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Going to PA school because its easier than med


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When you said you wanted to skip the STEP 1 and the first two years of med school, I interpreted that as you were looking for a shorter time in school. And that is fine, but why do you want to be a PA? You have not answered that. MDs, DOs, NPs, EMTs, ED Techs, CNAs, PROVIDERS all want to help people and find medicine fascinating too. 

 

If you cannot clearly distinguish why you want to be a PA, then you are going to have a hard time articulating that if you get an interview/ in your Personal Statement. You should really explore all of the careers and not just the schooling behind them. Ultimately, you are going to be in a career for the rest of your life, not necessarily the school. 

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Time, and DEBT. And I don't really care about being a doc. My ego doesn't need it either. I've never regretted not going to med school, and I had 5 interviews lined up before I even applied to PA scho

Troll much?

the ideal candidate for pa school in my mind is someone who has been a paramedic, rn, rt, etc for 5-10 years, has a prior bs degree, has settled into their life(maybe married with kids, mortgage, etc)

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When you said you wanted to skip the STEP 1 and the first two years of med school, I interpreted that as you were looking for a shorter time in school. And that is fine, but why do you want to be a PA? You have not answered that. MDs, DOs, NPs, EMTs, ED Techs, CNAs, PROVIDERS all want to help people and find medicine fascinating too. 

 

If you cannot clearly distinguish why you want to be a PA, then you are going to have a hard time articulating that if you get an interview/ in your Personal Statement. You should really explore all of the careers and not just the schooling behind them. Ultimately, you are going to be in a career for the rest of your life, not necessarily the school. 

 

Not sure if you read my posts once again. I literally just discussed my general interests 2 posts ago which would rule out exactly 80% of the careers you just posted. I agree with your last statement.

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yet what is the drop out rate? less than undergrad. They don't want you to fail. they will spoon feed you and get you tutors if you fall behind. what do they call the guy who graduates last in his medschool class? They call him "Doctor".

 

 

some of the best advice I have ever heard was "do the thing you are most afraid of".

I have been able to follow that advice in my personal life with regard to extreme sports, disaster medical missions, etc, but wish I had followed it and taken ochem back in the day and gone to medschool when I had a chance...fear of that one class kept me from becoming a physician..

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I say do med school. I'm a 28 y/o in my second semester of PA school and it is NOT easy. If I was in your position I would do it in a heart beat. If you do med school we would both be on track to be fully realized in our respective careers at the age of 30. However, you'll be making 2.5-3x what I'll be making, garner a hell of a lot more respect and possess a lot more autonomy. If length of school isn't the issue for you I'd say med school is a no-brainer. You will thank yourself later.

 

I too have an anecdote. My cousin just finished an IM residency and he just scored a hospitalist job in Newport Beach, California making over $2k a shift working 3 12's/week! If I'm lucky I'll start at $50/hour and live on the jersey shore after I graduate. Obviously there's more to practicing medicine than just money and where you'll be living...but I can't say I'm not jealous! I honestly don't think you'll have trouble passing your classes in med school and let's say the worst case scenario is that you do mediocre on Step 1+2 and end up in a FM residency...you can still land a nice, cushy hospitalist job as well as EM/IM/others.

 

Hell, thinking about how much work I'm doing now taking my 3.1 GPA to the Caribbean would not have been the worst idea...

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I would kneecap you and take your 30 MCAT.... don't be an idiot, go to medschool...when all this ACA and ACO crap falls out, we're all going to be $80-90K per year employees and the docs will take a hit, but not nearly as bad...enjoy the fact that you have the option while many of us who have been PAs for decades, and could have/should have been doctors are going to see our lives wrecked by the coming tsunami of healthcare in America...and to answer your next post, am I bitter - no; am I a realist - yes...maybe it's the bourbon talking, but it's my bourbon =P

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yet what is the drop out rate? less than undergrad. They don't want you to fail. they will spoon feed you and get you tutors if you fall behind. what do they call the guy who graduates last in his medschool class? They call him "Doctor".

 

And we call him the idiot in charge, constantly fixing his f'ups behind him...meh

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I would kneecap you and take your 30 MCAT.... don't be an idiot, go to medschool...when all this ACA and ACO crap falls out, we're all going to be $80-90K per year employees and the docs will take a hit, but not nearly as bad...enjoy the fact that you have the option while many of us who have been PAs for decades, and could have/should have been doctors are going to see our lives wrecked by the coming tsunami of healthcare in America...and to answer your next post, am I bitter - no; am I a realist - yes...maybe it's the bourbon talking, but it's my bourbon =P

 

:( this makes me sad to read. Would you be happy if your son/daughter wanted to be a PA?

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EDIT: Also do PAs really hit the glass ceiling within 5 years? So after 5 years your scope of prac, salary, etc. are the same for the rest of your career?

 

Yeah dude... we are perma-residents...unless I find a way out, I will do the same thing today, that I will when I am 70 (the probable retirement age when I get there) and get my 6 weeks vaca and maybe a bottle of wine at Christmas if I am lucky...and don't get me wrong, I am in the top 1% of PAs when it comes to awesomeness of jobs...which astounds me that the majority of my brethren suffer the way they do...meanwhile the docs I work with make 6-8x what I do, get a week off per month, ownership/partnership/profitsharing, etc...and when the ACA/ACO turd impacts the oscillator where do you think they will be compared to me?  The captain will not going down on the Titanic twice... do us a favor, go to medschool and hire a bunch of us bitter, majorly experienced PAs so we can retire in peace...and you can work 2 days a week, supervising us from the golf course

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I really respect your opinion because I know you have a lot of experience being a PA but aren't you being a bit pessimistic? ER docs working 140 hrs/mo = 35 hrs a week. I dont know many docs that only work 35 hrs/wk. Also I was recently talking to an new EM phyisician that works both nights and holidays. Isn't it the norm in EM to work nights on a rotating shift?

