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PA-S1 wanting medical shcool


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Hey all,

 

I am a little over a month into PA school and I "still" have the urge to go to medical school. I have always had this thought in the back of my mind, but I was convinced / convinced myself that PA would be a better option. I figured actually being in PA school would rid my mind of the thought of medical school, but it hasn't. I realize that it is so early in my PA education, but the same thoughts and desires for wanting to become a doctor are sticking with me. I don't know if I'll be happy as a PA, and I am worried that I will just be going through the motions to graduate and make a salary for the sake of continuity, when I truly know what I want to do is become a physician.

 

The problem that I have is the application. For med school admissions committees to see that I'm currently in PA school and want to go to med school already will look horrible. Is there anyway to get around seeming so flippant? Does anyone know of another PA student that applied to medical school early in their first year (or even in their 2nd year, for that matter)? I truly want to pursue medical school, but my path has just been a bit different than that of a traditional applicant.

 

My undergraduate + gap years were all geared toward building a strong application for medical school. However, now ,it seems like those efforts will go unnoticed due to deciding to attend PA school.

 

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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You really think so? Why do you think that? I figured it would be flooded with PA apps.

required mcat=23. this is lower than any md program and most DO programs.

they will waive certain traditional medschool course requirements for selected applicants.

As a DO program it looks favorably on life experience and PA coursework.

I don't know specifically how may apps/seat they get but any PA considering medschool should seriously consider this route.

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Didn't you ask about this in here before and E and others suggested med school?

 

This is weird. When I applied to and attended PA school, my cohorts were c e r t a i n of their desire to be a PA and not a doc. And I didn't graduate that long ago. It seems in the last few years or so there have been a rash of MD/DO school burnouts going/applying to PA school (at least judging from the posts here) and post here asking for advice and when we give the old "go to med school" advice, we get push back from these pre-pa's...sheesh what happened to this forum, and our prospective applicant pool for that matter. Where are my fellow down in the trenches, veteran medical people who wish to advance their fund of knowledge at? And why do we talk HCE "hours" it should be measured in years! "I'M OUT!!!"

 

*steps off soap box and knocks down mike stand*

 

Sent from my myTouch_4G_Slide using Tapatalk 2

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There are also many perks of being an md/do over being a pa:

work fewer hours for more money( I really don't care about the money but it is one bonus of the md/do route)

more accepted as a clinician both domestically and internationally by administrators, ancillary staff, and patients. this respect or lack of the same is huge. docs never get told "Let me talk to a pa who knows what they are talking about" just because they are an md while the opposite can be frquently true in many settings.

standard scope of practice by specialty in all practice settings. ( All ER docs for exaple are credenialled for all EM procedures, not so for all em pas).

much more autonomy. very few folks routinely question orders written by a doc.

no one knows what a pa is. after 40 yrs the only group that consistently recognizes a pa as more than a medical assistant are active duty and former military folks. many docs don't even know what we do. many of the docs at one of my jobs never trained with pas and they just forced a rule that pas present 100% of pts to a doc before the pt leaves the dept and the doc has to see the all pts face to face. needless to say I am looking for other jobs.

 

 

sure, there are folks who are unhappy as docs. these same folks would be unhappy doing anything in medicine.

I KNOW that as a doc I would have a more fulfilling professional life and career. I watch docs who I train go on to gain positions with high levels of respect, autonomy, and flexibility.

due to a variety of personal and financial factors it just isn't in the cards for me.

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Man emedpa. I really appreciate your comments and threads, and I have learned a great deal from simply reading what you write on here. But more often than not you seem negative on the pa profession. For a pre-pa like myself (I start this august) it can be pretty discouraging. How about a f/u with the perks of being a pa. Would be much appreciated.

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how about a f/u with the perks of being a pa. Would be much appreciated.

good pay for only 2 years of grad school.

Great schedule and lots of jobs out there if you are willing to relocate

patients in underserved areas really appreciate pas because without us there would be no one to see them or waits would be very long.

