Aug 27, 2016
3
0
hi there. I recently graduated from college with a B.A in English, and have been accepted into columbia's post-bac premed program. I'm really interested in becoming a PA however I'm very unsure if I should go through with this post-bac program. Overall, the program costs about $22,000 a year and I'm estimated to take 2-3 years to finish. Additionally, I'm only 22 years old--My true dream right now is to explore life, travel to LA, and try my hand at becoming a screen writer before I make a huge decision like this and accumulate all of this debt; however my family would absolutely shun me if I don't settle on some sort of career soon. I graduated college with a 3.7 GPA and I did take pre calculus (A-). I guess I'm very nervous about this post- bac because I struggle a bit with math and as an English Major, I have not been exposed to any of the sciences since high school. I'm afraid that I will take out these loans, perform poorly, and have no back up plan. I've considered taking the prerequisites at a community college or public college to lessen the cost, however, myself graduating from a public university, I'm worried that I will not receive the same resources and support as I will at Columbia. I am genuinely interested in a career in PA, but I'm not confident about the prerequisites. I've already been accepted into the program, and I have to make a decision within a week. Please, please help me.
 
May 23, 2016
181
169
hi there. I recently graduated from college with a B.A in English, and have been accepted into columbia's post-bac premed program. I'm really interested in becoming a PA however I'm very unsure if I should go through with this post-bac program. Overall, the program costs about $22,000 a year and I'm estimated to take 2-3 years to finish. Additionally, I'm only 22 years old--My true dream right now is to explore life, travel to LA, and try my hand at becoming a screen writer before I make a huge decision like this and accumulate all of this debt; however my family would absolutely shun me if I don't settle on some sort of career soon. I graduated college with a 3.7 GPA and I did take pre calculus (A-). I guess I'm very nervous about this post- bac because I struggle a bit with math and as an English Major, I have not been exposed to any of the sciences since high school. I'm afraid that I will take out these loans, perform poorly, and have no back up plan. I've considered taking the prerequisites at a community college or public college to lessen the cost, however, myself graduating from a public university, I'm worried that I will not receive the same resources and support as I will at Columbia. I am genuinely interested in a career in PA, but I'm not confident about the prerequisites. I've already been accepted into the program, and I have to make a decision within a week. Please, please help me.
Move to LA and start a post-bac with a low load of science. You can try your hand at becoming a screenwriter, have something to tell your parents, and test the waters of science. After one semester or a year you'll have a better idea of whether you have a chance at becoming a screenwriter (a long shot without connections I believe?).

Also, I don't think the PA requirements are the same as the pre-med ones though so I'm not sure why you'd do a pre-med post-bac program? Lastly, the Columbia program is supposed to be very hard for pre-meds and the name will likely not help your PA application, which emphasizes work experience I believe such that you get the negatives of the program (the difficulty) without as much of the benefit (the name) relative to pre-meds.

Also, there is no way the Columbia cost is 22k per year. It's 22k per semester probably.

Also regarding becoming a PA, you should get some work experience. Where I volunteer many people change their mind about health care with a bit of experience because it's not very fun or glamorous being around sick people.
 
Last edited:
OP
C
Aug 27, 2016
3
0
Move to LA and start a post-bac with a low load of science. You can try your hand at becoming a screenwriter, have something to tell your parents, and test the waters of science. After one semester or a year you'll have a better idea of whether you have a chance at becoming a screenwriter (a long shot without connections I believe?).

Also, I don't think the PA requirements are the same as the pre-med ones though so I'm not sure why you'd do a pre-med post-bac program? Lastly, the Columbia program is supposed to be very hard for pre-meds and the name will likely not help your PA application, which emphasizes work experience I believe such that you get the negatives of the program (the difficulty) without as much of the benefit (the name) relative to pre-meds.

Also, there is no way the Columbia cost is 22k per year. It's 22k per semester probably.

