I'm attending Arizona State University online. I live in Georgia and I'm 24 years old. ASU is a quarter-based system, which means I get college credits on a quarterly basis instead of a semester basis. All PA and AA schools (I'm interested in both) require a certain amount of prerequisite hours, but at ASU, I would be about an hour or two short in a lot of them, like biology, chemistry, organic chemistry, etc. So, me getting a degree in biology from ASU is kind of pointless, because I'd have to take some additional prerequisite classes at my local college anyways. I should also mention I have a job (in aviation) that pays pretty well - about $60,000 a year. I am also in the process of getting my Surgical Technician certifications, but this will take a year or so. With this being said, I have two options:
A: Get my Surgical Tech school done and take a really low course load at ASU for Biology to ensure I maintain as close to a 4.0 as possible. Get about 60 of 120 credits from ASU (amount needed to transfer), then transfer to the University of Georgia. Finish my degree in biology, but live off loans. Try to find a part-time CST job while in Athens to keep them as low as possible. Continue with a low class load to keep a good GPA. This way, I'm keeping my grades high, but still getting some crucial clinical experience. Eventually graduate from UGA, a highly respected school in Georgia, with a degree in Biology. Then apply to programs. Most will be far away, so if I get accepted into one of those, I'll also probably have to live off loans for the two years of AA or PA school. Lots of debt, but better undergrad, experience (in life and classwork), and higher caliber school.
B: Buy a mobile home for a great price ($13k practically brand new) - a home right next to my parent's. In 3 years, it'll be paid off and cost me half as much as renting. Continue my degree at Arizona State University (online) in something like psychology, since my prerequisites won't count the same anyways. Minor in personal health. Get my Surgical Tech school done and work part-time while attending ASU. Finish my psychology degree, then take the right prerequisites at my local college. Don't live off any student loans until I get accepted into AA or PA school.
Option A seems nice. I can go to UGA, graduate with a degree in Biology, have that prestigious college (at least for my state) attached to my degree, finish everything on a physical campus, have easier access to volunteering in research studies at the campus, have 100% of my focus on my school and GPA (this is important as grades don't come naturally to me), and pretty much devote my life to making sure my prerequisites and overall GPA are top notch. The bad - I'd live off loans and accumulate a lot more debt and UGA is harder (could be a good thing for preparation) in their expectations. A lot of good, but the two bad are related to more debt and harder to get a good GPA.
Option B seems good too, but not as appealing. I'll undergrad in psychology and minor in personal health (biology/chem/etc not available). Take all the right prerequisites at a local college that should be easier to pass versus UGA's standards. Save money by working as a Surgical Tech and paying $500/mo in a mortgage payment versus $1,000/mo for an apartment.
I’m currently attending a quarterly-based credit college and get 3 credits in some of my crucial prerequisite classes. All the pre-pa programs I’ve looked at say something along the lines of “Organic Chemistry - 3 semester hours or 4 quarter hours” but my college only gives 3 quarter hours for a class like this.
I have no idea what I’m supposed to do. If my college gives 3 hours when I need 4, how do I get that additional hour? So confused!
Although I’m not a PA yet, I hope posting in this forum is fine, as I’m seeking info on existing surgical PA’s.
So, what’s your specialty?
I’m very interested in surgery, but I also would like to have a decent lifestyle outside of work. I’d also prefer to do more lower-risk surgeries versus something like trauma patients.
The only PA I know personally specializes in urology. She works a normal schedule, is married, and has a child. I love the aspect of surgery, the idea of savings lives, and even working weekends when they need me - I hope I don’t give off the vibe that I don’t want to work.
Any PA’s out there in surgery that care to comment on your work-life balance? Any insight is very appreciated!
I know this seems like such an easy question to answer, but I can’t seem to find it. I know a lot of PA’s say they make around $100k a year, but is that without bonuses? Do PA’s get paid time and a half for OT hours or are they just on a flat salary whether they work 40 hours or 60?
I’m interested in becoming a surgical PA, which I’m sure comes with some more offered (sometimes mandatory) hours than someone in something like family care. I’m completely fine with this, just curious as to how the pay would differentiate. With that being said, do you get paid more when working over 40, or is it a flat salary?