Jump to content

Excited & Terrified

Recommended Posts

Hi everyone. I’m new here. I am 43 years old and have been working as a Speech Language Pathologist for almost 20 years. I’ve been bored out of my mind for about the last 15. I’ve been fantacizing about going back to school to be a P.A. for the last 5 years. 

A little background- I’ve lived a lot of life in my 43 years. I was married for 10 years and had two children (the loves of my life). They are 12 & 14 now and in middle school. I got divorced 6 years ago, was a single mom for several years. My first husband was never supportive of me going back to school and I couldn’t fathom going back to school while being a working single mom. I remarried a few years ago and I finally feel like the timing is as good as it’s going to get for me. My husband now is very supportive. But our lives are crazy. We have 5 kids between the two of us. And his job is extremely demanding and long hours. In addition to my two kids, I now have three stepkids. Two of my stepkids are away at college. And my other stepkid is only 7, but she only lives with us 50% of the time. My two kids life with us all of the time except they go to their fathers house every other weekend. I am only working part time right now - 2 days a week. 

I got my bachelors from UF back in 1997. And got my masters from Nova Southeastern in 2001. I’m likely going to need to take many prerequisites & study for my GREs. And then the 2 year intense PA program (if I even get accepted anywhere as an older student). Ideally, I would really like to find an Online Program that doesn’t require the GREs. So that’s my first question - does anyone know of any programs that would be good options for me?

But my main question is - am I crazy for considering this? It is a total dream for me to pursue this. I’m a great speech pathologist but I’m so bored and unsatisfied. I WANT this but I have so much more to think about than just myself  

Here are all of my concerns. Looking for any & ALL feedback, advice, help making this decision. Thanks guys 

1) Will my 20 years in healthcare help me? Will I still need to Shadow someone or accrue hours prior to applying?

2) Does eveanyone know of any Part Time programs in Florida? Or Online Full time programs?

3) Any Online schools that don’t require GREs? I scored great on my GREs 20 years ago! But I haven’t done math since then! They won’t accept them from so long ago. But I can’t even wrap my head around studying for those again. 

4) Several schools say that the prereqs don’t expire. But I’ll still need several of them. Any good online schools where I can get those? I’ll have free time to study but can’t leave my kids or move anywhere. 

5) I’m scared about the surgery and ER rotations. I get anxiety thinking about being in a surgery up close. Or a trauma in the ER. Was anyone else nervous about that prior? I am a big believer to face your fears. Did it get easier? Any tips? 

6) Didactic Year - was it really 8-6pm? I’m just concerned how I will give time to my kids. I pick them up from school everyday and cook dinner, HW etc. I don’t have any help with this. 

7) Clinical year - what were your hours like?

8- Would I be at a disadvantage being so old as a student? I would probably be 46-47 when I finish assuming I’ll need 1 year to take pre-reqs and GRE and then 2 year program  

9) Am I crazy for wanting to take this on? 

Thanks for the sounding board - I really need advice so I can make my final decision. I’m worried if I don’t do this, I’ll wish I did. I do feel the window is closing. I also worry that I’ll start it and be consumed with guilt for putting my own desires ahead of my kids needs. HELP pls ? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Administrator

1) Absolutely. It's still a very different world, but knowing how healthcare goes will help.
2) No, and Yale.  PA school will not work with a full time job--seriously, don't even try it, not even halftime, not even for didactic year.  Even if you try and succeed, you will be a worse clinician for the split attention.
3) Go take a refresher course; you will want to rock the GRE
4) UNE has high-quality online courses with labs, but are spendy.  There are other options.
5) Arrange to shadow.  As an SLP, do you know an ENT who would let you?
6) No, it's not always 8-6.  It varies by program, and you will need to adapt.  There are a lot of posts about doing PA school with kids.
7) All over the map.  0500-1900 was not uncommon in general surgery, but other days I could go home earlier.  4, 10's in rural primary care.  Each rotation will be different, depending on the hours your preceptor keeps.
8] Not really. Everyone will look up to you, and you may be mistaken for a nurse, but never for a student. ?  I graduated at 41.
9) Probably, but that's OK.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't have any experience to point you in the right direction, but the only thing I can say is that I respect you for recognizing your unique situation (particularly being older than the average PA school applicant), and still wanting to go into this. I think that with all the other demanding requirements to get into PA school, something like "Oh I'm older than everyone else" may have the unfortunate effect of suppressing older PA-hopefuls into actually pursuing it. I think that if you want to do it, do it! Listen to some talks by entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuck; he will help you put you into the right mindset, if you are worried about your age. 
I wish you good luck. ? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest thatgirlonabike

1) I have 11 years of healthcare experience in phlebotomy and then EMS.  Even though I work with doctors and mid-levels every day I shadowed a PA for 40 hours because one of the schools required it.

2) The only part time program I know is Rutgers but you have to be there.  Yale has an online program and you cannot have any C's on your prereqs. 

3) I had to study math for the first time in 15 years. I hired a private tutor and bought a month of Magoosh.  I got a 147 on the math part.  I'm ok with this.......

4) Many schools won't take online labs.  Try to find some night classes at your local CC.  I only applied to schools that would take my old prereqs.  There are plenty of them out there.  I also have no kids and I will move for the right program.

5) Can't help with this one.  I've seen it all. 

8- I'm 39 and will be 40 when I start school.  I have used this to my advantage in all of my admissions essays to add to the diversity of the class and lend a greater understaning of the healthcare system that I've spent so long navigating.  

9) Yes.  We all are.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...

Important Information

Welcome to the Physician Assistant Forum! This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn More