DO for a CVPA

Discussion in 'Medical Students - DO' started by CVPA, Oct 28, 2000.

  1. CVPA

    CVPA Senior Member

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    Hello all:

    I am a 35-year old cardiothoracic PA of 4-years with an additional 8-year background in clinical laboratory medicine. Unfortunately, I haven't had any of the basic sciences in over 8-years. I decided to apply to a DO school nearby for two reasons. 1)Its close to my home & 2) There is a DO ER residency program also nearby. I have a wife and 10-month old son, so I need to prioritize a bit. I do, however, like the osteopathic approach to body systems much better than the allopathic approach so that works out as well.

    Anyway, my concern is that my MCATS are going to reflect my being away from Organic Chem, Physics, etc.. Of course I have bought a great review book and have enrolled in a Princeton Review course, however, I still can't help wondering if they will not be competitive enough to get in. My GPA is decent and my clinical experience speaks for itself. I'll be taking the April 2001 MCAT and will apply for Fall 2002.

    Anyone else out there in the same boat or have any further advice?

    Chris
     
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  3. cjkalmat

    cjkalmat Member

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    I comend you for you efforts and determination to pursue your goals. If I were on the Amissions Committee at some medical school though, I would wonder "why is this person, considering to be a physician now after so many years of being in the job market." In other words, what are your motivations for becoming a physician after so many years of practicing as a PA? I dont mean to insult you in any way by posing this question. I am only trying to let you know about the questions that might arise in a person at the other end of your application.
    Good luck in all your efforts and also with that dreaded exam...MCAT.

     
  4. CVPA

    CVPA Senior Member

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    Ahh, the incessant question that has been asked of me a thousand times since I made this decision, "Why do you want to become a physician?" Not to ridicule your question in any way, on the contrary it is an absolutely appropriate question and most certainly one that will be asked of me if I get to an interview. The follow-up question is then, "Why did you become a PA and not a physician?". Again, an appropriate one.

    I have wanted to become a physician since I was about 14. My undergraduate was geared towards pre-med and I even applied in 1992. I did not get in and was about to try again when someone told about the PA profession. I looked into it and the more I saw the more I liked. It seemed like a better lifestyle for a family life and would certainly require much less time for training. What I didn't realize at the time was that I would never be completely happy as a PA unless I had fully exhausted efforts at becoming a physician first. I grew tired of constantly defining myself and my abilities to patients and physician colleagues. The financial limitations also became apparent recently with the birth of my son and the realization of a limited financial lifestyle associated with being a non-physician became apparent. I will say, however, that there are multiple avenues that a PA can venture down to diversify one's income. Don't get me wrong, the PA profession is a GREAT profession and I truly love what I do. I just have an inner desire to strive for what I perceive to be the peak. If it doesn't work out, than it doesn't, but I first have to give it my absolute all.

    Chris
     
  5. Mango

    Mango Very Senior Member

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    I understand you completely. I considered PA school intensely while I was an undergrad (I was afraid my GPA would keep me out of med school). But as a senior, I decided that I feared the situation that you are in now. I mean I was afraid that some day I would wonder what could have been, and all those same questions you probably are going through now. I wanted to at least know that I tried to acheive my goal of being a doctor. These feelings forced me to focus my attention back to going the med school route, and I was fortunate enough to be accepted last year.

    I applied to both MD and DO schools, and was accepted to both flavors. I chose an MD school for a variety of reasons that aren't important to this discussion. But what I wanted to mention was that while at the OU-COM interview, I met a man in his fourties who was a PA. And he was also in cardio surgery. I spoke to him about how I had considered PA school, and asked him why he was switching. He said he hated the limitations placed upon him, especially by the state of Ohio (I guess it pretty restrictive here). He said he was very concerned that MD schools would not understand his motivations, which was why he chose to go DO.

    Anyhow, I just wanted to show you that you are not alone, and while I don't know the outcome of that gentleman, I have confidence that he was accepted someplace. But I have one more comment. If questioned about why you want to awitch jobs, I'm not sure if you should mention being sick and tired of explaining to people what it is that you do. I say that because unfortunatly, that is a situation that some DO's face as well. There are still many people who are unfamiliar with the degree, and you may be faced with explaining to patients that you are indeed a fully liscenced physician. I was even asked in an interview how I would handle a situation in an ER where a Pt said to me "I don't want this DO to see me, go and get a real doctor!" These things can happen, so be prepared.

    Well, I wish you luck, and I hope you acheive your goals.

    Mango
    MS-1
     
  6. CVPA

    CVPA Senior Member

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    Mango:

    Thanks for your words of encouragement. I need all I can get at this point in my career.

    Your point is well taken, I will probably skip the "tired of defining myself" line as that kind of thing will more than likely re-occur as a DO. In fact, just the other day I told a NURSE of all people, that I was considering DO school and she said, "Doesn't that have something to do with bones?". She didn't even realize DOs are physicians.

    Take care and good luck in your studies. Thanks again for your input.

    Chris

    PS: One of my hopeful LORs is an alumni of your school. She is a great nephrologist.
     

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