PA or DO

Discussion in 'Clinicians [ RN / NP / PA ]' started by the prodogy, Apr 17, 2007.

  1. the prodogy

    7+ Year Member

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    I'm one of those students, like many others, that once had their minds set on going to an osteopathic career. After talking with and advisor from a DO/PA school, I'm having second thoughts. He talked to me about going for a career as a PA.

    The positives = Less school, more flexible hours when you work, and decent pay.

    The reason why these seemed so intriguing to me is because I really dont like school to much and I dont want to spend most of my life trying to get a career. A lot of DO students study almost all day then go onto residencies. Anyways, I was wondering, what changes do I need to make to my school schedule (classes and required tests). Also... what are the minus' to choosing PA over DO?
     
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  3. jacketwrestler

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    PA schools follow the alllied health pre-req curriculum vs. DO school who follow the MD/dentistry/pharmacy pre-reqs. Most PA schools require a year or two of paid healthcare experience while for DO school you can technically get in after you just finish the pre-reqs but almost all applicants have a bachelor's. GPA wise, I would think they're both very competitive with a minimum range of 3.3 or so... of course DO pre-reqs are much harder. Most PA schools require the GRE while DO schools require the MCAT. I'm not sure if your considering particular schools but you should check individual schools for their pre-reqs and requirements. Google is your friend.
     
  4. Chronic Student

    Chronic Student So Fresh, So Clean
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    The only real difference in pre-reqs from PA school to MD/DO schools are that some PA schools allow you to only have the first part of organic and skip physics and calculus.

    Otherwise, they are the same. They would not accept nursing/allied health A&P, micro, chemistry, etc. In fact, I had to retake micro because my micro course was for allied health.

    As for the rest of the stuff, I agree with jacketwrestler.

    -Mike
     
  5. burntcrispy

    burntcrispy Member
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    A PA I used to work with went back and became a DO. :)

    If you don't like school much I would strongly suggest not going to medical school. It will eat your lunch!!! You see these guys studying all the time because that's what you do for the first 2 years straight. If you don't study that much you will fall behind and never catch up. Then during the 3rd year you have to work long hours (sometimes 80+) on rotations while having to study during your "free time" once you get home.

    Basically medical school is nothing but studying and if you want one of the more competative specialties (belive me you will) you will have to study harder than your peers which means even more time in the books. I found it to be alot of fun because I like learning but there were times that I was so burned out that I felt like I was just "burnt crispy". (hence the name)

    Good luck in your endevors. Talk to some medical students to get a feel for how much work you will be in for and I think your decision will become a bit easier.

    Burntcrispy, MD
     
  6. jacketwrestler

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  7. the prodogy

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    What qualifies as partient-care experience?
     
  8. corpsmanUP

    corpsmanUP Senior Member
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    The requirement for vast medical experience is now a thing of the past. Few if any PA schools require any real full time medical experience. It is in my opinion a terrible decision for the PA profession. Once they went to the BS entry level degree, they shunned all the paramedic military medics, RT's, non BSN RN's, etc..etc... the true roots of the profession.

    DO school is not that much harder than PA school, but it is simply a lot longer. It's like the difference between running a half marathon and a full marathon. They both hurt like all stink! You will have to take physics, org chem, both 1 and 2 to apply.

    If I would have had to have had a BS degree to apply to PA school, I would never have done it.
     
  9. Chronic Student

    Chronic Student So Fresh, So Clean
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    I'm in Texas and almost all the programs in my state are as I have described. I can't really speak to Cali, but most of the other programs I've seen have requirements as I have described.

    The last two programs you have links for seem a little light on prerequisites and the first one is more in line with most of the programs I'm familiar with.

    -Mike
     
  10. corpsmanUP

    corpsmanUP Senior Member
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    I graduated from UTMB's PA program. They literally shun medical experience!
     
  11. Chronic Student

    Chronic Student So Fresh, So Clean
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    I graduated from UTMB as well and yeah they really don't seem to like it very much do they. I was very surprised at the lack of medical experience and I probably had the most experience in my class.

    I would say the majority of my class had no real medical experience and their were just a couple with more than a few years in the trenches.

    I'm not real sure why they let me in, but I remember hearing about student who went out on rotations who could not even tell you what color an oxygen tank was or the difference in-between nasal cannula and a non-rebreather.

    Little things like that.

    I know that the director has had some bad experiences with folks who had prior training because they did not listen well or wanted to do things their way. I just chalked it up to that and tried not to make too many waves.

    -Mike
     
  12. Jack Daniel

    Jack Daniel In Memory of Riley Jane
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    I know I'm not answering one of the questions you asked, but I was intrigued by your statement of not liking school. If this is true, whatever you do, think hard and long about a medical training program whether DO or PA.

    I'm somewhat similar in that I love to learn, but hate school (As a DO student I also like OMT, but hate OPP class). It's the whole "do this at this time and then we're gonna test you on it" stuff that I hate with a passion about medical school. It takes the joy out of discovering and learning.

    Ultimately, I chose med school because I'm really excited about the clinical part and think that once I get through the didactics, I'll be in a better position. Good luck to you.
     
  13. qwerty1

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    I'm going to be blunt about this...

    M.D. - Independent physician... lotta school required.

    D.O. - Independent physician... lotta school reqired.

    P.A. - Dependent medical practitioner... lotta school required, but a bit less.

    Any way you slice it, if you don't like a doctoral or master's level of education, none of the above would be a wise educational track.
     
  14. AlleghenyPOD

    AlleghenyPOD 1st Year MD-bound
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    D.P.M - Independent medical practitioner....lotta school required.
     
  15. qwerty1

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    I stand "reminded" :).

    Posts like this crack me up... "I want a master of science level career in medicine but I don't like school too much".
     
  16. Glorified

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    if you don't like school, become a paramedic or respiratory therapist or ADN or one of the various medical technology occupations.


    Or, suck it up and go for what you really want. The end reward of being able to be a PA would justify the means of a long education. Put a picture of yourself up and write your name and then P.A. after it to remind you of your goal. If you can see it, then school should just be viewed as a small obstacle in the way.
    "Difficulties mastered are oppurtunities won." - Churchill
     

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