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Why do people recommend PA to medical students and premeds?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by mr.applesauce, Nov 11, 2017.

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  1. W19

    W19 SDN Gold Donor Gold Donor Classifieds Approved 2+ Year Member

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    @libertyyne

    I am going to oversimplify the argument here: Do all (or almost all) US med students have the intelligence to get into PA school? Can you say the same for PA students if they want to get into US med school?

    It's time for med students and physicians to stop being afraid of not offending people. We are being run over by EVERYONE.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2017
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  3. libertyyne

    libertyyne 2+ Year Member

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    Sure, Most US med students could get into PA school. Not all PA students could get into medical school, a good chuck could tho. A large portion of the top 20 PA schools could probably get into medical school if they wanted.
     
  4. W19

    W19 SDN Gold Donor Gold Donor Classifieds Approved 2+ Year Member

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    I would say almost all (not most). But I agree with your statement overall.
     
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  5. ThreeCheers

    ThreeCheers

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    You insist that "a good portion" of PA students would have the stats for med school, but (as you said yourself) we don't know what proportion of students are included in the only stat that gives us an apples-to-apples comparison (MCAT scores). We just don't have the appropriate data to make any inferences whether PA students are academically on par with lower-tier med students, or vice versa.

    I do agree that there are students that have PA school as their main career goal, and that there are plenty of good reasons to choose that route over med school. As for the second part of OP's question, my understanding is that PA students don't have nearly the same pressure to meet some arbitrary cutoff score on their boards. They are also allowed to take time off for medical or personal reasons in times of crisis, without it being considered a red flag that destroys their careers. I don't care for pissing contests, but I think it's pretty clear which type of school is harder and more stressful.
     
  6. VincentAdultman

    VincentAdultman Senior Member Gold Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

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    I don't know why PAs go to PA school but if you want to believe that it's because they couldn't get into MD school go ahead. I hope it helps make you feel good and validates your own life choices.
     
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  7. libertyyne

    libertyyne 2+ Year Member

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    upload_2017-11-12_17-44-43.png
    Here is another data point for PA's.
    http://paeaonline.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/2013-Memphis-CASPA-Data.pdf

    You are correct, there is not complete data to make a complete comparison. My contention was to merely disprove that no PA's could get into medical school. There is clearly a subset of PA's that could get into DO schools, maybe even MD schools in some lucky states. I am willing to bet that matriculants at the top tier PA schools would be able to get acceptances somewhere. Contrary to popular belief , not everyone wants to be a doctor.
    Lets be frank here
    upload_2017-11-12_17-52-34.png
    The average score on the mcat is 500, you are saying that a majority of PA's couldnt score a 500 mcat. 37% of DO matriculants have a score of 500 or less.
     
  8. W19

    W19 SDN Gold Donor Gold Donor Classifieds Approved 2+ Year Member

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    No one says that...
     
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  9. ThreeCheers

    ThreeCheers

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    GPAs are a meaningless comparison all around in my opinion. For example, an MIT engineering student with a 3.3 GPA is much more impressive than a 4.0 GPA journalism major at some middling state school.

    I don't disagree that some (n=??) PA students could have gotten into med school, but it's not a very strong statement. I'm sure there are also nurses, admin, etc that could have been doctors if they wanted to. You don't have to convince me that there are plenty of reasons not to want med school.
     
  10. libertyyne

    libertyyne 2+ Year Member

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    job done then?
    You must have a very low opinion of PA's if you think a good chunk of them couldnt get between 489-500 on the mcat.
     
