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About to leave the Military.... PA in the future?

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So this is my first post.


Pretty sure it's what I want to do, here is a little bit about my current set up.


I'm attending valodsta state on the side of me working as a corpsman(medic) in the Navy for 6 years, next year will be 7 and will be my last year.

I'll have my AA done with some pre reqs done, bio/chem/a&p and some basic psych and humanities courses. It's an AA with focus on pre-nursing. I had originally just wanted to go for a nursing plan in the Navy but after working with my PA for a couple of years I'm pretty sure PA is the way I want to go now.


I'm a MN resident and will most hopefully be applying to UofM and slew of other colleges that I'll see to pick out, but uofm is the most convinient as that's where my fam can support me.


I have some questions:

1. I know everyone always goes for a BA in biology as stepping stone to PA school but what about majoring in Neuroscience or chemistry? I feel like If for some god awful reason I do bad in my undergrad a BA in biology is pretty useless.

2. If my next college decides to not accept some of my classes that I took at VSU, how will that affect my GPA for caspa? If I got an A in a&p and uofm says you have to take our a&p what happens to the A I got in the other one?

3.Some colleges have Pre-PA programs, are these worth going into? I know colleges like Barry and NSU have these... Isn't it just a bunch of pre reqs.. no degree at the end?

4.How do I calculate my 6 years and convert them into HCE? How do I prove it, just my job info? Obviously not all 6 years have been patient care.


That's it for now, all these forums have been a great source for information and I'd like to thank everyone here. Any tips would be appreciated.


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For your job info if you have to prove it show the schools your DD-214 and your Navy evals that states what you did  ie- PO3 conducted sick call for the last 12 mos.  Some schools won't require proof.  For your hours just estimate.  If you were on deployment I would put 12 to 18 hours a day because that is a normal work schedule underway and 8 hours if you were in port.  Make sure that you get your divo or pa or co or xo to write you a recommendation.  Note this is done through caspa and they submit it electronically.  Note they have to do a survey on you.


I was a swo ltjg on boxer that had my co (o-6) and the smo (senior medical officer that is an o-5) wrote my LOR.


If you have any awards such as sailor of the qrt or yr I would put that in the package.

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1. There is no preference for majors from what I've seen. The only advantage of directing yourself towards a Biology degree is the exposure to the biological courses that may provide a framework for PA school (and beyond). You'll get a good foundation in Organic Chemistry & Biochemistry if you go the Chemistry route, but you'll still need to satisfy all the biological pre-reqs (Genetics, etc). I have a BS in Biology and a minor in Chemistry, which in my opinion was beneficial since it allowed me to take all the relevant chemistry courses: Organic 1 & 2, Biochemistry 1 & 2, Analytical Chemistry. 


3. Pre-PA track programs are less common than Pre-Med/Pre-Pharm/Pre-Dental. The reasons for this vary... The Pre-Health organizations are usually formed by a committee that when you graduate write you a recommendation letter as a whole. This is usually more preferable for all the aforementioned health routes, and less so for Pre-PA's since most of the LOR's required need to be from health professionals. It could serve you well if a school requires a 4th LOR... The committee only advises you on what classes to take based on your route, you still obtain a degree from the specific department you are in.


Based on your military experience I would advise you to obtain your degree as fast as possible so your experience is still valuable at the time of application.


I highly advise you to not attend a private institution like Barry or Nova. They're both very costly and I don't know how much of the GI bill will cover that.

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Look at this link for military friendly schools



Currently the Post 9/11 will cover  $18,077.50 per academic year National Maximum and 1,000 for books a year (this is for private school).  The amount of tuition changes every aug 1.



Some pa programs are yellow ribbon like Drexel meaning whatever the gi bill doesn't cover the yellow ribbon pays the difference.


If you are over 20% Service connected you may qualify for voc rehab that will pay 100% of tuition, all supplies, have 100% access to va health and dental, buy you a laptop, printer, anything that the school requires, pay for the pance, and license.







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Koppma: I would have to wait until I graduate with undergrade before I would request that LOR wouldn't I? I'm still 2 years - 3years away from a BA.


ThomasR: That sounds like a good idea, minoring in chem.

The GI bill covers about 19k as Koppma suggested so, about half. The problem with most public institutions is they have super high out of state tuition fees. I'm a resident of MN and would like to attend UofM as my family lives there and can help me as well. Although I wouldn't mind attending a university in CA, GA, TX or anywhere else warm honestly.


Koppma: that first link looks to be very interesting and I'll look it over, although again I'll be looking at them more when Im closer to achieving my BA. I've never heard of any of those, but they seem to be very veteran friendly, especially since some of them have tracks that don't require a Bachelors... still going to have to read more about them. Thanks for all the advice guys.

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  • 2 weeks later...


You cannot have your recommendations done earlier than you are applying. It's done through CASPA and it is emailed to the person who is recommending you then completed. 


There are many programs that have completion bachelor's degrees for people with an associate's already. This is the route I chose to take when I got my assocate's from the Community College of the Air Force. My school took all my credits. Something like that might help you to finish quickly. If you have an education office on your base they can help you find a veteran friendly school in the area you want to go after service. 


I suggest trying to finish your bachelor's while you have TA. The GI bill runs out quickly and you want to have enough left to cover you in PA school. However, if it's not possible to finish before leaving active duty make sure to talk to your education office about whether or not to switch to the post 9/11. Someone told me that if you stick to the GI bill, you won't have a housing allowance for those months.. but you can get an additional 12 months of education. Just something to think about. Hope that helps a little. 

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Also, if your still in go to the Navy College to see if they still have the fee reimbursement for the GRE.  They had it 2 years ago.  After you take the GRE, you take your receipt, test score, and the Navy College will reimburse you.  Note that it is a one time shot.  This will save you 195 dollars.

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