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From acupuncture to pa school?


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Hello, I am a licensed Acupuncturist and I am seriously considering going back to school to become a PA. Has anyone else gone down this career path of Acupuncturist to Physician Assistant? I would love to hear from you if you have because I want to know what obstacles you had to overcome along with any other tips. I have a masters degree in acupuncture and I am really wanting to know if any of my credits from acupuncture school would count towards prereq's or pa coursework (I know this is not likely). Would my background help or hurt me when it comes to getting into pa school and getting a job as a pa? Are there any integrative or cam opportunities for PA's? Thanks!

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  • 4 months later...
Guest riyanjason

If you are taking A&P for credit, there are no online courses that exist, you will need to find an accredited school that offers it for credit (community colleges are great places for that)...You might find a class that has an online lecture with an in-class lab. However, if you are just taking it for your own personal education, just google online A&P and you will probably find a few companies offering it, just know that it will definitely not count for credit. If your goal is just to refresh, I'd recommend getting a textbook and going over it yourself...much cheaper!

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One of the students in my PA class has her masters' in Chinese Medicine. Not a common path to PAdom, but yes, definitely doable.

 

No, none of your existing credits will count for PA school. Depending on the topic, age, and preferences of the programs to which you apply, they MAY count as prerequisites, but that evaluation will be on a case-by-case basis. Call the program(s) you're most interested in and seek their position on this directly.

 

The above post is wrong WRT online A&P for credit. There are plenty of online, accredited options.

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I concur with rev ronin, none of your Acupuncture course work will subplant or count towards PA coursework. To be honest, whatever undergraduate credits you have/have taken that fit the pre req bill, will be what most programs look at for admissions.

 

So, all that general Bio, Chem, English, ect. ect, Im gonna guess is not taught in Acupuncture School.

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The guy who does my physicals for work is a PA/DOM. He got a BS, then went to Acupuncture school, then PA school. He does physicals some days, does acupuncture in the ortho-rehab area on other days. His SP is apparently really good about getting the billing done for both, and he is apparently quite happy with the money.

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One of our classmates is an Acupuncturist and he seems to be doing really well in class. I would send him a message and see what he has to say. I'm not sure if his courses were accepted or not, but Stanford doesn't have that many required pre-reqs outside of the previous medical experience. His sn is chunkstyle.

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  • 9 months later...

Hello,

 

I just came across this posting. I am currently in PA school and also have a previous Masters degree in Chinese Medicine. I would be happy to discuss what my journey has been to getting here, including both the triumphs and difficulties I have faced by coming into PA school from a non-traditional background.

 

I would also be very interested in getting more info from those of you who seem to know either people who are doing this or SPs who are open to this. I will be starting my clinical rotations soon and would like to have a better idea of how I need to network.

 

Hello, I am a licensed Acupuncturist and I am seriously considering going back to school to become a PA. Has anyone else gone down this career path of Acupuncturist to Physician Assistant? I would love to hear from you if you have because I want to know what obstacles you had to overcome along with any other tips. I have a masters degree in acupuncture and I am really wanting to know if any of my credits from acupuncture school would count towards prereq's or pa coursework (I know this is not likely). Would my background help or hurt me when it comes to getting into pa school and getting a job as a pa? Are there any integrative or cam opportunities for PA's? Thanks!
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Hello,

 

I just came across this posting. I am currently in PA school and also have a previous Masters degree in Chinese Medicine. I would be happy to discuss what my journey has been to getting here, including both the triumphs and difficulties I have faced by coming into PA school from a non-traditional background..

 

Hi SapoPA,

I'm an Acupuncture Physician (FL), and I am applying during the next cycle. Any advice you have would be great. I'm currently re-taking all the required pre-reqs (Chem, A&P, etc). I've been told that programs should accept our private practice as HCE. I've been licensed since 2007.

Edited by whatevs
typo
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Hello,

 

I just came across this posting. I am currently in PA school and also have a previous Masters degree in Chinese Medicine. I would be happy to discuss what my journey has been to getting here, including both the triumphs and difficulties I have faced by coming into PA school from a non-traditional background.

 

I would also be very interested in getting more info from those of you who seem to know either people who are doing this or SPs who are open to this. I will be starting my clinical rotations soon and would like to have a better idea of how I need to network.

 

 

PM me and I will give you the name and office phone number of the PA/DOM I know. I can't guarantee he will help you, but it won't hurt to ask, right?

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  • 8 years later...

For everyone looking at this topic, I can tell you that not only is it possible to go from being an acupuncturist to being a PA but most schools will accept your patient care hours as “patient contact hours,” thus giving you a leg up on many applicants. It is still recommended to shadow an MD, DO, or PA, of course, and also volunteering in a hospital helps a ton.

As for CASPA, if your school is AAAOM accredited then your classes are acceptable. However it can be very time consuming to “translate” a TCM transcript into CASPA so don’t wait until the last minute.

Lastly, I want to let anyone here with a similar desire know that it is totally doable. My path was this: 1 year of pre-meds prior to TCM school in order to have a strong western background, then the 4-year master’s program for a MTOM. I started a practice in 2007 hoping to integrate with a western doc or clinic, but timing and location (I resettled in the Midwest) weren’t in my favor. So this is when I decided to become a PA. I then did the rest of my PA school prerequisites from 2008-2009, relocated to Portland, OR, and applied to three PA schools. I was granted an interview at all three, and after my second interview heard from my top school that I was accepted. I started PA school in 2010 and graduated in 2012. 

When I relocated to Portland is when I closed my practice, but continued to practice acupuncture on myself so I wouldn’t get rusty. I took and passed the PANCE in 2012, and then started applying for jobs. However, my love and passion is OB/GYN and I kept on being told I didn’t have enough experience as a new graduate. So I then did a PA Fellowship in OB/GYN in 2013. I then got hired as an OB/GYN PA in 2014, and focused on my PA career at that time, still practicing acupuncture on myself to keep up my skills. I then took the PANRE in 2017 (I was still on a 6 year cycle so I took it early) and passed, and then focused on reactivating my acupuncture license which took the bulk of 2018 as I had a lot of continuing education to complete. I reactivated my acupuncture license in early 2019 and reopened my acupuncture practice last July! 🙂

So yes, it’s been a long road and even longer since I did the fellowship. But it has certainly been worth it. Feel free to check out my website for my acupuncture practice:

www.pointsofhealing.com

Happy studying. And please feel free to reach out with any questions.

Edited by SapoPA
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