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  11. Stagg737

    Stagg737 2+ Year Member

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    1. That's fair, at least now you're comparing two stats that are more reasonable. However, it's still only a mediocre comparison as you're comparing a single school to the entirety of DO applicants/matriculants. Idk how you'd rank PA schools. PANCE scores?
    2. Not crapping on PAs, and never said the majority went to PA school because they couldn't get into med school, but more than a couple certainly do. If you want to look at it that way though, how many people do you know that went to med school because they couldn't get into PA school?
    3. I never said it was the most competitive, just that it's one of the more highly ranked ones based on people I've talked to from out west. You also have no data showing it's not one of the better ones and have said so yourself it is, so I don't know why you hyperbolized my statement. The point I was trying to make was that Keck pulls largely from the most competitive group of pre-med applicants (Cali pre-meds), so the fact that their applicants have decent MCATs doesn't mean that all PA schools do, it means they're coming from a region where a 27 isn't competitive for med school.
    4. That's fine. Again, don't know why you think people are crapping on PAs. The fact is many of them aren't competitive enough to go to the vast majority of med schools, many are. That's not really news to anyone.
    5. You were talking about overlap and that by showing there's "some overlap" means your statement must be true. I gave a hyperbole to show you how ridiculous that line of thought is, especially given that you're using parameters (MCAT) that aren't consistent within the 2 fields at all. The point is there's no real way to compare the standards for the two fields because their admissions requirements are so different. The best way might be sGPA, but I've seen no documents at all which include PA admissions as a whole.

    As for the CASPA chart, does that include people who ever applied to MD/DO programs, or just ones who applied to other fields in that same cycle? Because those are two very, very different things and I know literally no one who applied to PA school in the same cycle as med school (the ones that failed to get into med school applied for PA school in later cycles). Context matters.

    Nice, you did your job and proved a point that no one was debating. Also, at no point in any post did anyone say a fair number of PA's couldn't get above a 490 on the MCAT. You're reading between lines that aren't there and are making strange comparisons that really have no relevance to the points you're trying to make. PA's are generally smart people who perform a much needed service and many could probably get into some med school, and I haven't seen anyone on thins thread make that argument. However, going back to the original question asked, the requirements for getting into PA school (other than clinical hours required) and the difficulty of PA school is a lower standard than both MD and DO schools.
     
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  12. libertyyne

    libertyyne 2+ Year Member

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    I linked the document where the spga of PAs was included.

    Maybe I am misreading statements like the one below, but the implication is that most PA's are failed DO applicants.

     

    Attached Files:

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  13. HueySmith

    HueySmith Account on Hold Account on Hold

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    At my school, the average gpa of matriculating PA students is higher than that of DO matriculating students
     
  14. libertyyne

    libertyyne 2+ Year Member

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    Our training is superior, medical school is harder, we have more autonomy, and people should go to physician practices for care. I only said lines get blurry when you start talking about DO admission metrics and PA admission metrics, where it is not clear cut.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2017
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  15. Lev0phed

    Lev0phed

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    Obvious troll is obvious.
     
  16. Stagg737

    Stagg737 2+ Year Member

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    Didn't realize that was a national number and thought it was just for Memphis. Context matters, so that now makes more sense.

    I wouldn't read into that statement as much as you are. As I've been saying, just because something is true at one school doesn't mean it's meant to be extrapolated. It's just an example that it's true in some situations, like some PAs would do just fine getting accepted to and during med school.

    Because they're not really comparable. PAs don't need to take the MCAT (or any standardized test at over 50 schools), typically require more clinical work, and focus less on academic performance in terms of minimum standards. DO schools typically have the same metrics as MD schools even if they're not always as high in terms of standards (minimum MCAT, minimum GPA, displays leadership/EC experience, some shadowing, some form of clinical exposure). Here's a link to national PA program directory if you want to play around with which programs require what: PAEA Program Directory
     
  17. DoctorCrush

    DoctorCrush

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    Lol I have the hours. But my stats would probably not get me into a PA school :sorry: even though I have two DO acceptances.
     
  18. IzumioH20

    IzumioH20

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    There are people whom have gotten into a medical school, but rejected from a PA program. In fact, it was mentioned on SDN. And the rejection did not have to do with clinical experience.

    Some PA schools are only interested in academics and not clinical experience. And there is a debate among PAs on whether or not this is good.

    You can't compare the two because the admission requirements are completely different. If anything we could compare PA with Vet because they both take the GRE.

    If we say that getting into PA school is easier because of the GRE. Then we have to say that getting into VET school is easier than getting into Med school; pre-vets take the GRE. And we know that it is not easier to get into VET school.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017
  19. IsWhat

    IsWhat 5+ Year Member

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    My wife is a PA who attended a ~top 2-3 program in the country and I got to know her classmates well. I can say without a doubt the majority of her class were intelligent enough to get into medical school if they wanted. The common theme among them was not wanting the responsibilities of being a physician.