It beats being a paramedic in terms of hours and pay. No risk of back injuries. No having to drive to each case and run the risk of getting lost while the pt deteriorates...

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It saddens me that people are occupying seats intended for those that REALLY want to be a PA.

 

 

I think it's completely reasonable for someone to be psyched about a certain profession and then end up having a change of heart. Due to my change of heart, do I not deserve a seat in the PA class? I often see comments like this and can't understand why it's always the "go to" response when someone is unsure about their career path.

 

I appreciate the other thoughtful advice people have provided. Being in the situation that I am in now, I just don't see how it would be feasible to get into a medical school right away (seeing as how they would view me as flippant). And I have thought of the PA/DO bridge, but I would rather take on less debt and pursue medical school sooner rather than later.

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Well, too late to get a refund for this semester so you'd better dig in and do as well as you can. If you decide to drop out to pursue med school it will only hurt your cause if you don't have good PA grades.

My advice is a bit different because I am a PA and have 11 mos remaining of med school. I practiced for more than a decade before returning to school and that made me a stronger candidate. I feel that if you are sure you want to go to med school you may as well go sooner than later. I am still a little sad for the person who didn't get the seat you took in PA school but I don't begrudge the fact that you earned it.

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EMED I always see you posting how you wish you were an MD over PA. No disrespect, but why don't you go to MD school now?

opportunity cost(cost of school+ loss of income= over 1 million dollars), wife works as an artist and makes 5k or less/yr, kids in school, home mortgage, car payments, etc.

I am the sole bread winner in the family essentially. if single I would likely still go back even now in my mid 40's or do an em pa residency and get a job in the middle of nowhere full time doing solo coverage.

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I think it's completely reasonable for someone to be psyched about a certain profession and then end up having a change of heart. Due to my change of heart, do I not deserve a seat in the PA class? I often see comments like this and can't understand why it's always the "go to" response when someone is unsure about their career path.

 

I appreciate the other thoughtful advice people have provided. Being in the situation that I am in now, I just don't see how it would be feasible to get into a medical school right away (seeing as how they would view me as flippant). And I have thought of the PA/DO bridge, but I would rather take on less debt and pursue medical school sooner rather than later.

 

If you weren't 100% certain PA school was for you, you shouldn't of accepted the seat.

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If you weren't 100% certain PA school was for you, you shouldn't of accepted the seat.

 

I think this is unfair and unrealistic. I have had at least 15 very bright PA students who questioned whether being a PA was the best path for them, but they decided to make the best of it. All but one are still actively engaged as PAs and contributing to the profession. The other is in med school and will continue to contribute as a preceptor down the road.

I myself worked for 11 years, always at least one full time job plus, and I've worked part-time when I could in med school. I continue to teach PA students and have plenty of former students still asking my advice on contracts and job searches.

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I think it's completely reasonable for someone to be psyched about a certain profession and then end up having a change of heart. Due to my change of heart, do I not deserve a seat in the PA class? I often see comments like this and can't understand why it's always the "go to" response when someone is unsure about their career path.

 

I appreciate the other thoughtful advice people have provided. Being in the situation that I am in now, I just don't see how it would be feasible to get into a medical school right away (seeing as how they would view me as flippant). And I have thought of the PA/DO bridge, but I would rather take on less debt and pursue medical school sooner rather than later.

 

 

I don't think we are questioning whether you deserved the seat in the program or not. We are saying, and it is a fact you can't deny, that you did take away someone's spot. Clearly you had the package to get in so that's not an issue at all.

 

As far as going to med school, you may really want to figure out what's going on. Did you shadow enough docs and PAs to see what you were interested in? I would honestly stick it out this semester and maybe go back to shadowing a bit to see what you really want. I shadowed docs and PAs, some were happy with what they did and some were not. Maybe talking to them can clear the air for you.

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I think this is unfair and unrealistic. I have had at least 15 very bright PA students who questioned whether being a PA was the best path for them, but they decided to make the best of it. All but one are still actively engaged as PAs and contributing to the profession. The other is in med school and will continue to contribute as a preceptor down the road.

