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Aug 29, 2001
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Hey I see it has been 8 days since anyone posted here!! What's going on?

Anyway, I'd like to hear what some PAs out there have to say about this common comment about the profession:

'PA's don't have the autonomy that a physician does. You may as well just go to med school instead.'

Does it bother you to not have this autonomy, and what does that really mean on a day-to-day basis? What advantages do you think the PA profession has over becoming a DO or MD?

Thanks in advance!



Chiller, it is not about autonomy or being a physician. It is about a different aspect of help in the health-care community. Read though some of the older threads for the answers about differences you seek.


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Jan 10, 1999
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although I think I will always have some hangups or beefs about PAs...smedley is right, listen to the man...besides, he's part of the brotherhood.."let those who ride decide" right smedley
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Actually, you have two statements there - so lets address them both. The first statement is that PA's don't have the autonomy that physicians do. That is completly, 100% correct. PA's must work with physician supervision - to what degree is determined greatly by where you work, the type of procedures you are doing, state rules, etc etc etc. A PA is not a physician and few if any of the profession think they are. You do not go through the pain of PA school without having had to look into the career and understood what you are getting in to. So yes - physicians have more autonomy (but not unlimited actually...) than PA's. But PA's can also change their career emphasis much quicker and easier than a physician can also as a side note.

The second comment is that you should just go to med school instead. This is not a factual comment, but an individual decision to make. I would suggest that if you want to go to med school for what ever personal reasons you have then you should go to med school. Don't become a PA with the intent to become a mini-doc or a doc-wanna-be. Instead, go to PA school to become a PA. People have all sorts of reasons for everything they do - from hair styles, to life styles to career styles. I am completly overjoyed to be where I am as a PA student and what my future career will be. Would I have enjoyed going to med school. Sure - but at this point in my life, another 7-10 years of limited time with my family, non-existant to low income, etc etc etc wern't worth the benifits of being a physician. Instead, the PA life fits my and my family's needs perfectly. Do I realize that what I can do will be limited - of course. That is the trade off I am willing to make at this time. So in any case - don't think PA school is any easier than med school - it isn't. You cover slightly less depth of material, but you do it in much less time. Obviously I'm not talking residency period here, but just the med school portion of things. In the end however, you need to make the decesion about which road you wish to travel- make up your own mind after getting input from various people. Enjoy your choice - it is a good one either way.



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Mar 25, 2001
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That was a well thought out response. I considered responding to the original post, but I could not formulate one without reiterating what you had already said.

Keep the posts coming buddy.



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Jun 7, 2001
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Hi everyone
I haven't posted for a while so I thought I would update everyone on my situation. I had my first interview last week at my top choice PA program.. It went really well. I will be finding out if I am accepted sometime during the first week of October. I'm on pins and needles now, but I am relatively confident. I will be sure to post again as soon as I find out. Thank you to everyone for your advice and willingness to help.


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Aug 26, 2001
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  1. Post Doc
matthewwb, where did you apply? if you don't mind me asking, where is your 1st pick and what made it stand ou from the rest? just curious...
emed p.a. :cool:
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