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Hi everyone :)


My name is Rosemary Ajnassian. I am currently in community college and I transferring this fall as a Sociology major to CSUN. Currently I am also taking the classes required to apply to PA programs and I am shadowing two PA's in different fields. I am interested in applying to Western University.

I was wondering if having a Bachelors degree is Sociology is looked down upon when I will be applying for my medical program since it has nothing to do with the medical field? does it make a difference that I'm going to a Cal State rather than UCLA or USC? and does it look better to work for a PA or does it make no difference if you are only shadowing?


Thank you for your responses :)

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Rosemary, there is a ton of resources out there to answer a lot of these questions. I would suggest you start by going to information sessions at the programs you are interested in. Only they can give you the most accurate answers to the information you are requesting. Outside of that, spend some time reading the threads on this forum and you should have a pretty good foundation of knowledge to get you started down the right path. Good luck.

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HCE (Health Care Experience) is required for most but not all PA programs. Traditionally, one got HCE by working as a paramedic, nurse, respiratory therapist, etc. for a number of years. From what I've gathered, a great number of people now get into PA school with only one to three years working as an EMT (Emergency Medical Technician, one semester course) or CNA (Certified Nurse's Aide, also I think one semester, maybe two), or possibly some work as a phlebotimist or other job related to health care. Some PA schools require no HCE, some require 1,000 hours, some 2,000 or more. Some will allow volunteer work or shadowing to count as some of those hours. Some will accept only paid experience.


More and more students have heard of the PA profession while still in college, like yourself, and these students want to become PAs without spending years as a nurse or whatever. After all, doctors don't have to have HCE before medical school. (Whether or not one should have HCE and how much before being allowed into a PA school is a controversial topic in itself.) You have to check with each PA school you are interested in because the requirements vary.


Also, look at the lists of prerequisite courses carefully. It seems like most PA schools require Chemistry for science majors (not the easier version that nurses can take) and a semester of organic chemistry, and some biology classes. Depending on where you are in your schooling, you might consider majoring in Biology or Microbiology/Biochemistry and minoring in Sociology or Psychology if you know you want to be a PA.

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