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If you were to choose a PA school all over again...


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If I had to do life over again I would go to med school.

If I had to do PA school again I would attend the same program, followed immediately by a residency. I like the PBL format for learning medicine. This was emphasized at my program. I could not have asked for better clinical rotations. no complaints there.

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I would choose the same school for the exact same reasons I did - when it started and the tuition rate.  The school I attended was VERY new, I was the second graduating class.  We had our lumps for sure and much more faculty turnover than expected, but it worked.

I was accepted to multiple schools and chose the one that started the soonest (8-9 months earlier than all of the others) and was half the cost.  As I'm preparing to pay off my student loans in 6-12 months (hopefully sooner!) I can say tuition needs to be much more in the front of potential PA students' minds than it is.  While I learned a TON in PA school, I learned so MUCH MORE in the first 6-12 months of actually being a PA.

I like the phrase (which I'm sure I'm going to butcher) - "the doctor who went to cheapest medical school is a DOCTOR."  The same as PA school, whether you spend $40k on PA school or $100k+ you are still a PA at the end - and your income potential likely is not affected at all.

Edited by mgriffiths
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I was limited in location by family obligations, and all of my somewhat local schools were pretty pricey.  But if I had a choice in location, I would have chosen the least expensive program.  In the end, I think your success depends on your dedication to studying and self-learning.  As a new grad this year, my student loans are ATROCIOUS!

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I would have picked another field. I would leave Medicine now for a similar paying job that doesn't have to deal with Press Ganey, clueless corporate admins, demanding "informed" patients etc. Frankly, I want a job that does not have to deal with other people or other people's expectations of me but pays the same (lol)

 

 

 

Obviously I'm half serious but Medicine is not what it was when I first got into it almost 30 years ago. (been in medical field since I was 18).

 

 

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using Tapatalk

 

 

 

 

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26 minutes ago, BruceBanner said:

If I had to do it over again I would not have gone into medicine period. 

 

 

fair enough, but ya gotta admit being a doc would make life so much easier. for example, our state law says a physician must be present for trauma activations, so we call in our family med hospitalist a few years out of residency(could be my kid by age)  and he stands in a corner while I run the cases then he writes a note saying he supervised the trauma team....even our trauma nurse coordinator admits this is silly BS. I spent last summer on a trauma team in Iraq, have worked in em for 32 years, was a former 911 paramedic, have taken ATLS 6 times, used to teach trauma courses to medics and nurses, did a hard core trauma surgery rotation as a student, etc.

he likely has NEVER worked on a trauma team or done a trauma rotation, but is the state-recognized team leader solely because of the initials after his name. Nice guy and a good doc, but still, you gotta go with your strengths....

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fair enough, but ya gotta admit being a doc would make life so much easier. for example, our state law says a physician must be present for trauma activations, so we call in our family med hospitalist a few years out of residency(could be my kid by age)  and he stands in a corner while I run the cases then he writes a note saying he supervised the trauma team....even our trauma nurse coordinator admits this is silly BS. I spent last summer on a trauma team in Iraq, have worked in em for 32 years, was a former 911 paramedic, have taken ATLS 6 times, used to teach trauma courses to medics and nurses, did a hard core trauma surgery rotation as a student, etc.
he likely has NEVER worked on a trauma team or done a trauma rotation, but is the state-recognized team leader solely because of the initials after his name. Nice guy and a good doc, but still, you gotta go with your strengths....


And you wouldn’t have to go back after the fact and play the degree creep game on your dime.
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15 hours ago, EMEDPA said:

fair enough, but ya gotta admit being a doc would make life so much easier. for example, our state law says a physician must be present for trauma activations, so we call in our family med hospitalist a few years out of residency(could be my kid by age)  and he stands in a corner while I run the cases then he writes a note saying he supervised the trauma team....even our trauma nurse coordinator admits this is silly BS. I spent last summer on a trauma team in Iraq, have worked in em for 32 years, was a former 911 paramedic, have taken ATLS 6 times, used to teach trauma courses to medics and nurses, did a hard core trauma surgery rotation as a student, etc.

he likely has NEVER worked on a trauma team or done a trauma rotation, but is the state-recognized team leader solely because of the initials after his name. Nice guy and a good doc, but still, you gotta go with your strengths....

In your case I can see how it would make your life a lot easier. But you also seem to like what you do, and in EM it would be of particular utility to have your MD.

For me there would be no additional benefit. If I had to go back and choose that route I'd probably be a radiologist. But I'd rather go back and do something completely different, non-medicine. I'd probably still get an advanced degree but nothing even close to healthcare.

