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Help!! Senior in college\ possible PA student!!!

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Hi!

I will be going into my senior year of college in the fall as a Public Health major. It need some advice on becoming a PA....

 

 

The reason why I want to pursue a career as a PA is because of my experience with one. When I was 18 years old I was diagnosed with melanoma. My usual dermatologist was out one day and I saw the dermatology PA instead...she was even better than my usual doctor...so engaging and personable. Ever since she has sparked the idea in my head of becoming a PA...

 

I am just really curious on current or past PA students experiences getting accepted into school. I currently have a 3.2 GPA (and hope it keeps going up). I have little to no direct patient care experience. I work in a nursing home in the dietary services...and have been a volunteer with the Melanoma Foundation of New England for 3 years. (Running events and speaking to colleges|high schools on melanoma) I need to take only 3 more prerequisites after I graduate with my bachelors degree...

 

Basically...I need all the advice I can get! I have no guidance in this from professors at my school and want to know your experiences! When should I apply to school?? What should I do to get direct patient care experience? Is becoming a PCA at my nursing home too safe or do I need to become an EMT or phlebotomist??

 

I look forward to hearing from you!

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I'd recommend some shadowing...you get a very different view of things as a patient than you do as a provider or objective observer. Bring that GPA up as much as you can. Spend time preparing for the GRE and ace it (if it's required by schools you're applying to).Dedicate yourself to earning some high-quality experience. Most schools give preference to people whose experience requires a period of training, such as EMT.

 

Above all, research PA programs in depth, find out what's important to you, and what they're looking for in an applicant.

 

Oh, and spend some time reading posts on this site...there's a lot of good information to be had.

 

Best of luck.

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I'd recommend some shadowing...you get a very different view of things as a patient than you do as a provider or objective observer. Bring that GPA up as much as you can. Spend time preparing for the GRE and ace it (if it's required by schools you're applying to).Dedicate yourself to earning some high-quality experience. Most schools give preference to people whose experience requires a period of training, such as EMT.

 

Above all, research PA programs in depth, find out what's important to you, and what they're looking for in an applicant.

 

Oh, and spend some time reading posts on this site...there's a lot of good information to be had.

 

Best of luck.

and take a look at medical school as well. you will find that the requirements (aside from the MCAT) are fairly similar in 2015.

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I would submit to you that patient experience is not adequate in determining a course of action like this.  The only way to know whether or not you are interested in treating patients is to gain some hands-on patient experience.  Paid is better than volunteer.

 

What is it that attracted you to public health, and why do you now want to abandon that?

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I would submit to you that patient experience is not adequate in determining a course of action like this.  The only way to know whether or not you are interested in treating patients is to gain some hands-on patient experience.  Paid is better than volunteer.

 

What is it that attracted you to public health, and why do you now want to abandon that?

good question..there are lots of great fellowships and jobs in public health plus the potential to get an MPH or DrPH, both degrees leading to rewarding careers, which have the potential to effect the health of entire populations, rather than just selected individuals.

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I wish I had gotten an MPH as my postgrad masters instead of an MPAS as it would have made the learning curve a lot less steep for my doctoral program, which included a lot of the material typically done by MPH/DrPH folks like epidemiology, biostats, health policy, etc.

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Thank you for all of the replies! That experience just sparked the idea in my head of possibly going down the PA route. You wish you had gotten your MPH instead of PA? I am just curious...but why? thanks again for your help everyone!

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My thoughts as well. Public health and individual medicine can complement each other, yet in the context of the OP's question it seems like the setup is for public health specifically.

A BS in public health doesn't really get you that far in the field. It also has fairly low earning potential compared to other careers only requiring a BS.

 

I think the OP is making a good, sequential decision to pursue a further degree in a field that will open more doors. Not abandoning the public health, but building on it.

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Right, but my point is that the direction seems to be for public health. Just like a biology degree with a pre-med concentration - the degree itself won't get you much but it indicates a specific direction.

Public health and PA are actually very intertwined fields. PA just gives you a specific way to address public health issues.

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I highly recommend becoming an EMT if you're looking for short training with an enormous return. I've obtained 1000+ hours of direct PCE in a span of 6 months for working with an ambulance company. From psychiatric to your basic emergency calls. You get a large amount of experience.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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