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I am considering becoming a paramedic to get some clinical experience before becoming a physician assistant. Anyone else doing this? I am 26 years old and my main reason for thinking about going this route before PA School is because I just recently got out of the Navy where I was a Corpsman so I do have more than enough patient contact hours in many settings but am also married with kids. My wife is finishing up PT school so I do have to work a well paying job while she finishes up school. I am a RMA as well but they do not make that much and the job is really boring as far as what I am used to. I recently came across a school that has a Hybrid Paramedic program that I can do and work full time. So getting my Gi Bill housing money and working will help us survive until my wife finishes school. My next dilemma is that I have about 3 semesters left for my undergrad which I would have to put on old until I finished this Paramedic program and that would push my timeline back even further before I could apply and get accepted into a PA program which is my ultimate goal. So I guess my question is will this help me out in the long run with PA school as far as becoming a Paramedic. Sorry I wrote so much and all advice is welcomed.

 

 

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I was 8404 with 2nd Div. Got out, went straight undergrad with supplemental TA and tutoring jobs + GI bill. Applied and got in on my first application to a school that highly values military experience. I had zero HCE between the navy and PA school. That's just me though. Every year you go without getting in is lost income. Paramedic would be nice though but I don't know that id put my life on hold for it.

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I was 8404 with 2nd Div. Got out, went straight undergrad with supplemental TA and tutoring jobs + GI bill. Applied and got in on my first application to a school that highly values military experience. I had zero HCE between the navy and PA school. That's just me though. Every year you go without getting in is lost income. Paramedic would be nice though but I don't know that id put my life on hold for it.

 

I was 8404 as well and with 2nd MarDiv and yeah that makes sense. What state did you end up applying in?

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I got my medic school done the year before I started PA school mainly because I had the time. If you were a Navy corpsman, I think I would focus on finishing your undergrad degree and get moving. If a medic card would help you make some money while all of that goes on -- and it wouldn't delay you too much -- then it might be a nice touch.

 

Good luck.

 

 

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Paramedic *school* isn't typically what makes people better PAs... it's paramedic *work*.  That is, seeing the worst of human society, at its worst, and on top of that occasionally seeing very sick or injured normal people.  Pay sucks most places, especially for the risks involved, unless you get a career FF/Paramedic job, which are hard to land and have their own obstacle-filled application process.

 

Take this with a grain of salt, since I'm just an EMT basic who skipped medic school en route PA school and went into family medicine, though.

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I was 8404 as well and with 2nd MarDiv and yeah that makes sense. What state did you end up applying in?

 

 

 

I'm from Ohio so I applied to all "military friendly" schools there. I attend South College's PA program in knoxville TN. They love having military medics/corpsman, there are prior corpsman facility here too. 

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I got my medic school done the year before I started PA school mainly because I had the time. If you were a Navy corpsman, I think I would focus on finishing your undergrad degree and get moving. If a medic card would help you make some money while all of that goes on -- and it wouldn't delay you too much -- then it might be a nice touch.

 

Good luck.

 

 

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good to go thank you

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I was a paramedic before PA school. best thing I ever did for my future career. 25 years later I still get jobs because of my former paramedic status. if you have the time to do it and work a year or 2 as a medic I would definitely do it.

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Take the following with a grain of salt as this year is my first time applying to PA school and I have not yet been accepted. I have however worked as a paramedic for the past ten years.  

 

1. I completely agree with rev ronin in that paramedic school would not help but working as a paramedic would. My understanding is that since PA school accepts such variable PCE and HCE that they treat everyone the same. A PA student that received PCE as a paramedic is taught the same as someone with CNA, RN, Corpsman, or scribe experience. Would work as a paramedic and paramedic school give you an advantage with certain subjects? Sure. But in other subjects other people would have the benefit of different past experience/education.

 

2. Paramedic school and working as a paramedic does not guarantee you an interview. When I completed my CASPA I had around 28,000 hours of PCE working as a paramedic and I was denied an interview from one of my schools (and this was the school that specifically designated work as a paramedic as having a large and positive impact on receiving an interview). If you plan on working as a paramedic for a few years and then applying, I imagine it would help your overall application. However if you plan on simply getting the license without working as a medic, I don't think it would be all that helpful.

 

3. Paramedic school may or may not count towards your CASPA GPA. I took my paramedic and EMT program through a community college and as such received college credit for those classes. CASPA counted those grades towards my sGPA and cGPA. A co-worker that applied this cycle as well received his training through a private EMS agency's education department and so had no college transcript and therefore it was not factored into his CASPA. This is something to take into consideration. 

 

4. A paramedic license does not guarantee you an interview or admission but not having a Bachelor's degree will definitely be an impediment to getting in. To my knowledge, no school considers PCE to expire so you can be out of the Navy for a few years and the gap shouldn't count against your application. Will taking the time off from school to get the paramedic training cause any of your prerequisites to expire? 

 

Obviously, no one can make this decision for you except you. But if it were me, I would focus on finishing my undergrad. You can also contact the PA schools that you are interested in and ask them "Do you value training/experience as a paramedic to be higher than other experiences?" 

 

Best of luck and I hope this helped. 

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