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Physician Assistant

boseownrboseownr 26 replies6 threads Junior Member
edited January 3 in Parents Forum
My daughter is interested in becoming a physician assistant. We would appreciate ANY advice about getting there! Not sure on which undergrad program would work well and which PA school, etc., etc...just starting her research. Any thoughts?
edited January 3
57 replies
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Replies to: Physician Assistant

  • thumper1thumper1 77175 replies3429 threads Senior Member
    https://talk.collegeconfidential.com/careers-medicine/

    Look on this link. There are a number of threads related to physician assistant.

    My free advice...look for direct entry programs. This means that the student is admitted to college and completes a bachelors and PA program all at the same place. If your student can gain entry into a direct entry PA program, she or he won’t have to go through another application process. These programs are 5 years or so in length.

    Some colleges I can think of off the top of my head...Quinnipiac, And Springfield. There are lots of others. I am guessing you can google “direct entry physician assistant programs” and you will get some hits.
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  • boseownrboseownr 26 replies6 threads Junior Member
    Thank you thumper1!!! We will definitely look up direct admit programs! I appreciate your time and response!
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  • jagrrenjagrren 48 replies2 threads Junior Member
    My dd is on that track, but is taking a different route. She is a psych major, and taking all prereq science classes for admission. The year after graduation, she will work as a medical scribe to save money and study for entrance exams. Not as certain, but at a pace better suited to her personality.
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  • MistySteel27MistySteel27 67 replies0 threads Junior Member
    Every PA program has a significant requirement of direct patient interaction hours some are 200 hours on up. Your child should definitely look for a direct entry program but also research ways to get the contact hours. That could mean summer job in a hospital as an ED tech or get the CNA cert and work anywhere. One coworker was a playroom attendant at a pediatric rehab for a few years before being accepted to a masters program. The college should definitely help guide you especially if it’s a 5 year program.
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  • SchadretSchadret 149 replies20 threads Junior Member
  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 6165 replies26 threads Senior Member
    Look into a Nurse Practitioner also. It's a hot field right now..
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  • friday28friday28 67 replies0 threads Junior Member
    You can check out the PhysicianAssistantForum.com for lots of good info. 5 year direct admit is a much easier route, but not necessarily for everyone.... limited school choices and your courses will be very PA focused, not a general college experience.
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  • boseownrboseownr 26 replies6 threads Junior Member
    edited January 5
    Hi! Yes, we have suggested nurse practitioner direction as well! Any other thoughts on that let us know. She is looking at the pre med route so then hoping she could consider both (NP and PA) as she gets closer to graduation. Any thoughts on pre med programs? Just starting our research!
    edited January 5
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  • thumper1thumper1 77175 replies3429 threads Senior Member
    edited January 5
    I responded on your second thread. Hoping they can be merged. ETA...looks like the second thread is gone...so I’ll post my reply here.

    Premed is different than nursing. If she wants to be a NP, she needs a degree in nursing. I would suggest Ohio University nursing program in Athens. It’s a good program and instate option for you. She would need to work a couple of years as a nurse and then apply to NP programs.

    If she doesn’t do direct entry for PA, she needs to fulfill the required courses for admission to PA school.

    @WayOutWestMom can explain the difference between pre-Med and Pa or Nursing.

    And again, I’ll direct you to the thread I linked in post one here. Tons of info on all kinds of health careers.
    edited January 5
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  • 10smomlc10smomlc 68 replies2 threads Junior Member
    My D did the 5 year program at Detroit Mercy. It is a small school, so not for everyone, but she loved it. They had good, automatic merit (20K) which was good for 5 years. My guess is that anyone who was accepted into the 5 year PA program had the stats to get the merit.

    I agree with the poster above about the patient contact hours. At many of the schools it is 1000 hours. My D got certified as a CNA before her freshman year and worked all her breaks. Get started early!
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  • bopperbopper Forum Champion CWRU 14379 replies103 threads Forum Champion
    If you don't do a direct entry program, make sure to understand what the PA pre-req classes are and hwo they differ from med school...e.g. PA school wants you to take Anatomy and Physiology where as Med School it is not required.
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  • ordinarylivesordinarylives 3212 replies44 threads Senior Member
    I'm going to suggest not suggesting NP as a back up. True, it's not as competitive, but the education is very, very different. NPs must be nurses. They must sit for boards to get licensed and paractice as nurses, even if only for the years they are in NP school. Your child should really want to be a nurse if she's going to pursue a nursing major.
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  • WayOutWestMomWayOutWestMom 10671 replies229 threads Senior Member
    edited January 5
    @boseownr

    Here is a great reference site

    https://www.aapa.org/career-central/become-a-pa/

    AAPA is the professional organization governing PA schools and PA certification. Follow the link to a list of EVERY PA program in the US with their admission requirements. (Just like med school, every PA program has slightly different admission requirements....)

