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Physician Assistants of LJ

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questions??? [Nov. 23rd, 2007|11:14 am]
Physician Assistants of LJ


great community by the way! few questions...

1. what are the requirements for getting into a PA school? i have a degree in Family and Child Sciences and i am working on the rest of my pre-reqs for MD school or PA school but organic chem is kicking my butt, i do have a A in the lab though :-)

2. What would you all say is the difference btwn being a PA and being an MD? do PA's truly get respect in the world of medicine?

thanks for the advice and hopefully you all can help me make a decision soon. take care :-)

[User Picture]From: xdawnofanewdayx
2007-11-25 10:36 pm (UTC)
That link is the most info I've been able to find on the PA pathway. If you have any specific questions about the MD pathway, I'd be happy to help. Looking at both options, it seems like a difficult choice that may just ultimately come down to how much extra education/training you're willing to sit through and how much you want to work when you're done. Most of my fellow MD-ers have been very focused on this track and don't cringe too much at the idea of 4 years of med school + several years of residency, either because we just really love learning (or like academia more than the real world). But the idea of that much more school or working a 80-hour+ work week especially during training makes some people want to curl up and die... the PA route seems like a good alternative to MD in this case, or for people who have other commitments that don't allow for the time/money necessary to go the MD route.

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[User Picture]From: thejeer
2007-11-25 11:12 pm (UTC)
Good reply.

The best thing you can do for yourself is search through the archives of forums like the PA forum or Student Doctor Network. Posts like this come up daily and have been discussed/argued a thousand times in the past. Just sift through old posts. Any question on this topic you might have has likely already been addressed at least ten times already.
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From: randythress
2007-12-04 08:30 pm (UTC)

Question re: pa v md

As "thejeer" mentioned, the daily forums are a wonderful source of information because your considerations have been visited from all angles.
I am a PA (surgery-type) and have been for 7 years. I planned to go to medical school, but military duties, family/kids, et cetera limited my time and resources. I went to PA school instead. The argument of going to PA school to avoid the busy life of an MD is not accurate IF you get into a surgical specialty or a very busy practice you could easily work close to 200 hours per month. Your pay would be commensurate with the time you spend (if you negotiate well), but you could still be very busy.

Is there the respect for PAs in the medical community? It depends on which community and who you work with. The docs I work with show me a great deal of respect. Because of my group's reputation, that respect is enjoyed in the hospitals as well. I have been in other hospital systems, however, where that respect is not shown AT ALL.

The most common question I get from prospective PA & MD students is if I would do it again (PA school). The answer is: if my life situation were exactly the same then yes I would. If I had the traditional progression from high school to college without the joy of my military service or family timing, then no I would not. I would have gone to medical school. Granted, if you ask practising physicians today if they would do it again (MD school) about 1/2 would say no they would not. Of these alot (I cannot venture a percentage) would say "I would probably go to PA school, though". I have had MANY docs tell me they wished they had gone to PA school because of all the reimbursement, liability, time constraints issues.

My schilling's worth of opinion.
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[User Picture]From: thejeer
2007-12-06 06:43 am (UTC)

Re: Question re: pa v md

It seems, to me anyway, that to be a happy and successful doctor, you need to be the kind of person who has always wanted to be one.

Otherwise, the sheer monumental chunk of life you have to devote to it just doesn't seem worth it. Especially the first 10+ of training but also what appears to be an almost all-consuming profession--maybe not so much dermatology or some of the other (slack) specialties. For me, I need to be able to work my day and then lay it down and continue on with life.

I think prospective PA/MD students need to get as best a grasp on the what each profession entails as possible (ADCOMs are going to require this anyway) and then choose honestly which is right for them without, or at least with less, regard to money and prestige. There is a lot of allure to being able to strut around and proclaim that you're a MD but letting that be a deciding factor has got to be a recipe for misery. ....glory hounds or people who need to be top dog probably wouldn't be happy as a PA. Being a mid level feels right for me.

This isn't so much a direct response to anyone's posts but just general thoughts on the MD V. PA thing.
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