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prerequisites for PA school

Discussion in 'Clinicians [ RN / NP / PA ]' started by treesap, Sep 13, 2001.

  1. treesap

    treesap Member 7+ Year Member

    May 27, 2001
    I'm a little confused and would appreciate any info out there. I looked into PA school a while ago when deciding what field of medicine I would go into (RN, MD, PA, DO?). I soon learned that the only PA program in my state recommends only RN's or medical military personnel with 10+ years of experience should apply. I have since met many people who have graduated from the program and confirm that EMTs/medics/RNs/army medics (roughly age 30ish) are the majority of the matriculated students. Okay, fair enough.

    Recently a group of my friends have decided that PA school is the best way to supplement their military background and current hospital work (as technicians) for a more fulfilling career. I am quite confused as to the type of programs that are offered. Some require a Bachelor's (plus exp), yet other require only 4-5 classes that you could take at a community college. What is the deal? You can get a BS or MS and be a PA? Are there any differences in the way they can practice (i.e. more restrictions)?

    I looked at the aapa site and saw there are 120 schools, but only 60 or so are registered with CASPA. Does anyone know which schools don't require a BS (for those wanting to jump right into their chosen field)? No one wants to spend $35 to register for that subscription site if you are not planning on applying in that year. Also, you could take all your prereqs at a technical or community college and then find out that the school you were interested in won't accept them (UC Davis?).

    Any hints on where to go?
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  3. relaxingyogi

    relaxingyogi Junior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jul 2, 2001
    There are probably about 4 or 5 schools that do not require a BS listed with CASPA.
    The ones that I know are: Midwestern University in AZ and IL, New York College of allied Health, Sunny Brook State (NY). The difference is that if you have a MS you can be specialized (surgery, cardio, ortho, etc.) and make more money. Some of this colleges or universities allow you to take classes at a community college as long as they are equivalent to the one they offer. Check with each particular school because they may have different policies regarding community colleges.
  4. lotchki6

    lotchki6 Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    Brooklyn, NY, USA
    We really need to make an effort to post only correct information on this site..please.

    Your Degree as a PA (Cert, BS, MS) has NOTHING to do with your ability to specialize. Any one that has graduated from an accredited PA program AND passed the boards (holder of a PA-C) can specialize in any branch of medicine they wish, period. As far as money...Some employers offer more money for a higer degree, but that is not universal.

    Most PA programs do require a BS/BA for admission. There are some that do not. However, the new trend is toward only Masters degree prgrams which is thought to take affect within the next few years..after all, PA education IS graduate level edu.

    You can take pre-reqs at any school you wish, as long as they satisfy individual schools requirements. However, you must realize that PA school has become extremely competitive (anyone that has gone through the process or is going through it now can attest to this). Your goal should portray yourself as competitive as possible to the AD COM. It might help a little bit if some of your pre reqs came from a 4-year institution with some credibility. Hope this helps.


  5. treesap

    treesap Member 7+ Year Member

    May 27, 2001
    Thank you both for responding!

    To clarify...Students who graduate from an accredited program and pass the boards will all be PA-C's? Regardless of their program's degree granted (certificate, BS, or MS)? Although I think it will help when the schools decide to standardize their certifications granted, it seems like all PA-C's should earn the same amount if they are doing the same job in a similar area.

    What about specializing? Those who choose to do a surgery or gyn residency after the program, are they then certified in only one area of practice? If you know you are interested in going into surgery, are some schools better for this than others? Or do they all focus on pretty much the same things in the first years and assume those who want to specialize will pick it up during their residency?

    I apologize for sounding seems there is a bit of misinformation out there and I am not sure what to believe.

    Thanks again!

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