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Totes agree. I think Gordan PA-C, like a lot of PA's, feels disrespected which is why he's bashing their training. Obviously, med school is very hard, and a lot of PAs would struggle to even get in. Since you're now in med school, how would you compare the two? Is MS1 similar/same as 1st year PA school?

 

 

Yet you're spouting the same ignorance. How are you qualifying that "a lot of PAs would struggle to even get in" to medical school? Many PA school applicants today satisfy a large number of the pre-reqs for medical school, and some satisfy all while doing their UG majors. PA school is a primary choice for most applicants, it's not some med school backup. Most PA school applicants have highly competitive GPAs, extracurriculars, and HCE. In fact, PA school applicants are MORE akin to medical school applicants today than 20-30 years ago. A shift from many years in healthcare to high academic achievement.

 

So please tell me your reasoning for why "a lot of PAs would struggle to even get in"?

 

 

Also, MS1 is essentially what PA school is lacking. So there really isn't a comparison between that and the first year of PA school. PA school is much more akin to MS2 and MS3 years. MS4 is the few extra rotations and residency interviewing we don't have.

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Some of my most productive studying occurred while flash carding on the toilet..   ☺

I think a huge factor that is often ignored is the difference in academic pressures between PA school and med school. As a PA, I knew that this was my terminal degree and the main thing that mattered

I'm hoping that in 10 years there will be more programs that credit PAs for their prior education and allow them to make up the difference in a much abbreviated 18-24 month program...

I laughed so hard reading Gordan PA-C comments. Have you done both PA and Med school, since you are so confident/ignorant with your responses? I graduated PA school in 2013, worked a year as a PA, and I'm now finishing my first year of med school. You have no idea what you're talking about, absolutely none.

Why did you waste your time with and a seat in pa school?
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I laughed so hard reading Gordan PA-C comments. Have you done both PA and Med school, since you are so confident/ignorant with your responses? I graduated PA school in 2013, worked a year as a PA, and I'm now finishing my first year of med school. You have no idea what you're talking about, absolutely none.

 

That sounds like a long, expensive, and unnecessary route to take. What's your story? 

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So I return to my initial request

 

there is some PA-->Doc's

 

How about they jump in and give us their thoughts.  

(I know PA school was hard, but I have never attend med school so it is impossible for me to compare the two....)

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I am not sure the initial question has any validity of a measure of anything.

 

Some folks find calculus fun and easy and interesting. Me, not so much.

 

So, harder is a totally subjective quality that is not easily assessed or measured.

 

My conclusive statement, once again - go to med school if you want, go to PA school if you want - don't bash the other.

 

Live and let live

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I think a huge factor that is often ignored is the difference in academic pressures between PA school and med school. As a PA, I knew that this was my terminal degree and the main thing that mattered was that passing the PANCE. I studied hard, but didn't feel the need to kill myself to get 95+ on every test. I was even OK with getting Bs. It honestly did not matter where I was in terms of class rank. All that mattered was that I learned and passed the PANCE. That is it.

 

In medical schools, the pressure is immense to do as well as possible and to continue to study as hard as possible so that you will score competitively on the USMLE and have great grades to help with matching. I think this aspect makes the entire school process much more stressful with far more at stake with every exam. It would be much harder.

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I am not sure the initial question has any validity of a measure of anything.

 

Some folks find calculus fun and easy and interesting. Me, not so much.

 

So, harder is a totally subjective quality that is not easily assessed or measured.

 

My conclusive statement, once again - go to med school if you want, go to PA school if you want - don't bash the other.

 

Live and let live

Yep! The only relevance I see in comparing the two is for family and significant others when you are in school. I need people to understand that the program is on the same level as med school and will take the equivalent time and effort. So when I say I can't make your kid's 2nd birthday party because I have a test, they know I'm not making it up. Other than that, I think it's a moot point.

