Sep 29, 2010
18
0
MAINE, ew.
Status
Pre-Medical
Hmmm. Well, I am kind of teeter tottering back and forth. Eventually, I know I want to become an obstetrician. Original plan was this - get bachelor's in Biology, after I graduate, take MCATs, then apply to EMCC and spend a year training to become an EMT for clinical experience, and then apply to UNECOM, because they have a PA program there (it is, however, an osteopathic medical school, and I'm not sure if that changes anything or not.)

Well, reading other threads about being a PA, I guess a bachelor's is pretty much useless if you want to become PA-C. So that means, two extra years of school, on top of a year of EMT training.

Now, I think there are benefits to both sides. If I go the PA route, I should have a career by the age of 28 or 29. PA's make a decent amount of money (not that I really care) and don't have to pay malpractice insurance (correct me if I am wrong).

I have a five month old daughter. My main concern is that I won't be able to spend enough time with her. Judging by other posts, I hear (technically, see) med school is practically suicide inducing, and that most people want to drop out. And since a majority of you don't have children (I am assuming), and you're all ready exhausted, stressed out, and barely have any time to eat, let alone sleep.

But then again I have read that some moms have children before applying to med school...or during med school, or before they begin taking pre-med courses, some are single, some are not, etc. etc. etc. Family is insanely important to me, and as much as I want to be an obstetrician, if it'll put too much strain on my relationship with my daughter, I'm not sure I want to do it.

I am only interested in becoming a certified physician assistant OR an obstetrician.

I do have a daughter to support, and I'm not sure if her father and I will even be together for that much longer (we're having a lot of issues currently...we've been together for six years). What's the average annual income for a resident? I know for an intern, it's...$35k...if that?

Soooo if you were me, what would you do?
 

marble30

10+ Year Member
Oct 27, 2008
614
35
Status
Resident [Any Field]
...I think I'll let the other regulars get this one.
 
Aug 5, 2010
809
2
Status
Pre-Medical
I'm not you because there is no chance whatsoever that I would be a PA if I couldn't be a doctor.

It's a choice you have to make yourself. Med school is longer, and you will work like a mule during residency. OB/Gyn is going to have very....interesting hours (certainly not 9-5). People can and do balance life and med school and residency. However, it's very well known that divorce is also very common. You have to prioritize that yourself.
 

Drrrrrr. Celty

Osteo Dullahan
7+ Year Member
Nov 10, 2009
16,115
5,368
Status
Medical Student
You need a bachelors to get accepted to PA school. It sounds really like PA is more of a fit for you. However don't consider it to be easier than medical school, its is more then likely just as hard but medical school.
 
Last edited:
OP
E
Sep 29, 2010
18
0
MAINE, ew.
Status
Pre-Medical
I'm not you because there is no chance whatsoever that I would be a PA if I couldn't be a doctor.

It's a choice you have to make yourself. Med school is longer, and you will work like a mule during residency (OB/Gyn) is going to have very....interesting hours. People can and do balance life and med school and residency. However, it's very well known that divorce is also very common. You have to prioritize that yourself.

Yeah, that's what bummed me out. 70% chance of getting divorced, especially since my boyfriend is not interested in medicine at.all. I'm not sure how we'll end up, and I'm more-so concerned about the relationship I'll have with my daughter. And what if I want more children in the future?

I'm not saying it's impossible for me to become a doctor...the main thing I like about PA certification is that you have a career and a steady income by the time you...well, get hired. If I went the PA route, I'd still get to assist in deliveries, work in an OB office...etc. As a PA though, I'm not sure if the hours are different as opposed to an MD? I don't know. If I can work in medicine, I might as well spend the rest of my life at my current job, because I have absolutely no interest in anything else.
 
OP
E
Sep 29, 2010
18
0
MAINE, ew.
Status
Pre-Medical
You need a bachelors to get accepted to PA school. It sounds really like PA is more of a fit for you. However don't consider it to be easier then medical school, its probably just has hard but it is only 3 years versus 7+.

