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Applying in the coming year. Any advice would really be appreciated.


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Hi everyone. My name is Brent. I been following the forums for a while now and been planning to attend PA school while I was working as a MLT in the military. I finished my service time in the Army last semester and been taking my prerequisites at University of Alaska, Fairbanks.

 

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Here's some relevant background:

 

Age: 29

 

University of California, Irvine: B.A. Psychology and Social Behaviors (GPA 2.6) - 2010

George Washington University: A.S. in Medical Laboratory Sciences (GPA 3.33) - 2016

University of Alaska, Fairbanks: Currently getting a B.S. in Biological Sciences (Current GPA 3.5) - Estimate graduation by 2018

 

Army 68K - Laboratory Specialist worked in all clinical rotations and phlebotomy (I asked to be in phlebotomy section everyday for 2 yrs since I was planning to apply to PA school)

 

Certified in ASCP MLT and looking to get my MLS sometime next year.

 

Currently enrolled with Red Cross for volunteering and shadowing: ~80 hrs completed so far

 

No GRE taken yet. I'm thinking of taking it by the end of this year. This summer will be my study time.

 

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I narrowed down some PA schools I like to apply to.

 

1. Oregon Health & Science University

2. University of Washington

3. South University - FL

4. Florida Gulf Coast University

5. University of California, Davis

 

These are probably my top choices, but I have some others I'm looking at. Any other schools would you guys like to suggest?

 

The courses I have left to take are Biochemistry, Organic Chemistry, Microbiology, and Genetics.

 

I am real nervous right now because my grades aren't too great and I estimate that my GPA will be somewhere between 3.2 - 3.6 by the time I finish all my prerequisites. There's not a real way to save my overall GPA... I think... I was not a dedicated student during my first round of undergraduates and worked 3 jobs to pay for the tuition and living expenses and spending way too much time chasing girls. But now that the GI Bill is paying for everything, I can better concentrate on my goals.

 

I wanted to introduce myself and seek any advice possible.

 

Sincerely,

 

Brent

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I recommend that you look much more closely at the RN-->NP-->DNP pathway. Less competition, lower tuition costs, able to work while going to school, better job opportunities at graduation, freedom to hang a shingle and run your own practice in 23 states, never reboard again on topics you don't need to know about, benefit from a large lobbying organization working to advance your career interests. 

 

PA profession is playing a losing game against the NPs. Nobody today should join our team unless and until we have a better game plan. Forgive me for the sports quotes but Billy Beane said it best "The problem we're trying to solve is that there are rich teams and there are poor teams, then there's fifty feet of crap, and then there's us. It's an unfair game.... We got to think differently."

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Over,

If you feel that way, perhaps you might not be all that suited to advising enthusiastic pre-PAs whose energy would be appreciated by our profession.

Everyone should consider their options. Nothing wrong with looking at other paths. Just a little less dynamite deployment on the path many of us have taken and don't regret.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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To be clear, I am not advocating that practicing PAs abandon their career choice. I'm only saying that no undergraduates should consider entering the PA profession unless and until we are on the road to ending reboarding and winning independent practice rights. This is about a capital investment that will likely not be recovered through future earning when the profession folds in ten years. New entrants today will likely start earning in five years (assuming they are in high school). If the profession only has ten years left, it just leaves five years to recoup the 150-200k investment to become a PA. That won't happen and young folks will be left with large indebtedness and no job opportunities. This is similar to the problem faced by the MD/ DO graduate who doesn't secure a residency position and cannot practice medicine but still has debt. The NP pathway is far superior at this point.

 

I thought the Billy Bean quote was clear enough but I'll illustrate its meaning. The rich teams are the MD/DOs. The poor teams are the NPs. Below the poor teams and the crap are the PAs. We cannot compete in the same old ways of the past. We got to think differently to win.

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To be clear, I am not advocating that practicing PAs abandon their career choice. I'm only saying that no undergraduates should consider entering the PA profession unless and until we are on the road to ending reboarding and winning independent practice rights. This is about a capital investment that will likely not be recovered through future earning when the profession folds in ten years. New entrants today will likely start earning in five years (assuming they are in high school). If the profession only has ten years left, it just leaves five years to recoup the 150-200k investment to become a PA. That won't happen and young folks will be left with large indebtedness and no job opportunities. This is similar to the problem faced by the MD/ DO graduate who doesn't secure a residency position and cannot practice medicine but still has debt. The NP pathway is far superior at this point.

