Bachelor's Degree

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Mommy Ronni in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

53 months ago

Stephanie PA-C in Newport News, Virginia said: Tiffany, some of your information is incorrect. I just graduated from Howard University's Bachelor PA program. We do our Pharmacology class with the medical school and have no trouble getting DEA numbers or otherwise licensed. The state medical boards are aware of which programs (regardless of degree) offer Pharm courses. There are some Master's programs that don't. The only difference between the Bachelor's and Master's program is in the degree name.

Thank you so much for that info. I was a student at Howard, and I am returning in the fall. I have been researching like crazy to find out what the difference would be in obtaining my b.s. or master's, and you have answered my question. If you have anymore info about the Howard PA program please email me at snekrpimpg@yahoo.com. I hope you get this!!

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PA-C in Westlake, Ohio

53 months ago

Claudia in Plainville, Connecticut said: The above is not entirely true. I am a PA-C working in NY and have a DEA number. I graduated with an Associates in Physician Assistant Studies from an accredited college in Florida. The C after PA denotes I was eligible for and passed the NCCPA sponsored PANCE exam. Associate programs are rapidly changing to require higher degrees, like BA, BS, MA, MS. So those of you who dare enter the program and want to finish quickly, look for AS PA programs. Good luck....you'll need it.

I'm sorry but that is the worst advice to give to a prospective PA student. Most PA schools offer a Maters upon completion.. for a reason. Some of the older PA schools still offer Associates and Bachelors but this is quickly changing like you stated, for good reason. You have to have a Bachelors to even get into most PA schools. There is a level of education and competency that goes along with these requirements. Most job postings that I have seen also require a Masters to even apply let alone be considered. So for those who are interested should help themselves and just get your Masters.

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PA-C in Westlake, Ohio

53 months ago

Stephanie PA-C in Newport News, Virginia said: Tiffany, some of your information is incorrect. I just graduated from Howard University's Bachelor PA program. We do our Pharmacology class with the medical school and have no trouble getting DEA numbers or otherwise licensed. The state medical boards are aware of which programs (regardless of degree) offer Pharm courses. There are some Master's programs that don't. The only difference between the Bachelor's and Master's program is in the degree name.

I find it extremely hard to believe that a PA program offering a Master's degree would not have required Pharmacology classes. Please name some schools/programs, if is the case. How is a PA suppose to have prescriptive authority without proper education.. that makes no sense at all. And if these programs exist they are probably not accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission for Physician Assistant Programs (ARC-PA).

Also, most job posting for any reputable health care facility, clinic or family health center require PA's to have a Master's in order to apply. Just another reason to get a Masters.

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NVSMOM in Yuba City, California

53 months ago

Hi all,

I have a BA in Mass Comm and am almost done with my science pre-reqs. A lot of the programs and courses here in California are impacted. I am now just able to register for an EMT course this summer and a CNA program in the fall. (I really need clinical experience) I am deciding between nursing and PA. I live in California. If I decide to do a PA program, I'd be going to UC Davis. I don't think it is a Master's program though...I believe it is only a certificate. Is there a difference besides the degree? I know the program is accredited. I plan to move to Dallas...will Texas even recognize and honor the certification? I just don't want to spend time and money and not have my efforts recognized and approved in another state. :-/ Thanks in advance for the responses.

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jonathanbanks78 in Towson, Maryland

51 months ago

Stephanie PA-C,

Have you heard about the Program at UMES? It's a bachelor's degree, and wondering if you heard anything about this program.

Thanks,

Jonathan

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LesH in Los Angeles, California

51 months ago

jonathanbanks78 in Towson, Maryland said: Stephanie PA-C,

Have you heard about the Program at UMES? It's a bachelor's degree, and wondering if you heard anything about this program.

Thanks,

Jonathan

I think they have a lot to offer PA students. They have been around long enough to provide a good training experience. Their faculty has some seasoned PA educators. It's located in an HBCU and meets a mission to serve a medically underserved. I spent a little time working with the program several years ago. I was impressed then. I've known their Clinical Coordinator from our days at the USC PA program, way back in the late 80s-early 90s. They tend to have a small class. Hey go for it...
Les Howard, PA

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banks78 in Towson, Maryland

51 months ago

Les,

I've looked at their curriculum and did more research on the university. I understand they have cadavor labs and have a 100% PANCE pass rating. My question would be. I know they are ARC approved, but they offer a BS not an MS in PA. Will there be any issues for me by only having a bachelors not a masters degree?

