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docisin

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Hi everyone, this is my first post ...

I am doing a career change. I was working on masters/doctorate in psychology (hence the username) and working as much as I could in the field. Here where I live you can not do much with a Bachelors of Science (BS) in psychology, you need a minimum of a masters (hence why I was working on both, masters and doctorate at the same time). ( I have been taking a sabbatical so I could save enough money and go back. But that being said with a BS, it is just that BS, in other words Bull */=0 , in psychology. In other words you really can not to do much with a BS. And personally I am tired of being poor and wondering if the grant I was working on when is it going to run out of money.

Anyways, recently I had the privilege opportunity to shadow one of the chief surgeons where I live. What an opportunity those 2 days where! He encouraged me to go back to school and do what I really what I want to do and that is get into medicine. He also introduced me to his PA (Physician Assistant) I was shadowing him too. They both encouraged me to really consider going back to school and think of PA school.

I did some inquiring about the classes and education and duration. Surprisingly the program is only 2.5 years! I was shocked to learn that is all it takes! So, now I am inquiring about classes towards the GRE (Surprisingly I never had to take that when I was in Grad School. I only took the MAT (Miller's Analogy Test). I must admit I am somewhat intimidated by this whole process and to think of taking the GRE scares me. (Math has never been my forte' so I am afraid.)

So, you all are probably where am I going with this ... Here is the thing, how did you all prepare for Med School? Do you have any links that you think might help me? I realize they are 2 totally different programs, but yet I feel they are the same. Can you suggest something? I assume you all took the MCAT, and not the GRE. So if any of you can think of anything that might help me it would be appreciated. Links etc

Thanks in advance ... OK I will shut up now
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spicedmanna

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So, you all are probably where am I going with this ... Here is the thing, how did you all prepare for Med School? Do you have any links that you think might help me? I realize they are 2 totally different programs, but yet I feel they are the same. Can you suggest something? I assume you all took the MCAT, and not the GRE. So if any of you can think of anything that might help me it would be appreciated. Links etc

I'm a little confused by your post. Are you trying to contrast and compare the educational requirements for PA and for MD? Please shadow each some more and decide on which level you want to pursue. There are similarities, but they are not the same, as you suggest.

To qualify for admissions into an MD program (allopathic), you need to have completed the premedical prerequisite classes, at least 90 undergraduate credits, although most have at least a bachelor's degree, and have taken the MCAT. In general this amounts to 1 year of biology + lab (8 credits), 1 year of general chemistry + lab (8 credits), 1 year of organic chemistry + lab (8 credits), 1 year of english (6 credits), 1 year of physics + lab (8 credits), some math, and sometimes biochemistry, cell and molecular biology, and additional biology and humanities/social science classes. These core science classes (biology, physics, general chemistry, and organic chemistry) also provide the basic knowledge you will need to take the MCAT. The average GPA and MCAT for a matriculant is approximately 3.6 and 30. Successful candidates will also have had clinical and volunteer/community service experiences. Medical schools generally want well rounded candidates, and some schools look favorably on research. It's a highly competitive process. Pick up the MSAR (check the AAMC website) for further details on the individual schools and their requirements.

The average candidate will apply broadly, to a number of schools; if you are a good candidate and lucky, you'll get a few interviews. The education process is 4 years of medical school (2 year preclinical and 2 years clinical clerkship rotations), followed by at least 3-4 years of post-graduate clinical work (residency), and sometimes a fellowship. The educational process is lengthy and expensive; most people take out a large loan, over 200K. Residency is fairly hard work (around 80 hrs per week with call) and the pay pretty much stinks, but things improve when you become an attending physician. You will also need to take and pass the USMLE exams for licensure and sometimes for promotion in medical school; there are several "steps", I-III. Most physicians also elect to become board certified, thus necessitating another exam.

Here is some info about PA: http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=362557

Good luck!
 

Inkabellous

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1) Decide what you want to do, either M.D. or P.A.
2) Decide which school you'd like to attend
3) Go to the school website to see the requirements
5) Note the statistics for the incoming class (GPA and MCAT/GRE score)
4) Evaluate your status/chances
 
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docisin

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spicedmanna & Inkabellous: Sorry for the confusion ... OK I guess I was not to clear as to what I was trying to convey. Let me say it this way, what I am 'thinking' of pursuing is PA. The reason for the ambivalence is as I stated I am afraid. That is why I was asking if any of you have any links or anything you can share that might make fear go away would be appreciated. I hope now this makes more sense now.
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spicedmanna: BTW thanks for that link. I was looking all around for something that pertained PAs, but I could not find anything.
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