I hope you are doing well. I was just curious if anyone has run into the same issue with shadowing that i am in currently. So, unfortunately I dont have the connections to other PAs like some people do, so this leads to having to go above and beyond to try to find PAs to shadow. I finally found one that is willing to take me on that doesn't currently have PA students with them (I go to Gannon University and I live close to Mercyhurst University, which both have PA programs), however, they want me to pay $50 per shadowing visit. I have never heard of anything like this before. Is this normal to pay $50/per shadow experience? Or is this just a UPMC thing. Is it worth it? Or should i keep trying to find other facilities that dont require such.
Hello, everyone. I know it may seem like this would be a bit of a biased place to ask for an opinion on this, but this forum seems really open-minded and overall really respectful with people asking these sort of questions compared to *cough* SDN *cough* other websites. I'm in a bit of a dilemma and I know ultimately this is only a choice I can make myself, but I'd like to get some opinions from others who are ahead of me on their medical journies as a little guidance.
I'm 29 years old and a graduate of Arizona State University, where I majored in Biological Sciences with a minor in Psychology. I always wanted to go the PA route, but the closer I am to finishing my undergrad, the more I'm concerned about possibly regretting the decision to not go ahead and commit to becoming a doctor. One of my biggest concerns with med schools is that I completed my degree online, although I did all my science labs in-person by flying out to the ASU campus. Long story short, I still think I have a good chance at med schools that accept online credits, but I'm unsure if it's what I should do. A quick rundown of my stats:
- Non-traditional, white male, 29 years old
- 3.91 GPA, 3.85 sGPA
- 510 MCAT
- 650+ hours volunteering for a suicidal hotline company. 200+ volunteer hours as a phlebotomist (mostly school blood donating events), and donated $2,000+ in crowd-funded scholarships to students throughout the state with a small company I started in 2015.
- 3,000+ hours as a Certified Surgical Technician at an orthopedic surgery center
- Strong LOR's from 2 orthopedic surgeons, a CRNA, a very well-respected professor, and 2 more from my volunteer coaches
- 40 hours shadowing an Anesthesiologist and CRNA
I feel as if I'm a strong candidate for med school and PA programs, but I'm older. I'm 29 now. I used to work in construction, then aviation, and even ended up leaving a Fortune 500 company (that paid extremely well) to pursue a career in medicine. I made a lot of sacrifices, but it was all worth it. I love my patients and couldn't imagine myself doing anything else in life.
I also want to marry my long-time girlfriend. She's 25, so by the time I'm actually a doctor, she would be around 33. I graduated high school with a 2.3 GPA, suffered from depression for years, considered suicide many times, etc. I went through a lot (as I'm sure a lot of people have) and another one of my main goals is to write books about my experiences and to help motivate others. If I can graduate high school with a 2.3 and go on to become a doctor, I think it would be an awesome story in terms of my writings and would help a lot of people, outside from my patients.
With all this being said, I think the career of being a PA will still satisfy my wants to help people in medicine. My biggest concern so far is that I'd regret not going to med school, but I hear a lot of horror stories about divorces, not being able to see your kids as much when they're younger, residency stories, and etc. The debt is also a big concern, because I would be 37-ish before I could really start paying my loans off. I don't know if it's worth it for me and my age, although I'm not that old. I just want to ask openly - if you were in my shoes, what would you do personally? I know everyone is different, but I'm just looking for some insights from different perspectives. Thanks for the read and sorry to type out so much.
Hi! This fall I will commence my undergraduate studies at SUNY Cortland and I'm pretty concerned with being prepared for applying to PA programs, especially in regards to obtaining direct patient care hours. I was doing research and there are programs in which their accepted candidates average or will have even have more than 4,000 hours. This is quite the daunting task considering I plan to be a full-time student over the next four years.
As of now, I plan on being involved in the campus EMS squad where I will receive training and will be required to serve a minimum of two 12-hour shifts per semester. However, I will aim to serve at least 1 of these shifts every week. Do these volunteer hours count as direct patient care hours? Additionally, the squad will pay for my EMT-B training throughout this upcoming year's spring semester if I agree to volunteer for them for the two semesters of my sophomore year. Thus, I will be able to at least volunteer as an EMT-B over the next few summers as well.
Cortland Regional Medical Center is also a five-minute drive from the university, so I will most likely be able to shadow and volunteer here, but they are not a teaching hospital so they do not often have training experiences.
So my overarching question is how am I supposed to get the hours I need by the fall of my senior year when application season begins? Will I most likely have to accumulate hours for another year after my undergrad? Furthermore, are there any other positions I can seek to display diversity within the hours I accumulate, and are there any other pieces of advice you can offer me as I begin to plan?
Thanks for all the help!