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2 hours ago, newton9686 said:

Yeah emergency medicine is a difficult field for PAs. There’s all these opinions of what we should and should not be able to do depending on your initials and the location. Hell there are even MDs who are stereotyped because they are “family medicine” trained versus “emergency medicine” trained. 

there is a reason for that. EM training provides a level playing field. you know if someone is em residency trained and boarded that they have been exposed to the whole specialty, including emergency peds, difficult airways, trauma, tox, etc. FM folks working in the ER are hit or miss. many are certainly rock stars, but some should never venture out of a primary care clinic. I have worked with a few who thought their 1 month of em as an ms3 and cross coverage of the ER while on inpt fp services qualifies them to work em. then they see a big trauma or difficult airway and wet themselves. There are 17 one year em fellowships(all on the aafp fellowship pages) for fp docs that make a lot of sense if one decides to go that route. I know some of these folks and have no problem with their skills.

The truth of the matter is that a PA interested in emergency medicine gets more em exposure in their pa-2 year than a typical fp doc gets through their entire medschool and residency training. many FP docs have a single em rotation in ms3 and then maybe another rotation during residency. call it 8-12 weeks total. A PA with their sights set on em can get more than 3 times that( for example I had 27 weeks of em, peds em, and trauma surgery).

 

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I would stick with how I did it. Pacific was and continues to be an excellent program. I would do FM right out of school again, rather than a residency (with 3 kids at home at the time, and two years of no income, a residency was not within reach).  I would probably still branch out into sleep and occupational medicine again, because those are both fulfilling, important specialties.  Actually, I would have liked to take on occupational medicine a bit earlier in my career with a little bit more mentoring, because it seems to be the one most underserved area that has crossed my path.

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I agree with what your saying but those same 1 year fellowships aren’t event recognized by emergency medicine’s national society. Just saying there’s are a lot of opinions on EM that aren’t exactly evidence based. And as someone as hospitalist PA not even a year out  Im amazed what makes it out of ER undiagnosed and not even on the differential.  I’ve diagnosed two cases of endocarditis, one displaced humoral head fracture with dislocation requiring emergent surgery, one TOA and a caudi equina in the past 2 months. Half of those were just turfed to the observation unit by the ED. So I appreciate what my ER colleagues do downstairs, but I also don’t appreciate the God complex I’ve experienced with some of them when I’m the one cleaning up the mess. 

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2 minutes ago, newton9686 said:

I agree with what your saying but those same 1 year fellowships aren’t event recognized by emergency medicine’s national society. Just saying there’s are a lot of opinions on EM that aren’t exactly evidence based. And as someone as hospitalist PA not even a year out  Im amazed what makes it out of ER undiagnosed and not even on the differential.  I’ve diagnosed two cases of endocarditis, one displaced humoral head fracture with dislocation requiring emergent surgery, one TOA and a caudi equina in the past 2 months. Half of those were just turfed to the observation unit by the ED. So I appreciate what my ER colleagues do downstairs, but I also don’t appreciate the God complex I’ve experienced with some of them when I’m the one cleaning up the mess. 

fair enough. I have worked in an obs unit before and am aware of the crap that ends up there:

"needs PT for walker training in am then d/c" actually, previously functional 90 yr old, now sick as crap and confused. admitted to ICU where she died

"needs digoxin loading and d/c in am". actually needs pacemaker for syncope with persistent hr in 30s

"Hold for ent to eval post-tonsillectomy bleed". actually was almost criched en route to the OR for emergent massive hemorrhage 15 min post arrival to the obs unit. the ENT doc had actually wanted to see this pt the next day in clinic. The ER doc did the right thing not sending them home.

I could go on as i am sure you could as well. Unfortunately, a lot of the reason folks end up in ED obs units is because hospitalists refuse to do the right thing and admit these folks when requested in the first place. We know they are sick enough to stay, but don't always have a formal dx yet.

Regarding the FP EM fellowships and alternate board certification, although they are not abem recognized, many ER directors will consider these folks for positions. A lot of rural facilities post jobs for EM residency trained OR primary care boarded with significant em experience.

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I don't think I would be a PA if I had a re-do opportunity. I would probably be an engineer or do something with computers. Maybe healthcare admin.

If I did the PA route over, I would not change my school. I graduated with no student loans thanks to it being a public school and my GI Bill/Illinois military scholarship.

 

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On 11/13/2018 at 3:24 PM, EMEDPA said:

If I had to do life over again I would go to med school.

If I had to do PA school again I would attend the same program, followed immediately by a residency. I like the PBL format for learning medicine. This was emphasized at my program. I could not have asked for better clinical rotations. no complaints there.

Why would you choose med school instead?

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9 minutes ago, PotentialPA7778 said:

Why would you choose med school instead?

autonomy, scope of practice, and respect. It is silly that at almost age 50 with almost 33 years working in emergency medicine some places require my charts to be signed by a 29 year old family medicine doctor with less than 6 months ER experience to make them legitimate. We need OTP and we need it now. 

https://www.aapa.org/advocacy-central/optimal-team-practice/

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