 

EDIT: Also do PAs really hit the glass ceiling within 5 years? So after 5 years your scope of prac, salary, etc. are the same for the rest of your career?

the em docs in my group are not allowed to work more than 160 hrs/mo, the PAs have no cap on hours.

the docs work 1-2 nights/mo, the PAs typically work 5-6.

most of the docs in the group work 12-14 eight hr shifts/mo= max 112 hrs. we have one or 2 of 35 who work maybe 130 hrs. Most of the PAs work 160-180 AND have other jobs as well.

most PAs at a given job max out by yr 5. That is why PAs move around so much. I am now at my 7th job since graduation. each job change involved better scope of practice and autonomy. most (except for the jump to #5) involved a salary cut. I once took an 8 dollar/hr salary cut (32 to 24) for a much better scope of practice and better autonomy. every job I have been at I have been the greasy wheel pushing for PAs to do more and get more for doing it. I have generally been successful at this.

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Yeah dude... we are perma-residents...unless I find a way out, I will do the same thing today, that I will when I am 70 (the probable retirement age when I get there) and get my 6 weeks vaca and maybe a bottle of wine at Christmas if I am lucky...and don't get me wrong, I am in the top 1% of PAs when it comes to awesomeness of jobs...which astounds me that the majority of my brethren suffer the way they do...meanwhile the docs I work with make 6-8x what I do, get a week off per month, ownership/partnership/profitsharing, etc...and when the ACA/ACO turd impacts the oscillator where do you think they will be compared to me?  The captain will not going down on the Titanic twice... do us a favor, go to medschool and hire a bunch of us bitter, majorly experienced PAs so we can retire in peace...and you can work 2 days a week, supervising us from the golf course

 

Lol I really feel like you guys are too optimistic when it comes to docs. I dont know many docs only working 2 days a wk

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Yeah dude... we are perma-residents...unless I find a way out, I will do the same thing today, that I will when I am 70 (the probable retirement age when I get there) and get my 6 weeks vaca and maybe a bottle of wine at Christmas if I am lucky...and don't get me wrong, I am in the top 1% of PAs when it comes to awesomeness of jobs...which astounds me that the majority of my brethren suffer the way they do...meanwhile the docs I work with make 6-8x what I do, get a week off per month, ownership/partnership/profitsharing, etc...and when the ACA/ACO turd impacts the oscillator where do you think they will be compared to me?  The captain will not going down on the Titanic twice... do us a favor, go to medschool and hire a bunch of us bitter, majorly experienced PAs so we can retire in peace...and you can work 2 days a week, supervising us from the golf course

yup to all of this. one group I used to work at set up their em doc schedules so they all got a 3 month vacation block off EVERY YEAR. in fact you used to work there too before you moved on to my current job before moving on again. no way I would put up with the crap most entry level pas do today. no chance in hell.

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Lol I really feel like you guys are too optimistic when it comes to docs. I dont know many docs only working 2 days a wk

I know many...at many places....in many states....including multiple family members....

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OP, I have worked with EMED and he knows as I do, that the both of us are not docs not because we couldn't be, but for a variety of reasons we CHOSE not to be...decisions we both now regret (speaking for you E, correct me if I am wrong)...the point is, given the opportunity you have, we both would take it in a nanosecond, knowing what we do now...we envy and applaud the likes of Primadonna, also our friend, but find ourselves in situations that prevent us from going there...it has taken the both of us, and many others on this forum, decades to reach a comfort level you can attain 3-6 months into your first job out of fellowship...don't be a fool, choose wisely

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The title of the thread is insulting: "Going to PA school because its easier than med"

 

Oh, so you've already been accepted to PA school and now have to make this choice? No? That's putting the cart before the horse, my friend.

 

PA school isn't any easier than medical school. And in terms of schedule, it is more intense. While we don't go to the depths of some med school courses, having the extra time and optional attendance for classes that my medical school compatriots have would actually make things a bit easier for me study wise.

 

Reexamine your reasoning.

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yup to all of this. one group I used to work at set up their em doc schedules so they all got a 3 month vacation block off EVERY YEAR. in fact you used to work there too before you moved on to my current job before moving on again. no way I would put up with the crap most entry level pas do today. no chance in hell.

Please tell me the answer is an EM residency or Critical Care residency!!
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Because you haven't worked with docs for 15-30 years and we have!

yup, 28 years for me...and lived with a doc for 18....who towards the end of his career worked 1 day/week and still made more than I did working full time+ as a pa.

in fact in that 1 day/week he made about as much as I made in an entire month...

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Im not saying PA school is easy by any means. Im sure it will be harder than undergrad and I'm deff. going to be studying a lot more than I did in undergrad. The thing is I've seen people remediate in med school that I knew to be extremely intelligent in undergrad. ...

 

Im just here to ask if its a good idea to make my decision based off of this reasoning?

Right, and I'm here to say that no, this reasoning is, as the kids say, wack. Not only is PA school harder than undergrad, but in some key ways -- for a certain definition of "hard" which has to do with intensity and room for error -- it is actually WORSE than 4-year med school. That's what my post was saying.

 

Those people you knew to be intelligent in undergrad, who had to remediate in med school? They might have washed out of PA school entirely, depending on the program. 4-year med school seems much better suited to giving second chances.

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