Also regarding becoming a PA, you should get some work experience. Where I volunteer many people change their mind about health care with a bit of experience because it's not very fun or glamorous being around sick people.
Thank you so much for your advice. Columbia post bac supports pre-med, pre-vet, pre-health, and allied health students. I was thinking of volunteering while I do my premed requirements. Although the PA school that I would like to go to does not require experience (CUNY Sophie Davis school of biomedical science pa program).

Should I just complete the PA prerequisites on my own at a public or community college? Or should I continue with the post bac since I've already been accepted?
 
May 23, 2016
181
169
Thank you so much for your advice. Columbia post bac supports pre-med, pre-vet, pre-health, and allied health students. I was thinking of volunteering while I do my premed requirements. Although the PA school that I would like to go to does not require experience (CUNY Sophie Davis school of biomedical science pa program).

Should I just complete the PA prerequisites on my own at a public or community college? Or should I continue with the post bac since I've already been accepted?

Columbia's page specifically says clinical experience is the most important factor for PA admissions:
https://gs.columbia.edu/postbac/applying-physician-assistant-programs

Since you have one specific program in mind, you should just call/e-mail the program and ask whether they have a strong preference for the Columbia post-bac or whether a public/community would be okay. You might also want to ask what they look for (GPA, school, experience, etc) if it's not clearly posted on their website.

There appears to be a fairly large program designed to answer all your questions, but not within your 1 week timeframe :)
https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/sophiedavis/pa-pipeline

You could also call/e-mail/visit the Columbia program and ask if they have statistics on people that applied to your PA program, admit rate, average GPA of admits, number of people that apply to PA and your program in particular, etc.

Also, there is a forum here for PA where other people might have explored the same issues you have: http://forums.studentdoctor.net/forums/clinicians-rn-np-pa.113/
 
OP
C
Aug 27, 2016
3
0
Columbia's page specifically says clinical experience is the most important factor for PA admissions:
https://gs.columbia.edu/postbac/applying-physician-assistant-programs

Since you have one specific program in mind, you should just call/e-mail the program and ask whether they have a strong preference for the Columbia post-bac or whether a public/community would be okay. You might also want to ask what they look for (GPA, school, experience, etc) if it's not clearly posted on their website.

There appears to be a fairly large program designed to answer all your questions, but not within your 1 week timeframe :)
https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/sophiedavis/pa-pipeline

You could also call/e-mail/visit the Columbia program and ask if they have statistics on people that applied to your PA program, admit rate, average GPA of admits, number of people that apply to PA and your program in particular, etc.

Also, there is a forum here for PA where other people might have explored the same issues you have: http://forums.studentdoctor.net/forums/clinicians-rn-np-pa.113/
Thank you so much for your help. You are truly a blessing!

Columbia offers a deferred admissions option. In which I can defer my admission until the spring. Do you believe that I should defer my admission so that I could figure everything out. And once I've gathered enough information from Cuny pipeline, then return to Columbia for the spring if they advise that I do so?
 
May 23, 2016
181
169
Thank you so much for your help. You are truly a blessing!

Columbia offers a deferred admissions option. In which I can defer my admission until the spring. Do you believe that I should defer my admission so that I could figure everything out. And once I've gathered enough information from Cuny pipeline, then return to Columbia for the spring if they advise that I do so?

I'm surprised no one else responded here, but it appears I am a blessing ;)

It sounds like you have a lot to learn, but you have a full week to learn before you decide even on deferring. I'd suggest treating it like a job, getting up early, making phone calls, etc. to learn as much as you can this week. Maybe you have someone at home that can help you even if with just moral support? A parent, sibling, or boyfriend?

On the flip side, don't start the program unless you're sure. The cost is immense and starting it and dropping out because of cost, difficulty or nagging doubts about whether this is what you want may put you in a worse spot than if you hadn't started it at all.

Getting volunteer or work experience over the next semester can put you as much towards your goals as school and give you clarity as to whether it's what you want, without incurring massive tuition costs.

Good luck! You can message me via the forum if you'd like to let me know what happens :)