AuD to PA?

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ateshn

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Hello! I'm a first year AuD student, currently in my spring semester. As I've completed my coursework, I feel that the diagnostic aspect of audiology is great, but I wanted more hands on medical experience with my patients. I've been thinking if PA is something that would be viable for me. Both programs have about the same cost, and doing the pre-requisite courses for PA would also take about the same time frame for me. I'm wondering if anyone has had the same thoughts about switching or has made a career change further into the field. I'm not sure if I should finish my degree and decide later, or if I should withdraw now as to save money on tuition, living expenses, etc. Any advice would be greatly appreciated and I would love to know if anyone has their AuD and works as a PA with an ENT? Thank you!

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Welcome to the forums! Sorry no one responded to you!

Getting a PA is different training. It is a master's level degree, and successful applicants need to have hundreds of hours of patient care experience (whatever you get in your AuD training will not count). I would also encourage you to shadow PA's, and there are many different types.

Also admissions to PA is currently as difficult as getting into medical school, so it might be a shock from applying to AuD programs. I think the experience would be different from AuD to PA ENT.
 
Welcome to the forums! Sorry no one responded to you!

Getting a PA is different training. It is a master's level degree, and successful applicants need to have hundreds of hours of patient care experience (whatever you get in your AuD training will not count). I would also encourage you to shadow PA's, and there are many different types.

Also admissions to PA is currently as difficult as getting into medical school, so it might be a shock from applying to AuD programs. I think the experience would be different from AuD to PA ENT.
Thank you for responding! I was wondering why AuD training would not count? Or if I had been working in the field for say 5 years, would that patient care not count towards the PCE needed for program admissions?
 
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Thank you for responding! I was wondering why AuD training would not count? Or if I had been working in the field for say 5 years, would that patient care not count towards the PCE needed for program admissions?
You should always check with admissions recruiters, but usually you shouldn't count your training in school as professional experience. Any hours after graduating is fine.
 
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Hello! I'm a first year AuD student, currently in my spring semester. As I've completed my coursework, I feel that the diagnostic aspect of audiology is great, but I wanted more hands on medical experience with my patients. I've been thinking if PA is something that would be viable for me. Both programs have about the same cost, and doing the pre-requisite courses for PA would also take about the same time frame for me. I'm wondering if anyone has had the same thoughts about switching or has made a career change further into the field. I'm not sure if I should finish my degree and decide later, or if I should withdraw now as to save money on tuition, living expenses, etc. Any advice would be greatly appreciated and I would love to know if anyone has their AuD and works as a PA with an ENT? Thank you!
Hi! Lots of good advice already noted but I’ll add a couple more things. I didn’t make this exact switch but something similar. I was in allied health for over a decade and am finishing up med school. The biggest question I got was why medicine? I imagine you will need a good answer for this as well- ie- what do you mean about “hands on medical experience”? The other thing I have seen asked of others that debated finishing school vs dropping out and switching is that you run the risk of wherever you are applying worrying that you may not complete their program either.

I think the advice to shadow some PAs is a great idea. It would also be a good idea to make an appointment with an admissions counselor at your local program and run your thoughts about experience, switching programs, etc by them. Best wishes!
 
Hi! Thank you for the extra advice. I think I primarily meant being able to diagnose/interpret my own labs and essentially do more in terms of prescribing for my patients. I'm currently deciding to finish my program but I feel that audiology is pretty one dimensional, where the solution tends to lean towards hearing aids. I'm also not the biggest fan of the ROI as audiology is the lowest of the clinical doctorates. Although I feel like even if I made as much as an MD I would still want the knowledge that comes with a PA or MD program. As of now I'll most likely finish the program and see if I want to switch later, but thanks again!
 
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I have done a similar switch (I ended up doing part of nursing school then kept audiology).

From someone who looked at the FNP and PA rabbit holes after getting my AuD, I can tell you this.

I had a pre-med bachelor's degree and every PA program still wanted me to retake classes from undergrad that were over 6 years old.

I chose to do nursing. I did almost a year in nursing school (I basically was set up to take just the nursing courses and clinic hours) and then got a really great gig in the VA and the pay compared to my private sector job was so much better. I got to work a compressed tour with 3 day weekends every weekend and every major holiday off. I didn't have to sell hearing aids. It was a great decision.

When it comes to PA vs. FNP, I would go FNP. I found the schooling to be a lot less grueling than PA school would have been (I know several PA's from the military and if I was going to deal with the grind they did in a program, I'd just become a DO or MD!). One of the other things to consider is FNP's in most states function on their own without any physician oversight. This is not true with PA's. They must always practice under a doctor. The FNP in nursing also allows for a plethora of options for furthering your career. Nursing is so wide open that with just minimal training you can move around to different jobs and responsibilities. PA's are similar in that you can switch your surgical specialty if you find a doctor willing to let you work with them while you kind of learn a new specialty.

I personally found nursing school to be very easy even while working 40 hours a week and having a relationship.

They offer several accelerated programs now for FNP as well if you have a bachelor's already. Many you can be done in 3 years and get a BSN and an FNP both. I would look into it.
 
Hi! Thank you for the extra advice. I think I primarily meant being able to diagnose/interpret my own labs and essentially do more in terms of prescribing for my patients. I'm currently deciding to finish my program but I feel that audiology is pretty one dimensional, where the solution tends to lean towards hearing aids. I'm also not the biggest fan of the ROI as audiology is the lowest of the clinical doctorates. Although I feel like even if I made as much as an MD I would still want the knowledge that comes with a PA or MD program. As of now I'll most likely finish the program and see if I want to switch later, but thanks again!
I have done a similar switch (I ended up doing part of nursing school then kept audiology).

From someone who looked at the FNP and PA rabbit holes after getting my AuD, I can tell you this.

I had a pre-med bachelor's degree and every PA program still wanted me to retake classes from undergrad that were over 6 years old.

I chose to do nursing. I did almost a year in nursing school (I basically was set up to take just the nursing courses and clinic hours) and then got a really great gig in the VA and the pay compared to my private sector job was so much better. I got to work a compressed tour with 3 day weekends every weekend and every major holiday off. I didn't have to sell hearing aids. It was a great decision.

When it comes to PA vs. FNP, I would go FNP. I found the schooling to be a lot less grueling than PA school would have been (I know several PA's from the military and if I was going to deal with the grind they did in a program, I'd just become a DO or MD!). One of the other things to consider is FNP's in most states function on their own without any physician oversight. This is not true with PA's. They must always practice under a doctor. The FNP in nursing also allows for a plethora of options for furthering your career. Nursing is so wide open that with just minimal training you can move around to different jobs and responsibilities. PA's are similar in that you can switch your surgical specialty if you find a doctor willing to let you work with them while you kind of learn a new specialty.

I personally found nursing school to be very easy even while working 40 hours a week and having a relationship.

They offer several accelerated programs now for FNP as well if you have a bachelor's already. Many you can be done in 3 years and get a BSN and an FNP both. I would look into it.
You are highlighting the exact reason why PA is a better option than NP. It’s better training. Medicine gets very complicated very fast. If you don’t have the foundational knowledge to know what the options are and the skill set to work through a differential diagnosis then you can be dangerous. Having said that, PA is a great career to work with patients but nothing surpasses the rigor of med school and residency. PA school is integrated throughout, it’s the same topics but not to the same depth. The tricky part of PA is it’s so fast.

I personally find my audiology colleagues to be quite knowledgeable and work closely with families. Especially for cochlear implant devices.
 

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