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SMP for PA school??

Discussion in 'Clinicians [ RN / NP / PA ]' started by Rambo11, Sep 3, 2014.

  1. Rambo11

    2+ Year Member

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    Hey y'all, I am gunning for PA school but I do not know if I have a chance at being accepted quite yet. I've got a BS in Sociology cGPA: 3.1 sGPA:3.09. I have not taken the GRE yet. I have taken all of the prereqs and I am also working as an EMT. I know my GPA is subpar for PA school so I am considering applying to 1 year special masters programs ( i.e. MA Biomedicine) to enhance my app.

    Is this the most logical, time/energy efficient way of potentially becoming a suitable applicant?

    Are SMPs for PA applicants?

    What options do I have?
     
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  3. pamac

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    Those degree programs are expensive, and have dubious reward. They have zero reward if you don't end up getting into a professional program. I'd put your money into something that can pay off somehow as you wait to get accepted.
     
  4. Rambo11

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    So... Take out large amounts of educational loans and invest it in the stock market? Sounds good.

    ...and wait to get accepted because I'm in like Flynn!
     
  5. wutthechris

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    Go ahead and apply if you have at least a couple years of HCE and a strong upward trend. Otherwise, go to paramedic school(or any allied health program) to kill two birds with one stone and to have a good backup plan if it takes you a while to get in.
     
  6. pamac

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    You sound like you think your only option is to take on debt and chase a worthless degree so you have a chance to roll the dice that it will help you get into PA school. Why not take science prereqs to get into a paramedic, respiratory therapy, nursing, lab science, radiology tech, public health, etc degree? If you don't get into PA school, at least you have options on deck. If you get an MA in bioscience and don't get into pa school, what do you do... Go work at the bioscience factory?
     
    TheTao and emedpa like this.
  7. 420skeptic

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    Someone I worked with did an SMP to get into PA school. He's now a first year student at Stony. I don't think it's the most efficient use of your time but you would not be the first to do it.
     
  8. pamac

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    I'd look at it this way, getting the Smp might help you a little, but it will cost you a lot of money and time you won't get back. It's definitely not going to shoot you to the front, or even middle of the line. I wouldn't invest in anything at that price that's not close to a sure thing. I know PAs that didn't do SMPs that are drowning in debt. I can't imagine racking up that much more. Get a paramedic or RT degree with your time... At least you'll have that going for you. I work with RTs that make almost as much as some of the low paid PAs where I work.... With considerably less debt. Most of them could probably walk right into PA school if they wanted.

    If you get an SMP, you might be in the same position next cycle.... And have no way to get decent health care experience after spending all that money. Those programs prey on folks that need a hole in one after undergrad with a biology degree they can't use. Do something else and you might even enjoy the path to get where you want.
     
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  9. BestDoctorEver

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    It seems like PA was a great deal 10+ years ago when tuition was <20k/year. Now tuition has gotten very expensive... I looked into a PA school and I was shocked to see tuition was as high as med school. After I talked to a couple of primary care PAs who were kind enough to tell me their compensations (75k-85k), I did not think it was worth it to spend 150k in cost of attendance for a not so great salary. And contrary to most I have seen in SDN, most PA schools are a little over 2 years. I personally think NP is a better deal than PA. I have a couple of friends who did RN and then to NP in 3 years (part-time) while working. They got their NP degree with not even 1/3 of the debt that most PA students accumulated.
     
  10. pamac

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    I worked a shift alongside a PA who went to a great school. This PA said that education and undergrad put them almost $200k in debt. They work over 50 hours a week for roughly $90k. Their supervising physician was heard by my friend saying that with the numbers of PAs getting churned out locally, he could see wages going down to $60-70k per year within a decade for PA grads, and practice groups offering that along with a contract to pay off school loans. That was from a guy who employs PAs. That kind of development wouldn't bode well for NPs, because I feel like their boats rise and fall along with PAs. The only thing that could separate the two might be the independence NPs enjoy,as well as the DNP.

    If I worked 50 hours a week, id make close to $85k, and have about 20 12-hour PTO shifts. I can call in sick anytime I need to and still have coverage... In fact, it wouldn't be my problem to fill my shift. My PA acquaintance gets 12 PTO days, and time off that isn't sick leave needs to be approved at least a couple months in advance to see if it even will get approved or not. So many things about being a PA aren't what I expected to see, and as a nurse, I seem to have a lot more flexibility. The average PA is going to have a lot easier time hitting 100k than even a highly motivated nurse, but it's worth factoring in debt and quality of life issues. But realistically, it would almost kill me to gross $90k as a floor nurse. I think just about any PA could pull that off without trying very hard. However, my debt from school was nothing, and the same would be true for me as an NP.

    I've seen pharmacy students, dental students, podiatry students, chiropractic students, and PA students, and RN students get caught up in the hype thinking the ends justify the means, and that if they could only get into and through school, then high tuition is a reasonable price. I work with floor nurses with $100k+ dollars debt because they didn't want to wait to get into a cheap school and instead went to a really expensive school that would accept them now. After paying on $100k per month in education loans, what's left to pay rent and support yourself? It's easy to get whipped up into a frenzy when you want to get in somewhere, though.
     

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