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Going Abroad for a Year and Then Applying to PA Schools


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Hello all!

I just started thinking about PA school recently. I graduated in Fall 2015 in Biology and Psychology. I'm 23, and I'm trying to figure out my life course. I'm wondering what people on this board think about teaching abroad for a year in China before I apply to PA school. I feel like I'm young and I want to see the world a bit before I commit. Has anyone done this before? Would PA Programs look down at this for any reason? I have most of the pre-requisite classes, I would just have to take Anatomy, Physiology (the 2 big ones haha), and perhaps Medical Terminology; I would probably want to take these courses online before my expected departure date of early September, and then apply next April for the 2020 cohort.

I have spent the last year in the mental health field doing rehab worker duties, which I believe counts as direct patient care hours (at least for some schools), so I would have that under my belt as well.

I would love some advice for what people did before applying, that may not be related to the medical field, and your thoughts on those experiences.

Thanks so much.

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Makes for an interesting story on your essay and during your interview. I'm sure it'd be a great life experience. As long as you have everything else in place (contact hours, shadowing, letters of rec, etc), doing a year abroad teaching internationally wouldn't hinder you in any way. Some schools won't accept A&P online, so be sure to scope that out before going in that direction.

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I took 5 years off after undergrad to travel (I worked on cruise ships as a musician so obviously non-medical) and I got accepted my first try. I think schools like diversity in life experiences. I talked about my world travels in my personal statement and in my interviews - it made a good talking point. For what it’s worth, I’m really glad that I took the time off to see the world and get some life experience before PA school. Good luck with whatever you decide ?

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