Former pre-pa student looking to switch

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Zrb19

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I hate that I’m considering this but my future is at stake. I have been pre-pa for 4 years and this year was supposed to be the year I apply, (Admission’s open in 2 weeks) but I’m suffering a bad case of cold feet. I have also looked at the prospect of being a doctor in the past, but I had a child last year and continually being financially strained has pushed that away as a prospect. However, in hindsight I feel the doctor route is a much better fit for what I want to accomplish. I have my application together and I’ve told my recommenders that I want to apply to PA school but AACOMS are opening in May and I am pulling toward making the switch especially since this year because of the pandemic, they are still taking applications without an MCAT score. I would still take the MCAT but I can plan to do that in Aug. or September versus having it ready right now. Would this be a bad idea? I feel ready for this and if I was accepted I would be in it to win it but will admissions ding me for making the switch so sudden.
My cGPA is 3.56
Science GPA 3.5
1800 hrs as a CNA
30 hours in a free clinic-25 at least shadowing the urologist there
46 hours shadowing a primary care doc
no research experience, other than a written proposal
my target school also is an affiliate to my alma mater and they guarantee interviews.
What should I do? I potentially could wait another year but I don’t know if I would need to do that. I’ve already submitted to the fact if I didn’t get accepted to PA school this year I would apply to DO school.

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Do you have any volunteer experience? Lack of research isn't really a big deal but lack of volunteering could hurt a lot.

Also to Faha's point, you're going to need the MCAT even if you don't need it right now, and there's a couple of things to consider. First, there's the possibility that things don't improve and exams don't reopen this year. I hope that's a remote possibility but it it does happen that would mean delaying by a year. The other thing is determining whether you're capable of obtaining a competitive score by August or September. Most people study somewhere between 3 and 6 months, which means this is probably the right time to get started.

Also have you had a chance to talk this decision over with a mentor? It's not a good decision to make rashly, and I've met many doctors who wished they'd gone down the PA route instead. If I didn't have specific career goals that required me to be a doctor (working in healthcare policy/admin) I would probably choose PA as well.
 
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Do you have any volunteer experience? Lack of research isn't really a big deal but lack of volunteering could hurt a lot.

Also to Faha's point, you're going to need the MCAT even if you don't need it right now, and there's a couple of things to consider. First, there's the possibility that things don't improve and exams don't reopen this year. I hope that's a remote possibility but it it does happen that would mean delaying by a year. The other thing is determining whether you're capable of obtaining a competitive score by August or September. Most people study somewhere between 3 and 6 months, which means this is probably the right time to get started.

Also have you had a chance to talk this decision over with a mentor? It's not a good decision to make rashly, and I've met many doctors who wished they'd gone down the PA route instead. If I didn't have specific career goals that required me to be a doctor (working in healthcare policy/admin) I would probably choose PA as well.
I have 35 hours working in a free clinic, and a few volunteering hours from undergrad. I lack In extracurriculars due to working full time in college, and going to school full time. I wish I was able to do more after college but I was pregnant right after college and had to work 56 hours a week to raise money for my maternity leave. I would like to talk to my mentor but I am nervous because if I tell them about my switch there is no going back. I’m afraid they may think that i am just fickle because I have already made a point that I was going to PA school not med school (my mentor is a doctor). I had second thoughts months ago, but I pushed them away because I feel like I have to make a decision now so that my daughter will have a good childhood with me being present. People tell me all the time being a doctor is doable as a mother but there is a sacrifice, and I’m not sure if I’d be okay with the level of sacrifice it’ll take. I want the best for her, that is why I chose PA, so that I can be a present parent for her. I guess those details complicate the situation.
 
I have 35 hours working in a free clinic, and a few volunteering hours from undergrad. I lack In extracurriculars due to working full time in college, and going to school full time. I wish I was able to do more after college but I was pregnant right after college and had to work 56 hours a week to raise money for my maternity leave. I would like to talk to my mentor but I am nervous because if I tell them about my switch there is no going back. I’m afraid they may think that i am just fickle because I have already made a point that I was going to PA school not med school (my mentor is a doctor). I had second thoughts months ago, but I pushed them away because I feel like I have to make a decision now so that my daughter will have a good childhood with me being present. People tell me all the time being a doctor is doable as a mother but there is a sacrifice, and I’m not sure if I’d be okay with the level of sacrifice it’ll take. I want the best for her, that is why I chose PA, so that I can be a present parent for her. I guess those details complicate the situation.

This is definitely an important factor to consider. During the first two years of medical school, if you work diligently, you can treat it as a full time job although most people do work a bit more than that. 3rd and 4th year will be much more intense with some rotations requiring up to 80 hours a week of presence in the hospital + studying. Residency will require a minimum of 3 years of even more intense work, including often nights and weekends depending on the specialty you choose, and during this time you will earn substantially less than the starting salary for a PA. PA school is certainly intense, but you'll be out in two years and be able to start practicing at that point, as opposed to 7+ years as a physician.

Is there something specific you can point to as to why you want to be a doctor rather than a PA? There are always trade-offs, and I'm sure you can make either path work, but the path to DO will be significantly harder for you, and it's important that you have a good reason to choose that path.
 
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