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MD & DO MD/DO vs PA?

Discussion in 'What Are My Chances?' started by byeology, May 14, 2014.

  1. byeology


    May 14, 2014
    So I'm not a traditional applicant. I originally wanted to go to pharm school, did 1.5 years CC and 2 years public instate university, until I decided that I wanted to go to PA school. So, I started working as an ED scribe and realized that I might regret not going the MD/DO route since they're starting to require doctorate degrees for NPs/PAs..

    I don't have the strongest grades:
    3.90 community college (associates of arts degree)
    3.55 university (BA in Biology)
    overall science ~3.8, all pre-reqs completed

    I have NO research, very few EC's, only about ~100 volunteer hours, and since I'm graduating this semester I won't have a LOR from the pre-med advisor at my school. However, I have 1 LOR from an anatomy professor and should be able to get additional ones from PA/MD/DO's at work.

    I really don't want to do a post-bac/masters to get a degree I'll never use, but I would consider taking some additional classes at the community college to boost my GPA, working on volunteering with a gap year, and taking the MCAT.

    So, do you think I have any chances at MD/DO schools or is it basically impossible? Should i just go the PA route instead? (maryland applicant, white male)
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  3. darthsubway

    darthsubway 2+ Year Member

    Feb 9, 2014
    Hi I am a ED scribe too in Maryland. I wonder what hospital you work at.

    Since when have they been requiring doctorate degrees for PAs? At my hospital, I have not seen one PA who had a doctorate. ED, surgical, or hospitalist. Actually, all the PAs and the physicians say that the demand for mid-level providers is growing, so I do not think that you will have a problem finding a job as a PA. That is just my thought, but you might be better informed.

    Also I don't know what school you go to, but you should be able to join the pre-health committee at your school even after you graduate. I graduated last year from a Maryland school, and I am getting a letter from them this cycle.

    Anyway.... With your GPA, you seem good for DO school depending on how well you do on the MCAT (26+). MD schools are not going to be thrilled about having pre-reqs done at CC, and your GPA at university is less than average for MD school. Additionally, your MCAT will need to be at least 30 to be barely acceptable, but with your history and below average GPA, its better to have an above average MCAT (above 33). In short, DO school is very doable; MD will be harder to get into.

    Have you shadowed any PAs? With your job as a scribe, you can at least ask one if you can shadow them and make the decision yourself if you like the job of a physician vs PA. The PAs at my ED freaking love their job.
  4. peudamour

    peudamour "[I pledge] my life to the service of humanity" 2+ Year Member

    May 15, 2014
    I am very interested in this forum as well. I am a current college student who has gained a renewed interest in the healthcare field as a primary healthcare provider. I'm also wondering if anyone on here thinks that PA school may be a better route for someone that wants to be out there practicing as soon as possible.
  5. byeology


    May 14, 2014
    Thanks for your replies! I guess MD school is out of reach for me so it's between DO and PA. My problem with DO school is that it would put me well over 200k+ in debt, whereas PA school would run around 75k.. I would have no problem practicing as a PA, its just that I want to make sure that I will have job security in the future with the degree.
  6. IAhawkeye

    IAhawkeye 2+ Year Member

    Feb 17, 2014
    The PA profession has one of the highest job outlooks according to some government websites, it should be easyyyy to find a job
  7. Isha2018


    Sep 26, 2013
    Mid-level providers like PA's will always have a job, especially since insurers and the government do not want to properly compensate physicians.
  8. aspirantmed


    Oct 27, 2013
    I've anecdotally heard from a number of sources that many people apply into PA school with substantial (read: at least several months to years of full-time) clinical work. I've known several EMTs, Paramedics, and RNs who have then gone on to PA school. I'm no expert on PA admissions, but if this is indeed the norm, then weigh into the 'cost' of PA school the opportunity costs of the income you might otherwise have made as a PA or DO during those years of application building.
  9. ciestar

    ciestar 2+ Year Member

    Sep 18, 2013
    It is the norm, actually. Many, many schools require a certain amount of clinical hours. For example, Drexel's PA program requires a minimum of 500 hours to even apply.
  10. iWillOneDay

    iWillOneDay Banned Banned

    Aug 15, 2013
    Yup. Actually, I heard many require at least 1000 hours, but it varies from school to school I guess. All I know is, scribing counts as clinical hours.

    I'm also a scribe in Maryland @darthsubway. What if we work in the same hospital......
  11. darthsubway

    darthsubway 2+ Year Member

    Feb 9, 2014
    Yeah scribing counts as clinical hours. I know several scribes who were accepted into PA school with scribing as their only clinical experience. So, OP if you want to go the PA route and you've worked for a couple of months as a scribe then you should be good.
  12. IAhawkeye

    IAhawkeye 2+ Year Member

    Feb 17, 2014
    Not all programs will accept the scribe though so just make sure and double check with specific schools
    darthsubway likes this.

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