Aug 28, 2015
2
0
Status
Pre-Medical
I'm sure this type of thing has been posted about 500 times, but oh well. I'm not looking forsomeone to make my choice, obviously, but I'm looking for some guidance.

I started college 6 years ago as a pre-med. more concerned with my social life, I did abysmal in my first semester science classes. I am an intelligent person, but as a 17 year old, I didn't think I was cut out for it if I did so bad. After 3 years of deciding what healthcare career I wanted to go into (health management, health comm, health and wellness), I went to xray school. In the back of my mind, I knew I wanted to be a higher practitioner. Being in clinical in the hospital just accelerated my interest in the human body and my fascination in the disease process. I talked to doctors all the time and always asked questions. One of my rads inquired about my such interest and asked me if I wanted to become a doctor. It got me thinking, but I told him I didn't know.

I'm now working as an RT(R) in an orthopedic practice with primary care docs, surgeons, and PAs. I know I want to expand my scope of practice and become more involved. Being around the PAs more, I became interested in what they do. Our PAs hold office hours, see their own patients, assist surgeries, perform injections. I considered nursing school, but when I learned what our PAs really do, I thought it was the perfect happy medium between nursing and being a doctor.

One of my xray tech co workers, and my radiology administrator started PA school. Both quit because they hated it. My admin told me she'd rather see me go to med school than do PA. I also talked to two of my PAs, and one doctor. One said if he could do it all over, he'd take the extra year and apply to med school. One PA enjoyed what he did mostly because he started school late and had a family. The doctor told me he did one year of PA, quit, and applied to med school. He's now a DO and orthopedic surgeon.

I don't have kids, I don't have a husband. I'm only 24. I am enrolled in a bachelor of science program at a local state university. One of my biology courses was taken at a CC. I still have a year and a half until I finish my BS. My current debt load isn't enormous, but isn't comforting.

I'm just not sure what I should apply for at this point. I personally think I have the drive to do what it takes to be a doctor, but what's more worth it? PA Is 2-3 years tops and then I can work and start my life. Being a doctor takes longer but I'd have what I want. I'd have to take either the GRE or MCAT by next year. Some guidance and input is appreciated...

tl;dr: PA or MD/DO?
 

NotASerialKiller

2+ Year Member
Jul 7, 2015
1,457
6,866
Status
Medical Student
More information about how you're doing now in school is needed for anyone to tell you if you have a chance for MD
 

Goro

7+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2010
53,664
78,971
Somewhere west of St. Louis
Status
Non-Student
Your fastest path to being a doctor will be to retake all F/D/C science coursework and go DO.

For an MD degree, ace a post-bac or SMP, preferably one given at a med school. And ace MCAT as well. there are MD schools that reward reinvention.
 
OP
R
Aug 28, 2015
2
0
Status
Pre-Medical
In my BSc degree, I have a 3.86 currently. AMCAS GPA would be lower. I have ~3.2 from my previous bachelor attempt + xray associates degree. I'm not looking for someone to tell me my chances quite yet, I'm not at that level. I'm just looking for pros and cons, people's ideas between the two, just more insight.
 

narvik2016

2+ Year Member
Jul 14, 2014
258
261
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
I'm just not sure what I should apply for at this point. I personally think I have the drive to do what it takes to be a doctor, but what's more worth it? PA Is 2-3 years tops and then I can work and start my life. Being a doctor takes longer but I'd have what I want. I'd have to take either the GRE or MCAT by next year. Some guidance and input is appreciated...
I think the bold answers your question! You have already identified that being a doctor is what you really want. So, work really hard in school, keep your grades up, do well on the MCAT, and participate in some great ECs (volunteering, research, shadowing, etc.). I don't believe in settling. If being a doctor is really what you want, then go for it. Best of luck to you!
 

PugsAndHugs

5+ Year Member
Oct 7, 2014
427
610
Status
Medical Student
In my BSc degree, I have a 3.86 currently. AMCAS GPA would be lower. I have ~3.2 from my previous bachelor attempt + xray associates degree. I'm not looking for someone to tell me my chances quite yet, I'm not at that level. I'm just looking for pros and cons, people's ideas between the two, just more insight.
You have pretty much identified the pros/cons. MD/DO would be a much longer process but you would "have what you want" in terms of knowledge. PA would be faster but include restrictions in terms of knowledge/decision making.

I think assesing your chances for MD/DO would help your decision because if you need to do heavy GPA repair or application improvement, then MD/DO might not be worth it.

But 24 is still young, and you sound like you do have that hunger for knowledge, so I would aim high!