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Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by kelly, Oct 8, 2000.
Any comments on a PA going on to medical school? How is this viewed by schools? Comments.....?
The absolute BEST!!!!!!!! pediatrician in our city was a PA before getting an MD then dually boarded in IM/Peds. BTW I am not this person. He is generally acknowledged by the academics at the hospital and the general community as one of the most highly desirable general pedi guys around. I think it was in large part because he had other experiences before getting his MD. Depending on your character and personality I think you experience is a great asset.
Yes, indeed, PAs do get into med school and their patient care experience is certainly a plus. But...
Med school schools require a BIO MAJOR intro year of general biology; a CHEM MAJOR intro year of general/intro chem and a chem major year of organic chem; an intro YEAR of physics, not necessarily physics major level, but a YEAR of intro physics. Some few require calculus. If you already took all or some of those for PA school, OK, but if they were taken five or more years ago, some med schools will want more recently taken msjors level science courses. You would have to inquire of each school you intend applying to whether any basic science you took in PA school would be acceptable.
Then, there is the MCAT. In biol, chem, organic chem and physics, the MCAT questions are supposed to be, and often are, limited only to what is normally expected to be covered in those 8 courses. The verbal reasoning section of the MCAT is not about science knowledge; it pays to be well read in general and I believe the VR score is more important than the science scores.
I long ago came to the conclusion that earning high scores on the MCAT is more a fucnction of test-taking skill--the abilty to work quickly, answering all questions, to make good guess when you are not sure of an answer or don't know the answer.
If you haven't already taken some or all of the basic science requirements (at major's level) you will have to return to college to take them. DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT TAKE THEM AT A 2-YEAR OR COMMUNITY COLLEGE. You can either enter a postbac program or take the courses as a non-matric or matric student at a four year, BA/BS granting college. Although med schools will often deny in print that all colleges are equal, we know that some colleges are more equal than others. It might well make a difference where you take them. If you will post where you are (city; region) I might be able to make suggestions as to which colleges to consider first. You might want to ask, DON'T ASSUME, which basic courses you took in PA school might meet any of the admission requirements.
Your PA experience is a definite plus, but don't give up your day job before you are accepted to medical school. Don't fret about how long all this going to take. If you truly want to become an MD, there is no short cut, not even going to an offshore med school; let it take as long as it takes. If you try to rush, and fall on your face, you have defeated yourself and really wasted time
i have to disagree on one point with the above poster. taking science courses at a Community College is more than okay. It's completely acceptable. As i've said on this board numerous time in the past. I know at least 10-15 current med students in both M.D. and D.O. programs that have taken a sizeable chunk of courses at CC's. Don't worry about it. PHYSICS 131 A is same as PHYSICS 145 A at some other school. It just doesn't matter. just be sure and take upper level sciences beyond cores at university.