Physician’s Assistant

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    Hi! I’m considering a career in medicine, but I am wavering between becoming a doctor and becoming a PA. Anyone have any ideas on the pros and cons? By the way, I’m 30 now, am getting married this summer and have no children…yet.


    Shadow an MD, shadow a PA. Get to know the job descriptions, education involved, career demands, etc. Then compare those to your own goals and desires. I strongly recommend checking out the SDN forums. They have a forum for PA’s that has a lot if information and some very active members. They can direct you towards the other resources for PA.

    As for MD, peruse the premed and General forums here. There are lots of typical questions answered on these threads. Also lots of thoughts about motherhood and career.

    As you go through this process, you will meet a lot of naysayers. (if that hasn’t already happened!) Don’t let that keep you from getting all the info you need to make the right decision for you!

    Good Luck!


    Hi! I was thinking of a PA instead of med school but only if i don’t get into med school. I know that becoming a phyiscian is my dream but if the ad coms have antoher idea, then i have to look for a good substitute. At that point, i will,like Theresa said, shadow a PA. I also have and interest in pathology and there is a field called pathology assitants which i will also look into. one thing i notice when looking at a particular PA curriculum, there wasn’t as much biomedical science as i expected or really want. I would like a mixuture of the sciences and the clinical. this might mean a pathology PHD but agian, i will nto explore this further until i see whether or nto i get in to med school.
    In talking to PAs, though, the training is shorter, the hours better, the pay pretty good ($70k starting) and there are opportunities to try out a variety of fields of medicine. Also, East Carolina University has a distance education program which is great for people with families.
    Tehre are a few PAs lurking aroudn this forum. Look for my post which I posted either in December or janurary- one in the general fourm and none in the pre-med forum and you will see where some PAs responded to the same question. If you PM them, i’m sure they’ll be willing to answer your questions.


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