Jump to content

Getting cold feet about starting PA school


Recommended Posts

Hi all, 

I have seen many times on this forum where practicing PAs express regret over not attending medical school. I went back and forth during undergrad before settling on PA. I have been fortunate enough to receive interviews at 5/7 schools I applied to, declined several with 2 acceptances and one more interview on the way. 

I have recently had the feeling creep up that I am selling myself short. And I don’t mean to disparage the profession in any way, but I find myself feeling jealous of a few people I know that are in medical school. I’m not sure if I’m just overthinking things since I still have about 8 more months before my program starts. 

My rationale for choosing PA was a desire to be in medicine, but I also hoped to maintain a bit more of an outside life. I am one prereq and the MCAT short of being able to apply. I am 24, single, no kids. I know ultimately the choice is mine, but I would be curious to hear some thoughts if anyone has an opinion. 

Thank you! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wouldn’t characterize what you feel as “cold feet” since you don’t appear to be worrying that it’s more than you can handle. Rather it’s “Am I on the right path?”

As an adult, I’ve found it to be excruciatingly easy to get off-course and it often begins by ignoring little signals like you might be having.

No one can tell you what you should do with your life. You have time to change your mind. What I recommend is to revisit the med school option. Talk with some med students and residents. Imagine yourself in their situations. Take another look on your earlier decision, but with new input.

You may eventually decide to go ahead with PA school or not, but you will have honored your inner voice. Never ever lose that!


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  • Like 2
  • Upvote 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Are you wavering between pa and renting beach chairs?  Because I would go with beach chairs, myself.  

In all honesty, are you scared about making a choice that will haunt you the rest of your life, like a tattoo?  Because life is like that.  Whatever you choose, no matter how many hours, weeks, months, years, or lifetimes you ponder, you will forever wonder if you made the right choice.  

The real thing to know is that no matter what you choose, you will end up the same as everyone else- on a long enough scale, the life expectancy for everyone drops to zero.  The only thing we leave behind is the memories of the world we changed and the lives we touched.  The ability to do that should be your guide.

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

51 minutes ago, UGoLong said:

I wouldn’t characterize what you feel as “cold feet” since you don’t appear to be worrying that it’s more than you can handle. Rather it’s “Am I on the right path?”

As an adult, I’ve found it to be excruciatingly easy to get off-course and it often begins by ignoring little signals like you might be having.

No one can tell you what you should do with your life. You have time to change your mind. What I recommend is to revisit the med school option. Talk with some med students and residents. Imagine yourself in their situations. Take another look on your earlier decision, but with new input.

You may eventually decide to go ahead with PA school or not, but you will have honored your inner voice. Never ever lose that!


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

I really appreciate this response. Thank you so much! 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well tbh you don't even know if you could go to med school yet, especially depending on what you're thinking for specialty... If you're seriously considering it then I would advise you to take the prerequisite, take the MCAT, and apply. In the meantime you will probably have to defer PA school for a year, which will give you time to gain shadowing hours and see if you can discover which one you really want to pursue...

Either way you will have a good job. 
Just my .02

Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 minutes ago, JOhnny888 said:

Well tbh you don't even know if you could go to med school yet, especially depending on what you're thinking for specialty... If you're seriously considering it then I would advise you to take the prerequisite, take the MCAT, and apply.

I think it’s also important to consider is are you a competitive MD/DO candidate. Generally from what I have I have seen a competitive PA candidate is usually on par with a DO candidate in terms of GPA. When do you start PA school? Cause ideally could study for the MCAT the next three months and see if you’re score is competitive. You can apply without completing all prereqs.

 

My stance is pretty obvious. Either way you’ll have a great career. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

25 minutes ago, JOhnny888 said:

Well tbh you don't even know if you could go to med school yet, especially depending on what you're thinking for specialty... If you're seriously considering it then I would advise you to take the prerequisite, take the MCAT, and apply. In the meantime you will probably have to defer PA school for a year, which will give you time to gain shadowing hours and see if you can discover which one you really want to pursue...

