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Former pre-med, needs advice year after college

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Hey everybody,


Probably not the most original post but here it goes - after a few years on the pre-med path I am starting to seriously consider PA school. I graduated undergrad last May with a decent GPA ~ 3.5, took the MCAT last January and got a 27. At that time I felt DO school was the right choice for me but within the last two weeks my doubts have accumulated to the point where I am now posting on this forum.


I work as a medical scribe in an ER and seeing the PAs in action has inspired me. I like the position of working with doctors in that setting without necessarily seeing myself as a doctor. Not to mention the sacrifice of becoming a doctor honestly scares me. I know a fellow scribe who got into a PA/MPH program at Arcadia University, which happens accept the MCAT, encourage rotations abroad (which highly interests me), and is conveniently located in where my family is. I also like the idea of earning a second degree in case I get tired of clinical work. Also, she claims that with the help of my boss, my hours a medical scribe (technically not patient care hours) were accepted by Arcadia.


The only thing that bugs me about the PA programs are that I have to take additional bio classes included anatomy, physiology, and micro. I know in the Philly area, this probably isn't a big deal, but if there is any way of bypassing any of these requirements, or any other schools with less strict requirements, I would be very interested. If not, where would be the best place to take these classes? I'm also wondering if I should take the GRE anyway, and if it is an issue if I ask a doctor for a recommendation instead of a PA (I don't work directly with PAs). Lastly are there any unexpected downsides of doing a dual degree program?


Yeah, I'm all over the place but any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Edited by matbar1989
whoops - something happened to my last paragraph
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You do have lots of questions! It is not uncommon to get cold feet when you are planning a major life change. Before your veer off of your course to be a DO, be sure.


I can't imagine that there is a program anywhere that will let you in without the basics. That also makes me wonder how you got through a good premed program without most of the same classes. Dodging the basics is not a good idea, even if you could get away with it. You can take almost all of them in most decent community colleges.


It's time for you to meet and shadow some PAs before you change course. Most jobs look different from the inside and you should take the time to find out what a PA's life is really like.


None of the schools I considered needed a recommendation from a PA. The bigger issue is that you don't yet know a PA very well and you probably should.


Everyone started somewhere and wondered what they were supposed to do with their lives. Don't fret about being in that place yourself. Just do your homework to avoid wasting years of your life.


Good luck!

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go to DO school. you will have one hard yr (ms1) and then be coasting until you hit residency where you will have 1 hard yr(internship) followed by years of happiness and no self doubt.

many PAs in your position 5 yrs after graduation hit the typical pa glass ceiling and hate themselves for taking the easy way out.

go to medschool.

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