 

I thought the Billy Bean quote was clear enough but I'll illustrate its meaning. The rich teams are the MD/DOs. The poor teams are the NPs. Below the poor teams and the crap are the PAs. We cannot compete in the same old ways of the past. We got to think differently to win.

 

Would you please provide me some information about this "losing battle" comment? I haven't heard anything regarding it.

 

I know that job/career saturation for PA and NP are both rising. However, I have no doubt that either path is good. My sister's a NP and she's even admit that future job outlooks for both PA and NP for new graduates can be challenging in "over served" areas. But I also worked in Operation Management and is a Certified Supply Chain Professional from APICS, and I can honestly say that most fields gets saturated. But it doesn't mean you cannot succeed.

 

I want to switch to medical because I honestly like seeing patients get better and suffer less. In the military, I saw some crazy off the wall injuries and I'm trying to help the medics stabilize the patient's condition and perform phlebotomy so labs can be run on them. And when they come back for their follow up labs, I'm always thrilled. Plus, they tell you some awesome stories. Whaling behind a office desk running operations and doing massive schedule planning, order spreadsheets, and logistics paperwork just cannot compare.

 

Am I missing something here? I mean I am making a career change, and been at it for 2 years. If I'm making a mistake here please let me know.

 

I mean my back up plans if PA field just flat out reject me, I can go back to operation management for a living or go back to a medical laboratory scientist.... Neither is preferred though.

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Please don't listen to this guy.

 

I know several recent PA school grads who had multiple job offers in a desirable city and one even told me she accepted a job offer of 140k in Virginia! And not in a rural place or anything. The job market is there and I highly doubt it'll be saturated since it's so competitive.

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Tbyliu, I am sharply criticized by my fellow PAs for being so transparent about the dim future for our profession. I have often used the phrase "ponzi scheme" in describing the hype. It isn't that organized to be labeled a "ponzi scheme" but there are several parallels. My believe is that the competition from NPs is so fierce and the PA response is nonexistent such that we won't be in existence in ten years. However, everyone will offer anecdotes of new graduates making handsome starting salaries. One poster on the forum, Boatswain, reports an income in excess of $200k. I caution anyone considering entry in the PA field to reconsider carefully. NPs have no requirement to reboard (take a test on topics you won't use in your job) or risk losing their livelihood, NPs have the right in 23 states to start their own practice without a doctor being involved (so they make a lot more money), they are increasingly more favored for hiring because of their independent status, they have independent practice rights in the VA and Corrections (PAs continue to be dependent), RN/NP schools are almost entirely state supported with low tuition (PA programs are almost entirely private with outrageous tuition), RN/NP can work while studying so you have no debt at graduations (PA programs won't permit work during). You might think that a more rigorous education is more highly valued in the marketplace but it isn't. It goes to my argument about a products features vs the product brand. Nobody buys because of features. They buy the brand. PAs taking more prerequisites (biochem, premed organic chem), more rigorous coursed full-time, reboarding is all about features. It doesn't sell because the PA profession has no brand awareness, identity or power. NPs do have brand awareness, identity and power. That is why it is so foolish to criticize them for being inferior. It doesn't sell. Hope this helps. Anyone is free to PM me.

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Guest HanSolo

I doubt anyone can successfully argue that overthehorizon's argument regarding PAs losing ground to the NP lobby is incorrect. He's also correct that the AAPA hasn't done much to rectify this. They just thought to "let the product speak for itself." Despite having a solid "product," that plan didn't work out so well. That being said, it does seem like the AAPA is finally trying to address this issue. I look forward to seeing how the profession develops and how I can participate in that development in the future.

 

In my opinion, I don't see how the profession will go away. It will just be different. Maybe we will be totally squeezed out of primary care by NPs. Perhaps that is what overthehorizon means when he says it will be dead in ten years is that the profession as we know it today will be dead. Either way, it's time to adapt and move forward. The future of the profession is what we as a community make of it. 

 

Sorry for the change of topic on your thread, Brent! My only concern with your #s is that you might not have enough direct patient care experience for some of those programs. I wouldn't take organic chemistry unless you have to. Most places don't require it, and biochemistry is much more useful. Good luck!

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