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PA as Career Shift or Initial Career?


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I feel like I'm seeing more and more current college students and recent grads on here, knowing that they want to pursue PA right out of the gate (which is awesome!)

I'm curious what the breakdown is of pre-PA folks here who are pursuing a career pivot to PA vs those who are pursuing PA as their first career (or whose PCE/HCE job was chosen specifically to meet PA school requirements)? 

(I've been a certified athletic trainer for 7 years and have had my sights set on PA for about 4 years --  had to spruce up the ol' GPA prior to applying -- this year is my first application cycle! I've absolutely loved being and ATC, and plan to keep my certification active as a PA, but have reached the point where I really want to be able to do more for my patients. I know, cliche... but true.)

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Based on what I see, a sizable majority of students come right from their undergrad. Some decided to be PAs late in their schooling. Still, there are a number of people who took other paths first. When I went through, we had a few ATCs in our class and they did well. I am a late-in-life PA (graduated at 60) so I can appreciate what that route is like.

Programs like diversity, which includes diversity in age and background as well as race and culture. There is nothing wrong -- and a lot right -- about being different: you can add a lot to your class and the profession.

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I am pursing PA as a second career.  I've been a clinical social worker in the medical field for 11 years so this is a career shift.  I currently have over 22,000 Patient Care/Healthcare hours.  Medicine is something I'm passionate about and wish to dive deeper into.  I'm in my mid 30s and do Not consider myself to be old.  Life is short, it's never too late to pursue a passion.

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