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BS in General Bio a good path?

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Hello everyone! New to the forum and glad to be here!


I'm very interested in a career as a PA and I'm trying to figure out which path I should take. I am getting ready to transfer to the University of Washington with the intent of earning a BS in general biology in order to meet my pre-req requirements and hopefully then a) getting an entry level medical job or b) joining the Air Force and go for Pararescue, both in order to gain some experience and to have some funding before going to PA school. I'm wondering if this is a common path that I can be confident in and run with, or if I should reconsider my options and change my degree while it's still relatively early.


I'm running short on time, so any input is greatly appreciated!


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Looks good to me.


PA schools say they like diversity in their class, which means you don't have to major in Biology, but that is the most common choice. If there's something else you're interested in (that might provide a good alternate plan) then consider majoring in that. Your major isn't that important when it comes to getting an acceptance. However, Bio is the best major for preparing you for PA school as well as for knocking out the myriad prerequisite requirements that schools have. A healthcare degree (e.g. RN-BSN) is something else to consider. Whatever you do, just make sure you keep up that GPA. Of all the mistakes you can make as a pre-PA, a bad GPA and documented bad behavior (e.g. a felony) are the toughest to repair later on.


Your plans for healthcare sound good, too. Pararescue and veteran status will look great on an application. My one piece of advice is that you consider starting in healthcare now so you can better decide if this is really the right path for you. 


And consider med school, especially if you're young.

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Coming from a military background I look at people saying they want to be Ranger, SF, SEAL, MARSOC, ACC and pararescue with a grain of salt. The pipeline for all these jobs is TOUGH and most do it without PA school as the end goal in the back of their minds. If you want to go military start with medic/corpsman as your goal and work from there. Pararescue is no joke and the training duration along with getting a BS in Bio will set you back quite a few years before you can apply.


I think Biology is an efficient way to get pre reqs done but the job prospects aren't great if you don't get into PA or med school.


RN is a good career path but you should want to be a nurse first or I GUARANTEE you will be miserable

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Dunedain gave you great advice. The attrition rate for Special Operations Forces is extremely high, and a large percentage of applicants have already been soldiering for a few years before trying out. It is not a stepping stone, and treating it as such essentially guarantees you won't make it. Your sole focus has to be becoming a SOCM, PJ, 18D etc. My wife is a nurse, and it is a demanding career as well. Make sure that whatever you do, you could be happy doing it on it's own, because PA is not a guarantee until you have the -C behind your name.

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To add to Dunedain's comments,  the pipeline for most of those Spec Ops career paths are ~2 years long. That's time spent while getting to the point of beginning SEAL, PJ, MARSOC, SARC, SWCCC training - then roughly 2 years of training for the job (with a 70-90% washout rate) then the time spent actually doing your job if you make it that far. 


Here's Part 1 of a 6 part series on what is takes to be a PJ. I watched them all and it's truly nuts what they put these guys through - but for good reason. 




Good luck! 

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BS in biology is a very pedestrian path to PA school.  It's a "Nobody ever got fired for buying Cisco" (or IBM, for you old timers) approach to getting into PA school.


All the awesome students in my class seemed to have a good bit more eclectic of a background.

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Thanks for all the advice everyone, I really appreciate it. I appreciate the  heads up about the toughness of the special forces training as well, but I have been well aware of the hell that these men go through in training for a long time; I've seen the video set above already as well. That said, I'd still like to give it a go. I've begun training already and will have another two years or so to prepare before entering the program, so I think I stand a good chance in training.


As for the biology degree, if it's a tried and tested path that'll get me to PA school, I think I will go with that route, mostly because if I go the nursing route then most of the credits I have already accumulated won't transfer to a BSN.


Thanks for all the help everyone! I really appreciate it!

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