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LesH in Los Angeles, California

51 months ago

banks78 in Towson, Maryland said: Les,
Will there be any issues for me by only having a bachelors not a masters degree?

There are some states where you need a specific degree to get a license. Maryland is one. Check out the link for others:
www.aapa.org/advocacy-and-practice-resources/state-government-and-licensing/state-laws-and-http://www.aapa.org/advocacy-and-practice-resources/state-government-and-licensing/state-laws-and-regulations

The only study I know about salary difference is about MS graduates:
Examination of New Graduate Income and Degree Obtained from Physician Assistant Programs, 1998–2006, Vol. 19 (2008) issue3, Jennifer Snyder, MPAS, PA-C; Jennifer Zorn, MS, PA-C; Andrew Nord, MT(ASCP)

Hiring and salaries also different by region & practice. I don’t know what its like back there. Where I am for the most part there are no differences in starting salaries based on academic degree. An employer may specify they prefer a MS, but in my experience (here)that is the exception not the rule.

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LesH in Los Angeles, California

51 months ago

MJ in Yuba City, California said: Hi all,

I plan to move to Dallas...will Texas even recognize and honor the certification?

What you could do is get your Certificate from UC Davis, then do the Nebraska MPAS for an addtional 3K and you should be fine for Texas. FYI I hear UCD is going MS in the future, call them.

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Emily in Uvalde, Texas

51 months ago

-Tiffany
I am 18 years old and just about to go into my second year of college...my question is...Do i need a Bachelors to get into a PA program? i was originally going to get a bachelors of chemistry..but i heard that some PA programs let you in with an associates..is this true?...i plan on going to medical school after getting my PA...so i can have the experience and hopefully get into the med school that i want. i have a few schools in mind that offer a PA program in Texas...but i am considering looking out of state if what i heard was true. would you happen to know any that do?

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shill08 in Newport News, Virginia

51 months ago

PA-C in Westlake, Ohio said: I find it extremely hard to believe that a PA program offering a Master's degree would not have required Pharmacology classes. Please name some schools/programs, if is the case. How is a PA suppose to have prescriptive authority without proper education.. that makes no sense at all. And if these programs exist they are probably not accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission for Physician Assistant Programs (ARC-PA).

Also, most job posting for any reputable health care facility, clinic or family health center require PA's to have a Master's in order to apply. Just another reason to get a Masters.

Instead of me listing schools, it would be far easier for you to look up the Virgina Board of Medicine's list of schools approved for Prescription writing priviledges. As for part 2 of your comment, even if a prospective employer requests a Master's degree, it does not mean that you can't be hired with a Bachelor's (I am proof of that, and I work for one of the largest healthcare systems in VA).

If a person is in the position to get there Master's, go for it. But do not forget that our profession was originally designed for those of us with backgrounds in medicine who didn't have the formal education required to become MD's. There are still plenty of retired military medics who enter Bachelor PA programs to capitalize on what they know.

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stephanie in Newport News, Virginia

51 months ago

Emily in Uvalde, Texas said: -Tiffany
I am 18 years old and just about to go into my second year of college...my question is...Do i need a Bachelors to get into a PA program? i was originally going to get a bachelors of chemistry..but i heard that some PA programs let you in with an associates..is this true?...i plan on going to medical school after getting my PA...so i can have the experience and hopefully get into the med school that i want. i have a few schools in mind that offer a PA program in Texas...but i am considering looking out of state if what i heard was true. would you happen to know any that do?

If you are planning on getting your Bachelor's in Chem, just do it. Bachelor PA programs are no different from Master's PA programs in terms of academic and clinical intesity. PA school is REALLY difficult and using it to get to medical school means that you will repeat many classes in you med program, this is a waste of time and money.

