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Becoming Physician Assistant - A Weird Question


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I am 26Y male. You may feel it weird but I am writing this because I am really interested and passionate about becoming Physician Assistant. In 2005, my sister died of cancer, in 2006, my grandmother died after suffering from Paralysis. In 2016, my father died of Lungs cancer. Being elder at my home, I have been with all of them at hospitals and have been taking care of them at home. Taking care and learning about the patients and studying the medical subjects especially Anatomy and Pharmacology is my favorite hobby.  Basically I am from South Asia and my lovely wife and mother of our baby-boy is in USA. I will be coming to USA by the mid of 2019. So,  I am looking for answers keeping this in to consideration.

Basically I am a Civil Engineering graduate with 4 years of bachelors degree and after that I have 4 years of working in my own field of study. My CGPA is not good (2.87) mainly because this was not area of my interest. I am not much satisfied of my own core field. I find my job bit boring and I find it quite bad Work–life balance mainly because I have to stay away from my home for several weeks in remote areas for construction related activities. On the other hand, I feel attractive to the Physician Assistant job and wish for this. I am aware that I can get some PCE working as maybe CNA, ER tech, Medical Assistant etc. I am willing to do these jobs to start with.

I have these questions in my mind:

1- What will I have to study and how long will it take me getting necessary education before going to PA School?

2- In PA school, how many years do we study? Is it a associate or graduate program or the training?

3- I am bit aware that there are some programs which offers PA+MS PA program. What exactly I have to do to find a best path to become PA?

Long story short, I have passion in becoming PA and I really want to know how this will work for me to get there.

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4 hours ago, SwagFootball said:

I am 26Y male. You may feel it weird but I am writing this because I am really interested and passionate about becoming Physician Assistant. In 2005, my sister died of cancer, in 2006, my grandmother died after suffering from Paralysis. In 2016, my father died of Lungs cancer. Being elder at my home, I have been with all of them at hospitals and have been taking care of them at home. Taking care and learning about the patients and studying the medical subjects especially Anatomy and Pharmacology is my favorite hobby.  Basically I am from South Asia and my lovely wife and mother of our baby-boy is in USA. I will be coming to USA by the mid of 2019. So,  I am looking for answers keeping this in to consideration.

Basically I am a Civil Engineering graduate with 4 years of bachelors degree and after that I have 4 years of working in my own field of study. My CGPA is not good (2.87) mainly because this was not area of my interest. I am not much satisfied of my own core field. I find my job bit boring and I find it quite bad Work–life balance mainly because I have to stay away from my home for several weeks in remote areas for construction related activities. On the other hand, I feel attractive to the Physician Assistant job and wish for this. I am aware that I can get some PCE working as maybe CNA, ER tech, Medical Assistant etc. I am willing to do these jobs to start with.

I have these questions in my mind:

1- What will I have to study and how long will it take me getting necessary education before going to PA School?

2- In PA school, how many years do we study? Is it a associate or graduate program or the training?

3- I am bit aware that there are some programs which offers PA+MS PA program. What exactly I have to do to find a best path to become PA?

Long story short, I have passion in becoming PA and I really want to know how this will work for me to get there.

If you earned your engineering degree outside of the US you will need to find PA programs that accept foreign degrees. You will then need to find out through a degree evaluation company (usually listed on the schools website) if it is equivalent to a Bachelors degree. Every school has different requirements as far as foreign students being admitted. Some programs do not allow any foreign coursework to be accepted. If they do accept it, you will then need to take all the prerequisite coursework for the programs that accept your degree. Seeing as your GPA isn't very good you'll want to do well in these courses and possibly take a few other courses at a college here in the states. A lot of the programs require a GPA of 3.0 as a minimum. You'll probably also be required to take a TOEFL test to evaluate your English. The majority of PA programs are Masters degree programs and they can run anywhere from 2-3 years depending on the program. You're correct in that you will need to work/volunteer in some sort of direct patient care capacity. To be competitive you will need between 1k-2k hours minimum. Additionally programs like to see Volunteer work and leadership roles. Also, most programs require that you take the GRE to be accepted. Hope that helps answer your question.

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The prerequisites for PA schools are all a bit different, but they're generally anatomy and physiology, an upper level physiology, microbiology, developmental psychology, statistics, and two semesters of chemistry. You have to take the prerequisites (and do well), gather patient care experience, volunteer, take the GRE, and probably also the TOEFL. You also have to find out if your bachelor's degree as an engineer is valid in the U.S. If you're working full time, I would recommend taking no more than 2 classes a semester because you want to earn As. PA school is 2 years in graduate school, so you will finish with a Master's degree. The curriculum is very difficult, so you definitely cannot work for those 2 years. I believe only 3 programs offer a part-time option

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12 hours ago, SwagFootball said:

1- What will I have to study and how long will it take me getting necessary education before going to PA School?

