I Pre-Pa majoring in cell and molecular biology. My school offers an online course in medical terminology over the summer and I'm considering taking it (the course is not required for my degree). In your experience, is this a useful course and is it worth taking?
Thank you for any advice!
Hello, everyone. I know it may seem like this would be a bit of a biased place to ask for an opinion on this, but this forum seems really open-minded and overall really respectful with people asking these sort of questions compared to *cough* SDN *cough* other websites. I'm in a bit of a dilemma and I know ultimately this is only a choice I can make myself, but I'd like to get some opinions from others who are ahead of me on their medical journies as a little guidance.
I'm 29 years old and a graduate of Arizona State University, where I majored in Biological Sciences with a minor in Psychology. I always wanted to go the PA route, but the closer I am to finishing my undergrad, the more I'm concerned about possibly regretting the decision to not go ahead and commit to becoming a doctor. One of my biggest concerns with med schools is that I completed my degree online, although I did all my science labs in-person by flying out to the ASU campus. Long story short, I still think I have a good chance at med schools that accept online credits, but I'm unsure if it's what I should do. A quick rundown of my stats:
- Non-traditional, white male, 29 years old
- 3.91 GPA, 3.85 sGPA
- 510 MCAT
- 650+ hours volunteering for a suicidal hotline company. 200+ volunteer hours as a phlebotomist (mostly school blood donating events), and donated $2,000+ in crowd-funded scholarships to students throughout the state with a small company I started in 2015.
- 3,000+ hours as a Certified Surgical Technician at an orthopedic surgery center
- Strong LOR's from 2 orthopedic surgeons, a CRNA, a very well-respected professor, and 2 more from my volunteer coaches
- 40 hours shadowing an Anesthesiologist and CRNA
I feel as if I'm a strong candidate for med school and PA programs, but I'm older. I'm 29 now. I used to work in construction, then aviation, and even ended up leaving a Fortune 500 company (that paid extremely well) to pursue a career in medicine. I made a lot of sacrifices, but it was all worth it. I love my patients and couldn't imagine myself doing anything else in life.
I also want to marry my long-time girlfriend. She's 25, so by the time I'm actually a doctor, she would be around 33. I graduated high school with a 2.3 GPA, suffered from depression for years, considered suicide many times, etc. I went through a lot (as I'm sure a lot of people have) and another one of my main goals is to write books about my experiences and to help motivate others. If I can graduate high school with a 2.3 and go on to become a doctor, I think it would be an awesome story in terms of my writings and would help a lot of people, outside from my patients.
With all this being said, I think the career of being a PA will still satisfy my wants to help people in medicine. My biggest concern so far is that I'd regret not going to med school, but I hear a lot of horror stories about divorces, not being able to see your kids as much when they're younger, residency stories, and etc. The debt is also a big concern, because I would be 37-ish before I could really start paying my loans off. I don't know if it's worth it for me and my age, although I'm not that old. I just want to ask openly - if you were in my shoes, what would you do personally? I know everyone is different, but I'm just looking for some insights from different perspectives. Thanks for the read and sorry to type out so much.
I will be starting PA school in January and was looking for guidance about what path I should take to achieve my goals. If I could start over I might have chosen a different route to get to this point but I graduated with a Bachelors of Biology from Ohio State, went on to gain my patient care experience as a CNA, and applied for PA school. I really want to do something with babies so I am looking at Women's Health/OBGYN.
What is the best path to take to get a job working closely with delivery and babies? I know PA's are up and coming and at least in NC are not often hired in most fields working with infants. Finding a Neonatal PA job is like finding a needle in a haystack. Heck even a neonatal PA residency is few and far between. And I am considering labor and delivery but after working nights in the hospital, I like more of the clinic setting. Plus I have never shadowed in L&D so I am not sure what the job specifically entails from the provider standpoint. So that left me considering a Women's Health Clinic. I shadowed a PA in one of these clinics and I loved it but after some research it does not seem there is much opportunity in clinics for OBGYN PA's and most clinics prefer NP's.
So I wanted to ask some PAs who are currently out in the workforce and have wanted to work with newborns what their experience was like, how they found the position, and what they did to get there. What would be the best way to make myself competitive for an OBGYN PA provider position and what is the best way to find job openings in that field? Should I seek out an OBGYN residency after school or should I focus on real world job experience doing something that maybe doesn't interest me as much to gain work experience? Are there other possible careers I am forgetting about that will allow me to practice as a PA and work with infants/delivery?
I am also strongly considering pediatrics as another option which seems to be much more readily available to PAs but I have always been fascinated with the reproductive system so I appreciate the gynecological portion of women's health as much as I love obstetrics. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! I do not want to end up in the same position I did immediately after college where think about what I should have done differently if I could start over. I want to do it right the first time so I do not struggle to get into a field I love because I don't have a crucial experience in my toolbox.
Any help is greatly appreciated!