Hello, everyone. I know it may seem like this would be a bit of a biased place to ask for an opinion on this, but this forum seems really open-minded and overall really respectful with people asking these sort of questions compared to *cough* SDN *cough* other websites. I'm in a bit of a dilemma and I know ultimately this is only a choice I can make myself, but I'd like to get some opinions from others who are ahead of me on their medical journies as a little guidance.
I'm 29 years old and a graduate of Arizona State University, where I majored in Biological Sciences with a minor in Psychology. I always wanted to go the PA route, but the closer I am to finishing my undergrad, the more I'm concerned about possibly regretting the decision to not go ahead and commit to becoming a doctor. One of my biggest concerns with med schools is that I completed my degree online, although I did all my science labs in-person by flying out to the ASU campus. Long story short, I still think I have a good chance at med schools that accept online credits, but I'm unsure if it's what I should do. A quick rundown of my stats:
- Non-traditional, white male, 29 years old
- 3.91 GPA, 3.85 sGPA
- 510 MCAT
- 650+ hours volunteering for a suicidal hotline company. 200+ volunteer hours as a phlebotomist (mostly school blood donating events), and donated $2,000+ in crowd-funded scholarships to students throughout the state with a small company I started in 2015.
- 3,000+ hours as a Certified Surgical Technician at an orthopedic surgery center
- Strong LOR's from 2 orthopedic surgeons, a CRNA, a very well-respected professor, and 2 more from my volunteer coaches
- 40 hours shadowing an Anesthesiologist and CRNA
I feel as if I'm a strong candidate for med school and PA programs, but I'm older. I'm 29 now. I used to work in construction, then aviation, and even ended up leaving a Fortune 500 company (that paid extremely well) to pursue a career in medicine. I made a lot of sacrifices, but it was all worth it. I love my patients and couldn't imagine myself doing anything else in life.
I also want to marry my long-time girlfriend. She's 25, so by the time I'm actually a doctor, she would be around 33. I graduated high school with a 2.3 GPA, suffered from depression for years, considered suicide many times, etc. I went through a lot (as I'm sure a lot of people have) and another one of my main goals is to write books about my experiences and to help motivate others. If I can graduate high school with a 2.3 and go on to become a doctor, I think it would be an awesome story in terms of my writings and would help a lot of people, outside from my patients.
With all this being said, I think the career of being a PA will still satisfy my wants to help people in medicine. My biggest concern so far is that I'd regret not going to med school, but I hear a lot of horror stories about divorces, not being able to see your kids as much when they're younger, residency stories, and etc. The debt is also a big concern, because I would be 37-ish before I could really start paying my loans off. I don't know if it's worth it for me and my age, although I'm not that old. I just want to ask openly - if you were in my shoes, what would you do personally? I know everyone is different, but I'm just looking for some insights from different perspectives. Thanks for the read and sorry to type out so much.
I recently helped to open a start up wellness clinic. I am the Medical Director of this new location, but not the entire franchise. An online magazine came and did a very brief interview with all of the staff. It was poorly written, and I'm fairly sure I did not say the quote they attributed to me. Besides that, my biggest concern is that they called me Doctor Lucas. I never introduced myself as such and neither did any of my staff. Do I need to reach out to the magazine and have them correct/redact?
Any advice is appreciated.
Saw this advertisement in the NYC subway and immediately went to the Apple App Store to get more details on this app (search pager on the App Store, do not believe it is available on android). Also can be viewed from their website.
Visits from a physician or nurse (does not mention PAs) to provide medical care, covered by most insurances (per App Store description).
Very interesting to see if this healthcare delivery model becomes more popular in high density population areas. Less urgent care and fast track visits?
Good Evening All,
I have been contemplating this for some time. LECOM has developed a 3 yr PA-->DO program. The pass rates and scores have been above the national average and the matches look pretty good. I am getting out of the Army soon. Ive been in for 8 yrs (only part as a PA) and will be 29-30 at the time of matriculation.
The question: I am eligible for 36 months of Post-911 GI bill that will cover about 80-90% of the cost of school plus living expense (about 1300$ monthly) as well as books. This is a veteran right and requires no additional service. My loans after school would be roughly 25K or less (dependent on savings). I have no debt now. I might be eligible for a grant that would cover the rest and essentially get a free doctorate.
I never worked in the civilian world as a PA and have been 99% autonomous since day 1 out of school. I deployed within a couple months of arriving to my first PA assignment. I was in a role 1 hours away from the nearest provider. I have only worked an odd mixture of primary care with emergency medicine. Hard to explain this odd niche we fill. Fellow Army PAs can attest.
Will I be un-happy as a PA in the civ world? If you were in my shoes, what would you do? I have all the pre-req for the school and got a 4.0 in PA school. I was a human bio major with all the med-school pre-reqs. All I would have to do is submit a packet to the medical school and hopefully get accepted. No MCAT, no classes.
The only specialities I would be interested in is E-Med, Anesthesiology or possibly internal medicine with the possibility to do a fellowship later on in critical care or infectious disease. These seem to be a mid-competitive specialty and should be pretty easy to match to.
It seems like as a PA working E-Med, you will be doing the same work for a 1/3rd the pay and always having someone trying to critique your work. Also, I wouldnt mind working in academia when Im older and participating in case studies and research with some of the techniques, drugs and procedures I have seen and done by working alongside dozens of different NATO nations. I feel as a PA, my ideas may just get snuffed out.
What kind of salary and benefits could one expect with 6yrs experience? Looking for E-Med, Traum Surg, Neruosurg.
What will my scope of practice and daily hours look like? If PAs work significant less hours of work, I would be okay with the pay difference. Im assuming most work 40-50 alongside the docs.
Thank you all for your time. I appreciate all responses. I enjoy what I do now and absolutely love medicine. I just dont want to roll around to 40 years old and look back at all those years and wished I would have just sucked it up for 3 years.