Good point.

I was thinking of maybe applying to med school once my daughter, and any future babies I might have, are all grown up. Maybe somewhere in my late thirties.
 
OP
E
Sep 29, 2010
18
0
MAINE, ew.
Status
Pre-Medical
You need a bachelors to get accepted to PA school. It sounds really like PA is more of a fit for you. However don't consider it to be easier then medical school, its probably just has hard but it is only 3 years versus 7+.

Also, I read (around here) that hospital's hiring PA's prefer to hire PA's that have a master's. So that's...six years, plus a 26 month PA program. And clincial experience.
 

Ursa

woof
5+ Year Member
Oct 19, 2010
1,077
2
Status
Medical Student
And since a majority of you don't have children (I am assuming), and you're all ready exhausted, stressed out, and barely have any time to eat, let alone sleep.
Whatever school you decide to go for, just remember to write in complete sentences when you are filling out the application or writing your personal statement. ^^^

Also, my S/O made the switch from applying to med school to applying for PA school because she wants the better lifestyle. It's no doubt that PA is a better route in terms of mothers/prospective mothers who want to spend a good amount of time with their children. I would suggest PA just because of the vibe I get from your post, especially the parts concerning being a mother and wanting to spend quality time at home. Either way, good luck!
 

Ursa

woof
5+ Year Member
Oct 19, 2010
1,077
2
Status
Medical Student
I'm not you because there is no chance whatsoever that I would be a PA if I couldn't be a doctor.
Directionality problems? Anyone else reading that a little funny? I can't pinpoint what I don't like about that sentence! LOL :)



You need a bachelors to get accepted to PA school. It sounds really like PA is more of a fit for you. However don't consider it to be easier then medical school, its probably just has hard but it is only 3 years versus 7+.
Most PA programs are only 24-26 months long...And I think the longest one(s) are maybe 30 months. So they are substantially shorter than med school.
 
OP
E
Sep 29, 2010
18
0
MAINE, ew.
Status
Pre-Medical
Haha, oops. My daughter is teething, just worked a ten hour shift on like, three hours of sleep so I'm a little tired. Yes, that's my explanation for not writing in complete sentences :)

If I'm interested in specializing in both surgery as well as OB. How do I go about this...plan...here. Do I just get my bachelors, master's, then apply to PA school and just shadow obstetricians?

We have several PA's that specialize in surgery at our local hospital...I might call them and see how to do about doing this.
 

Evergrey

10+ Year Member
Dec 27, 2008
1,471
6
Status
Medical Student
We have several PA's that specialize in surgery at our local hospital...I might call them and see how to do about doing this.
PAs don't do surgery, they only ever assist... I wouldn't consider myself the expert on this matter, but if you are interested in anything surgical then I'm pretty sure physicians have an absolute monopoly on that.
 

Rendar5

15+ Year Member
Nov 12, 2003
7,004
631
Florida
Status
Attending Physician
If you're really interested in obstetrics specifically, I think you're looking in completely the wrong direction. You should be looking towards midwivery, not PA. If you don't have the resources or the drive to spend 8 more years of hellish work hours, $200,000 debt for 4 years + $40K-$50K salary for 4 more years while working 80hrs/wk, then don't go into medicine. It's really really really not worth it unless there's just something about being a doctor that really drives you (and I don't mean healthcare, I mean being an MD/DO).

If you ahve the drive simply to be a really good healthcare provider with clinical duties, then mid-level provider is for you. That's PA, midwife, NP, cRNA. If you want ob, then midwife is the most esteemed mid-level.
 
OP
E
Sep 29, 2010
18
0
MAINE, ew.
Status
Pre-Medical
PAs don't do surgery, they only ever assist... I wouldn't consider myself the expert on this matter, but if you are interested in anything surgical then I'm pretty sure physicians have an absolute monopoly on that.

Ha, I know, I just knew that you could specialize in surgery as a PA. First hand assist, or second assist. I'm aware that I wouldn't be doing a surgery on my own.