 

I think a huge factor that is often ignored is the difference in academic pressures between PA school and med school. As a PA, I knew that this was my terminal degree and the main thing that mattered was that passing the PANCE. I studied hard, but didn't feel the need to kill myself to get 95+ on every test. I was even OK with getting Bs. It honestly did not matter where I was in terms of class rank. All that mattered was that I learned and passed the PANCE. That is it.

 

In medical schools, the pressure is immense to do as well as possible and to continue to study as hard as possible so that you will score competitively on the USMLE and have great grades to help with matching. I think this aspect makes the entire school process much more stressful with far more at stake with every exam. It would be much harder.

Exactly :)

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I laughed so hard reading Gordan PA-C comments. Have you done both PA and Med school, since you are so confident/ignorant with your responses? I graduated PA school in 2013, worked a year as a PA, and I'm now finishing my first year of med school. You have no idea what you're talking about, absolutely none.

 

I'd like to know what school you attended, if you don't mind saying. 

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Totes agree. I think Gordan PA-C, like a lot of PA's, feels disrespected which is why he's bashing their training. Obviously, med school is very hard, and a lot of PAs would struggle to even get in. Since you're now in med school, how would you compare the two? Is MS1 similar/same as 1st year PA school?

 

MS1 is not comparable to anything in PA education. Each semester is equivalent to about 50 credit hours. Classes include Biochem, Genetics, Immuno, H&P, Gross Anatomy, Labs, Micro, Histology, Pathology, Physiology, Biostats, H&P, Pharm, "Basic" Neuro (NOTHING basic about this class), Clinical Neuro, Musculoskeletal, among many others. I always wanted to believe that my PA education was close to medical school education, but unfortunately its just not even close. Med school is so much more in depth and minutia in absolutely everything. PhD's write questions that are not significant to anything in clinical practice. However, it's required for boards, and a complete understanding of pathology. But for me, that's exactly what I was missing from PA education, which is why I needed to go back. I would compare PA didactic to a very watered down MS2 year (although I haven't done it yet, but I know how the curriculum is set up)  I do want to add though, that PA school was hard as hell for me. I studied constantly, and was stressed out all of the time. I graduated with a 4.0 in PA school, I had a 3.7 first semester of med school, if that helps put things into perspective. I do not consider myself book smart or gifted in anyway, I just work very hard. With that said, I am fully confident that most any PA would be successful in med school. We have about 10 PA's in our class, and to my knowledge, all of them are doing very well, if not better than the traditional med student. There is no doubt my PA education is helping. However, I obviously wish I would have made the med school choice initially, for obvious reasons. 

Yet you're spouting the same ignorance. How are you qualifying that "a lot of PAs would struggle to even get in" to medical school? Many PA school applicants today satisfy a large number of the pre-reqs for medical school, and some satisfy all while doing their UG majors. PA school is a primary choice for most applicants, it's not some med school backup. Most PA school applicants have highly competitive GPAs, extracurriculars, and HCE. In fact, PA school applicants are MORE akin to medical school applicants today than 20-30 years ago. A shift from many years in healthcare to high academic achievement.

 

So please tell me your reasoning for why "a lot of PAs would struggle to even get in"?

 

 

Also, MS1 is essentially what PA school is lacking. So there really isn't a comparison between that and the first year of PA school. PA school is much more akin to MS2 and MS3 years. MS4 is the few extra rotations and residency interviewing we don't have.

 

Completely agree that PA schools is more akin to MS2, MS3 years.

Why did you waste your time with and a seat in pa school?

 

Lots of reasons. Lacked confidence, didn't think I was smart enough to be a physician. Thought PA was exactly what I wanted, but realized many of the professions shortcomings during PA rotations and clinical practice. I'm not going to go into all of the reasons though.  I knew I made the wrong decision early on during PA school, but wanted to finish and practice first just to make sure.

That sounds like a long, expensive, and unnecessary route to take. What's your story? 

See above

 

I'd like to know what school you attended, if you don't mind saying. 

