I have been accepted into PA school and am starting to have second thoughts. The initial plan was to graduate and specialize in psychiatry. I have an interest in psychology and neurology. Becoming an MD is out of the question, as I can't move (military family). I have found one accredited Ph.D. distance program in Clinical Psychology. I have considered going that route but am scared I'll regret not going PA. This time last year, I was thrilled to get an interview. Is it normal to have cold feet? Has anyone else made a similar choice? Anyways, thanks for listening.
Should I finish my degree online or in person? All prereqs are done. A list of pros and cons to both.By Tarantino
Hi, everyone. I'm a non-traditional student, wrapping up my associate's degree in psychology from a small state school (not a community college) in Georgia. This college only offers 3 bachelor degrees, which is why I would finish elsewhere. I was a student at Arizona State Online, but transferred to take my prerequisites and labs in person. All my science prerequisites with in-person labs for PA programs will be done prior to transferring to the next college for my bachelor's degree. Now that I'm almost done, I was originally planning to then finish my degree through ASU, but am now considering finishing it at my local university for various reasons. Here's the two options I have:
Option A: Finish my bachelor's degree in psychology at my local university.
PROS: Graduate with less than $10k in debt. Get hands-on experience in research. More than likely get a stronger letter of recommendation.
CONS: It would take longer to finish. I would barely get by, working part-time and living paycheck to paycheck. I would have to devote more time to in-person classes, which would take away from my income and time to do other things. Less volunteer hours. ALL clinical hours will be in private EMS, so my hands-on experience and skills won't be utilized as much, as it's 95% mostly transporting stable patients.
Option B: Finish my bachelor's degree in psychology at Arizona State University (online).
PROS: Accelerated program and can finish in 1.5 years instead of 2.5 years. Work in 911 EMS, which means better hands-on experience and utilizing my skills more - I think this will also make me a better provider in the future. More time to work, which means more income. More time not in a physical class, which means more time to volunteer, which is less stressful since I also have more money in general. Still get to go graduate in person.
CONS: Graduate with around $30k in debt. Weaker letters of recommendation. Little research opportunity. Obvious I finished my degree online because the college is 20+ hours away.
Although it would cost more to finish at ASU, I could become a PA faster, which means it would actually be better financially IF I were to get into both at the same cycle.
I am looking for some insight from any PA practicing in outpatient psychiatry, especially is TN or VA
I heard from a colleague that there has been some issue with reimbursement in the outpatient psychiatry realm that is specific to PA services
I wondered if anyone currently practicing in this specialty or anyone with knowledge about the situation could weigh in.
Are PAs reimbursed at the normal rate or at a decreased rate?
Are there discrepancies between reimbursement for medicare/Medicaid and commercial insurers?
Thank you all in advance!
I have a friend who is a fellow new grad PA, and she is considering a 2-year residency program in psych. She has a passion for psychiatry and could see herself making big differences there, however she is worried that she may begin to forget general medicine if she only works in psych for 2 or 3 years. Her other passion is ortho surgery (and other general surgery). She has also considered pediatrics and inpatient neonatal as other close-2nd choices.
So, I'm wondering if anyone has had to decide between two fairly distinct specialties or switched between the two, years down the road. In particular has anyone here gone from a psych residency program to another specialty (or moonlighted / floated elsewhere)... or any other residency program to something else?
In general, how difficult is it to find a general medicine or even surgery job after working only in psych for a while?
IMHO there is a great deal of potential in this specialty.
This article is a few months old but the numbers are solid...
According to this article ' Nationally about 1,800 PAs, or roughly 2% of the total number practicing, specialize in psychiatry'.
Looking at Psychiatrist shortage ' From 2003 to 2013, the number of practicing psychiatrists declined by 0.2%, to 37,889 nationally by 2013. During the same decade, the number of adult primary care doctors increased by 9.5%, to 211,121 total, and by 14.2% to 862,444 among physicians overall'. ' By 2015, 60% were 55 years or older'.
I know.... You are thinking that new grads need experience for this type of work. This is not true. The right personality and an opportunity are all you need.... That and a desire to work in mental health, I should say...
Of course you can apply for a clerkship. I found 7 programs here: