10+ Year Member
Apr 23, 2008
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
I am new here and not sure if this is the right place to post this but here it goes...

I heard it is good to become an EMT or medical assistant to gain experience to apply for PA school. Which one of these would you recommend? And what is the difference between an EMT-basic and an EMT-intermediate? I am looking more towards the EMT-basic because of the less time it takes. Can you get a job as an EMT-basic or do people just volunteer as an EMT-basic?

Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!


15+ Year Member
Aug 25, 2001
Taking an Away team....
Post Doc
emt basic does initial stabilization and packaging of medical and trauma pts without using adv. skills.
emt-intermediate adds IV and airway skills and a few drugs.
emt-paramedic adds many more procedures and advanced als techniques and drugs.
medical assistants do many office type procedures(draw blood, perform ekg's, etc.
either is a good prep for pa school.
if you want to do emergency medicine, surgery, or hospital based practice emt is probably a better bet as it focuses on acute care while medical assistant would probably be a better background for primary care(fp, peds, ob, internal med).
there are emt-basic jobs out there on ambulances as well as er tech positions in hospitals open to emt's.
see for a pa specific forum.
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