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I am a DPT and want to change my career to a PA.  Has anyone done this and could they let me know the steps one should take.  I received my DPT in 2015.  Please someone give me some guidance.

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You take a look at the Web pages of a few PA programs you might be interested in. You complete the prerequisite classes. You apply. Much like the process of getting into your DPT program, one would imagine. Then you complete the program, if accepted, and take the PANCE exam.

 

Were you thinking there would be some kind of shortcut?

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You obviously had to work hard to become a DPT.  Why not work as a PT in different areas - inpatient, outpatient, peds etc for a few years and get some loans paid off before thinking about PA school?  The clinical experience you gain in that time is valuable and necessary to get into PA school.  If you apply without experience you just look like someone who can't make up their mind and that won't do you any favors.

 

Lots of PTs and OTs go on to be very good PAs

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Thank you very much for your answers.  I have been a PT for over a year now and have tried various areas.  I have found I love working in trauma.  I do know that none of my PT classes are accepted but am hoping it helps me in getting into a PA school.   I know there is no easy way but I am truly passionate about this and want some guidance.  Thank you.

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Please also be aware, in admissions interviews one inescapable question will be "if you are awarded a seat in our program, how can we know that you won't practice as a PA for a year and then want to switch to something else?"

 

It may or may not be a fair question, but the answer would certainly be illuminating, from the point of view of a PA program admissions committee.

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Thank you and I would welcome this question.  In deciding to be a PT I did rotations in all areas except trauma.  PTs' really are not involved in surgeries or emergency action.  During one of my clinicals, my adviser said how about going in the ER and see first hand.  I did and I loved it to no end.  I love the involvement and the quick decisions to be made each minute.  I came home and then went and shadowed a Surgical PA and still had the excitement, adrenalin rush, that I did the first time.  Family and other medical personnel see me light up and agree that this is my place.

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I ended up becoming a PA from exposure to life in emergency medicine. I started out as a volunteer and got put, somewhat against my will, into the ER. From there I went on to volunteer as an EMT, go part-time paid, and then as a part-time paid medic. All the whole I kept my day job and eventually "retired" to become a PA. By the time I did, I recognized that I wanted more continuity with my patients and went into cardiology, where I've been for 10 years. Now I work part-time with my practice and slightly more part-time with a local PA program.

 

Good questions have been asked of you above. I would suggest that you start down the road of getting your prereqs done and keep your day job as a PT. Your PT experience should count as HCE and you can begin saving the money (or paying off your existing loans) you'll need to go back to school.

 

It is human nature to want to get as quickly as possible from where your are to a new goal. Unfortunately it will take time, but you will on the path, taking one step after another. It took me 7 years to get from my first prereq to PA school (with a year off for medic school). Having already put in a ton of time and money to get to what seems like the wrong goal for you (at least now), taking some time to get things right this time would seem like a sensible approach.

 

Best wishes.

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Wow that is great!  I appreciate your advice.  How do I know what pre-reqs.  My undergrad studies show everything except I am missing micro biology. I realize none of my DPT courses count.  Do I just preview various PA schools and see what is not on my undergrad list or do I go and talk to various schools.  This is where I am confused.  I figured it would take a year to pick any courses needed and to retake GRE.  

 

Thank you again and I hope you respond.

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Wow that is great!  I appreciate your advice.  How do I know what pre-reqs.  My undergrad studies show everything except I am missing micro biology. I realize none of my DPT courses count.  Do I just preview various PA schools and see what is not on my undergrad list or do I go and talk to various schools.  This is where I am confused.  I figured it would take a year to pick any courses needed and to retake GRE.  

 

Thank you again and I hope you respond.

Pretty much all the info you will need for any particular PA school and/or their requirements will be listed on their website. One concern however, is the length in which your pre-req science courses are good for; this varies from school to school.

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Wow that is great!  I appreciate your advice.  How do I know what pre-reqs.  My undergrad studies show everything except I am missing micro biology. I realize none of my DPT courses count.  Do I just preview various PA schools and see what is not on my undergrad list or do I go and talk to various schools.  This is where I am confused.  I figured it would take a year to pick any courses needed and to retake GRE.  

 

Thank you again and I hope you respond.

 

The only way to do it and be sure you're getting up to date and accurate information is to look at each program's website separately (as opposed to, say, the PAEA site).  Each school can have different requirements.  Not all may require micro.  Some require 3 psych courses, others just 1.  Are you willing to move anywhere or will you apply to local programs?  Some schools want the pre-reqs to have been completed in the last 5 years, some require within 10.  This may mean you need to retake some to make them more current.  Your overall undergrad GPA may dictate which programs you apply to (i.e if you had a 3.1 you may apply to different programs than if you had a 3.9).  The PAEA site lists all the programs by state so you know which schools to even look at, but each program will list specifically what courses are required, how much HCE they require (I imagine you'll be fine here), who you will need references from, etc.  Just gotta put in the leg work of research.

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Thank you very much.  I understand more what to do but even though I have not been out of school (undergrad) for four years I am a little scared my courses will not be accepted.  But I will get right on checking sights and see what they say.

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Hi Tricia! I'm also a DPT planning on making a career change to PA. I'm planning on applying to PA school for 2018 or 2019. I've been practicing as a PT for 2 years. What made you want to make the change?

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My decision to change was the experience I gained in an ER.  I felt this was me.  I love being part of this area of medicine.  I enjoyPT but my experience just sealed the deal.  So Dreamlife have you gotten any help or direction on this?

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Dreamlife I would love to exchange experiences and info.  We are both headed in the same direction and similar time frame.  Keep posting and maybe together we can figure this all out.

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WOW Thank you Drhouse.  I did research them.  I am now looking at East Carolina and UNC.  East Carolina has instate tuition.  Does anyone know anything about either of them.  I know I have to retake the GREs, UGH, and my grades for undergrad are from 2011.  

 

Thanks everyone and any input would help me in my quest.

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