 

I'd rather not

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MS1 is not comparable to anything in PA education. Each semester is equivalent to about 50 credit hours. Classes include Biochem, Genetics, Immuno, H&P, Gross Anatomy, Labs, Micro, Histology, Pathology, Physiology, Biostats, H&P, Pharm, "Basic" Neuro (NOTHING basic about this class), Clinical Neuro, Musculoskeletal, among many others. I always wanted to believe that my PA education was close to medical school education, but unfortunately its just not even close. Med school is so much more in depth and minutia in absolutely everything. PhD's write questions that are not significant to anything in clinical practice. However, it's required for boards, and a complete understanding of pathology. But for me, that's exactly what I was missing from PA education, which is why I needed to go back. I would compare PA didactic to a very watered down MS2 year (although I haven't done it yet, but I know how the curriculum is set up) I do want to add though, that PA school was hard as hell for me. I studied constantly, and was stressed out all of the time. I graduated with a 4.0 in PA school, I had a 3.7 first semester of med school, if that helps put things into perspective. I do not consider myself book smart or gifted in anyway, I just work very hard. With that said, I am fully confident that most any PA would be successful in med school. We have about 10 PA's in our class, and to my knowledge, all of them are doing very well, if not better than the traditional med student. There is no doubt my PA education is helping. However, I obviously wish I would have made the med school choice initially, for obvious reasons.

 

Completely agree that PA schools is more akin to MS2, MS3 years.

 

Lots of reasons. Lacked confidence, didn't think I was smart enough to be a physician. Thought PA was exactly what I wanted, but realized many of the professions shortcomings during PA rotations and clinical practice. I'm not going to go into all of the reasons though. I knew I made the wrong decision early on during PA school, but wanted to finish and practice first just to make sure.

See above

 

 

I'd rather not

You know you'll forget most of that by rotations right? You've worked with doctors, right? Residency makes the doctor, almost exclusively
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You know you'll forget most of that by rotations right? You've worked with doctors, right? Residency makes the doctor, almost exclusively

 

I agree that residency makes the doctor. But what's your point about forgetting information? Are you saying it's not worth ever learning in the first place? 

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MS1 is not comparable to anything in PA education. Each semester is equivalent to about 50 credit hours. Classes include Biochem, Genetics, Immuno, H&P, Gross Anatomy, Labs, Micro, Histology, Pathology, Physiology, Biostats, H&P, Pharm, "Basic" Neuro (NOTHING basic about this class), Clinical Neuro, Musculoskeletal, among many others. I always wanted to believe that my PA education was close to medical school education, but unfortunately its just not even close. Med school is so much more in depth and minutia in absolutely everything. PhD's write questions that are not significant to anything in clinical practice. However, it's required for boards, and a complete understanding of pathology. But for me, that's exactly what I was missing from PA education, which is why I needed to go back. I would compare PA didactic to a very watered down MS2 year (although I haven't done it yet, but I know how the curriculum is set up)  I do want to add though, that PA school was hard as hell for me. I studied constantly, and was stressed out all of the time. I graduated with a 4.0 in PA school, I had a 3.7 first semester of med school, if that helps put things into perspective. I do not consider myself book smart or gifted in anyway, I just work very hard. With that said, I am fully confident that most any PA would be successful in med school. We have about 10 PA's in our class, and to my knowledge, all of them are doing very well, if not better than the traditional med student. There is no doubt my PA education is helping. However, I obviously wish I would have made the med school choice initially, for obvious reasons. 

 

Well like I said at UIowa there is NO difference between PAs and MDs for the didactic. Also at Des Moines University PAs and DOs take the SAME pharm class (which is one of the hardest classes in MS1/MS2). Also don't most PAs take gross anatomy, physiology, labs, path, H&P? The only class they don't take that you've listed is biostats, neuro, and histo?

 

Seems to me that they'd be pretty similar in difficulty then? Especially cuz PAs tend to have mandatory attendance which eats up ~7 hours a day.