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stephanie in Newport News, Virginia

51 months ago

LesH in Los Angeles, California said: There are some states where you need a specific degree to get a license. Maryland is one. Check out the link for others:
www.aapa.org/advocacy-and-practice-resources/state-government-and-licensing/state-laws-and-www.aapa.org/advocacy-and-practice-resources/state-government-and-licensing/state-laws-and-regulations
QUOTE]

My PA classmates haven't had any trouble getting empolyed in Maryland with a Bachelors... unless something changed.

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LesH in Los Angeles, California

51 months ago

Sherry in Cornelius, North Carolina said: I have similar question; I am looking for a PA program that does not require a BS/BA and I have 34,000 hours as a nurse. Can anyone direct me?

Thanks, Sherry

Miami Dade, University of Maryland Eastern Shores I think.

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LesH in Los Angeles, California

51 months ago

stephanie in Newport News, Virginia said:

I don't think there has been, Maryland has several programs that are not Masters. The programs and their graduates have a solid reputation.

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Taylor in Fort Pierce, Florida

51 months ago

Hi, I am a student in the process of obtaining my Bachelors in Biology and i had hoped to enter PA school in the summer of 2011. I have done extensive research on the prerequisite requirements of different PA schools and I will have fulfilled all necessary prerequisites upon completion of my bachelors. I have an EMT certificate and have worked in a cardiologist office, acquiring 300 contact hrs, last summer. Furthermore, i have obtained around 60 hrs shadowing two different PAs. I am facing some variables that could determine when i enter PA school and i have a couple options. I realize i have minimal patient contact hrs, which would weaken my application, but i have a 3.8 GPA and hope to do well on the GRE. My first option is to try to enter PA school upon obtaining my bachelors, despite my lack of patient contact hours, with hopes that my high GPA will make up for my lack of hrs. My second option is to obtain my bachelors in biology and then take a year off to work and obtain contact hours and then apply to PA school. The second option seems like it would be a sure thing that i would get into a PA school b/c by then, i would have both adequate contact hrs and a high GPA. However, i do realize that PA school is getting more competitive by the second and i wonder of waiting a year could have a negative impact. The first option seems like a huge risk to me due to my lack of contact hrs.. My best scenario would be to apply to pa school after completing my bachelors and if i get accepted than fine, but if i dont, complete an additional year of contact hours and then reapply; however; specific variables prevent me from doing so. therefore i have to pick one option OR the other. Do you think i have a good chance of getting into PA school w/ such few hours? Please, I need opinions quickly b/c i have to make a decision.

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banks78 in Towson, Maryland

51 months ago

Taylor,

You seem to be answering you're own question. I think what you said is the best plan and what I would.

" My best scenario would be to apply to pa school after completing my bachelors and if i get accepted than fine, but if i dont, complete an additional year of contact hours and then reapply; however; specific variables prevent me from doing so. therefore i have to pick one option OR the other. "

You say you are forced to pick one or the other. You'll never get in if you don't apply. I'd just apply, if you get in, great, if not just work a year and reapply. Sounds like you are still young, one year out will actually probably do you more good to get some outside experience.

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PA-C in Westlake, Ohio

51 months ago

Emily in Uvalde, Texas said: -Tiffany
I am 18 years old and just about to go into my second year of college...my question is...Do i need a Bachelors to get into a PA program? i was originally going to get a bachelors of chemistry..but i heard that some PA programs let you in with an associates..is this true?...i plan on going to medical school after getting my PA...so i can have the experience and hopefully get into the med school that i want. i have a few schools in mind that offer a PA program in Texas...but i am considering looking out of state if what i heard was true. would you happen to know any that do?

Hey Emily,
Yes, most PA schools require a Bachelors. It is program specific, but for the majority- it is a prereq (Go to the AAPA website for more info). PA school IS medical school! You take the same classes that students studying to be MDs and DOs do.. hence the reason we are "Physician Assistants".. we work very close with Physicians and are taught according to the Medical Model as well. PA school is not suppose to be a jumping stone to Med school. Being a PA is a career choice, as we are also practitioners. I suppose you could go on to Med school (and some people do, which is fine) but if you know you want to be a MD now, than just finish your premed curriculum and apply to Med School.

