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PA program vs. Regular undergrad

amh1002amh1002 24 replies22 threads Junior Member
Im a senior in high school finalizing my college apps list. I considered applying to collegwa with good P.A. programs where I can start the path to becoming a P.A. beginning in my freshman year, but now I wonder if I should do four years of undergrad and go through the regular route to P.A. school. As of now, i am sure that this is the career path i want but i’d appreciate any input about the accelarated PA programs that some colleges offer as i am unsure what to decide.
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Replies to: PA program vs. Regular undergrad

  • happy1happy1 23059 replies2279 threads Senior Member
    If you know you want to be a PA then the direct entry programs are the most efficient way to get it done. Stand-alone grad programs are very competitive and many look for applicants to work a couple of years in a medical arena (ex. my D's friend worked as an EMT for a few years first).
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  • WayOutWestMomWayOutWestMom 10275 replies210 threads Senior Member
    If you are 1000% sure that you want to be a PA, there is a significant advantage to going the combined degree route. Admission to PA programs has become quite competitive and with a guaranteed admission, you can take some of the worry/anxiety/stress out of the process. Additionally, combined programs cut a full year off your training ( 5 vs 6 years) so you can start your career sooner and potentially graduate with less debt

    The downside of combined programs include the loss of the traditional college undergrad experience, loss of summer freedom (you'll be taking coursework or involved in structured patient contact positions) and the inability to "explore" during college since the curriculum is intense & lockstep with no room for taking any classes that aren't part of your degree program.


    Whether the trade-off is acceptable to you---only you can decide that.
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  • behappy101behappy101 48 replies0 threads Junior Member
    I feel as if the accelerated PA programs are practical for applicants who know that this is the career for them. (Perhaps talking to a current PA about their work experience or even shadowing can give you a good outlook on whether this is the career path for u or not). However, undergrad will also give you the opportunity to explore to different careers and field which you become interested in.
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