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Does any of you regret completing PA school rather than med school? I am on the PA route for the general reasons people choose it over med school: length of education, intensity, less liability..etc.

However, I feel that when taking into consideration the period of an entire lifetime, the extra two years of med school and three years residency is less daunting. PA appears to be a wonderful profession, but after a while does it get to you to not be ultimately in charge? I just wanted to hear some thoughts. I know this will vary greatly between people and it is clearly an individual decision. I am a RN and on the route to a PA. I have a young child at home so PA school seems a bit more feasible, although I still understand quite challenging! Thanks for any input :-)

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Not really... not for me. I am at the end of my career and it has been a pretty good one. Its somebody else's table now. I'm just working on things that, hopefully, will make sure the new people in th

This conversation started years ago and it comes around again and again. I guess I'm fortunate in that most of my career was spent in places where I had high autonomy and didn't work in corporate medi

Starting my 4th year of med school in about a month. PA to MD with 3 kids slightly younger than yours. Med school is very doable if you have some income coming in, can save up some bank before hand an

Does any of you regret completing PA school rather than med school? I am on the PA route for the general reasons people choose it over med school: length of education, intensity, less liability..etc.

 

The intensity of PA school is equal to or greater than that of med school and PAs have just as much liability for their patients as physicians.

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lol

 

Those may be the initial things that attract most to the field, but I think those who actually choose it do so for different reasons. It really is a different philosophy - clinical aptitude and not being caught up in a title, that is somewhat presumptuous to assume we all just want less school or think the role is less intense (come on...).

 

To answer your question - ask yourself and answer honestly, "Am I the type of person who will regret not having the hot shot title and at top of the ice cream cone (hierachy), or would I prefer a more pragmatic life while still practicing medicine?". If your answer is yes, you are well on your way to becoming a doctor! Good luck.

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I have to disagree with the above post.....this makes it sound like all physicians made that choice because they want the status. I think most doctors go through the crazy intensity that is med school and residency because they want to help people and want to have a tremendous knowledge base to draw from. Sure, there are some with the all-powerful attitude, but I imagine you will fin that in PA'dom as well. I am not even sure what to say about PA school supposedly being more intense than med school- since I haven't attended either I have no idea, but I suspect that statement is incorrect. Maye primadonna can chime in on that one when she has a free moment. The PA profession has plenty of merit on its own, without people trying to make it look good by trying to tear other professions down. To the OP-med school with a child is not just about a few extra years. You need to think long and hard about what you really want out of life and if you can handle residency with a child.

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http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2011/12/primary-care-doctors-set-lose-salary.html

 

I know this is old news, but just to illustrate a point, it's not all peaches and cream. Additionally being the son of a Physician, hearing my father leave early and often for OB cases in the middle of the night and not return until late the next day, I knew what I didn't want to do...

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this makes it sound like all physicians made that choice because they want the status. I think most doctors go through the crazy intensity that is med school and residency because they want to help people and want to have a tremendous knowledge base to draw from.

 

I definitely agree with you that not all physicians go into medicine for the status. I have met some amazingly smart and caring physicians through shadowing that certainly went through all the schooling and financial distress because of their desire to help people to the best of their abilities. I would say though, from everything I've read on this forum and elsewhere, that the status argument seems to be the tipping point for people trying to decide between PA and MD. If you're someone trying to decide between the two and one of your big concerns is that you will eventually feel like you want to have the final say on patients, or even just the status that comes with having the MD behind your name, then I would vote med school for you. Age seems to be a big factor that pushes people toward PA instead - again, specifically for the people deciding between the two, and typically for much older candidates as opposed to people in their late 20s thinking they're running out of time, haha.

 

CloverRain - good luck figuring it out!

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a lot of physicians do enter it for salary and lifestyle. I don't blame them but it's a fact.

ask a bunch of docs if they would have done it for 80k/yr then you will see who really has a passion for medicine.

on the "intensity debate":

ms1 covers more basic medical science than pa-1 so is "more intense" by that reasoning.

pa-1 students are in class more hrs/day than ms-1 students as they are learning parts of ms-1 and ms-2 in 1 yr so is "more intense" by that reasoning.

a frequent descriptor of pa school is 2/3 of medschool in 1/2 the time and it actually works out to that in terms of hrs/weeks.

pa school is around 100 weeks in 2 yrs. medschool(taking out interview and vacation blocks and summer breaks) is 150 weeks in 4 yrs.

