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Greetings Everyone, 


My name is Chris and I am brand spankin' new to this forum and I had a very early question regarding the idealization of specialties and the actuality of specialties once PA school is nearing its end. 


Right now, I am finishing my Junior year of undergraduate school. Based on GPA, relations, involvement, etc. I have the opportunity to produce a potentially competitive application for PA school. With that in mind, I have a few specialties I am interested in (neurology, research, psychiatry, and vascular surgery).


The part I am most confused about is what qualifications allow one PA vs. another to be able to specialize? I constitute specializing as serving as a PA in a specific field of medicine outside of clinics and general medicine. Do things such as where you attended PA school, come into play? I understand this may be a very naive sounding question, but I am trying to get the gist of the process in order to prepare myself accordingly. 


Any advice on this matter is welcome, particularly from those who are on the other side of the PA fence and who currently specialize in a specific field. 




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some people know going into school what they want to do already based on their prior health care experience. others decide during rotations in school. some specialties are easier to find jobs in than others. some require/recommend prior experience or a residency (see www.appap.org).

prior experience in health care is very important when deciding to become a pa. it's how you learn that you want to work in the field and gives exposure to the culture and traditions of medicine.

having at least 1000 hrs of paid health care experience is a big piece of the pa applications equation.

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