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PA-C in Westlake, Ohio

51 months ago

shill08 in Newport News, Virginia said: Instead of me listing schools, it would be far easier for you to look up the Virgina Board of Medicine's list of schools approved for Prescription writing priviledges. As for part 2 of your comment, even if a prospective employer requests a Master's degree, it does not mean that you can't be hired with a Bachelor's (I am proof of that, and I work for one of the largest healthcare systems in VA).

If a person is in the position to get there Master's, go for it. But do not forget that our profession was originally designed for those of us with backgrounds in medicine who didn't have the formal education required to become MD's. There are still plenty of retired military medics who enter Bachelor PA programs to capitalize on what they know.

I wasn't speaking of any state in particular, I was rather making a more generalized observation. I have no idea what VA law is. From personal exp. I work in Ohio and 1) You have to have your Masters to apply for licensure in Ohio 2) You have to have your Masters to apply for a provisional certificate to prescribe with the OSMB and when you apply for your full prescriptive privileges in Ohio 3) Every job I've applied to in Ohio AND other states required a Masters for employment. There are similar requirements in many other states because I hold several state licensures and have been through the process many times.

I hope prospective PAs do their homework.

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Emily in Fredericksburg, Texas

51 months ago

Thank You for the advice...Im still not sure if i want to go into PA or directly into Med School...i was just hoping that if i went into PA and received my PA that with the experience i would have a better chance at getting into some top med schools in the country...but if i change my mind then ill still be able to do what i want..which is be in the medical field. My sister and i are both going for the same goal which is PA, and then separating at the degree (she wants to do missionary work)and i want to continue my education for pediatrics. Would Med schools acknowledge my PA? or is this move (from PA to MD) more common than i think?

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doctx

51 months ago

Emily in Fredericksburg, Texas said: Thank You for the advice...Im still not sure if i want to go into PA or directly into Med School...i was just hoping that if i went into PA and received my PA that with the experience i would have a better chance at getting into some top med schools in the country...but if i change my mind then ill still be able to do what i want..which is be in the medical field. My sister and i are both going for the same goal which is PA, and then separating at the degree (she wants to do missionary work)and i want to continue my education for pediatrics. Would Med schools acknowledge my PA? or is this move (from PA to MD) more common than i think?

This move (getting a PA degree and deciding to go back to medical school to become an MD) is actually very uncommon. Most of the students in top medical schools come out of 4-year undergraduate colleges with very high GPAs, MCAT scores, etc, and are committed to becoming physicians, and go straight to medical school. Remember, physicians go to a 4-year MD program followed by a 3-6 year residency to become board-certfied in a specialty. Most people who qualify for admittance to medical school, and want to go this route, start it at a younger age. I am an MD, and there was one former PA in my class of 120---she was in her early 30s, about 10 years older than the class average, and while she did fine she did not graduate in the top half of the class or become a subspecialist (the most competitive residncy programs, like become an orthopedic surgeon, ENT surgeon, opthalmologist, dermatologist, etc require that you graduate in the top 10-25% of your medical school class, while people who graduate with a lower class rank in medical school often become family doctors, internists, OB-gyns, etc....of course many top graduates choose to become primary care doctors, but the small number of specialty residencies almost always require a very high class rank in medical school.

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doctx

51 months ago

In conclusion, becoming a PA is a different role than an MD...they work under an MD's supervision, and while it is a very important job, it is a different one. I would suggest becoming a PA because this is your preference, rather than look at it as a "stepping-stone" to becoming an MD, because this is not the way the PA degree is designed to function, and is a very uncommon path to take. If you apply to medical school and are not admitted, becoming a PA first is very unlikely to "boost your chances".

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me in Santa Rosa, California

51 months ago

MJ in Yuba City, California said: Hi all,

I have a BA in Mass Comm and am almost done with my science pre-reqs. I am deciding between nursing and PA. I live in California. If I decide to do a PA program, I'd be going to UC Davis. I don't think it is a Master's program though...I believe it is only a certificate. Is there a difference besides the degree? I know the program is accredited. I plan to move to Dallas...will Texas even recognize and honor the certification?

You are not eligible for the UC Davis PA program if you have a BA...talk to an advisor.

