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Hello everyone, I am looking for some insight (please move if this is the wrong place to post). I am currently a pre-PA, beginning physician assistant school in June at my dream school. My husband is an attorney, he's a very intelligent man but extremely unhappy in his career. He originally wanted to become a doctor but did not do well in chemistry in undergrad so he convinced himself that he was not smart enough for medicine, which is absolutely untrue. I know that he loves medicine and reads about it often, but he feels very stuck as a lawyer. I myself am in love with the PA profession and am so excited to start school. I truly believe he would be much happier in medicine based on what he has said, but I know he has no desire to go to school again at this point again for such an extensive education as MD/DO after law schools and years in practice. I was wondering if anyone had any insight to offer on whether transitioning from law to PA is a sensible consideration, either from personal experience or just your own thoughts on the matter. Thanks for weighing in 🙂

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There are many of us on this forum who became PA's after careers in other fields.  I don't know of any who were attorneys.  UGoLong was an engineer.  I did corporate IT, then worked as a firefighter/paramedic and part-time university professor as a transition career.  But, you are asking in the right place.  Some things to think about (you may well know all of them from your experience):

  • The undergrad preparation for PA school and med school are the same.  When I was doing it, pre-PA required more A&P, because the 1st year of med school includes all that.
  • Neither PA or med schools care what your undergrad degree is in, just whether you have the pre-reqs and have good grades.
  • The pre-reqs can be done on a part-time basis.  Depending upon your husband's work, that might be an option if he's interested.
  • 2.5 - 3 years of PA school and job hunting vs. 7+ for med school and residency and both the associated costs and lost income from your current work need to be counter-balanced with the increased responsibility and significantly increased income from being a doc.  The differential is less in primary care; in my field, EM, docs make 2.5-3x per hour what a PA makes; in specialties that multiplier is even more.

I won't presume to say what's best for your family, only that it can be done if you want it bad enough to make the necessary trade-offs.

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I had a classmate who was a lawyer. he wanted to both work part time as a PA and understand medicine better so that he could do malpractice defense. He kept his practice open during PA school for easy stuff like no contest divorces, etc

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