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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...

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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.

so why not just do the MD program there?

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You're not really done, though.  You'll spend two years frantically pounding Up To Date and hell, maybe you'll do a residency, too.

 

So true! IMO, it takes years for a PA to catch up and be a confident and safe provider. I was on UpToDate constantly during/after work, always reading and trying to learn more. Everything I was seeing was for the first time. I feel that residents actually have a huge advantage here, they are still considered "learning" and not an attending yet. If they mess up, its supposedly Ok because they are still a physician in training. However, once you graduate PA school and start seeing patients, your patients expect you to know everything, and that's a lot of stress to deal with. So, I think having those years of residency is a blessing, rather than a curse. 

Michaelcohn, you are already trying to justify the PA curriculum vs physician curriculum. If you are already doing that, you will always be trying to justify yourself as a PA, and likely always feel inferior. Just go to medical school, you can thank me later. Otherwise, I think you may be very unhappy, as I was. You don't want to make the same mistake I did, it wasted a lot of time and money. Not to mention the added stress. If you can handle PA coursework, you can handle medical school. 

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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

 

How did med school admissions greet the fact that you were only a PA for a year? Did you have high mcat score or was your HCE as a PA a large reason why you got accepted?

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How did med school admissions greet the fact that you were only a PA for a year? Did you have high mcat score or was your HCE as a PA a large reason why you got accepted?

 

They had no problems, they like PA's. I'd guess my high GPA, strong MCAT and HCE. 

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Because you're done as a PA after 2.5 years. As an MD you need an additional year of clinical + residency.

would have done it in a heartbeat if I already had to endure ms1.

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How did med school admissions greet the fact that you were only a PA for a year?

 

You may have noticed he said his program has 10 PAs in it, too, which I found surprising.  That's a lot of people deciding to largely repeat Step2.  As he also said, though, they are all doing well, maybe better than traditional students.  This does not surprise me.  If PA students are approximately competitive with MD students, you would expect them to perform around the same, however PA students have the added benefit of an introductory education that aligns well with med school.  I feel this is generally under appreciated.  Taking PA school micro into MD micro is a jump start.  Anatomy to anatomy.  Pharm to pharm.  Etc.

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You may have noticed he said his program has 10 PAs in it, too, which I found surprising.  That's a lot of people deciding to largely repeat Step2.  As he also said, though, they are all doing well, maybe better than traditional students.  This does not surprise me.  If PA students are approximately competitive with MD students, you would expect them to perform around the same, however PA students have the added benefit of an introductory education that aligns well with med school.  I feel this is generally under appreciated.  Taking PA school micro into MD micro is a jump start.  Anatomy to anatomy.  Pharm to pharm.  Etc.

all the PAs in the LECOM bridge program are outperforming the traditional students and landing top residency slots, generally first picks.

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all the PAs in the LECOM bridge program are outperforming the traditional students and landing top residency slots, generally first picks.

 

Lecom needs to see this, understand it - then come up with an even faster, easier bridge program.....

 

Granted I am to close to the end of my career to give up the 3+ years for residency even if school was only one year......  but others would...

 

even better is getting us independent!!!!!

 

How about a super hard test - think USMLE II and III combined, and then if we pass this with 5 years experience we get an IM independent practice....

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Lecom needs to see this, understand it - then come up with an even faster, easier bridge program.....

 

Granted I am to close to the end of my career to give up the 3+ years for residency even if school was only one year......  but others would...

 

even better is getting us independent!!!!!

 

How about a super hard test - think USMLE II and III combined, and then if we pass this with 5 years experience we get an IM independent practice....

If I could attend a bridge program without moving I think I probably still would in my late 40s...

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I would attend a short bridge program without moving as well. I am about the same age at EMED.

 

Having a MD/DO title would benefit the practice I am in and give me partnership and decision making qualifications - even though I should be able to do that now.

 

Sadly, I would get better reimbursement and secure the future financially perhaps a bit better.

 

Sad but true.

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If I could attend a bridge program without moving I think I probably still would in my late 40s...

 

EMEDPA, I'm sure you know as well as I do that FM docs are making 150k starting. PAs in em, ortho, derm, etc. are able to make that within a couple of years. PAs have wayy less debt and make the same salary.

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The absolute most I ever made was in ortho and I busted my butt. Max $130K with bonuses, production etc.

PAs in my area do not make $150K in ANY specialty. PERIOD.

 

The corporate hacks in my area are offering new FP docs $210K per year and then killing them with metrics and crap by year two. Their average income is more around $175K to $185K and that is a lot in our town. Median income all the way around is less than $40K per family. 

 

I would still rather have my independence as PA in FP or a short bridge to DO and have the ability to bill more appropriately.

 

FP is still the lowest income of all specialties and the poorest reimbursement which is completely bass ackwards.

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EMEDPA, I'm sure you know as well as I do that FM docs are making 150k starting. PAs in em, ortho, derm, etc. are able to make that within a couple of years. PAs have wayy less debt and make the same salary.

it's not about the money. I make more than that now. it's about respect, autonomy, and scope of practice. also docs have better schedules than PAs do in every place I work...

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it's not about the money. I make more than that now. it's about respect, autonomy, and scope of practice. also docs have better schedules than PAs do in every place I work...

 

Wait so it's true then that PAs make the same (or more) than FM docs regularly? I thought this only occurred once in a while when you compared new FM salary to establish PA salary?

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EMEDPA, I'm sure you know as well as I do that FM docs are making 150k starting. PAs in em, ortho, derm, etc. are able to make that within a couple of years. PAs have wayy less debt and make the same salary.