I would like the opportunity to assist in surgical deliveries, was what I meant. And yes, I am still interested in OB because I do like the surgical aspect of it.

Again, I'm aware that I would not be performing surgery, only assisting.
 
OP
E
Sep 29, 2010
18
0
MAINE, ew.
Status
Pre-Medical
If you're really interested in obstetrics specifically, I think you're looking in completely the wrong direction. You should be looking towards midwivery, not PA. If you don't have the resources or the drive to spend 8 more years of hellish work hours, $200,000 debt for 4 years + $40K-$50K salary for 4 more years while working 80hrs/wk, then don't go into medicine. It's really really really not worth it unless there's just something about being a doctor that really drives you (and I don't mean healthcare, I mean being an MD/DO).

If you ahve the drive simply to be a really good healthcare provider with clinical duties, then mid-level provider is for you. That's PA, midwife, NP, cRNA. If you want ob, then midwife is the most esteemed mid-level.

I was actually thinking of either getting PA-certification, specializing in obstetrics and surgery, and then actually attending midwifery school, or getting PA certification and specializing in OB and surgery, and then applying to med school in my late thirties.

I just really like the surgical aspect of women's health. *shrug* Being only a midwife would be very unsatisfying for me.
 

NYCGuy86

7+ Year Member
Aug 12, 2010
177
43
New York City
Status
Non-Student
I considered PA school for a while before changing to pre-med.

As others have said, most PA programs either require a bachelor's degree (the masters conferring programs) or are bachelor's degree programs themselves (obviously taught at a graduate level still).

It wouldn't make sense to take the MCAT after you graduate then become an EMT, then attend PA school, since the MCAT expires after 3 years (correct me if I'm wrong), and PA schools do not ask for the MCAT (many want the GRE instead). If you want to be an EMT-B for clinical experience, see if you can do that sooner, since many programs are only one semester long, 3 days a week (mine was Tuesday and Thursday evenings, and Saturday morning to early afternoon).

You should probably think about whether you want to ultimately be a PA or a physician. If you want to be a physician (OBGYN?), it doesn't make sense to waste time with a PA program.
 

NYCGuy86

7+ Year Member
Aug 12, 2010
177
43
New York City
Status
Non-Student
If I'm interested in specializing in both surgery as well as OB. How do I go about this...plan...here. Do I just get my bachelors, master's, then apply to PA school and just shadow obstetricians?

It doesn't matter what degree you get, since all PA students have to pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE) to practice as a Physician Assistant. Most programs confer the Masters degree, while many still confer the Bachelor's degree (we have a couple of those in the NYC area). All students still have to take the same certifying exam.

In PA school, you'll have rotations in both General Surgery and OB-GYN. You can probably use an elective rotation to have more experience in either if that's your interest, just like with medical school.

You may also be interested in this website:

Association of Physician Assistants in Obstetrics and Gynecology
 

NYCGuy86

7+ Year Member
Aug 12, 2010
177
43
New York City
Status
Non-Student
I was actually thinking of either getting PA-certification, specializing in obstetrics and surgery, and then actually attending midwifery school, or getting PA certification and specializing in OB and surgery, and then applying to med school in my late thirties.

I just really like the surgical aspect of women's health. *shrug* Being only a midwife would be very unsatisfying for me.
Most midwives are actually Nurse Midwives, meaning that they not only have a bachelor's in nursing, but also a masters degree in nurse midwifery (they are "advanced practice nurses"). So, it wouldn't really make sense to go to PA school then go to Midwifery school, since that would be WAY too much extra school when you can just go to nursing school for that.

If you're interested in the surgical aspect of women's health, then perhaps PA school (or MD/DO school?) would be better than Nurse Midwifery school.
 
Nov 8, 2010
13
0
Eau Claire, WI
Status
Pre-Medical
Have you looked into 5-year PA programs? I know UNECOM has an early admissions program where you can attend their undergrad school for three years, attend their pa school and recieve your B.S., M.S. and PA-C all in the matter of five years.

