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RussAllen

Residency VS Doctorates

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Hello All,

I would like to talk about post masters education and weigh the pros and cons. I was recently accepted into a PA a program but the hungry student in me is already thinking about education after PA school. Personally, I am fascinated with all facets of medicine, and I would like to dabble into as many specialties as possible. That said, I am intrigued with the type of exposure I might gain in a residency, but I appreciate the types of opportunities I might receive with a doctorates. I have a strong desire to teach later on in life (age now 26) and a doctorates might be the best option for that. In my opinion, a residency is great for people that want to work in the same area of medicine for their entire professional career. I also believe a residency is detrimental to the physician assistant profession. If a residency is the desired outcome, then why not apply to medical school and become an MD instead. One of the beauties of the PA profession is the lateral mobility and being able to work in multiple specialties. I appreciate the input from everyone!        

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quite honestly lateral mobility is going away. it gets harder to change specialties every year. My recommendation for everyone graduating today is get the trifecta: residency/doctorate/CAQ. If you do one of the more generalist residencies like hospitalist or primary care that has applicability to any field in medicine, so your lateral mobility wishes still remain intact.

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8 hours ago, EMEDPA said:

quite honestly lateral mobility is going away. it gets harder to change specialties every year. My recommendation for everyone graduating today is get the trifecta: residency/doctorate/CAQ. If you do one of the more generalist residencies like hospitalist or primary care that has applicability to any field in medicine, so your lateral mobility wishes still remain intact.

This is exactly the type of insight I was looking for! Thank you so much! I found a few internal medicine residencies but they look ultra competitive. How can I maximize my candidacy when the time comes? Grades? LORs? 

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I think for an early career PA, doing one of the established residencies/fellowships will pay off more in the short term than a doctorate since it will actually increase your exposure to managing sick patients while improving your clinical acumen. You can always work on a doctorate (like the DMSc or DHSc) over the next few years while you work and make money; Lynchburg's DMSc will actually take completion of some residencies into account as well, which is a win-win (here's hoping other programs take note of this model and expand on it). 

I don't think residencies will be an absolute requirement for PAs for the foreseeable future (there simply aren't nearly enough of them right now), but for the astute new grad, I definitely think it's the way to go. I plan on doing both eventually, but my focus will be on getting into a residency as a new grad, and the doctorate will be done when the time is right. 

 

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I agree this ProSpectre's point. I looked at and thought about both, but I felt that I wanted my clinical skills to grow first, so I did residency right out of school. Someday I may pursue a doctorate, but I want to feel like I have a real clinical practice established before I choose a doctoral focus.

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23 hours ago, CSCH said:

I agree this ProSpectre's point. I looked at and thought about both, but I felt that I wanted my clinical skills to grow first, so I did residency right out of school. Someday I may pursue a doctorate, but I want to feel like I have a real clinical practice established before I choose a doctoral focus.

Many employers require their PAs to have at least one year of experience before applying (especially surgical specialties). Does a residency count as a year of experience or is it more of an educational experience in their eyes? Thanks! 

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On 12/17/2018 at 4:20 AM, RussAllen said:

This is exactly the type of insight I was looking for! Thank you so much! I found a few internal medicine residencies but they look ultra competitive. How can I maximize my candidacy when the time comes? Grades? LORs? 

These aren't as competitive as they come across, at least relatively speaking compared to getting into PA school. If you apply broadly with a good GPA and LOR, you'll get in somewhere. 

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On 12/16/2018 at 8:08 PM, EMEDPA said:

quite honestly lateral mobility is going away. it gets harder to change specialties every year. My recommendation for everyone graduating today is get the trifecta: residency/doctorate/CAQ. If you do one of the more generalist residencies like hospitalist or primary care that has applicability to any field in medicine, so your lateral mobility wishes still remain intact.

For the purpose of maintaining lateral mobility,  would you consider emergency medicine to be more "generalist"? 

Also, why do you recommend a doctorate? 

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Residencies are not hard to get in. If you have GPA 3.0, decent letter of recommendations, and past your boards you will get in. 

I have both Residency and doctorate degree on my resume. 

Residency is great for someone that wants to learn more quickly with a little more organized teaching.  Some employers will not count residency as "years" of experience."  Depends who you talk to, most people are against residency training. 

Doctorate degree will only help you managerially at this point. 

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On 8/1/2019 at 6:05 AM, virtuous woman said:

For the purpose of maintaining lateral mobility,  would you consider emergency medicine to be more "generalist"? 

Also, why do you recommend a doctorate? 

I know you weren’t asking me, but emergency medicine is very generalist as we deal with the most exciting 15 minutes of every specialty. It does have a slant toward the acute and lacking in the preventative medicine aspect.

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On 8/11/2019 at 8:18 AM, mikespa12 said:

Residencies are not hard to get in. If you have GPA 3.0, decent letter of recommendations, and past your boards you will get in. 

I have both Residency and doctorate degree on my resume. 

Residency is great for someone that wants to learn more quickly with a little more organized teaching.  Some employers will not count residency as "years" of experience."  Depends who you talk to, most people are against residency training. 

Doctorate degree will only help you managerially at this point. 

Just to add, not every residency would take someone with a 3.0. I’m sure if they apply very broadly one could, but there are many I know that would pass on 3.0. I do agree they aren’t as competitive as one would think

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15 hours ago, LT_Oneal_PAC said:

I know you weren’t asking me, but emergency medicine is very generalist as deal with the most exciting 15 minutes of every specialty. It does have a slant toward the acute and lacking in the preventative medicine aspect.

Thank you for the insight @LT_Oneal_PAC. I, too, am considering which type of  residency might be best for me personally. I am most interested in preserving lateral mobility. I have to be, considering I'm in a NP-loving state, but I also want to be, as I generally believe it's important to be prepared for the unexpected. I could see an emergency medicine residency being beneficial for exposure to every specialty, but also for the ability to keep calm in an acute situation (and for the ability to be prepared for the unexpected!) . While I think one can study to refresh his/her knowledge of preventative medicine, I would imagine that there is no way that one can learn from a textbook to think rationally in an emergency situation.

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