You are trying to justify salary now. First it was PA vs med curriculum, now salary. You are taking the lowest possible salary, from the lowest paid doctors, and comparing them to the absolute highest paid PA's (which takes several years to get to that salary, if you're ever lucky enough). Whats the point of that? Are there garbage men making more than PA's out there, yea, so what. BTW, go to the SDN forums for family med and you'll find that most new grads are not taking  anything less than $180,000 starting with incentives for family medicine. I know two personally that just took jobs for $225k, and $215k. Many jobs are paying more. Your argument for PA school being shorter and less tuition is flawed. I feel like that is every pre-pa's argument. The tuition doesn't matter when your salary is 2,3,4x that of a PA. 

 

Wait so it's true then that PAs make the same (or more) than FM docs regularly? I thought this only occurred once in a while when you compared new FM salary to establish PA salary?

 

Again, you are finding outliers with your examples. Look at the most recent medscape salary data. I believe Primary care docs are averaging $200k. Read many of EMEDPA's comments on this board, not just this thread. He has been patient with all of these same questions for years, and his advice is spot on. It took him almost his whole career (to my knowledge) to find a great paying job, where he has the respect and autonomy he deserves.

 

I'll give another example of something that really bothered me as a PA. I worked with a PA who was practicing for around 35yrs. His "boss" and supervising physician was fresh out of residency, and also about half the age as the PA. This PA was very, very intelligent and knew his stuff, he's been working in this specialty for 35 years. He was treated like garbage by this new physician. He would be presenting a case to the doctor in front of a room of physicians/students/nurses, and the new doctor stopped him mid-sentence and said, "Whoever taught you how to present a patient had no idea what they were doing? " He then went on a rant about how he wanted patient's presented to him, exactly what he wanted, in which order. Not to mention his salary was 3x the PA. Also, many times in the office I would hear patient's say they want to see the doctor, not a PA. So just because of his title, all of the PA's years of hard work and expertise were dismissed, because "he's only a PA." Unfortunately, these examples with patients happens frequently. Also, this new physician has complete control over his schedule/vacation, his office/patient schedule, etc. They come and go when they please, and no one can do anything about it. Unfortunately, as a PA, no matter how much you may actually know, and no matter how competent and intelligent you are, you will never get the respect from patient's and physicians that you deserve. That gets old real quick. Sorry for the rant. 

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You are trying to justify salary now. First it was PA vs med curriculum, now salary. You are taking the lowest possible salary, from the lowest paid doctors, and comparing them to the absolute highest paid PA's (which takes several years to get to that salary, if you're ever lucky enough). Whats the point of that? Are there garbage men making more than PA's out there, yea, so what. BTW, go to the SDN forums for family med and you'll find that most new grads are not taking anything less than $180,000 starting with incentives for family medicine. I know two personally that just took jobs for $225k, and $215k. Many jobs are paying more. Your argument for PA school being shorter and less tuition is flawed. I feel like that is every pre-pa's argument. The tuition doesn't matter when your salary is 2,3,4x that of a PA.

 

 

Again, you are finding outliers with your examples. Look at the most recent medscape salary data. I believe Primary care docs are averaging $200k. Read many of EMEDPA's comments on this board, not just this thread. He has been patient with all of these same questions for years, and his advice is spot on. It took him almost his whole career (to my knowledge) to find a great paying job, where he has the respect and autonomy he deserves.

 

I'll give another example of something that really bothered me as a PA. I worked with a PA who was practicing for around 35yrs. His "boss" and supervising physician was fresh out of residency, and also about half the age as the PA. This PA was very, very intelligent and knew his stuff, he's been working in this specialty for 35 years. He was treated like garbage by this new physician. He would be presenting a case to the doctor in front of a room of physicians/students/nurses, and the new doctor stopped him mid-sentence and said, "Whoever taught you how to present a patient had no idea what they were doing? " He then went on a rant about how he wanted patient's presented to him, exactly what he wanted, in which order. Not to mention his salary was 3x the PA. Also, many times in the office I would hear patient's say they want to see the doctor, not a PA. So just because of his title, all of the PA's years of hard work and expertise were dismissed, because "he's only a PA." Unfortunately, these examples with patients happens frequently. Also, this new physician has complete control over his schedule/vacation, his office/patient schedule, etc. They come and go when they please, and no one can do anything about it. Unfortunately, as a PA, no matter how much you may actually know, and no matter how competent and intelligent you are, you will never get the respect from patient's and physicians that you deserve. That gets old real quick. Sorry for the rant.

A specialty doc can obviously make a lot more but comparing fm to many pas isn't that far off. UC docs (typically) fm make 100/hr n EM pas can easily make 70-80. When you factor in taxes it's not that big a diff. Fm docs make 150k+\- starting.
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A specialty doc can obviously make a lot more but comparing fm to many pas isn't that far off. UC docs (typically) fm make 100/hr n EM pas can easily make 70-80. When you factor in taxes it's not that big a diff. Fm docs make 150k+\- starting.

 

Fm docs on average do not make $150k. Average is $207k, thats a big difference. Are there some that make $150k, yes. Are there some that make $350k, yes. Proof is in the numbers. 

http://www.medscape.com/features/slideshow/compensation/2016/public/overview#page=2

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Wait so it's true then that PAs make the same (or more) than FM docs regularly? I thought this only occurred once in a while when you compared new FM salary to establish PA salary?

I work on avg 200 hrs/mo at 6 places...

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