Other programs like this exist as well; Detroit Mercy, St. Francis, and PCOM.

Just a thought...
 
OP
E
Sep 29, 2010
18
0
MAINE, ew.
Status
Pre-Medical
Have you looked into 5-year PA programs? I know UNECOM has an early admissions program where you can attend their undergrad school for three years, attend their pa school and recieve your B.S., M.S. and PA-C all in the matter of five years.

Other programs like this exist as well; Detroit Mercy, St. Francis, and PCOM.

Just a thought...
Yeah, I was just looking at their website and saw that.

I totally would if I wasn't such a lameass in high school. I did NOT apply myself at all. That's why I'm going for B.S. in Biology.
 
OP
E
Sep 29, 2010
18
0
MAINE, ew.
Status
Pre-Medical
Ultimately, I would love to be an Obstetrician.

But I'm also a family person. I plan on having more children, and just recently gave birth five months ago.

Time away from my daughter, and any other future children I may have, is the only thing that pulls me toward PA-C as opposed to MD.

IDK.

Would it make sense to obtain B.S. in Biology, receive EMT training for a year, and then apply to a PA program? Considering that's usually the route most PA's take. Or at least that's what I've heard from the ones I've spoken with.

Or, if I obtain a B.S. in Biology, is there anything I can do with a bachelor's in Biology for a year after graduation that would count as clinical experience? *shrug*

Oh, the downfalls of each route. Damn.
 

NYCGuy86

7+ Year Member
Aug 12, 2010
177
43
New York City
Status
Non-Student
Ultimately, I would love to be an Obstetrician.

But I'm also a family person. I plan on having more children, and just recently gave birth five months ago.

Time away from my daughter, and any other future children I may have, is the only thing that pulls me toward PA-C as opposed to MD.

IDK.

Would it make sense to obtain B.S. in Biology, receive EMT training for a year, and then apply to a PA program? Considering that's usually the route most PA's take. Or at least that's what I've heard from the ones I've spoken with.

Or, if I obtain a B.S. in Biology, is there anything I can do with a bachelor's in Biology for a year after graduation that would count as clinical experience? *shrug*

Oh, the downfalls of each route. Damn.
If you're interested in EMT-Basic, those programs are generally only one semester long. EMT-Intermediate is generally one year, and EMT-Paramedic is usually two years (associates degree). All you really need is EMT-Basic. How many more years do you have for your BS? You could probably do the EMT-B program during a summer and get it done earlier if you have time.

Also note that a few PA programs take volunteering as "clinical experience", though most prefer more "hands on" experience. Maybe you could look at Nursing Assistant/Technician jobs as well, as some hospitals don't require any certification beyond CPR/BLS to be hired, and they do on the job training. Here is what Duke's PA program says about this:

"
A minimum of 1,000 hours of patient care experience is required with direct, "hands-on" patient contact (e.g., EMT or paramedic, health educator, RN, patient care attendant or nurse's aide, clinic assistant, Peace Corps volunteer or other cross-cultural health care experience, technologist, therapist, clinical research assistant, etc.). 1,000 hours of patient care experience must be completed no later than October 1, 2010.

The following types of experience are NOT accepted toward the 1,000 hours of patient care experience: PA or physician observer or shadow, non-clinical research assistant positions, student clinical experience (student nurse, student EMT, student athletic trainer, or other health care student), student "intern" experiences, candy striper or junior volunteer positions, CPR or ACLS instructor, wilderness medicine instructor, patient transporter, pharmaceutical representative, ski patroller, life guard, aerobics instructor, unit clerk, insurance clerk, medical secretary or other clerical positions."




It sounds like you're more interested in PA than MD due to your family responsibilities, and you're okay with "assisting" at surgery. This would also be a better option than Nurse Midwife, since you're interested in surgery. Check out this page for more on the duties of an OB-GYN PA:


http://www.paobgyn.org/faq.html#duties