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15+ Year Member
Aug 13, 2002
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Im interested in becoming a physician assistant and have researched quite a few programs. I came across stanford PA program and was wondering if anyone out there has gone there and knows something about it. I know that a Bs is not required so, I'm wondering if its any good. My medical experience is 2 years as an anesthesia tech and have good hands on experience. I intubate and do central lines as well as assist Anesthesia docs with spinal taps etc... I have been to Guatemala and volunteer to help men,woman,and children get medical attention. I understand that my experience does not compare to a Respiratory Therapist/RN but I would like to know if anyone can tell me where I stand b/c I know some of you have been through it all. Any info or suggestions are welcome. Thanks......


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15+ Year Member
May 26, 2002
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howdy. While I haven't heard a great deal about Stanford's program, I know one thing: it's a Bachelor's Program. That alone should sound warning signs in your head. While a BS was standard training for PA's even a couple of years ago, now most schools are moving towards the Master's degree. Sooner than later, the BS will not be looked at as highly as an MS and unless you have tons of experience (ie: my professors all hold BS's because they graduated 20 years ago!) you're likely to make less $$ and have a harder time finding an "ideal" job. That's just something to consider. If you have a Bachelor's degree, I would suggest taking the GRE (not at all a hard test) and applying to a Master's program. However, if going back to school to get your BS is not an option, then you've got nothing to lose applying to Stanford, or other schools that still offer a BS in Physician Assistant Studies. With your level of experience in the real world, programs will look VERY favorably upon you! In my class there are several med tech's.
Good luck with your decision.
Gig 'em!
Aggie PA
UT Southwestern PA Class of 2004


15+ Year Member
Aug 25, 2001
Taking an Away team....
  1. Post Doc
As a former ca resident I looked at stanford until I learned a few things...
1.program actaly taught at a community college only
3.poor rotations
4.short clinical time compared to other programs
5. very little specialty experience, mostly FP
6. bad reputation for above reasons
7. grads have hard time finding jobs outside of primary care

if you want to stay in california, go to USC,. it's the best california program. if you can be mobile, find an older well established program that has been around more than 10 years. with your background the program at emory in georgia would be ideal. it has a critical care focus.good luck-e


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Sep 2, 2002
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I am a current Stanford PA student. Stanford is not a BS program, it is a certificate program-if you are an RN, you are awarded both PA and FNP certificates. If you have a BS or BA, you have the option of earning an MPH. Classes are not at a community college, they are at Stanford School of Medicine. Most of the lectures are provided by Stanford professors, alumni, etc.
The program is 15 months long, and stresses primary care. You arrange your own preceptors, clinical rotations, etc.-this can be very difficult as there are 3 medical schools, 3 pa schools, and 4 nurse practitioner programs in the Bay area, with students all vying for rotation space in the local hospitals and clinics. As far as job offers, I think virtually everyone in my class has had at least one job offer. This program has a very high pass rate for the national certification exam. This program is very intense and requires absolute attention/dedication for 15 months. If you are not absolutely driven, you will not succeed here.
To the original poster, I'm curious as to what state allows "anesthesia techs" to intubate and start central lines. I know RT's that rarely get to intubate.
Anyway, choosing a PA program should not be a knee jerk reaction. They are all different, have different requirements, different philosophies, different expectations. My best advice would be to thoroughly research each program that you are interested in. Talk to the admissions people, talk to current students, visit the campus, really think about what you want out of a program. Once you've decided on a school then go all out to meet their entrance requirements. PEACE!
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