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Hello forum!

 

Unfortunately, I recently decided that dental school was something I am not willing to do. It is a great career but the main reason I was doing it was because that would make my dad happy. Anyways we had a talk and he was content with my decision.

 

Anyways a little background about me; I am senior undergraduate studying abroad until August 2017. I am intern at a hospital in Madrid working in a schizophrenia research project and part time surgical labatory with rodents.

 

I decided I want to become a physician assistant for many reasons but mainly because it does not require the stress level of a physician has. I will be graduating in May 2018 so even though that is two years from now I am a little behind!

 

I am a biomedical science major and I have an idea of the perquisites to become a PA but I a new to this so all the information is welcomed. The only thing I am really concerned on is shadowing hours. I shadowed my local dentist for about 100 hours but I have no experience with PA shadowing. Coming back to states as a full-time student will make it difficult for me to obtain shadowing experience before application deadlines.

 

Do you any of y´all have any advice for me? It would be reliving if some PA schools didn´t have shadowing hours as a requirement. Anyway, any piece of useful information will be deeply appreciated it!

 

Thanks!

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A few things...

 

1. Many (most) PA positions have the same amount of stress as physicians. This is dependent on the exact job, but thinking that PAs always endure less stress than physicians is absolutely wrong.

 

2. In general shadowing experience is less important. I would question though if you really understand the PA profession. If you haven't shadowed and you don't mention working in medicine, what is your exposure to PAs?

 

3. While shadowing isn't important, medical experience is. You need to review admission requirements and class data. You will see that many schools require thousands of hours to be competitive. This is changing somewhat and not all applicants have experience, but this is varied from school to school.

 

My recommendation would be that you start reading and learning more about the profession and application process/requirements.

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 I would certainly imagine that being a PA requires the same or close stress level as a physician but what I really meant was that it would be less stressful to me than becoming an MD or dentist. Sorry for the misunderstanding!

 

Is there a sheet on this forum that would review the class data and requirements for each school? I have done some search already; for example USC is out the way because there's no way I could complete extraneous hours of shadowing when I come back. That is one of the main things I am worried about.

 

Thanks for your honesty and response!

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I would certainly imagine that being a PA requires the same or close stress level as a physician but what I really meant was that it would be less stressful to me than becoming an MD or dentist. Sorry for the misunderstanding!

 

Is there a sheet on this forum that would review the class data and requirements for each school? I have done some search already; for example USC is out the way because there's no way I could complete extraneous hours of shadowing when I come back. That is one of the main things I am worried about.

 

Thanks for your honesty and response!

Do you have any experience on the PA profession? It would benifit you to pick up a book or watch a video on the profession. I would be concerned as a person on the admission committee if when asked why you didn't shadow you said it was extraneous. What if you shadow and don't like the profession? Some schools don't see shadowing as a "must" but I think it's a good idea to at least do it for a day if possible. You seem nonchalant with your posts as if PA school is easy. I guarantee you that PA school is at least as stressful, if not more given the massive amount of information that you have to absorb during the didactic phase. There is school specific forums but no single spreadsheet that's out there that will show you what your asking. You'll have to do that footwork yourself.

 

The topic of HCE ( health care experience) should be on your radar before shadowing when you get serious about wanting to pursue the PA profession. Paid, hands on experience is needed. Some schools require more, some less (unfortunately, just my opinion)

Rodents don't count ;-)

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Don't be afraid to take a year off after graduation in order to do some shadowing and get a solid amount of health care experience.  I get the impression (maybe I'm wrong?) that you want to go straight from undergrad to PA school without a gap, but that may not be feasible.  Waiting till the next application cycle may seem like a big deal now, but it's not such a big deal in the grand scheme of things, and it could make you a much better applicant.

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