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Dr.iz-n

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Hi,
I am going back and forth with the idea of becoming a physician assistant, but I am still always perplexed about following my dream of becoming a doctor. I like both fields, and I may be starting a physician assistant program soon, but have their ever been any instances where someone started a physician assistant program, and then applied and transferred to become an MD (i.e., transferred to a MD program?)
 

BellyDancingDoc

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Hi,
I am going back and forth with the idea of becoming a physician assistant, but I am still always perplexed about following my dream of becoming a doctor. I like both fields, and I may be starting a physician assistant program soon, but have their ever been any instances where someone started a physician assistant program, and then applied and transferred to become an MD (i.e., transferred to a MD program?)

Hey Dr.iz-n,

While I'm sure that there have been many instances where someone who was already done with their PA was accepted into an MD program, you will not find many (or perhaps any!) instances in which someone "transfers" after starting the PA program. Failure to complete any degree-granting program is generally considered a big no-no, and could well get you chucked out of the interview pile. Also, many schools actually require you to show proof of completion of any program in which you were enrlled during the interview season before matriculation into medical school...

Bottom line: if you want to be a PA, then be a PA. If you want to be an MD, be an MD. If you're not sure what you want, don't start either until you decide. But don't drop out halfway through a PA program and assume that you'll get into an MD school.
 

spicedmanna

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Hi,
I am going back and forth with the idea of becoming a physician assistant, but I am still always perplexed about following my dream of becoming a doctor. I like both fields, and I may be starting a physician assistant program soon, but have their ever been any instances where someone started a physician assistant program, and then applied and transferred to become an MD (i.e., transferred to a MD program?)

If you mean to ask about direct transfer between a PA program (a Master's level degree) and a MD program (a professional doctorate degree), then I don't know of any cases. They are not equivalent degrees; direct transfer doesn't seem possible.

I agree with BellyDancingDoc's bottom-line.
 
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Vox Animo

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Hi,
I am going back and forth with the idea of becoming a physician assistant, but I am still always perplexed about following my dream of becoming a doctor. I like both fields, and I may be starting a physician assistant program soon, but have their ever been any instances where someone started a physician assistant program, and then applied and transferred to become an MD (i.e., transferred to a MD program?)

There is a student in my school who worked as a PA then decided to pursue a medical degree. He is doing very well.

I would not plan on being able to transfer though, most programs don't allow that, or the classes would probably not transfer.
You could complete the pa program, then apply to medical school, but you are throwing away alot of time and money.

I'd suggest pick one or the other, and if you aren't satisfied with the pa route, go medical. From you post, it sounds like you rather pursue the medical route.
 
W

Wizard of Oz

Time for a wonderful Wizard analogy...

I just thought of a true geek analogy. Think about the first time you learned about activation energy and catalysts...

USMLE I is like the peak of the reaction coordinate for an early reaction in a metabolic pathway, and adcoms want to see evidence of an enzyme in your application to attack that reaction, something that's going to help you bring that hump down. If you can't get past the hump, you're still stuck at reactants and can't make a product (an MD). The pathway gets blocked.

PA school, clinical skills, contacts, hospital experience, etc. may push the pathway once that hump has been passed, but these things are enzymes that act later in the pathway and are downstream of the rate-limiting step. Med schools may like to see those enzymes, but they also think that those enzymes aren't as highly regulated and are tougher to compare between applicants. They also think that capable students can reach the same place at the end of M4 that a previous PA can regardless of the apparent differences in background. You're a neophyte until you've done a residency anyway!

So the sorts of enzymes they like to see to work on the rate-limiting step (USMLE I) are undergraduate prereq's, MCAT, and undergrad science classes that they can use to compare you to other applicants (who are mostly still undergrads).

Of course to take it a step further, med schools don't like it when students invite inhibitors to the table (e.g. working during school).

The substrates are going to all be there for students at every accredited medical school. It's just up to the student to make the reaction work!

Also see the thread that the quote came from to find some former PA's who are in med school.
 
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