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Lost but not confused in Doylestown, Ohio

50 months ago

I see the same questions over and over.
I would like to thank everyone who has posted the helpful information and ask for an opinion.
I am 32 and have not attended a college to date.
I was an EMT Paramedic for several years then became a police officer (7 yrs.)
There were eminent signs of layoff so i decided to take the buyout and leave.
I currently own operate a business that leaves a decent amount of time to spend with my 2yr old son, ( i am divorced and spend at least 50-60% of of the week with him).
I could potentially do what i'm doing for the rest of my life but that's just not me. I love challenges and won't be happy unless i continue onward and upward. I wish i would have continued my education to become a PA when i was 20 (which i really wanted to do) but here i am now and have a hard decision to make.
I am quite nervous about jumping back into the student arena but as i have aged i've realized i do well when i'm interested in what i'm working towards.

My question to those with children and adult responsibilities is:
Given i need to continue working and caring for my child, do you see taking on a 4 yr. undergrad. and then a full time graduate degree a wise decision??

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HRquestions

49 months ago

How is the job market for PAs? I see the number of training programs expanding, but from what I have seen PA jobs have high turnover, and I know of one former lawyer (he got a JD, then after a few years returned to school to get a PA) who is obviously a smart guy but having trouble finding a job he liked.

Just curious for anyone elses insights, because with the expansion of training programs and the popularity of a PA for people looking to switch fields, you wonder if a similar situation to law school grads and MBAs is coming, with more people recently graduated w/ this degree than available jobs, esp since they are often competing with NPs and experienced RNs for the same types of jobs.

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docTX

49 months ago

Well, yes and no...PA school is NOT medical school; it is PA school. In Texas, assuming these are the programs the originial poster is considering, the PA school is held at the medical university but the student are matriculated under the school of allied health, along with many other types of graduate programs like nursing and pharmacy. The only people who are considered students of the medical school are the people who are studying to become MDs. While the PAs have a similar curriculum, it is presented in a briefer version and in less depth, commisurate with their shorter time in school to receive their degrees compared to medical students studying for MDs. PA students do not attend classes together with the medical students nor are they graded against the same testing curves as the medical students. No offense, but they would get crushed if this were the case. And it would not be appropriate---you are trying to become a PA after all, not the lowest-ranked medical student.

Just like paralegals are not lawyers, but are a respected and integral part of the legal team, PAs are not doctors, but certainly can play an important role in the medical team. I think one of the major obstacles currently facing PAs is the members of this profession who consider themselves a type of doctor, and the PA students a type of medical student. They are not viewed this way by actual doctors and medical students, at all. PAs who try to push this view diminish their role by sounding like every chiropracter, naturopath, herbal-supplement healer, and every other member of the very large crowd of people who want to play doctor without going to a real doctor school. It does a disservice to a group with a much more valid role to play than those other folks---trying to pretend to be a doctor when you are not puts you in a motley company of quacks, and does not fool the valedictorian of your high school who became an actual doctor, or any of your future patients, for one minute.

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JENRU618 in Dallas, Texas

49 months ago

I actually just attended an open house for the PA program at UTHSC in San Antonio and you do indeed take all of your lecture courses WITH the medical students. I'm not saying this is a good or bad thing, just FYI.

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Cindy in Fort Worth, Texas

49 months ago

docTX- You have quite a lot to say. You come off just like any other dr who thinks he took God's place because he finished medical school. Don't flatter yourself so much. I am sure you didnt graduate from Harvard Medical School at the top of their class, in other words you are putting your own profession down with your arrogance and are too ignorant to know that there are people smarter and more professional than you even as PA's. Who cares what you think? You are just another person hiding behind a computer. In some offices a PA is the doctor, that doesn't mean they go around telling people they are smarter than the nurses or aides. Your head is huge, apparently your heart is tiny. Just for that when I finish PA school I am going to call myself a doctor whenever someone asks what I do, secretely hoping you are around to listen and cringe.

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malody in Chicago, Illinois

49 months ago

So i got to a commununity college in chicago and i am interested in the PA program. In my search i found out that malcolm X another community college offers the program. But the degree they will give is an associate degree... so i dont get the difference between getting your associate or bachlors in PA. After getting my associate im planning to go for the bachlors, but do you think that is a waste of time??