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Well like I said at UIowa there is NO difference between PAs and MDs for the didactic. Also at Des Moines University PAs and DOs take the SAME pharm class (which is one of the hardest classes in MS1/MS2). Also don't most PAs take gross anatomy, physiology, labs, path, H&P? The only class they don't take that you've listed is biostats, neuro, and histo?

 

Seems to me that they'd be pretty similar in difficulty then? Especially cuz PAs tend to have mandatory attendance which eats up ~7 hours a day.

So PAs at UIowa spend 2 years in didactics? If that were true it would be silly to do the pa route there as the hardest part of medschool is ms1. might as well just finish medschool at that point.

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I agree that residency makes the doctor. But what's your point about forgetting information? Are you saying it's not worth ever learning in the first place?

not in the current depth. If you do a little googly googlage you'll see md program directors were contemplating just that. Additionally..the whole 3 year M.D.thing. Interesting!
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Well like I said at UIowa there is NO difference between PAs and MDs for the didactic. Also at Des Moines University PAs and DOs take the SAME pharm class (which is one of the hardest classes in MS1/MS2). Also don't most PAs take gross anatomy, physiology, labs, path, H&P? The only class they don't take that you've listed is biostats, neuro, and histo?

 

Seems to me that they'd be pretty similar in difficulty then? Especially cuz PAs tend to have mandatory attendance which eats up ~7 hours a day.

 

I can only speak from my experience. My PA school was not affiliated with a med school. I do find it very hard to believe those PA's take the exact same curriculum and tests as the MD/DO students. PA school has 1 year of "didactics," whereas med school is MS1, MS2, but I won't even get into that discussion. Yes, I took gross, physio, labs, etc in PA school, but like I mentioned, the amount of information/detail required to master for tests and boards, was not comparable at all to med school. Don't get me wrong, I think the PA education is fantastic, especially compared to NP (my sister is an NP, and completely agrees), but its not comparable to med school. Honestly, that should not be a shock to anyone. 

  I'll make one example, I took clinical neuro in PA school. I just finished clinical neuro in med school. There is NO COMPARISON whatsoever. We were required to do some "readings" from Blumenfield Neuroanatomy cases in PA school, in addition to our ppt notes. In med school, we covered three different Neuro books, cover to cover, in addition to ppts. We were expected to know every little detail of those books. To be honest, you can believe whatever you want to, or whatever you read or hear about through the grapevine, but you're never going to know unless you find out for yourself. I can write all the examples I want, but I will never change the opinions of those convinced otherwise. Ignorance is bliss. 

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not in the current depth. If you do a little googly googlage you'll see md program directors were contemplating just that. Additionally..the whole 3 year M.D.thing. Interesting!

 

There's 3yr MD and DO programs now. The MS1,MS2 curriculum is unchanged. You have to learn all of that to pass and be successful on USMLE/COMLEX and subsequent board exams. To shorten the duration, these programs are running rotations through the MS1 summer and during normal breaks for students,  which is normally time off. Also, LECOM DO bridge, which also runs rotations through summers off. However, nothing is changing for the first two years, that would require a complete revamping of national boards. Post your sources

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Well like I said at UIowa there is NO difference between PAs and MDs for the didactic. Also at Des Moines University PAs and DOs take the SAME pharm class (which is one of the hardest classes in MS1/MS2). Also don't most PAs take gross anatomy, physiology, labs, path, H&P? The only class they don't take that you've listed is biostats, neuro, and histo?

 

Seems to me that they'd be pretty similar in difficulty then? Especially cuz PAs tend to have mandatory attendance which eats up ~7 hours a day.

This interview with the Univ. of Iowa Program director will help clear up all of the misinformation regarding their program. They take the same classes as MD students for first three mini-semesters only. Skip to 2:30 in the video

 

https://youtu.be/K5rxX3Km25k

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Touro Nevada has a 16 month didactic course. The 1st session is taught excessively by the college of osteopathic medicine with the same faculty members, power points, and mostly the same topics (exception being fetal development and histology) as the DOY1 students get. I get my Facebook look back posts where I quote my lecturers during session 1 saying "today I'm going to teach you in 1 hour, what I teach the DOs in 3 hours" laughingly. Our pharmacology courses are also the same PowerPoints and lecturers as the DO program has. Some of our clinical modules are also taught by the same faculty members that instruct the DOs.

