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PA program to MD?

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by Godshealinghand, May 8, 2007.

  1. Godshealinghand


    May 7, 2007
    Hey guys,
    Its my first time on this forum. :) I just recently graduated from UCF with a bachelors degree in molecular and microbiology (M&M) and am about to get marry next year 3/8/2008. :p
    Here's my question... My soon to be husband is studying here in orlando where we both live. He is originally from P.R. and the college where he is studying is a branch campus from one in P.R. He still has two years left before he graduates. Now, I am right now just working at a pediatrics office as a referral/receptionist. Since we will soon be newlyweds I do not want to leave him and go to medical school. :( He can't transfer to another college because (1) he speaks mostly spanish (2) the credits won't transfer correctly and he will lose out.
    So in that in between years, I was trying to figure out want to do that wont decrease my dream in going to med school and that will help be able to pay bills and save for med school?
    I found a PA program here in orlando that takes only 27 months. And in about 3 years from now UCF will have a new medical school opened. Should I do this program and then go to the new med school? Or is that really absurd? :confused:

    Frustrated and Confused,
    God's healing hands

    PS sorry about the lengty message :oops:
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    PRIMER God's Soldier 7+ Year Member

    Jun 6, 2006
    I wouldn't do the P.A. route personally. I would just try to build my med school app. up as much as I can, improve G.P.A, do the best that I possibly could on the MCAT, extracurriculars, volunteering, leadership, etc.

    I would do a masters program in something else, like biology, or chemistry, or something else that you are really interested in. If your GPA is already tight, I would do a graduate degree in something that you are just interested in not necessarily science.

    I think that drawback to the P.A. degree is that you could a) get caught up in making good money and not fulfill your actual dreams b) it may look like to medical schools that you used the P.A. route as a springboard to medical school and c) you have to pay for it.

    I know that you would have to pay for the other masters program too, but it would kind of be like you are paying to be a doctor jr. then you are going to be paying to be a doctor. Thats just my opinion. Good luck either way.
  4. mitawa

    mitawa Member 7+ Year Member

    Feb 25, 2005
    If you don't want to be a PA, IMHO do not go to school to be one. I have several married classmates. One in particular goes to school in the same state but several miles away from their spouse. That classmate goes home to his spouse on the weekends, so this way they both are achieving their goals without being completely separated. If you choose that option then you have more schools to which you can apply to within Florida.
  5. viostorm

    viostorm Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Feb 3, 2005
    Sounds like you have a tough situation.

    Being married and especially having someone go to med school requires a lot of sacrifice on the part of the family.

    Where there is a will there is a way. This will require huge sacrifices on his part and I think you should agree on this BEFORE you get married. He will have to support you during school and know you will spend long days in the library and at work.

    Medicine (as a doctor) isn't a job, its a life ... something the whole family needs to agree on up front.
  6. poly800rock

    poly800rock Member 2+ Year Member

    Jul 15, 2006
    i'm curious why you think getting a master's degree in bio/chem wouldn't be looked down as a stepping stone as well. I have no opinion on the matter, but was curious as to why it's so black and white as far as go for PA or master's go. At least with a PA program you'll have another option for a career...
  7. njbmd

    njbmd Guest Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

    May 30, 2001
    Gone Walkabout!
    If you want to use the PA program as a means of obtaining clinical experience, learning more in depth about medical skills and practice and making a good salary, then go for it. You will make enough money when you are done, to pay for the cost of your education. The other good aspect about the PA program is that you may decide, especially if you have children, that you want a career that is less demanding than medicine and that being a PA satisfies your career needs for the time that your children are small. Medical school will be there and you have stated that your immediate needs are in one particular area for the next couple of years.
  8. 1Path

    1Path Banned Banned

    Nov 19, 2004
    Many, many years ago when I was a struggling premed, someone suggested I go PA until I decided to pursue med school in earnest and it's a decision that I often wish I had followed up on. Life can throw many "delays" your way and it would have been nice to have earned a great salary and had exposure to medicine, all while waiting for the right time to go to med school.
  9. Paul DO

