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paramedic asscoiates to 4 year for philosophy or EMS bachelors?


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Hello folks. I'm at a bit of a crossroads and could use some advice. I'm 21 year years old with very few credits. I'm at a community college taking A&P and a few other prereqs. I could be done with a paramedic associates by the spring after this one. My question is where should I transfer? My mom is an inrernist on a college campus so I have free tuition there. There are no health related degrees at this school, they do have a philosophy department though. I'd LOVE to major in philosophy after becoming a medic. I think the critical thinking skills, understanding of logic, ethics and language would only benefit me throughout my life. But none of the clinical courses in the paramedic AAS will transfer.

 

A couple of towns over there is a full fledge BS in EMS management at a very good school. Theres a transfer agreement with my CC so all the credits transfer. This major is more concrete providing more solid career paths. But, I must be frank, I'm not nearly as excited about the material. Sure it would be a great opportunity to network and develop a more 3 dimensional view of healthcare, but it is not and will never be as intellectually stimulating as a philosophy degree. This school also gives tuition reimbursement for state residents in this program. This means they pay your way but afterwards you owe the state a few years on a fire department (fine by me, I wanted to do the ff/medic thing before PA school.

 

Now as far as the school my mom works at, I need 30 more credits before I can transfer due to poor highschool performance. She also said that tomorrow is not promised, and that her clinic could be outsourced. There's no official word on that from her supervisors, but she said she wouldnt be surprised. Also the state tuition reimbursement at the other school could lose funding as well should the state crack down.

 

The thing is since I'm older, my family wants me to hurry up and finish so the EMS program sounds better. But at the same time I figure I'm going to be 30 either way, and that maybe one extra year of school wont kill me. I figured if I was 23 by the time I became a medic, and 26 before graduating with a philosophy degree, I could do the FF/medic things for 6 years or so then go to PA school. VS doing the EMS program and being done at 25.

 

Does this plan sound feasible to you guys? Am I being selfish, should I just streamline my education? Or should I take advantage of my youth and attempt to increase my intellectual prowess.

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This is what my older brother told me. The EMS program IS cool too, they have classes in epidemiology, search and rescue, CCEMTP, internships in shock trauma AND hopkins! Don't get me wrong it seems like an awesome experience and a good chance to network. I suppose I could just go to the library and read philosophy for fun, but I'm afraid I'll miss out on the discussions (arguing) with my classmates and professors.

 

I remember my first philosophy class. I always fancied myself as a sharp guy and good at arguing, but no matter how much I disagreed with my professor on a point I could never win. The thoroughness of his belief system and understanding of the english language made it damn near impossible to fault his beliefs no matter how right you thought you were. This really made an impression on me, I wanted to be sharp like he was. But judging by his car, clothes I think he was struggling tremendously financially, having gotten a PhD only to end up teaching at community colleges.

 

I'll admit I did not expect the answer you gave, and perhaps I should make the more "mature" decision to streamline my education so I can enter the work force more efficiently.

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Hey. I'm no expert whatsoever, but, friend to friend I'd say if money is an issue, go to your Mom's school of course. Otherwise, if you're into philosophy do that. I can feel your passion through your words. If you do what you love, you won't regret it. You'll find a way to make it work! And kudos for having the courage to follow your dreams!

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Here's my $0.02... I'm a critical care paramedic (now PA student) who grew up in an EMS/FF family. I went to college straight out of HS and got my EMT cert during that time. I ended up graduating with a degree in philosophy and then going to paramedic school.

 

In my opinion, EMS degrees are pointless unless you truly have no other interests and 'need' a degree for career advancement. Some of the programs out there may have some good courses, but many of them are pretty useless for both day to day operations and for future career advancement. If your goals involve long term work in EMS management, look for some sort of not-for-profit business degree instead. If you want to work as a paramedic (and maybe go to PA school), major in something that interests you and gives you the flexibility to take the PA school prereqs.

 

If you want to major in philosophy, go for it. It's a really fun, diverse, and interesting field. Just don't get sucked into studying just the historical stuff. If you really want to make yourself the best prepared for a career in healthcare, focus your philosphy studies on ethics and epistemology (EBM is basically epistemology). Not only will you stand out among a sea of 22yo bio majors, but you will have critical thinking and analyitical skills far beyond some of your future faculty and SPs.

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During my PA school interview I was asked to talk about the most influential course I took during my undergrad. I wasn't prepared for that question and for a few seconds I floundered around talking about some biology courses. I could tell the interview people weren't really interested, as I'm sure I sounded very generic. I paused and then remembered the two philosophy and ethics courses I took and realized how much I really enjoyed those classes and how that related directly to a career in medicine/healthcare in ways that biology courses do not. All of a sudden I saw the interview people eating up what I was saying. We got into a discussion about how important it is to understand the philosophical and ethical basis of concepts like informed consent, advance directives, decision-making capacity, and delegated decision-making authority. I found out that week I was accepted into the program.

 

On a side note, during PA school we had an opportunity to take other masters level courses for reduced tuition offered by the university. Another student and I took an extra healthcare ethics course that was offered as part of the affiliated medical school's masters in healthcare ethics degree program. It was awesome. We considered doing that masters part-time (ended up not doing it, but maybe in the future.) So what I'm trying to say is there is always options for learning about philosophy and ethics, especially in the healthcare field, so to the OP, you don't have to stress about doing it now if there are financial or other reasons for going another route for your bachelor's.

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Guest carolanimal

I would go with the philosophy degree for your own self realization and satisfaction. Can you work as a EMT while finishing the BS in philosophy? Educational attainment shouldn't ALL be about vocation. Study what interests you.

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