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7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Aug 20, 2001
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Hello All! I need help... I am 11 days away from my 25th birthday and I think that I am having a mid-life crisis ( a bit early I know) I have been planning on going to med school for as long as I can remember. I applied twice before (98 and 00) and got rejected. In the meantime I have worked really hard to improve my chances, done research, publications, volunteer work, got my EMT certification, retook my MCATs and got my numbers up... Well all of a sudden I am working on my amcas this summer and I start questioning if this is what I really want to do.
I have known about the PA profession for a long time, but was afraid that if I went for that people would think that I wasn't "smart" enough to be an M.D. Now I am beyond worrying about what other people think and am more worried about my own happiness. I know that I want my career to be in medicine, but I don't want my career to be all there is to my life.
So after all this babbling I guess my big question is about the lifestyle of the PA. Do you really work less hours, for reasonable salary. Is it really worth it to go through 2 years of intense school instead of dragging it out to 4 years. Are PA residency programs less awful than MD ones?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!



Bee-although P.A. school is only 2 years it is still fairly demanding. it is often compared to the 1st and 3rd years of med school:same classes, same residency programs are at least 3 years while p.a. residencies are mostly 1 year long, 2 if you want another masters degree. the residency is usually the same as the first year of an md residency.for p.a.'s a residency is optional. p.a. salaries are good , usually 1/3 to 1/2 that of your supervising md($50,000-140,000 depending on specialty). the hours vary from practice to practice. you may work a 40 hr week without call or work more hours than the doc(I always do).hope this helps. :)