    Paul DO

    Mar 7, 2007
    I am 30 y/o. I am a second year medical student. I graduated from PA school at the age of 25, worked for 3 wonderful years and now I am in my second year of med school. If you cannot go to medical school now and PA program is available for you, my take on this is to do it!!!. First of all, the experience that you get as a PA is involuble. However, after becoming a PA do not confind youself to specialty work. You have to work in the Interman Medicine, preferable in a non-teaching hospital. This way you can "play a doctor" for some time before med shcool. Does this help with your applicaiton to med school. Tough quesiton. My pre-PA college GPA was 3.3 and that would not get me into med school. My PA GPA was 3.9. The catch here is that allopathic med schools did not want to count this GPA, only osteopathic ones did. I am an osteopathic student. Another thing is that if you want to stay as a PA and raise a family this will be an option for you. PA is a wonderful wonderful profession but personally I grew out of my short coat and needed more science and basics. Good luck.
  10. crazydiamond

    crazydiamond Non-trad with 2 kids 2+ Year Member

    May 29, 2007
    Albuquerque, NM
    Personally, I'd skip the PA school since you know you want to be an MD. I'd wait the 2-3 years for med school, in the mean time filling your days by working (do you have any skills?), taking some science classes that are of interest, and volunteering. If you're interested in research, try to find a job as a lab tech and you can do that until he's done with school.

    It's not easy when you're older and have spouses and kids. Some sacrifices are in order, usually. You can move away from each other and make it work out, you can postpone your application until you're both ready, or you can do the PA route. The PA route just seems very strange to me since you only ahve 2 years before applying to med school. If PA school is 27 mos, then you'd essentially be applying to med school right when you graduate. Am I missing something?
  11. primadonna22274

    primadonna22274 Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Honestly I would NOT do PA unless you can do it VERY VERY CHEAPLY. I have no idea what the costs are of the Florida schools but the $80k my program cost me (in 98-00) on top of $20k in undergrad loans is the biggest reason I'm not back in med school now.
    If you believe you can be a happy PA for PA's sake, then more power to you, but to do it as a stepping stone is a big waste of time and money IMHO (as a practicing PA in her seventh year).
    good luck,
  12. Nasrudin

    Nasrudin Apropos of Nothing 10+ Year Member

    Jun 8, 2006
    There seems to be a lot of sdn heavyweights recommending the PA route. These are people with a lot of experience. There's just one problem....

    Its their experience. Not yours.

    If I had a nickel for every time somebody told me I should be a nurse or a PA I'd probably have my finances for med school squared away.

    This is one of those things that is on you girl. PA programs are intensive terminal professional degrees complete with their own clinical rotations. they require full commitment. Your investment in opportunity costs which are the combination of lost wages and cost of tuition and living expenses will be tremendous.

    You will have the investment sunken into an entirely different career. You think you have pressures now wait until you guys have a household to manage with possibly a child to look out for. The effort to go back to MD school will be tremendous.

    My vote is for you to figure out which career you want and stick to it. I would not pursue a PA masters degree with the intention of going to medical school.

    Good luck. These types of decisions are always tough.

    Edit: This is just me--what I would do. I do understand the need to make money and achieve intermediate goals. It's just I think the masters pa program is too long hard and expensive to be an intermediate goal.
  13. OrthoQueen

    OrthoQueen Banned Banned

    Jul 5, 2007
    ALWAYS!! ALWAYS!! Follow your dreams. If your man understands the importance of your dreams, then he will be on your bandwagon cheering for you no matter if you are living in the same household or in a different state..... you WILL make it work....:D
  14. umsami

    umsami 5+ Year Member

    Jul 18, 2007
    First off, there's no guarantee that you'll get into UCF's med school.. or USF... UF... FSU... NOVA... etc. I think the PA program you refer to in Orlando is run by NOVA, right?? If you're interested in possibly attending NOVA and being a DO it might be a good idea. But remember that NOVA does not offer any sort of instate tuition like the other Florida medical schools. We're talking big-time debt, here.

    I think you should at least shadow some PAs as well as docs in the specialties you think you might be interested in pursuing. That might give you an idea as to the reality of the careers with both.

    The good thing about the PA degree is that if you don't get into med school, you're still working in a field you love. BUT, it could also be really frustrating as you'll take a majority of the same classes as the med students (at least in the PA programs I've seen)... yet won't finish all of your hard work with an MD or DO.

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