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anyone recommend being a PA then applying to MD?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by asdasd12345, Apr 23, 2004.

  1. asdasd12345

    asdasd12345 Membership Revoked
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    or is this just a waste of time?
     
  2. southbelle

    southbelle Senior Member
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    If your goal is to be a physician then do what you need to do to get in an MD/DO school. This shouldn't include PA school and working as a PA, unless you want to spend the additional years doing it. So I'm not sure I really understand the question- It's almost like someone asking should they work as a pharmacy technician before teaching middle school.
     
  3. flighterdoc

    flighterdoc Rocket Scientist
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    It's not a waste of time, but it's not going to help you in medical school. You'll spend a year taking classes similar to those of the first year of medical school, then you'll spend another year retaking the classes. In the mean time, you will have spent about the same amount on tuition.

    If you want to be a PA, thats great! If you want to be a physician, thats great too. But, PA isn't necessarily a great accesssion pathway to physician.
     
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  4. curlycity

    curlycity Guest

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    Adcoms might feel like they're losing one medical professional to create another - they might not want to give you a spot since you would already have started a medical career. I've heard of people saying this about nurses going pre-med. But that's just hearsay. Why would you go PA instead of just going for MD in the first place? I've met people who had to apply to med school three times to get in. But in the meantime, they worked and paid off some student loans and improved their applications...if you went to PA school you would be possibly wasting a lot of time and money.

    You might want to talk to some PAs. Depending on what your life goals are, PA might just be the way to go for you - some of my friends are PAs and they're going to have a lot of autonomy providing care in underserved areas for example. But I think if you want to end up MD, you should go for that goal and show the adcoms that is the ONLY thing you want to do in life, even if you have to apply two or three times.

    Good luck!
     
  5. asdasd12345

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    southbelle, your opinions mean as much to me as a dirty roll of toilet paper. how can you even equate pharmacy and middle school teaching? ive read a lot of your posts, and you spout the same illogical BS all the time.
     
  6. Amy B

    Amy B I miss my son so much
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    If you think your chances of getting into med school aren't very good now, then perhaps PA is the way to go so you can at least have a good career to fall back on.

    If you have a good chance of getting into med school, then I would not advise wasting your time ( 2 1/2 years). A number of PA schools require a huge amount of clinical time before you can get in. Some require 1000 hours and some are lower than that, and some require more pre-reqs than med schools require.
     
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  7. southbelle

    southbelle Senior Member
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    well how can you equate being a PA and a physician? Sure they are both in the medical field, but they are different positions. If you want to be a school teacher you don't enroll in pharmacy school, and if you want to be a physician you don't enroll in PA school. Why would you consider doing PA if you want to practice medicine as a physician?
     
  8. efex101

    efex101 attending
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    I would pursue medicine and then *if* for some reason you are not accepted and if you do not mind not being "where the buck stops" then PA is an awesome alternative.
     
  9. skypilot

    skypilot 2K Member
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    Yeah, I know a PA who is glad he didn't spend 8 years in med school and residency. He is the assistant in heart surgeries and makes about 80k per year. But if you've got the time and the ambition, choose to go the long way via the MD route. PA might limit your career.
     
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  10. ad_sharp

    ad_sharp Senior Member
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    Here's my two pennies, and you can take them for whatever their worth........

    I've gone to school as an undergrad with three different PAs who wanted to turn physician and were taking some of the prereq courses. They all said that they wished that they had gone directly into medical school so they wouldn't have used so much time in another position. If you are at all competitive, and you know that you want to be a physician, try to go directly into it. Only go the PA route if you are content with being a PA--for good. There is nothing wrong with having a PA, but you should aim for your goal directly rather than hoping that things will "line up" for you later on. If PA is your goal, do it. If MD is your goal, do that.

    In addition, I think that two of the three are now in medical school, but I don't feel that their being a PA had a large enough impact on their admission to warrant the years spent receiving the degree and working in the field. I hope that everything works out well for you and good luck.
     
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  11. WyldeWolf1

    WyldeWolf1 Get your own!
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    My friends who went on to medical school after working as nurses or PAs all said they wished they had gone straight into medical school. Think about it: what advantage is being a PA or nurse to the application process? Answer: You've had clinical experience, decided you loved medicine, and want to move up the food chain a bit. The only other advantage is that it may make act as one of those "unique" qualities that helps adcoms remember your name.

    However, you can get those experiences and that appeal with much easier and less time/money-consuming methods. Work in a hospital as a tech. Set up clinics for migrant workers or in third-world countries. Set the world record for consecutive somersaults.

    Starting another career prior to medicine is like trying to become a movie star by painting sets. Yeah, it gets you into the movie industry. It may have even been done by someone you know. But wouldn't it be easier to start with acting classes instead?
     
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  12. wickliffe2

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    Bottom line is the PA profession is not meant to be a stepping stone for MDs and it shouldn't be viewed as such
     
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  13. flighterdoc

    flighterdoc Rocket Scientist
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    Sure, essentially they're repeating a significant portion of the BS years of med school, and have clinical experience.

    But, is that a good investment of their time? At least 2.5 years of PA school (plus whatever pre-req classes and clinical time), and then clinical time, then REPEAT a significant part of the training and clinical years in med school? I'm not sure, but I'd be suprised if any real med school would give credit for any of PA school - if I'm wrong that might change the equation. And, you'll pay for the priv? And when you're done, you go into a residency where you make just as much/little as a non-PA.