 

I'm not saying one is harder or not, but I think there's a clear difference of PA school experience based off of which program you went to. I think difficulty is really subjective. Some classmates did better in session 1 (our DOY1 equivalent) than during sessions 2-4 based on having a stronger academic foundation in health sciences versus others who performed stronger during sessions 2-4 (which are mostly our clinical based courses) who had a stronger clinical prePA experience.

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As with most forum posts, people will find unique/infrequent examples and argue as if they are commonplace, as with this example. Yes, I'm sure some PA programs have some implementation of curriculum with the med students. But for the 200+ PA/planned PA programs, this is certainly not, nor will it ever be the norm. I'm sure the lecturer also made that comment speaking tongue in cheek. But for any PA on the thread who keeps saying that PA school requires you to learn the same info in half the time, I welcome you to put your money where your mouth is, and take the USMLE with me. 

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So, I interviewed at DMU, which has been mentioned as sharing classes. I'm just going to throw out there that the programs share the same buildings. The course sharing aspect struck me more as a resource sharing/ why duplicate stuff for more money type setc up.

 

I thought the program was good for a PA school, and I was grateful they offered me a seat. But, the whole sharing classes with the DO students just wasn't that important of a selling point.

 

We all need pharm, and the drugs aren't any different for the different care givers, so why should sharing the same two lecture halls make a difference.

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I'm not saying one is harder or not, but I think there's a clear difference of PA school experience based off of which program you went to.

 

I feel it is important to suggest here that PA programs apparently have the option of simply slamming their students into their 3-4 year med school.  And some PA programs seem to have begun doing this.  However, I have a very hard time imagining how this is appropriate.  The PA will forever be hogtied by practice constraints.  The PAs do not later have the option (so far as I have read) to transition into an MD residency.  This seems a sadistic practice.  It shouldn't be encouraged.

 

That said, obviously, the PA programs that generally stick their PA students into MD classes, however they justify this, are surely the more difficult PA programs.  It will not be long before we get our first PA program that literally graduates an MD with the PA initials since there appears to be no barriers laid in place to prevent this.  PAs will be residency-less MDs in 10 years.

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I feel it is important to suggest here that PA programs apparently have the option of simply slamming their students into their 3-4 year med school.  And some PA programs seem to have begun doing this.  However, I have a very hard time imagining how this is appropriate.  The PA will forever be hogtied by practice constraints.  The PAs do not later have the option (so far as I have read) to transition into an MD residency.  This seems a sadistic practice.  It shouldn't be encouraged.

 

That said, obviously, the PA programs that generally stick their PA students into MD classes, however they justify this, are surely the more difficult PA programs.  It will not be long before we get our first PA program that literally graduates an MD with the PA initials since there appears to be no barriers laid in place to prevent this.  PAs will be residency-less MDs in 10 years.

I'm hoping that in 10 years there will be more programs that credit PAs for their prior education and allow them to make up the difference in a much abbreviated 18-24 month program...

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So PAs at UIowa spend 2 years in didactics? If that were true it would be silly to do the pa route there as the hardest part of medschool is ms1. might as well just finish medschool at that point.

 

UIowa is using the curriculum many schools use now - the 1.5 year didactic. The PAs are graded on the same scale, same exams, they are the EXACT same as the MDs for the didactic.

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This interview with the Univ. of Iowa Program director will help clear up all of the misinformation regarding their program. They take the same classes as MD students for first three mini-semesters only. Skip to 2:30 in the video

 

 

Lol, as someone that attended UIowa its not "first three mini-semesters". The Iowa program, like many of the best med schools in the country, uses a 1.5 year didactic setup. They do in 1.5 years what typically takes 2 full years. The PAs and MDs take the EXACT same classes for the entire didactic portion.

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