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Hello,

 

I am a business major (information systems) looking at a possible switch to PA. Here's a little background. I had the inkling that I wanted to be in the medical field after transferring to my university. It has actually always been in the back of my head but I pursued a degree in a hobby I enjoyed - computers. I was primarily focused on DO and/or Dental (did not shadow anyone at the time so wasn't sure). Being that both of those school require a bachelors degree, I found it faster and more economical to finish my business degree and then begin the path to getting into a medical/dental school (plus it was a solid degree to fall back on)

Now that' I've graduated (working a very decent job, as well), I've found my work environment to be fairly dull. It's IT - can you imagine being around computers/servers/equipment all day and the only human contact you get is when a machine decides to randomly, and rarely, breakdown? I want to be around people. One of the things I LOVED LOVED LOVED about my past retail jobs was that I got to meet, speak to, and help people I hardly knew - and I felt good about it.

I have considered DO and Dentistry but I am very attracted to the flexibility in specialization of PA's. For that reason, I am seriously considering pursuing the PA path instead of the DO/DMD/DDS path I was originally set on. I will admit, I need to shadow a PA to get more insight into the occupational nuances that come with the job, but from my searches online and youtube videos I've watched, it is something that seems to fit my personality and desired professional and personal lifestyle.

 

My main question is this:

 

Is my bachelor's degree in business something that could hurt my application? I understand that PA programs are typically geared towards professionals already working the the medical/health field?

Also, I have no clinical experience. There are a few programs in CA that require no clinical hours. The ones that require them require between 2,000 and 4,000 hours. Does shadowing/volunteering count as clinical hours? How did any of you with no clinical experience obtain such high numbers of patient contact/clinical hours?

Also, I am trying to get into a post-bacc program to fulfill the pre-requisite course requirements. It's going to cost me a tad over $20k w/out financial aid. Good move? I am doing it because if I get in, it will be faster than going a la carte at my community college (I have reached the max units my state has set that rescinds priority registration). I will never get into a science class at a CC; they fill up after day 1 of registration.

 

Thank you for the help. I'm sure I will have more questions regarding PA and appreciate all of your patience.

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BA in business,

Then MBA

Then gave up on business world

then went to PA school

 

Having to do it over again, in spite of being in a good spot now, I would push to do med school  - DO likely

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I have a BA in Aerospace Engineering and was an Air Traffic Controller. I worked in sleep medicine and picked up about 18k in HCE and was just accepted to my first choice program this year. You really need some HCE and solid grades on pre-reqs but your past will not hurt you as long as you have a good reason to become a PA and your GPA is strong.

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BBA in Business Analysis / MIS, MS in Comp Science, and worked in IT & business for a number of years .... now starting PA school this summer. But I do have ~6K hours of HCE (RT, EMT, Lab, PN) when I was working to put myself through school at that time; as Scoped says, I am pretty sure that made a difference (for most programs).

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There are many opportunities to do pre-reqs online now. You can also look into that. I did A&P I and II and microbiology online and learned a bunch.

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Shadowing and volunteering do not count towards your HCE just to answer that questions. Unless the volunteering is hands on patient care like EMT volunteering or a medical trip.

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I'm from So Cal and did the change from business to PA. 

 

I got my undergrad in Communications from CSUF. I later got my MBA and then 6 years later decided business wasn't for me.

 

I took my prerequisites at a school that offered weekend only courses. Sat/Sun x 4 weekends from 8am-6:00pm = 4 semester units which included lab and you also had an optional Capstone you could do for an additional 1 unit (so 5 units total). During the week I also took non-lab courses like Psych 101, Psych of Aging and Genetics online (3 units each) concurrently while taking my other prerequisites. I finished them all with a phlebotomy certification within 6 months.

 

I then took a 4 weekend EKG class and a 4 week 4pm-10pm EMT -B class and within 1 calendar year I had finished all my prerequisites for PA school and now had a solid certification background to land a good job for solid healthcare experience. 1 month after getting my EMT I became an ER Tech and I did that and continued taking science classes, increased my PA shadowing experience, and community service hours.

 

Prior to making the change of careers I made it a point to lower my overhead. That meant moving my wife, daughter and myself in with family and getting rid of that mortgage. I also approached it with a project management mindset setting up critical paths and milestones of what I wanted to achieve along with a timeline. 

 

Maybe take that approach and figure out what you feel is best. Make a road map and include all the prerequisites for the programs your interested in. It's a 2 year program so also consider the ability to go out of state for the 1st year of your program and then return home for clinical rotation during your 2nd year of your program. That's what I did. I figured it was only a 3 hour drive to Vegas versus an 8 hour drive to Nor Cal from So Cal. So be open to expanding where you apply is what I'm also saying. 

 

Best of luck. 

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I'm from So Cal and did the change from business to PA. 

 

I got my undergrad in Communications from CSUF. I later got my MBA and then 6 years later decided business wasn't for me.

 

I took my prerequisites at a school that offered weekend only courses. Sat/Sun x 4 weekends from 8am-6:00pm = 4 semester units which included lab and you also had an optional Capstone you could do for an additional 1 unit (so 5 units total). During the week I also took non-lab courses like Psych 101, Psych of Aging and Genetics online (3 units each) concurrently while taking my other prerequisites. I finished them all with a phlebotomy certification within 6 months.

 

I then took a 4 weekend EKG class and a 4 week 4pm-10pm EMT -B class and within 1 calendar year I had finished all my prerequisites for PA school and now had a solid certification background to land a good job for solid healthcare experience. 1 month after getting my EMT I became an ER Tech and I did that and continued taking science classes, increased my PA shadowing experience, and community service hours.

 

Prior to making the change of careers I made it a point to lower my overhead. That meant moving my wife, daughter and myself in with family and getting rid of that mortgage. I also approached it with a project management mindset setting up critical paths and milestones of what I wanted to achieve along with a timeline. 

 

Maybe take that approach and figure out what you feel is best. Make a road map and include all the prerequisites for the programs your interested in. It's a 2 year program so also consider the ability to go out of state for the 1st year of your program and then return home for clinical rotation during your 2nd year of your program. That's what I did. I figured it was only a 3 hour drive to Vegas versus an 8 hour drive to Nor Cal from So Cal. So be open to expanding where you apply is what I'm also saying. 

 

Best of luck. 

 

Which school was it that you were doing these weekends classes at?

 

I am in the process of creating the roadmap you are talking about. Thank you for your replies!

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Southern California University of Health Science's Integrated Science Program

 

CIEMT for my EMT-B

UCI Medical Center for Phlebotomy

Regan Career Institute for 12 Lead EKG Tech

 

Heart Savers in Pasadena for ACLS, PALS and NRP

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I went to SCUHS on the weekend too. Great program!!!

 

I shall too my EMT-B at CIEMT and it was a challenging intro into medical professions but so worth it.

 

Took some non-science pre-reqs through www.ltcc.edu and other cc in CA.

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BS aerospace engineering

MS aerospace engineering

7 years of engineering for USAF, in and out of uniform

MS in computer science

R&D for 15 years, along the way, blundering into volunteering in ER, then becoming an EMT with a volunteer 9-1-1 service

With my wife, raised 3 children

Became a project management consultant

Started part-time paid with a 9-1-1 service, Friday nights mostly

Blundered into a PA; started prereqs at night, mostly in community college

Became a paramedic in night school

Went to PA school.

Now have been a PA for 8 years  (and a grandfather of 7)

 

It can be a long and winding road, but you can get there from just about anywhere

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