    As for the other posters account of a PA cardiac surg assistant making $80K, the surgeon is probably making 5-10x that (after malpractice).

    The newly minted MD/former PA will still have school loans from both PA and MD school (and having used up some of the federal allocation in PA school, it's gone).

    I have nothing against PA's, and nothing against PA's going to med school - if thats what they want, terrific. But, if you're neither, I'd give med school a shot first. If for some reason you don't want to continue, you can then consider PA school, and perhaps some of your earlier education will be credited.
     
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  14. Well-put. :thumbup:
     
  15. oldtimer

    oldtimer Not a blind man
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    I've heard from one than a few medical students and residents that they wished they had gone the PA route instead of the MD one. The training is shorter (2 years and no residency), the pay is good (90+K), and the hours are awesome (40 hours plus overtime). In addition, higher healthcare costs are forcing many hospitals to rely more and more on PA's because they're cheaper than MD's. So, job availability and job security look pretty good.

    But I could never be a PA. I would hate being some doctor's b*tch. I want to be the one calling the shots.
     
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  16. Notzfall

    Notzfall NREMT-P, MS-IV
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    From what I understand, graduates from the Emory PA program who apply and get accepted into Emory's MD program have an abridged course. It may be the first year off or something. If you're good enough for MD, stick with it.

    If you're concerned about the time committment, realize that PA is not the same as MD. The hours that the MDs don't want, not-so-sick patients, families who want to see "the doctor." Don't get me wrong, the world needs PAs. The world also needs Paramedics, RNs and Respiratory therapists. Which one are you?

    If it's the liability issue... if you're afraid you'll kill someone as a doctor and get sued, you probably shouldn't be a PA either. You can kill someone that way too. (<-- an excuse I hear often from premed dropouts that decide to do PA school)
     
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  17. hypersting

    hypersting Senior Member
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    No, its better being a Maryland resident then applying to the U of MD medical school rather then a resident of Pennyslvania. ;)
     
  18. asdasd12345

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    where i live in florida, i drive around and a lot of doctors I see have his name like Johny Doctor M.D P.A. Does this mean he had both degrees, or that he has someone in his office who is a PA also?
     
  19. rgporter

    rgporter Senior Member
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    Becoming a PA does seem a little excesive if all you want to do is get into med school. As for undergraduate degrees I think for the most part anything you do will be fairly equivilent. There is one undergraduate major I wish I had completed because I think it would have been great preparation, the Medical Technology program. They learn so many things that would be helpfull for you to already know when you go to med school. And it is a good profession to have if it takes you a few years to get in, it looks good on your application, the starting pay is very decent and the job security in almost unparalleled. The only drawback is that you can get yourself into a pretty boring job if your not careful when you choose where to work; but if you can find me a major where that isn't the case I'll be surprised.
     
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  20. asdasd12345

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    the reason i would consider PA first is that my stats are embarrasingly low.
     
  21. flighterdoc

    flighterdoc Rocket Scientist
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    Then go spend two years fixing them. BtW, PA schools have about the same pre-reqs as med schools, and require decent grades. If you lack them, go get them - get into a formal post-bac program or if you already have the classes, get a masters in something that won't take as long.

    Or, decide what you want to do.
     
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  22. wickliffe2

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    PA schools are not necessarily easier to get into than med schools, so I wouldn't use "low stats" as a reason to go to PA school. Interviewers might not like that answer either ;)
     
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  23. axm397

    axm397 SDN Moderator
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    Your stats may be embarassingly low - I would consider my stats low too... BUT you never know unless you try. At this point, if you can sit down and try to think of what distinguishes you from other applicants, what your strengths are, and if there's anything you can do to strengthen your application right now (re-write PS, get more recs, etc...) - then apply and see what happens, you may be suprised. I considered my application to medical school " a practice run" - and I got in! I am now going to one of the best residencies in the country for a field that I love.

    If you have energy, enthusiasm, motivation, and committment to medicine, committee members can sense it. If you are down on yourself, have low self-confidence and self-esteem, and focus on your negatives, you will definitely fail. I agree that going to PA school as a compromise of your dreams - would make you unhappy in the long run. Even if you get into PA school (and that would be a big IF - because there are people who really want to be PAs, not just as a safety net), you will be miserable thinking "what if I had....".

    I have friends who got in on their second, third, and even fourth tries. At this point, you haven't even tried yet. If your stats are bad, make them better AFTER you try applying first. Why waste money and time and energy to take more courses, re-take the MCAT, do more research, etc.... if you could have gotten in to begin with? Spread your applications - apply if there's even a small chance of getting in. I would have never guessed I would end up in rural central pennsylvania after going to undergrad in NYC and being from NJ!! You need a nice positive energy kick in the butt. :D

    good luck.
     
  24. asdasd12345

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    thanks for the advice and support
     
  25. southbelle

    southbelle Senior Member
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    If your stats are really low, how will being a PA or attending PA school fix that? The weakness that is preventing you from getting into medical school now will still be there after you finish PA school and work as a PA.

    Weakness: low stats
    Solution: do well in a post-bacc and improve MCAT score
    Non-solution: ignore weak areas of application while doing something else
     

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