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Career Change to PA in mid-30s - Is it realistic?

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Can any of you experts out there provide a little guidance for a potential PA student? Any honest words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated. (Sorry, I know this post is kind of long.)

 

I'm an older guy - 34 - who would love to make a change to a PA career and I'm confident that if I could get my foot in the door, I'd be able to contribute a lot more with this life as a PA. (I'm sure I'm not the only one drawn to this line of work for the positive impact on others.)

 

It's obviously been awhile since my undergrad. My career over the last 12 years in finance/commercial RE is actually going very well, but it's missing that critical impact. I've been helping grow a start-up outsourcing firm out here in rural USA over the past few years, volunteering in different ways to fill that gap, but when I started volunteering with the local EMS station as a first responder on nights and weekends about a year ago, the wheels started turning again. I may be a neophyte in the heathcare world, but I feel like this is what I was meant to do. My first chance to get EMT certified was this spring, and I'm halfway the semester and want to keep this train going. That said, I need to keep supporting the fam until/if I can get into PA school so can't go at it FT.

 

So that's my story, here's the primary problem  - I started pre-med in college, but being the slacker I was in those days, I dropped it when I hit OChem and transferred to B-school to graduate with a management degree. And here's the best part, I threw my cap with a stellar overall GPA of 2.7 (ouch). It's always just been an annoying number from my past that has no bearing on my present, but now I fear that it will keep me from this dream with all the high-level competition out there for PA programs.

 

My first instinct is to say I'll find a way, but I want to be realistic. What do you guys think?

 

Re the other pre-reqs:

-I can get 1000 hrs in 3 years w/3.5 days a month as rescue EMT or hospital volunteer on nights and weekends.

-Not worried about GRE. Have always been good at standardized testing. No problem with prep.

-Can take/re-take all pre-reqs in the 3 years I'm building HCE and am confident I can ace those classes this time around.

 

So that's it. Again, thanks for taking the time to read this. Please be honest about your thoughts. This is a huge decision in my life.

 

Much appreciated --

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I'm 33 and just got accepted to PA school. I'll be 34 when I start the 24 month program, so 36 when I finish. I still consider that very young, considering humans tend to live into their 80s and beyond.

 

GO FOR IT!

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Seems well thought out on your part. Do very well in your science pre-req courses and get some solid LoR. Consider shadowing a PA or two.

 

Rarely too late to start. And even though I'm in my late 20s, 34 is by no means "older". ;)

 

Good luck!

 

 

Sent from the Satellite of Love using Tapatalk

 

 

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Yes, but you may want to focus on schools with "Last X hours" GPA evaluations, because otherwise you're going to have a difficult time getting your application packet looked at with that GPA.   It worked for me, although my undergrad was a respectable 3.2 before I started thinking about PA school.

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I'm 34 in PA school (changed from Business had an MBA).

 

We have people in my program who are career changers that are 40-50+ years old (collectively about 8 in our program). Maybe about 35% of my class is in their 30's, 50% mid-late 20's and about 15% above 40.

 

I made the change starting from scratch and a bad GPA (2.31 undergrad). You can do it too. Just make a plan of attack, set your goals, and then re-evaluate once you hit a certain milestone. Next thing you'll know you'll be in your 3rd session of PA school getting ready for clinical rotations in a 6 months.

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the AVERAGE age in my class was 35 at the start of the program.

work on that gpa by getting all As in the prereqs to get that gpa up.

it's a good plan. best of luck.

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I graduated when I was 60 so, yes, I guess being in your 30s is "realistic." Get some decent HCE and some new grades to show that you have used your time wisely. And, if you have a family, get them on board with your plans.

 

BTW, if you are interested, I wrote a book about life, before, during, and after PA school. It's entitled Old Man on Campus and can be found on Amazon.

 

Good luck!

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD

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You're not too old.

 

My group of friends in PA school were all late 30's to mid 40's.  We came from varied backgrounds.  Some had health care careers before school.  Others had experience much like what you've outlined (volly EMS or similar).  Some had outstanding GPAs.  Others had GPAs in your range and built upon that average through acing their pre-req classes.

