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Why did you choose PA?


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Ex corpsman, worked in civilian medical field for over 10 years after and wanted to move up. Was in mid 30's and had little kids at the time so med school made no fiscal or timely sense. Oh yeah and Ochem. Lol

 

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 EDIT REASON: fat thumbs. Meant 10 years not 20 lol.

 

 

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24 minutes ago, Joelseff said:

Ex corpsman, worked in civilian medical field for over 20 years after and wanted to move up. Was in mid 30's and had little kids at the time so med school made no fiscal or timely sense. Oh yeah and Ochem. Lol

 

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I knew I couldn't be the only one...

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I thought being a PA would be a good balance of what I liked about medicine (the science, diagnosing and treating patients) without some of the (in my view) negative aspects like the heavier focus on research. Another large factor for me was money, unfortunately; I'm using VA benefits to pay for PA school, and I didn't think they'd cover medical school (not sure if this was the right call, but it'll be nice graduating with very low student loan debt). I was also a little older when I began this journey (started PA school at 31), so age did play a part in my decision. 

I'm still a second year PA student, and while I don't regret my decision, I am also one of those who are on the fence about whether I should have went to medical school; I had the grades for it and completed all the med school prereqs (except physics) while preparing for PA school, so I do wonder sometimes if I made the right call. I haven't completely ruled out med school yet either, though it's not likely. 

I plan on doing a residency and giving this PA thing the best shot I can. Overall, I think being a PA is a great career, and I'm hopeful that I can find a niche that I'll be satisfied in. 

Edited by ProSpectre
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Honestly wasn’t sure if medicine was for me. Definitely had the grades and test scores but didn’t  want to spend the time and money on Med school given my uncertainty; so I hedged and went to PA school. PA offers me A good living and a nice schedule. Only I regret I have is going into medicine unfortunately. Glad I didnt figure that out after spending 8 years and 250k on Med school. 

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For a long time I'd been interested in being an NP but I had no desire to be an RN first. Didn't even know PAs existed. Then I did a year with AmeriCorps at a community health center and worked closely with PAs there and realized that was what I'd been looking for. I wanted a job where I could make a meaningful difference in peoples' lives and make good money. Hadn't ever really wanted to be a doc as I had a hard time imagining committing to a specialty, and then by the time I understood more about residency and how med education worked I was in my late twenties and was worried about the time investment.

I like what I do and I got all the things out of it that I wanted- the ability to effect positive change, make good money, and my schedule is awesome. However there is still a part of me that asks whether or not this was the right choice, not because I don't like medicine, but because I want to know more and be able to do more independently. A certain amount of this will come with time. I also hope to be able to go back for a PA residency at some point. But I do wonder sometimes if it would be worth it to go back for a bridge or accelerated med program.

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On 11/26/2018 at 2:38 AM, PAinPenna said:

I had to take O Chem for PA school 

 

it was not required in 1990 at 50 of the 52 PA programs. If it had been I would be a physician today. As a paramedic with a prior BS I needed no extra classes to get into PA school. For medschool I would have needed ochem, biochem, physics, and the mcat. In 2000-2002 I took a year of physics, genetics, and stats in preparation for applying then my wife lost her job, etc. life happens. I could still do the lecom bridge and would only need to take a single online ochem course without lab to meet the requirement at this point, but I will be 50 in a few months, kids are about to start college, etc, so pretty darn unlikely....the hardest part of medschool is getting in. Honestly if I was looking at PA vs MD/DO today with the prereqs basically being the same I would never consider PA. 

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I’m in that “I hedged my bets because I was unsure how much I would love medicine”. I was wrong because I turned into one of those live and breath medicine folks whos always studying and obessed with learning. If I could go back in time I’d probably do medical school as I was only 24 when I started with no true medical experience. However it’s hard to argue with where PA school has taken me. I’ve been able to practice as a hospitalist PA for a year, done very well now I’m getting ready to start as a nocturnist PA with an open ICU and code responsibility, salary package worth 130k a year after one year of experience and 30 minutes outside a major city in an area I want to live. 

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On 11/26/2018 at 6:32 AM, MT2PA said:

Thought I was too old for med school (28) and that the debt would be crippling.  I was wrong on both accounts.  Here's another 'should have gone to med school'.

Just to re-frame this a little. You and others *imagine* you would be better off if you went to med school. Remember you can't actually know this. In reality there's a very good chance that you would have roughly the same level of satisfaction in your life as you currently do, however counter-intuitive that seems. The "What ifs" don't magically disappear when you make certain life decisions over others.

 

This probably came off as trite, but it is an important fact to remind ourselves. There are infinite variables that we simply can't account for when we make any decision. All we can do is our best in the moment and re-assess our course in life in the next moment. Continually telling yourself you "should have gone to med school" is a thought that provides nothing for you except making your life more miserable. If you want to change careers now then do that, but beating yourself up for not achieving an entirely imagined, fictional, alternative life just makes the life your actually living worse.

Edited by GapLustrum
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7 hours ago, GapLustrum said:

Just to re-frame this a little. You and others *imagine* you would be better off if you went to med school. Remember you can't actually know this. In reality there's a very good chance that you would have roughly the same level of satisfaction in your life as you currently do, however counter-intuitive that seems. The "What ifs" don't magically disappear when you make certain life decisions over others.

 

This probably came off as trite, but it is an important fact to remind ourselves. There are infinite variables that we simply can't account for when we make any decision. All we can do is our best in the moment and re-assess our course in life in the next moment. Continually telling yourself you "should have gone to med school" is a thought that provides nothing for you except making your life more miserable. If you want to change careers now then do that, but beating yourself up for not achieving an entirely imagined, fictional, alternative life just makes the life your actually living worse.

I'm not miserable nor am I beating myself up.  I don't get the impression folks like EMEDPA are either.  There's not time for that.  Sure there probably are people who let that get them down.

I'm just saying if I knew then what I know now and had a crystal ball to see the future, I would have gone to med school.  That's not to say it's for everyone or that everyone feels that way but I, personally, looking at tangible factors, would have probably preferred that route.  FWIW if my class were to pick a 'most likely to go to med school after PA school' I'm probably at the top of the list.  And it's not off the table...but the debt from PA school won't allow for that right now.

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I'm not miserable nor am I beating myself up.  I don't get the impression folks like EMEDPA are either.  There's not time for that.  Sure there probably are people who let that get them down.
I'm just saying if I knew then what I know now and had a crystal ball to see the future, I would have gone to med school.  That's not to say it's for everyone or that everyone feels that way but I, personally, looking at tangible factors, would have probably preferred that route.  FWIW if my class were to pick a 'most likely to go to med school after PA school' I'm probably at the top of the list.  And it's not off the table...but the debt from PA school won't allow for that right now.
This

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