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ncham in Edgerton, Wisconsin

48 months ago

has anyone applied to the University of Iowa PA program? Is it impossible to get in? What did you like about it? What would you change. What about the University of Wisconsin Madison?

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leigh0110 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

48 months ago

ncham in Edgerton, Wisconsin said: has anyone applied to the University of Iowa PA program? Is it impossible to get in? What did you like about it? What would you change. What about the University of Wisconsin Madison?

The University of Iowa is very hard to get into. It is considered one of the best programs in the nation. I just had an interview there and they said they get about 600 apps a year, interview about 90 people and accept 25 people. I think that you need to have quite a bit of clinical hours and a good gpa to get an interview. I am not sure about Madison, I have applied there too but I don't think you hear anything until December unfortunately.

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leigh0110 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

48 months ago

The University of Iowa is very hard to get into. I just had an interview there and they said they only interview about 90 people out of the 600+ that apply. It is rank as the top PA school in the nation, and the program is very impressive. I am not sure about Madison, I will not hear from them until December.

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josh in Dayton, Ohio

48 months ago

I am looking to be a PA as well, and I have located a nice bachelor's program. I have contacted them, and they said i could work as a PA in that state but my question is : " what states will allow a PA with a Bachelor's to work in, or, do they just limit you to what you can do as a PA with a bachelor's? "

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mg in Erie, Pennsylvania

48 months ago

I am a registered dental hygienist and also a locensed public health dental hygienist practitioner. At one point I was considering going for dentistry and was excepted into a bio/dental program. Due to an injury I am looking into different ares of study. I am interested in the PA program because it is very similiar to what I do now in terms of working under the supervision of a doctor, and I am not really intersted in becoming a nurse. I also enjoy the portion of my job that allows me to educate patients and due the initial examination and so on. I have been researching programs and have met the requirements for some programs and not for others, and yet other programs state they require a bachelors. I have an associates degree and I am enrolled to start a degree in biology in the spring. Financial consideration, I already have a student loan and I don't want to take classes if I don't need to. Just looking for feed back on which course to take. Thanks for any fee back.

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docTX in Littleton, Colorado

48 months ago

Cindy in Fort Worth, Texas said: docTX- You have quite a lot to say. You come off just like any other dr who thinks he took God's place because he finished medical school. Don't flatter yourself so much. I am sure you didnt graduate from Harvard Medical School at the top of their class, in other words you are putting your own profession down with your arrogance and are too ignorant to know that there are people smarter and more professional than you even as PA's. Who cares what you think? You are just another person hiding behind a computer. In some offices a PA is the doctor, that doesn't mean they go around telling people they are smarter than the nurses or aides. Your head is huge, apparently your heart is tiny. Just for that when I finish PA school I am going to call myself a doctor whenever someone asks what I do, secretely hoping you are around to listen and cringe.

If you call yourself a doctor, when your credentials are that of a physician's assistant, your patients will view you as a fraud. In addition, the doctor who employs you, since PAs do not legally practice independently and are the staff of doctors just like the nurses and receptionists, will not be amused. The job turnover for PAs in my area in high, and attitudes like yours do not help the acceptance of the fledging field of PAs by patients or doctors. If PAs push for expanded scope of practice and more independence, they will be harder to insure, since the risk of making a mistake (and legally answering for it, the way the supervising doctor of a PA must) is higher. I would have to pay higher malpractice myself if I employ and supervise PAs, since I would have to answer for their medical errors in court. Can you see the TV ads from malpractice attorneys now? "Was your doctor...ACTUALLY a doctor?" It would be a medicolegal bloodbath. I think it is important that people who shell out tution to get a PA degree understand what they are actually becoming qualified to do.

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docTX in Littleton, Colorado

48 months ago

Cindy in Fort Worth, Texas said: docTX- You have quite a lot to say. You come off just like any other dr who thinks he took God's place because he finished medical school. Don't flatter yourself so much. I am sure you didnt graduate from Harvard Medical School at the top of their class, in other words you are putting your own profession down with your arrogance and are too ignorant to know that there are people smarter and more professional than you even as PA's. Who cares what you think? You are just another person hiding behind a computer. In some offices a PA is the doctor, that doesn't mean they go around telling people they are smarter than the nurses or aides. Your head is huge, apparently your heart is tiny. Just for that when I finish PA school I am going to call myself a doctor whenever someone asks what I do, secretely hoping you are around to listen and cringe.