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Additionally being the son of a Physician, hearing my father leave early and often for OB cases in the middle of the night and not return until late the next day, I knew what I didn't want to do...

 

ditto the son of a doc issue. I don't have many memories of my dad before I was 12 or 13.

in retrospect I think that was more about him than the practice of medicine in general. I have since seen docs be good fathers and mothers. I just didn't have a good role model for a doc doing that so I didn't think it was possible. maybe if I did I would be a doc today.

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If I could go back I'd choose med school over PA. Don't get me wrong I love being a PA over my previous career. But med school at my age just did not make sense to get in that much debt later in life. As a PA you will always be getting Scut dumped on you in most settings, as a doc you can be the one handing off the scut to the PA. Either way you look at it there are pros and cons with both. If you want more control over what/how you practice medicine then be a doctor, if you don't mind doing the scut work and having less autonomy then be a PA. Good luck

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No regrets whatsoever. Sure, it's annoying to have to explain how the word "assistant" doesn't mean there's somebody in the next room I'm "helping," but then again there isn't another provider in the building, when I'm working. So people tend to understand once I explain that part. (I solo in an Urgent Care, certain evenings and weekends.)

 

This job happens to be perfect for me right now because of my family's situation. So right there, the flexibility argument is a big one in my case.

 

If I'd gone to four-year med school and become an MD or DO... well, for one thing I'd be a resident right now, so not only would I have mandated work hours, I would have basically missed the first two years of my kid's life. Instead, I get to be at home with her all day long, every day, paying zero dollars in daycare. Not to mention, if I were an MD and moonlighting for my employer, I'd be doing the exact same job for the exact same wage that I do as a PA, so I imagine I'd be feeling a little ripped off by now...

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As someone getting ready to start PA school next month and someone who briefly toyed with the idea of going to med school, it's nice to see to hear from some fully satisfied PA's. It may not be the perfect career for everyone, but it certainly seems like it is for a lot of people. Hopefully, I'm in that group.

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Sure, it's annoying to have to explain how the word "assistant" doesn't mean there's somebody in the next room I'm "helping," but then again there isn't another provider in the building, when I'm working. So people tend to understand once I explain that part. (I solo in an Urgent Care, certain evenings and weekends.)

 

.

 

easy solution. never say "assistant" again. say "hi, I'm febrifuge, one of the pa's here today".

"what's a pa?"

"well I have a 4 yr degree in xyz then I spent xyz time as an er tech then I did a 2 yr graduate program in medicine with rotations in xyz."

"oh, so like a doctor."

"yeah, like that."

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Clever, andersen. I might borrow that for future reference. :)

 

I'm not a PA yet, but my mentor is and she went to a program where there is also a med school. She told me that people would come over and tell her that they wish they would have known about the PA profession before starting their schooling. Do those same people still feel that way now? Who knows, but my point is: at one point, the young docs-to-be were second thinking their choices, too. (She implied that family concerns were the motivating reason.)

 

I think any age is too young to be regretting such a huge decision as education/career. If you have any doubts, you need to do some serious soul-searching, then act accordingly.

 

Best of luck!

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If I had a Hot-Tub time machine and can go back to 16 yo Joelseff, I would slap him in the back of the neck and tell him to get his ish together and work on going to med school! Unfortunately I didn't "snap out of it" until it was a little too late and Med School just would not have been feasible. Actually now that I am a PA, I get a lot of friends' kids ask me how they can become a PA...I ALWAYS tell them that they should go to Med School seeing as they are young and can invest the time.

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Clever, andersen. I might borrow that for future reference. :)

 

I'm not a PA yet, but my mentor is and she went to a program where there is also a med school. She told me that people would come over and tell her that they wish they would have known about the PA profession before starting their schooling. Do those same people still feel that way now? Who knows, but my point is: at one point, the young docs-to-be were second thinking their choices, too. (She implied that family concerns were the motivating reason.)

 

I think any age is too young to be regretting such a huge decision as education/career. If you have any doubts, you need to do some serious soul-searching, then act accordingly.

 

Best of luck!

 

to offer another anecdote, I knew some med students in PA school who also had similar sentiments. Now I am a PA (and not to mention before I was a PA) I know many docs and NOT ONE of them would switch places with me. So to summarize: I know more PAs who wish they had gone to med school than i know Docs who wish they had gone to PA school.

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