    I agree if your child is 10000% certain she wants to be a PA, direct entry is the quickest (and likely more expensive) route. You and she need to be aware that 5 years direct entry programs are very tightly scheduled. There is no space in her schedule for electives, minors or exploration of topics outside her designated course of study. Most direct entry programs also use on-campus summer coursework to keep to their timelines so your D will be giving up her summers too.

    The traditional admission route allows more breathing room in scheduling and many PA-hopefuls will use their summers and a post-grad year or three to get their PAID hands-on patient experience required for admission.

    While admission for PA school is competitive, it is not nearly as competitive as med school admission and there is more of a range of competitiveness among programs than what you see in med school admissions. Getting into Duke's PA is tons more competitive than the PA program Red Rocks Community College in Colorado, for example.

    NP while similar to a PA has a different career path and training. NPs primarily do routine primary care in outpatient settings. PAs have more options--including doing specialty fellowships (like doctors do), including in surgical fields. (NPs cannot work in surgical fields.) PAs can receive specialty training in fields as diverse as neurosurgery, orthopedics, dermatology, EM and psychiatry.

    NPs can practice independently in some states.

    Nursing (and NPs) and medicine (and PAs) have different philosophical approaches to patient care. Whichever your D chooses, she needs to be comfortable with the underlying philosophy.
    edited January 5
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  • boseownrboseownr 26 replies6 threads Junior Member
    edited January 5
    Wow!!! Can't tell you how much I appreciate all of the time and input from each of you!! Just had my D read all of your comments. This helps my husband and me as well since we really don't know how to advise her despite him being a physician--a lot has changed!! He is an independently practicing dermatologist and we just talked about her spending more patient care time (vs filing, etc.) in his office this summer. She is a junior this year. Last year she volunteered at a hospital but it did not involve patient care so we will recommend that she work on actual patient contact. Again, thank you so very much! We will keep reading from your recommended resources!!
    edited January 5
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  • thumper1thumper1 77175 replies3429 threads Senior Member
    My opinion...your daughter probably cannot do hands on patient care in your husband’s dermatology practice. What would she be able to do there? Think about that...legally and ethically...What hands on patient care can a high school student do in a dermatologist office?

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  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 6165 replies26 threads Senior Member
    She can watch. Assist in the set up of the room. Prepare injections etc etc etc.

    Last time I went to the Derm I didn't want to wait and had the PA who has done this for 10 years. Very impressed.

    So she maybe can work in the family business if she likes Derm.
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  • boseownrboseownr 26 replies6 threads Junior Member
    Thumper1, thanks for your input and good points!! I didn't mean that she would have "hands on" patient care but more patient contact vs volunteering in the hospital directing visitors and answering the phones again. In my mind, I was thinking that she could either shadow him and/or be a scribe which he uses for every patient visit. I should have said patient interaction???....or shadowing....or being his scribe but you bring up a good point about what's legal and ethical. If it is legal and ethical, she'd be a really good scribe....definitely worth looking into!! I'm just excited about all of your help and input to give her some food for thought that I don't feel equipped to give her. I KNEW you all would be really helpful and we truly appreciate your time!!
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  • WayOutWestMomWayOutWestMom 10671 replies229 threads Senior Member
    edited January 5
    Shadowing in her parent's medical practice is fine, but be aware that BA/MD programs will not accept shadowing experience done with an immediate family member due to too many potential conflicts of interest. Neither will schools. (I know you're asking about PA school, but you've also mentioned BA/MD programs.)

    Legally I think scribes have be at least 18 years old because they need to be able to hold HIPAA patient privacy training certification.
    edited January 5
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  • boseownrboseownr 26 replies6 threads Junior Member
    OK!!! Good points!!!....Hummmmm! Saving us a lot of grief here!! Back to the drawing board to look for more opportunities!
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