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Starting PA school in Spring which Specialties to Pick

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Hello, my name is Chandler, I will be starting PA school this Spring and I am anxiously awaiting.  However, for the program I am enrolled in when clinical time comes (which I know is a while away) we get to pick two specialties that we want do clinical's in, one that I want to do is Critical Care and I just wanted peoples opinions on the specialty.  I have worked in a 20 bed ICU now for about 2.5 years and I love the fast pace, the procedures, and the reward from having these critically ill patients and taking them from about worst conditions to hopefully saving their lives.  However, in the current ICU where i work there is not PAs that work with the Intensivist on our unit so I wanted to get an idea from individuals that have had clinical in Critical Care and also PAs that are currently working in this field.  Also if anyone has any other specialties that I should look into.  I know I am still very early into my program and I have many more classes to get through before I should start to think about my clinicals; however, I just wanted to get a little idea to possibly look into a few specialties before I start my program. 


Thanks, Chandler

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  • 2 months later...


PA programs have a required set of clinical rotation they must follow: family practice, internal medicine, surgery, OB/Gyn, peds, emergency, sometimes psyche.  Most also give you a chance to pick 1-2 elective rotations.  You don't get to limit yourself to only a few specialties.  I recommend waiting until at least the middle of you clinical year once you've seen what you like and have talked to others in your class before you focus too hard on any one area.

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  • 7 months later...

If critical care is your passion, and you know you get two electives, I would consider either getting into two different ICUs (MICU/SICU/CCU/neuro) or picking your second elective to be in a field relevant to the ICU, like ID, pulmonology, cards (esp heart failure), EM at a busy hospital, hospital IM. Really anything that keeps you in the hospital rather than clinic setting.

I 100% flipped what I wanted to do in PA school, so make sure you keep an open mind!

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