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Considering PA School

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I have an unusual background and am now considering PA school. I hadn't even heard of it until the last few years, unfortunately.

I am 49 and have a liberal arts BA and a Master's in Adult Education. I also have a teaching license in cosmetology which is what I have done for the last 8 years. I combined my love of education with that of cosmetology. Recently I became interested in medical esthetics, laser treatments, peels, etc. In looking into that I found that cosmetologists and estheticians are severely limited in their scope of practice. In looking at nursing school I discovered PA school. In fact at a recent trip to the dermatologist it was the PA who treated me. I started to investigate and the profession really intrigued me.

Here is my dilema.


I'm 49

I have to take the GRE (not too sure about that!)

I have to take about 4-6 prerequisites (mainly science)

I have to obtain the patient hours

I'm not sure I can survive financially through all of this

My UG was 2.7 and Grad 3.91 (which do they look at?)

I was also considering an advanced degree in school psychology to which I can walk right in (no prerequisites)


I am not sure whether or not to try to undertake this. I have recently been offered a scribe job which would help the patient hours but they are offering minimum wage (seriously?) I have been trying to get a job doing laser but none yet.


Any input would be appreciated, thank you.

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From an objective point of view, it seems like education is your sweet spot. If that's the case, the PA route COULD be a tremendous amount of time/money/effort invested to NOT be doing exactly what you love most. However, if you decide you really want to be a PA, I'm sure you could do it if you make the right moves (I would make sure you don't get so deep into loans that you either can't pay them back or have to work until you're 80 to do so). I admire those further into their working years who are willing to do something about their situation rather than settle. I wish you the best in your decision.

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I didn't know what a PA was until I was about your age, took my first prereq at 51 (already had 2 graduate degrees but no biology), entered a PA program at 58, graduated at 60, and am still working at 67. It can be done and you've got time yet. One of my buddies is a couple of years younger and is a psych PA, if that's an area you are interested in.


I would recommend keeping a job that pays and getting your patient contact time part time, especially if you have the usual commitments of someone your age. Shadow and be sure this is what you want to do first.


Let a red light go off in your mind whenever anyone tells you that there is only one way to get to your goal.


Good luck!



Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD

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I went back to school at age 40. I just finished my prerequisites and sent off my applications to PA school for the first time. I'm 42 now. If I get in this year I'll be 45 when I finish PA school. So, it's a pretty long road. And the hard science classes really are hard compared to the social sciences. I studied so much I felt sick. Also, I work night shift at a hospital wiping butts and such. Just saying it's a pretty long, tough road to even get to the application stage, so be sure it's what you want.

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I am an older applicant as well. I applied last cycle and was waitlisted at the only school that I interviewed at. It was disappointing to say the least, but I feel encouraged that I placed somewhat high on the waitlist. I decided to skip a cycle before reapplying so that I can strengthen my application as much as possible and feel more confident going into interviews. They way I see it is this: You're going to turn 52 regardless. You can turn 52 and finish a degree and embark on a new career or you can turn 52 without the degree and continue on another path. Ask yourself where you want to be in a few years and the answer should become clear.

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