2- In PA school, how many years do we study? Is it a associate or graduate program or the training?

3- I am bit aware that there are some programs which offers PA+MS PA program. What exactly I have to do to find a best path to become PA?

 

1. Most PA schools have science prerequisites in anatomy, physiology, biology, chemistry, organic chemistry (with labs) as the bare minimum. Others will include courses like medical terminology, statistics, microbiology, immunology etc. This you will need to do your own research on each school and see what their prereqs are and where to take them. You can take them at community colleges or in regular colleges in the USA. Since you earned your engineering degree abroad you will also need to go through WES (world education services) and have your transcript evaluated to a US equivalency.  You will also need to take GRE and TOEFL. Some schools do not require GRE though.

2. PA schools on average take 24 months-28 months and you will graduate with a master's degree.

3. Besides just meeting the prerequisite courses, you will also need to gain direct patient care experiences in the healthcare field (the jobs you listed are great ones), volunteer, and shadow PAs. Most programs requires a minimum of 1000 patient care hours.

So definitely start working on your prerequisite classes and do really well in them and find some PCE to do as well. Good luck!

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15 hours ago, MyPath said:

1. Most PA schools have science prerequisites in anatomy, physiology, biology, chemistry, organic chemistry (with labs) as the bare minimum. Others will include courses like medical terminology, statistics, microbiology, immunology etc. This you will need to do your own research on each school and see what their prereqs are and where to take them. You can take them at community colleges or in regular colleges in the USA. Since you earned your engineering degree abroad you will also need to go through WES (world education services) and have your transcript evaluated to a US equivalency.  You will also need to take GRE and TOEFL. Some schools do not require GRE though.

2. PA schools on average take 24 months-28 months and you will graduate with a master's degree. 

3. Besides just meeting the prerequisite courses, you will also need to gain direct patient care experiences in the healthcare field (the jobs you listed are great ones), volunteer, and shadow PAs. Most programs requires a minimum of 1000 patient care hours.

So definitely start working on your prerequisite classes and do really well in them and find some PCE to do as well. Good luck!

Thank you so much Mypath for great help! I am now more clear about this. Is there any way I can study pre-req subjects online from here so after an year when I land to states, I have fewer subjects to study? I am already preparing for GRE. I have got good grade in IELTS but I will also appear in TOEFL.

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22 hours ago, Potatolife said:

The prerequisites for PA schools are all a bit different, but they're generally anatomy and physiology, an upper level physiology, microbiology, developmental psychology, statistics, and two semesters of chemistry. You have to take the prerequisites (and do well), gather patient care experience, volunteer, take the GRE, and probably also the TOEFL. You also have to find out if your bachelor's degree as an engineer is valid in the U.S. If you're working full time, I would recommend taking no more than 2 classes a semester because you want to earn As. PA school is 2 years in graduate school, so you will finish with a Master's degree. The curriculum is very difficult, so you definitely cannot work for those 2 years. I believe only 3 programs offer a part-time option

Thank you so much for the help! I am aware that if I work full time, it will be difficult for me to get As in the major subjects. For this reason, and in order to save my time, I am looking for the recommendations regarding online classes so that for the time I am here, I can study a few subjects before moving to states. I hope as I am passionate about this field, I will find the curriculum easier for me.

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4 hours ago, SwagFootball said:

Thank you so much Mypath for great help! I am now more clear about this. Is there any way I can study pre-req subjects online from here so after an year when I land to states, I have fewer subjects to study? I am already preparing for GRE. I have got good grade in IELTS but I will also appear in TOEFL.

No problem! I am not too sure about online classes. I know medical terminology can be online but not all schools requires it. Also, classes like biology, chemistry, anatomy, physiology all require labs so I think it is best to take on campus. You can take the classes at a university in your country if they allow it and then get the transcript verified through WES after you complete them.

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49 minutes ago, MyPath said:

No problem! I am not too sure about online classes. I know medical terminology can be online but not all schools requires it. Also, classes like biology, chemistry, anatomy, physiology all require labs so I think it is best to take on campus. You can take the classes at a university in your country if they allow it and then get the transcript verified through WES after you complete them.

You're great! I am really really thankful to you!

I forgot to add few things: I did my matriculation in my country (I am not sure what it is called in USA), it is two years secondary school certificate, where I  studied General Biology and General Chemistry. Again in Higher Secondary School, I studies two years Organic Chemistry and general chemistry. I wish those credits are accepted in USA. I will go through WES website for the process.

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