    I’m also going to disagree (to some extent) with people who think medical school is harder than PA school. Medical school is harder in the sense that it is longer with the additional stress of multiple board exams, but the week-to-week intensity and grind of schooling is about the same from what I’ve seen and experienced. Actually, some of my worst weeks haven’t even come close to some of the weeks my wife had to endure in PA school.
     
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  20. Dermpire

    Dermpire

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    The argument that PA school is "hard" because you see stressed out PA students or because they tell you it's hard is ridiculous.

    When PA students are forced to memorize HLA markers for specific diseases, lysosomal storage diseases, and all the other minutia that medical students have to learn on a daily basis, then maybe they can say their curriculum is as hard. At the end of the day, they learn the bare bones, basic, easy stuff that med students learn at the beginning of each block. They don't have nearly the same depth of material that we cover and it would be laughable to think that they do.

    I would guess that they cover well below 50% of the material that we do in 2 years in their 1 year. I bet if you gave First Aid to any PA student they wouldn't be familiar with most of it.
     
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  21. ivorychins

    ivorychins

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    Yet, it's much harder to get into PA school than pharmacy school. Seems backwards tbh
     
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  22. IsWhat

    IsWhat 5+ Year Member

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    I would say this number is closer to 70-75%. PA school cuts out almost everything that isn’t clinically useful (which is some of the hardest stuff to learn TBH), but I was pretty shocked by how much my wife was being taught. Honestly, the biggest deficit to PA training is probably how quickly they go through the material - not the breadth of the material. There is really no way to retain everything they learn in two years.

    Residency training is the great separation between our professions. If you think the didactic education PAs receive is vastly inferior to medical school you are mistaken.

    I’m an M2 by the way.
     
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  23. Lnsean

    Lnsean 7+ Year Member

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    lol..are people really debating this? Come on. Med school is much much harder to get into than PA school. The applicant pool is on a whole different caliber. Jesus christ...I know a ton of people that got into PA programs that could not get into any medical program. I feel like with our generation of participation trophies and refrigerator magnet smiley faces that everyone is butt hurt for some external validation.
     
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  24. Deecee2DO

    Deecee2DO Medical Student 2+ Year Member

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    I would say that if you can't get into medical school go to pod school or optometry school. All that hard pre-med work to be a PA would just be disheartening IMO. Yes you have to take the MCAT to go to pod school, but your score really doesn't need to be that high, and the OAT is easier than the MCAT. Also, why do I find it hard to believe that medical school and PA school are similar in rigor? I believe that dental/pod are more than likely similar in rigor, but I find it hard to believe PA is. The degree is Physician's "Assistant", why would someone's "assistant" have similar training. Would that be like saying that a paralegal has similar training to a lawyer?
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017
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  25. Stagg737

    Stagg737 2+ Year Member

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    The difficulty with admission is for two different reasons though. Like you said, you can't really compare the rigors too well because of different admission criteria. The difficulty with both Vet school and PA is the number of applicants to number of slots. There's about 2.5 applicants/med slot, while there's over 3 apps/PA student slot. I've heard the same thing for Vet school, supposedly because there's so many applicants for the number of slots. However, looking at the stats it actually seems easier (similar GPA, averagish GRE, and 1.8 apps/slot). So I'm not sure where the more difficult part for vet school admissions comes in.

    Are you talking about pre-clinical or clinical years? I don't really know what the clinical years of PA school are like, but I could see them being tougher, especially depending on the med school's rotations. I've never heard anyone say that PA pre-clinical was harder though, and have actually had PA friends tell me there's no way they could handle my school's curriculum/depth when talking about it.

    Where'd that holier than thou attitude about not bashing other careers go. Sounds like someone is being a bit unprofessional :rolleyes:
     
  26. Lnsean

    Lnsean 7+ Year Member

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    Dude, are you still butt hurt about what happened? I mean, you and your colleagues went into an MD forum...into a thread where OP asked specifically for an MD perspective...and started bashing MDs. You made up factoids on how DO students are more mature and have more life experiences and how MD students are test robots and socially ackward. I actually posted data from AAMC and AACOMAS showing matriculant ages that are basically the same. Your colleagues saying "You both forgot that md students are all kissesless virgins too smdh." There's definitely an agenda here. That would be the equivalent of me going into the DO forums and bashing DOs. Here, all I've said was that medical schools are harder to get into than PA schools and most people would agree with that.

