Sep 29, 2010
18
0
MAINE, ew.
Status
Pre-Medical
So since I've decided against MD, and RN, and I'm going with PA, I just have a few questions.

1) I go back to school full time September of 2011. I'm going for a Bachelor's in Biology. Is a bachelor's degree not good enough if you want to become a Physician Assistant? Would I have to go for my Master's?

2) Do PA's work harder than MD's, or about the same? Or do they work less than MD's? Would it depend on how busy the hospital is?

3) I plan on attending UNECOM, an osteopathic med school, because they have a great PA program there. And because it's the only med school in the state of Maine (lol). Because the med school is osteopathic, is there a difference between PA ceritification at an osteopathic med school as opposed to an allopathic med school?

4) Is it a given that PA's can assist in surgeries, or do you have to "specialize in surgery" first? Also, if surgery is in fact a specialty, can I have more than one specialty? I'm very interested in OB.

5) Do PA's take the MCAT's before applying to a PA program?

6) Would I be better off shadowing a physician, or a physician assistant?

7) Is it too early to ask a PA or an MD whether or not I can shadow them? Since I'm not *yet* in school (though I've all ready been admitted, two years ago I had all ready been accepted, I took one class and dropped it because I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life yet). There are several physician assistants at the local hospital that specialize in surgery. Since I'm pre-pre-PA[get it?] (I'm not sure if you're considered pre-med if you want to be a PA), would it be weird to ask?

8) Does volunteer work count as clinical experience? I was planning on going for EMT certification, maybe in January if EMCC is still accepting applicants.

9) Do PA's take the MCAT's or a different test?

10) Is PA-C more "family friendly?" I have a daughter. I do plan on having more children eventually, I just thought it would be much smarter to have a career established before doing so. Plus, I don't want to miss out on my daughter growing up.

11) I do plan on attending med school, once my babie(s) are all grown up. Probably around my late thirties, and I'm all ready certain that I want to become an obstetrician. Should I take the MCAT's after receiving my bachelor's in biology?

12) Can someone give me the basic timeline in order to become a PA?

13) Can someone also give me advice? Tips? Anything else I should know?

Depending on the responses I get depends on how I'm going to go about doing this.

Thanks :)
 

emedpa

GlobalDoc
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Aug 25, 2001
6,014
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Taking an Away team....
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Post Doc
11) i do plan on attending med school, once my babie(s) are all grown up. Probably around my late thirties, and i'm all ready certain that i want to become an obstetrician. Should i take the mcat's after receiving my bachelor's in biology?


Depending on the responses i get depends on how i'm going to go about doing this.

Thanks :)
given #11 above you should just go to medschool now....it's too hard to do after working as a pa and getting comfortable with that life. Imagine going from making 100k+/yr back to being a student and incurring lots of debt when you currently have none....
For anything pa related don't ask at sdn.
Go to www.physicianassistantforum.com
 
Sep 4, 2010
54
0
Status
Other Health Professions Student
1) I go back to school full time September of 2011. I'm going for a Bachelor's in Biology. Is a bachelor's degree not good enough if you want to become a Physician Assistant? Would I have to go for my Master's?
It would be preferable for you to do a Masters degree PA training program. Employers are starting to show a preference.
3) I plan on attending UNECOM, an osteopathic med school...is there a difference between PA ceritification at an osteopathic med school as opposed to an allopathic med school?
PA programs are allopathic. As such, the PA program offered at UNE is not offered by the college of osteopathic medicine. Instead, it's offered by the college of health professions. Don't worry. As long as you go to an accredited PA program, you'll be eligible for the same certification as everyone else.

4) Is it a given that PA's can assist in surgeries, or do you have to "specialize in surgery" first? Also, if surgery is in fact a specialty, can I have more than one specialty? I'm very interested in OB.
Additional training is required before you can first assist as a PA. Going to a PA program which offers multiple elective rotations is a good way to get more surgical exposure and training, which in turn may lead to a higher likelihood of getting a job in surgery after school.

PAs can work in multiple specialties at one time, provided they have a supervisor for each specialty.

10) Is PA-C more "family friendly?" I have a daughter...
Depends. Surgery is not considered a very family friendly field. Family medicine and pediatrics at a private practice is more likely to be family friendly.


5) Do PA's take the MCAT's before applying to a PA program?
PA students generally take the GRE. MCAT isn't required.

8) Does volunteer work count as clinical experience? I was planning on going for EMT certification, maybe in January if EMCC is still accepting applicants.
The preference by many admissions committees is for paid clinical experience.

11) I do plan on attending med school, once my babie(s) are all grown up. Probably around my late thirties, and I'm [already] certain that I want to become an obstetrician. Should I take the MCAT's after receiving my bachelor's in biology?
THEN DO NOT GO TO PA SCHOOL! go directly to med school.

(MCAT scores are only good for a fixed amount of time. If you took the MCAT now, you'd probably have to retake it again later).

12) Can someone give me the basic timeline in order to become a PA?
In general, for a masters degree: 4 years of undergrad + 1 year paid clinical work experience + 2 year PA school = 7 years.
 

lapelirroja

Physician Assistant
10+ Year Member
Jan 26, 2008
161
0
MA
Status
Non-Student
Don't go to PA school. Apply to med school and get it over with.