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Complex academic history + PA ambitions

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Hello everyone,


I'm a new guy to the site and would appreciate some advice or suggestions.


My high school guidance counselor talk was about 5 minutes long about what I wanted to do and what I was good at. I explained I wanted to work with people and make a positive impact. I also said that I enjoyed chemistry and the guidance counselor suggested forensic chemistry. He then gave me a website that made the job sound like puppy dogs and rainbows everyday. To help condense my story, I did two years of forensic chemistry. This also included liberal arts credits for classes like anthropology, religion, English, etc. I woke up one day realizing that I could not see myself doing forensic chemistry for the rest of my life. I transferred back home and did some soul-searching for what I wanted to with my life. After some physician shadowing I felt it was a career path I would enjoy. It clicked fairly well with my personality. I also obtained my CNA certification in order to stay connected to the medical field. I am currently a pre-med/biology major but after shadowing various PA's (a physician at the hospital I work at wanted to show me another aspect of medicine and suggested I shadow the PA he worked with) in multiple settings and specialties, I have found myself far more drawn to becoming a PA and continued to look into the PA route.


I have weighed the pros/cons as best as I can with a lot of discussion and research. I guess my question is what would be my best option to accomplish PA school? My university does not have very good/knowledgeable advisors unfortunately. It has been like pulling teeth to get the proper classes for my current major, and I do not feel they are a reliable resource. Should I determine what schools are appropriate for me and take pre-req's for them while switching to a major that will gain me a bachelor's fastest based upon my prior credits/courses?


I do not mean to sound like I'm impatient or rushing to the end goal. I was just hoping for some guidance on how best to achieve my goals most efficiently based on my history. I apologize if I left out helpful information or rambled too much.


Thank you for any help you all can provide.

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Should I determine what schools are appropriate for me and take pre-req's for them while switching to a major that will gain me a bachelor's fastest based upon my prior credits/courses?


Exactly what I would do. You are off to a good start. Stay Positive!


PS - I would also start shadowing PA's / volunteering in HealthCare now at every available opportunity in order to bolster that aspect of the admissions requirements by the time you are finished.



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I would say that if you CAN go to med school you should go to med school. Why the change to PA?


The PA's I've shadowed and have come in contact with seem a lot more happy overall both with their career as well as family life. I had a long conversation with a doctor who said his marriage fell apart, his kids felt abandoned because he missed so many school activities, and he dropped some of his hobbies due to time constraints.


The one PA I talked to said she was extremely busy as well but said her job accommodated a family lifestyle far better than a few of the physicians she worked with as well as another PA (she was an ortho PA, her co-worker PA was geriatric specialty I believe.)


I'm sure there are exceptions to every rule in that there are physicians who have great family lives and hobbies outside of work. I was raised with a very close family and now that I'm getting older I'm finding that I want to compromise as best as I can medicine and home life. So to finally answer the question, I believe PA is the best path to take to compromise for these two aspects. Perhaps I'm mistaken, but I feel confident I would be happy as a PA and would not look back and kick myself for not going the medical school route.

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