    Also, you should move on. I know you are still salty from what happened but there's no need to follow me around the internet; it's creepy.
     
  27. Stagg737

    Stagg737 2+ Year Member

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    I'm not salty, and I'm certainly not the one feeling "butt-hurt". I was pointing out the hypocrisy of your statements given your other recent posts on professionalism and what you seem to think is "bashing". There was no bashing. There is no agenda. If you're under those delusions you should really take a step back and think about who has the insecurities you're generalizing to an entire profession. You also said more than "med school are harder to get into that PA schools". You said the people applying to PA school "aren't the same caliber" as med school applicants, sounds a lot like you think less of them than physicians, and if I use the logic you've previously followed that would be bashing. If you want to twist it or shift your logical perspective that's your own problem.

    Lol at "following you around the internet", I was posting on this thread before you, if anything you've followed me. However, you've been the one to attempt to derail 2 threads in as many days, so I'll just remind you that derailing threads is a TOS violation and move on.
     
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  28. Lnsean

    Lnsean 7+ Year Member

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    You're salty and defensive as af. If you want to comment about what happened earlier, you can directly message me or comment in the other thread. There's no need to follow me around and reply to my comments everywhere. Stop derailing people's threads.

    They're not. The data already shows that. Admissions data is objective data.

    Move on and stop following me around and derailing threads.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017
  29. Deecee2DO

    Deecee2DO Medical Student 2+ Year Member

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    lol I can always count on SDN threads to consistently turn into an argument/trolling site about trivial bullcrap
     
  30. William Shakespeare

    William Shakespeare 2+ Year Member

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    PA school is recommended because the job is similar and the admissions are more relaxed. It’s as simple as that. Not EASY to get in but EASIER to get into than med school. That’s not to say that every PA student is a med school reject because there is definitely many pros and a lot of incentive to become a physician assistant.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017
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  31. IzumioH20

    IzumioH20

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    As far as curriculum difficulty, the only people that really know are those that have done both programs.

    Lets also not forget that there are now PA to DO bridge programs. Not many; but there will probably be more.
     
  32. Stagg737

    Stagg737 2+ Year Member

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    With regards to your second paragraph, are you talking about pre-clinical or clinical years? I don't know much about the clinical side of PA education, but every PA I've talked to has said their pre-clinical education sounds/was significantly easier than medical school due to depth of material learned.

    Are there any other than LECOM? I'd heard of that but I wasn't aware that it was actually becoming a bigger thing now...
     
  33. AnatomyGrey12

    AnatomyGrey12 2+ Year Member

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    Pretty sure it’s just LECOM.
     
  34. Foot Fetish

    Foot Fetish

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    I used to be dead set on going to pharmacy school. I changed my mind at the last minute and pursued med school, which I am now crushing at an allopathic program where like half the class is made up of ivy league grads. This is just to say that it's not appropriate to make sweeping generalizations about the intellectual caliber of students who go into other health professions. There are pharmacists, PAs, and nurses out there who are smarter than your average MD. Not everyone pursues the most competitive thing they can just because they can.

    While we're on this topic, it's also interesting to think that, just based on pure probability, the human with the highest IQ in history was probably not one of the famous geniuses you read about (Einsein, Newton, Da Vinci, etc.) but more likely some farmer in rural China who died in utter obscurity.
     
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  35. IzumioH20

    IzumioH20

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    We can't even compare Pharmacy with PA. Pharmacy schools require much more math. I think all of them require Calculus.
     
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  36. mehc012

    mehc012 Big Damn Hero 5+ Year Member

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    I dunno, all of the PAs I worked with strongly advised me not to apply PA, even if I had to apply multiple cycles for MD. They just didn't think it would be as good a fit for me. I didn't ask them or anything, but we'd be talking about a case or a disease or a specific patient and they'd spontaneously tell me that I wouldn't be happy as a PA.
     

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