 

What you're describing is not unworkable nor impossible.  If this is what you want, make it happen.  It might not be easy.  But it absolutely can be done.

 

And you're not too old.

 

All the best in your endeavors. 

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I can't explain how inspired I am by the possibility that this goal is within reach. Thank you all.

 

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It sounds like it's something you're passionate about so I say go for it.  Don't worry about age, I am 36 and will be starting PA school in July and won't graduate until I'm 38.  

 

Good luck with everything!

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Hi, I just want to say I went to PA school when I was 29 and have been practicing now for 13 years.  I was young in my program...it seemed the average age was mid-30's and most of these people had other careers or worked many years as EMT etc. There were maybe 4 that were on there 2nd and or 3rd attempt to get in and finally had gotten accepted and these people had marriages, families, mortgages...So you can do it.!!

 

I say-GO FOR IT.  You'll be happy.  

Just get your hours and pull the grades in your pre-reqs.  

I love my profession and can't imagine doing anything else. 

 

Just as a side note.  My ophthalmologist was an engineer and told me he really didn't have great job satisfaction.  At 50, he went back to school and became an ophthalmologist and says he is the happiest he has ever been.  

 

Good Luck.

 

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Your problem isn't your age. It's your GPA. Since you are being very realistic with a 3 year time frame to retake pre-reqs and get HCEs and because your story in the OP is a good start to your personal statement and, I guess, because you have thought this through, I agree with all the others...go for it.

 

Sent from my Kindle Fire HDX using Tapatalk 2

 

 

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Do it. Your GPA was a reflection of you many years ago. Bring it up as much as possible, but you need to show how you are no longer that "slacker". Shouldn't be too difficult at all. Get your HCE. If your doing EMT consider 24 hour shifts to knock out more hours in less time..

 

 

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I'm 34 and started over FROM SCRATCH 2 years ago. I had an associates from a private college so roughly 2 credits transferred (I'm being completely serious). I will get three associate's in May - science, art, and GS. I start on my bachelors in August and will get that when I'm 36 barring any set backs. Soooo...if I get right in after grad, I'll be 38 when I get my PA-C. You are not too old.

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Wow! I am 33 and just typed into the Google search bar: "Am I too old for PA school?" I have a bachelor's in math (2005) and a master's in math (2008). I've always been interested in the medical field. I thought about PA school years ago, and if I would've started then, I'd be done now! I am married with 3 children and currently work full-time in a job I like (desk job), but I don't love it. This is one of those things that if I don't pursue it, I think I will regret it when I get old. 

 

So....my plan right now is to take the bio, chem, etc courses at the local community college (one at a time, since I work) and hope by some miracle, I'll be able to pursue PA school (I don't know if we can afford for me to quit working, but I am going to take a leap of faith).

 

Thank you for this post and all those who responded. This gives me hope!

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Wow! I am 33 and just typed into the Google search bar: "Am I too old for PA school?" I have a bachelor's in math (2005) and a master's in math (2008). I've always been interested in the medical field. I thought about PA school years ago, and if I would've started then, I'd be done now! I am married with 3 children and currently work full-time in a job I like (desk job), but I don't love it. This is one of those things that if I don't pursue it, I think I will regret it when I get old. 

 

So....my plan right now is to take the bio, chem, etc courses at the local community college (one at a time, since I work) and hope by some miracle, I'll be able to pursue PA school (I don't know if we can afford for me to quit working, but I am going to take a leap of faith).

 

Thank you for this post and all those who responded. This gives me hope!

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Your age is not an issue.  I turned 36 today and am in my 2nd year of PA school.  Getting your GPA up from a 2.7, on the other hand, is going to take significant time and effort.  Don't be discouraged.  I had an initial undergrad GPA of 3.0 and got accepted to 3 PA programs first time applying.  That said, I got a Masters degree in between and scored near 4.0 on YEARS worth of science pre-reqs in between undergrad and PA application in order to have a solid recent GPA and much improved overall.  There's always someone in most programs who gets in with a 3.0.  Usually those candidates have tremendous other qualities (20,000 patient care hours or foreign MD program graduate etc).  But it CAN be done if you have the time, energy, and aptitude to make it happen.  Good luck!!

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