I myself worked for 11 years, always at least one full time job plus, and I've worked part-time when I could in med school. I continue to teach PA students and have plenty of former students still asking my advice on contracts and job searches.

 

Everyone's entitled to their opinion, of course. I just see it from the perspective of someone who had to do a considerable amount of "mountain climbing" to get that seat. With how competitive the process is, as well as the cost in excess of 6 figures between tuition and living expenses, I find it immature to not have fully vested yourself in the process at the point where the OP is.

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Everyone's entitled to their opinion, of course. I just see it from the perspective of someone who had to do a considerable amount of "mountain climbing" to get that seat. With how competitive the process is, as well as the cost in excess of 6 figures between tuition and living expenses, I find it immature to not have fully vested yourself in the process at the point where the OP is.

 

I agree with you and FWIW I think this is the cost of recruiting young and bright PA students without significant prior HCE. They don't know that they really want to be physicians, or could be. I was 24 when I began PA school and I wasn't sure then--and I had worked with PAs and physicians. I did not have any medical role models in my family and I was the first person in my family to graduate from college. Nobody in my family (including me) believed I could achieve medical school and become a physician. I was very happy to become a PA and have had a fortunate career, but I figured out within my first year as a PA that I really did still want to become a physician. The longer I practiced as a PA the more I became convinced that I was every bit as smart as my physician colleagues, and I became emboldened to apply. It's not been easy and I'm pretty sure you couldn't pay me enough to do M1 again but I'm glad I've done it now that I'm on the downslope.

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My problem was that my pa role models were treated well and not representative of the pa world in general, just a few facilities in a few communities that treated pas very well where no new grad could ever get a job....then I hit the real world where pas are considered "assistants" and left to do all the scut....

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My problem was that my pa role models were treated well and not representative of the pa world in general, just a few facilities in a few communities that treated pas very well where no new grad could ever get a job....then I hit the real world where pas are considered "assistants" and left to do all the scut....

 

 

EMED mainly hits the issue for me. The PAs who I've shadowed and worked alongside were in wonderful positions. Of those who allowed me to shadow them, they were mainly very pro-PA and painted a bright picture of what the profession is and will be. I did not have one PA who had negative things to say about the profession (maybe negative things about a certain practice or certain types of patients, but not about the profession as a whole). To add to this, I also shadowed and worked with many docs, and the majority of them were pleased with their professional lives, but not pleased with their personal lives. The overwhelming majority of them told me to avoid medical school at all costs; this is where my motivation for PA school strengthened.

 

While it's easy for some of the posters to say I should've shadowed more or should've had more experience, those weren't the issues. I worked for 3 years full time in two different settings (large teaching hospital & small clinic), as well as volunteered in the ED for the past 7 years. So while I wasn't a paramedic for 10 years, I still had an overwhelming amount of hours in comparison to my fellow classmates. I gave this decision A LOT of thought, and spoke with mentors, PAs in practice, MDs in practice, family, and friends, yet the question still weighed on my mind. I by no means made this decision on a whim, and I was excited to begin PA school before classes began. However, the final kicker was when a few of the MDs I worked for (people I respected deeply, who had incredible professional lives) steered me away from medical school due to the current environment and where it's going for docs.

 

It just seems as though there was no right answer, but I took what I had (an acceptance to PA school) and hoped for the best. I want to be an excellent clinician, and I know that I can be that as a PA, I just don't know if it's the best path for me.

 

Thank you again for the advice, it helps hearing perspectives from others who don't necessarily know my situation.

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opportunity cost(cost of school+ loss of income= over 1 million dollars), wife works as an artist and makes 5k or less/yr, kids in school, home mortgage, car payments, etc.

I am the sole bread winner in the family essentially. if single I would likely still go back even now in my mid 40's or do an em pa residency and get a job in the middle of nowhere full time doing solo coverage.

 

Have you tried winning the lottery or perhaps a medium sized bank robbery? It can't be THAT hard to come up with 1 million bucks.

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