Either way you will have a good job. 
Just my .02

I know that doing well with my PA applications doesn’t mean anything in terms of applying to medical school. The MCAT is a huge unknown for sure. I know that I could apply and not get in, which is it’s own issue. 

 

8 minutes ago, PAsPreMed said:

I think it’s also important to consider is are you a competitive MD/DO candidate. Generally from what I have I have seen a competitive PA candidate is usually on par with a DO candidate in terms of GPA. When do you start PA school? Cause ideally could study for the MCAT the next three months and see if you’re score is competitive. You can apply without completing all prereqs.

 

My stance is pretty obvious. Either way you’ll have a great career. 

Cumulative GPA and sGPA are both a 3.78. BCP GPA is a 3.65. The MCAT also plays a large role though. I start PA school in August. 

 

I really do appreciate all the responses. I know my situation isn’t all that unique, but it’s always helpful to hear from those older/more experienced than myself. At 24 and six months into working my first job ever (I was a student athlete in college which probably left less than enough time to figure out life) I appreciate the insight. 

Edited by lctexas4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, lctexas4 said:

I know that doing well with my PA applications doesn’t mean anything in terms of applying to medical school. The MCAT is a huge unknown for sure. I know that I could apply and not get in, which is it’s own issue. 

 

Cumulative GPA and sGPA are both a 3.78. BCP GPA is a 3.65. The MCAT also plays a large role though. I start PA school in August. 

 

I really do appreciate all the responses. I know my situation isn’t all that unique, but it’s always helpful to hear from those older/more experienced than myself. At 24 and six months into working my first job ever (I was a student athlete in college which probably left less than enough time to figure out life) I appreciate the insight. 

Oh study for the MCAT you have plenty of time. I started school at the same age as well. Didn’t take but 9 months before my entire mind set changed 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, brandonhughey said:

Tbh by the time you graduate from PA school I’m sure there will be plenty of PA-MD/OO Bridge programs available. I mean don’t go into PA school planning to become an MD after, but the option will still always be there. 

One can hope.

But too much money to be lost in abridged medical school. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Administrator
2 hours ago, JOhnny888 said:

Well tbh you don't even know if you could go to med school yet, especially depending on what you're thinking for specialty...

I disagree.  PA school has gotten so much more competitive, the admission standards have been raised so much that yes, if you can get into PA school, you probably can get into MD school, and almost certainly into DO school.  There may be some element of PA school drawing away med school applicants with a promise of a shorter path to practice, too, but I don't have any data to quantify that.

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderator
2 hours ago, brandonhughey said:

Tbh by the time you graduate from PA school I’m sure there will be plenty of PA-MD/OO Bridge programs available. I mean don’t go into PA school planning to become an MD after, but the option will still always be there. 

I know of only 1 and no serious proposals for others, so don't think we will have any in the next few years at this point.

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, rev ronin said:

I disagree.  PA school has gotten so much more competitive, the admission standards have been raised so much that yes, if you can get into PA school, you probably can get into MD school, and almost certainly into DO school.  There may be some element of PA school drawing away med school applicants with a promise of a shorter path to practice, too, but I don't have any data to quantify that.

My point wasn't to say they can't get in, it was simply to say that you don't know until you know... there are plenty of applicants every year who are qualified yet still do't get in. Especially on the MD side, which matters for specialty choice quite a bit. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's a dice roll and after 25 years I'm not convinced that our profession has the numbers, money, lobbying power to go against both the AMA and Nurse Practitioner lobby.  If it was me and single I would at the very least take the MCAT.  If I did well enough to get in, I would go doc.  Counting on some increase in bridge programs popping up in the future is a pipe dream.

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's a dice roll and after 25 years I'm not convinced that our profession has the numbers, money, lobbying power to go against both the AMA and Nurse Practitioner lobby.  If it was me and single I would at the very least take the MCAT.  If I did well enough to get in, I would go doc.  Counting on some increase in bridge programs popping up in the future is a pipe dream.


After 35+ years I’ll say for certain that we don’t. I’ve already seconded EMEDPA’s well known opinion.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • 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