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Strudel19

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In your opinion, does it make sense to give up a 5-year PA program I've been accepted to in order to be an MD, solely for more autonomy, the MD title, and having the freedom to practice without supervision? I don't care at all about the extra salary.

Thanks.
 

Law2Doc

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In your opinion, does it make sense to give up a 5-year PA program I've been accepted to in order to be an MD, solely for more autonomy, the MD title, and having the freedom to practice without supervision? I don't care at all about the extra salary.

Thanks.

Only you can decide this fir yourself. I certainly know a few former PAs who are now residents, so certainly some people have decided the change was worth it.
 

Stumpyman

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Tough to say, and it's your call. Make sure you do a lot of shadowing and know what you would be getting into if you went the PA or MD route.

Just a quick note, you say salary doesn't matter now, but remember that those feelings won't last your whole entire life (wait till you have kids, a mortgage, salaries decreasing, workers being laid off, various responsibilities, etc.).
 
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blizzah

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Guarantee you will find PAs who regret not becoming an MD.

Hard pressed to find an MD who would rather be a PA
 
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Guarantee you will find PAs who regret not becoming an MD.

Hard pressed to find an MD who would rather be a PA

what do you base this on?


From my shadowing and other experiences, I've found it both ways. However, The biggest MD-regretter I've ever met was this NP who worked in the ER.


PA's have something MD's will never have (or rarely get), TIME [off].
 

LossForWords

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Hard pressed to find an MD who would rather be a PA

Well to be fair, the MDs that wish they weren't MDs usually don't wish they hadn't gone into medicine in ANY way (PA, NP, RN, etc.).
 

TheMightySmiter

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In your opinion, does it make sense to give up a 5-year PA program I've been accepted to in order to be an MD, solely for more autonomy, the MD title, and having the freedom to practice without supervision? I don't care at all about the extra salary.

Thanks.

You should shadow some PAs to get their opinions and see how much direction they get from MD/DOs.
 

Law2Doc

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PA's do almost everything a resident doctor would do...

it probably looks that way from the outside. they are rarely as integrated into the patient care planning though. And residents know they aren't going to be residents forever, while PA quickly hits their ceiling. If you can be happy in this role, it probably allows you a nice salary and lifestyle.
 
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Mountaineer12

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I think it depends on your career goals. If your goal is just to be in the medical field then PA may be worth it for the shorter training period and the time off. However, if you're someone who likes to be on top and would have problems answering to other people your whole career you may want to get the MD.

I had this same dilemma and ultimately it drove me nuts thinking about having a glass ceiling of practice and having to answer to someone for the rest of career. Just think about your goals and the type of person you are.
 

Strudel19

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Thanks for the feedback.

I'm really into athletics (run, swim, lift, bike, etc). I want to do tris after I get out of hs. I couldn't stand not being in shape or not having to time to work out. Do residents have time for that? Doctors rarely get time off, and they work so many hours. Is it realistic to be a doctor AND live the active lifestyle that I live now? Would sports medicine be a good choice, and what specialties work less hours?

I'll probably choose PA if I can't live an active lifestyle. But surely there have to be docs out there that do tris and stuff like that...
 

LizzyM

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With regard to active lifestyles, residency is tough because you are working 80 hours per week (out of 168 hours in a week ). However, that can still leave 7 hours for physical activity and enough time to sleep and eat.

I do know two attendings, an oncologist and an orthopedic surgeon, who run a few marathons every year and the oncologist also does triathalons. If you want to make it a priority, you can make it work.

In response to your question about PA vs MD, I am very close to a PA who works along side MDs in a college health center. In that setting they do the same work & the same hours but the MDs earn a higher salary. After a couple of decades, it's hard to swallow although the PA had fewer years out of the job market and a lower debt from school which were big factors when going into the PA program.
 

EBTrailRunner

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Thanks for the feedback.

I'm really into athletics (run, swim, lift, bike, etc). I want to do tris after I get out of hs. I couldn't stand not being in shape or not having to time to work out. Do residents have time for that? Doctors rarely get time off, and they work so many hours. Is it realistic to be a doctor AND live the active lifestyle that I live now? Would sports medicine be a good choice, and what specialties work less hours?

I'll probably choose PA if I can't live an active lifestyle. But surely there have to be docs out there that do tris and stuff like that...

Yes, it is possible, but you have to be willing to prioritize. I know an EM doc who runs ultramarathons almost every weekend and brings his family to watch him run (their version of family time). It works for him.
 

Law2Doc

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Yes, it is possible, but you have to be willing to prioritize. I know an EM doc who runs ultramarathons almost every weekend and brings his family to watch him run (their version of family time). It works for him.

What I think you need to appreciate is that while you can still do some of this, it has to fit around your medicine schedule, not the other way round. Meaning you simply won't be able to block off X hours a day to train or lock in Y weekend to compete. You have your medicine schedule with limited flexibility, and whatever you can pack in around it, great. Which will generally mean you might have 7 hours a week to train, but an hour a day still might not be feasible a lot if weeks. Or you might train for a competition and end up not being able to go. Or you might find that getting an hour more of sleep now and then when you are averaging 5 a night during residency simply trumps getting up early to work out. So your focus will be different. It will no longer be the training that gets the priority. It becomes the stuff that has to squeeze in around the edges. Some people make it work. Most people accept a very sporadic 1-2 times a week workout pattern that allows you more sleep.
 
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