I would not "listen and cringe", I would correct you. Even the humblest patient wants the most highly qualified doctor. Patients often ask "where did you go to medical school, where did you train?", and they look up their doctors on the internet and research them, so don't think you will be able to lie to them about being a doctor instead of a PA even if you work in some free clinic for the indigent which isn't constantly staffed by a physician. Laws have been proposed in my state to require all healthcare workers to wear ID that clearly and correctly identifies them to prevent the type of fraud you propose. The impetus for this law is patients who don't like to be lied to. It is not cute for a PA to pretend to be a doctor, or a nurse to pretend to be a PA, or an orderly to pretend to be a nurse. If you want to be a PA, be proud to be a PA. They are hardworking and smart members of a healthcare team.

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Benny in Brooklyn, New York

48 months ago

Tiffany in Solon, Ohio said:
First off, you should definitely do an undergraduate degree in some sort or science field i.e. Biology, Chemistry or some kind of Health Science. PA School requirements are the same as Medical School so you should also follow a pre-med curriculum, which is obviously weighted heavily in the sciences. ....!

I am en route to attending a school that is actually offering the PA Bachelor's degree. I am aware of and understand the importance of the extreme level of dedication required, as well as the competitive nature of the curriculum. I am just presently very concerned about the difference between the Bachelor's for PA and the Master's. I have seen some references stating that they only differ in name. Yet, I do hope to not face some form of "discrimination" should I actually have that degree. The dillema is that regardless, it is a 2 year program and I am 1 semester away from my Associates. It seems a bit pointless to do the additional 2 years of school in order to reach the same goal. What are your thoughts on this?

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Benny in Brooklyn, New York

48 months ago

docTX in Littleton, Colorado said: I would not "listen and cringe", I would correct you. Even the humblest patient wants the most highly qualified doctor. Patients often ask "where did you go to medical school, where did you train?", and they look up their doctors on the internet and research them, so don't think you will be able to lie to them about being a doctor instead of a PA even if you work in some free clinic for the indigent which isn't constantly staffed by a physician. Laws have been proposed in my state to require all healthcare workers to wear ID that clearly and correctly identifies them to prevent the type of fraud you propose. The impetus for this law is patients who don't like to be lied to. It is not cute for a PA to pretend to be a doctor, or a nurse to pretend to be a PA, or an orderly to pretend to be a nurse. If you want to be a PA, be proud to be a PA. They are hardworking and smart members of a healthcare team.

I posed the following question to a PA, and I would aske you: being that the PA curriculum is 2 years, and I've been researching one institution that is offering a Bachelor's for it, how much would it differ from owning the Master's?

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Don in Bethesda, Maryland

47 months ago

For the PA's out there - Please help - I really want to be a PA. I currently have about 70 credits from previous college work. I am currently taking pre-reqs at a local community college (CHEM 1, CHEM2, A&P1, A&P2, Statistics, etc). I then would like to transfer everything I can into a school to finally get my bachelor's so that I may apply to PA school. Problem is, I work 60 hours a week right now, and I have to complete (most of) my bachelor's online. So, considering that I can not get a biology or chemistry bachelor's degree, which degree will make me the most competitive? I know that I can apply with any bachelor's, but want to do nothing else than be a PA. I have 20 years health care experience (paramedic), and currently still work in the health care field. I am maintaining a 4.0 GPA in my pre-req studies, and will relocate my family to ANYWHERE in the country to finally get this done. Any suggestions? BTW - beth in Aliso Viejo - I bought your book 6 months ago - great info!

