wanted for my life. When I meet with healthcare teams to discuss projects, I’m more drawn to conversations surrounding how to clinically treat patients rather than how to get a new form filled out or doing a departmental budget. Patient care has always been there in the background and the voice had only gotten louder. I work across many clinical specialties and I’m drawn to Primary Care, Cardiology, and Dermatology. Issues: Poor UG GPA & downward trend: My undergrad GPA is a 2.85. Obviously, it will take time and work to get it up. My REAL concern is that because my degree is in a STEM field coupled with the downward trend, it will appear that I cannot handle upper level challenging science. It will also bring my sGPA way down for CASPA. Would my graduate MHA GPA (3.53) help prove to an admin committee that I can do the work? I worked full-time and went to grad school full-time. I feel like a completely different person now as an older adult. HCE: I regularly volunteer for health fairs in the community and will start to shadow PAs, NPs and Physicians. Looking at the forums, it seems schools prefer paid HCE though. I was looking at getting an MA certification and doing this while I re-took my prereqs. Should I sick with shadowing? Would my full-time work at the hospital count towards HCE? Age: I’m 33. With the average age of PA students at 26/27, what are the chances that a PA program would invest in an older student who may retire sooner than someone with an extra 8-10+ years? I am single with no children so I feel like the time is now to do this before I have responsibilities. I’m starting from scratch. I know this is going to be a long journey to get to my dream but I know I can do this. Thank you for any feedback in advance. -MagnoliaPA
I'm 25, and have two degrees - BS in science and an MHA, which I received in 2013. I figured I'd want to be on the business side of health care, which is why I pursued a graduate degree with that focus. I've just started a job working for one of the main hospitals in Charleston, and I'm about 50/50 on it. It's a crazy time and will likely get worse before it gets better. If I am 100% truthful, I have always had my doubts about my choice to pursue administration, from the moment I entered my bachelor's program (health management), all the way through grad school, and to now. I guess I always figured that along the way something would really fire within me and I'd be convinced I'd made the right choice. Can I do this job and any admin job in the future? Absolutely, I've got the education and know how. Do I really want to? That's what I know I'm saying no to. Working alongside clinical staff in previous jobs and currently has made my wonder if my drive in healthcare is really on that side, providing care to patients. I've done my research, and the values and mission of a Physician Assistant really jives with me, and there are so many specializations available. It seems like I'm doing things the opposite way, though. Most with dual PA and business degrees start with clinical and then get their non-clinical degree, whereas I am wondering how rare or impossible it is to start with a non-clinical masters and get accepted/complete a clinical degree like a Physician Assistant. I also wonder what my family and friends would think if I suddenly jumped ship after spending so much time and effort, and MONEY, down this other road. Someone please tell me if I am being stupid, or if there is hope, or something else. I am in Charleston and MUSC, where I work, has it's PA program, which I believe is the only PA school in South Carolina. I know there are no online PA school options, so I would have to do this full-time and figure out how to live/eat at the same time. I'd be taking out brand new loans, which would likely double the amount I have now left over from the BS and MHA education. I had my transcripts analyzed by the MUSC enrollment office and it looks like I would need: 4 credit hours microbiology with lab 3 credit hours organic or biochemistry What would be a good route to get these done? I asked and they said any accredited online or 2/4 year college, but I have no idea where to start. Do colleges let you take individual courses if you just need to get small pre-reqs done? Thanks Confused and Unsure in Charleston