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Roads to PA school

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I am interested in learning about different roads to PA school. Currently, I am a teacher who enjoys volunteering in healthcare trying to get to PA school. I can say it is challenging balancing everything, however I am working on it. I would love to see other people's stories about when they decided they wanted to become a PA , and how they got there. I am most interested in what type of plan others made for themselves to keep them on track, or if they even had a plan at all. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Since you're a teacher it sounds like you're already interested in working with and helping people.  Awesome!


I'm applying this coming spring for the 2016 incoming PA classes.  I first became interested in healthcare through work with the University of Utah Burn unit.  From there I looked at Nursing for a bit, but was more intrigued and passionate about moving in the PA direction.  I got my EMT last year and work at a treatment facility, dealing with substance addiction recovery, trauma, etc.  


From the shadowing I've done and current students I've spoken with, it seems like a very rewarding field.  However, it's also 'the' job right now, so it's hypercompetitive.  So it seems the key is for us as applicants to differentiate ourselves.  If I were in your shoes, I'd definitely leverage some of the teaching experience and pull on personal stories from that work; maybe it inspired you to get into healthcare?  How?  What about your teaching background makes you a unique PA applicant?  And find a way to get involved in healthcare; EMT or CNA are good starting points and the program at the U takes on a number of Respiratory Therapists and Paramedics (though each of those is a couple of years to achieve).  


Sounds like you're thinking pretty seriously about it- do it!  Good luck!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hello Joe,


Thank you and I appreciate your response. I appreciate you offering your personal journey to becoming a PA, and I wish you luck with your application for next cycle! 


Applying for PA school is a major project for me right now, but it is well worth the effort. As you mentioned, one of the biggest reasons I would like to be a PA is because I am a teacher. There are a lot of parallels between teaching and patient care that I see, not to mention I love students, I love the patients, and I just love people. One of the cool things about being a teacher is that there is a story pretty much everyday, that is one of my favorite things about "the job," and something I will miss if I end up getting into PA school, and eventually becoming a PA. 


I appreciate the advice and your story, definitely send an update about how the application cycle is going. I would love to know!


As I tell all of my students, Good Luck, you got this! 

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