Thanks,

Don

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Stephanie in Newport News, Virginia

47 months ago

Don in Bethesda, Maryland said: For the PA's out there - Please help - I really want to be a PA. I currently have about 70 credits from previous college work. I am currently taking pre-reqs at a local community college (CHEM 1, CHEM2, A&P1, A&P2, Statistics, etc). I then would like to transfer everything can into a school to finally get my bachelor's so that I may apply to PA school. Problem is, I work 60 hours a week right now, and I have to complete (most of) my bachelor's online. So, considering that I can not get a biology or chemistry bachelor's degree, which degree will make me the most competitive? I know that I can apply with any bachelor's, but want to do nothing else than be a PA. I have 20 years health care experience (paramedic), and currently still work in the health care field. I am maintaining a 4.0 GPA in my pre-req studies, and will relocate my family to ANYWHERE in the country to finally get this done. Any suggestions? BTW - beth in Aliso Viejo - I bought your book 6 months ago - great info! Don

If you are still located in Bethesda, MD you may want to look at the PA program at Howard Univ in DC. You sound like th type of student the program was made for 1) previous direct pt med experience 2) focused and driven 3) loads of exp but lacking a degree. Howards program is a Bachelors program (and for the billionth time; there are few to no differences between masters and bachelors prepared PA's). It sounds like you could transfer in and apply directly to the upper division program (last 2.5 years of the B.Sc.) You'd be done in 2.5 years instead of 4 and could get a masters online if you decided to do so.

Thanks,

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Don in Washington, District of Columbia

47 months ago

Stephanie in Newport News, Virginia said: If you are still located in Bethesda, MD you may want to look at the PA program at Howard Univ in DC. You sound like th type of student the program was made for 1) previous direct pt med experience 2) focused and driven 3) loads of exp but lacking a degree. Howards program is a Bachelors program (and for the billionth time; there are few to no differences between masters and bachelors prepared PA's). It sounds like you could transfer in and apply directly to the upper division program (last 2.5 years of the B.Sc.) You'd be done in 2.5 years instead of 4 and could get a masters online if you decided to do so.

Thanks,

Hi Stephanie,

Thank you for the information. I think I would like to simply enter a BS/MS program and try to transfer in with most or all of the pre-professional phase completed. By the time I get in, will have all or most of the fist two years complete, can enter the professional phase and spend three years in PA school, then come out with an MS. I KNOW, I KNOW, I have read it here a thousand times that there is no difference between BS and MS, but at this point I will more than likely have to wait till fall 2012 to get in, and I might as well continue gaining credits in the meantime.

I do have one question - should I go ahead and apply through CASPA now, and how will I know which schools to have them direct the application, since I won't be qualified for many of them...

Thanks again for all the help.

Don

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Don in Washington, District of Columbia

47 months ago

beth in Aliso Viejo, California said: I just published a great book called So You Want to be a Physician Assistant. It answers a lot of questions about schools but also about practice as a PA. I have been a PA in primary care in Southern CA for 14 years. I found there really wasn't a good book out there to answer all of these questions - so I wrote one! Find it on-line at www.physicianassistantbooks.com .
Good luck!
Beth

Beth – I bought your book, and love it. I think EVERYONE who is thinking of PA school should purchase this book. I do however have a couple of questions that hopefully you may be able to help me with. Here is my scenario:

I really want to be a PA. I currently have about 70 credits from previous college work. I am currently taking pre-reqs at a local community college (CHEM 1, CHEM2, A&P1, A&P2, Statistics, etc). I then would like to transfer everything I can into a school to finally get my bachelor's so that I may apply to PA school. Problem is, I work 60 hours a week right now, and I have to complete (most of) my bachelor's online. So, considering that I can not get a biology or chemistry bachelor's degree, which degree will make me the most competitive? I know that I can apply with any bachelor's, but want to do nothing else than be a PA. I have 20 years health care experience (paramedic), and currently still work in the health care field. I am maintaining a 4.0 GPA in my pre-req studies, and will relocate my family to ANYWHERE in the country to finally get this done.
OR, I could enter a BS/MS program and try to transfer in with most or all of the pre-professional phase completed. By the time I get in, will have all or most of the fist two years complete, can enter the professional phase and spend three years in PA school, then come out with an MS. I KNOW, I KNOW, I have read it here a thousand times that there is no difference between BS and MS, but at this point I will more than likely have to wait till fall 2012 to

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Don in Washington, District of Columbia

47 months ago

Don in Washington, District of Columbia said: Beth – I bought your book, and love it. I think EVERYONE who is thinking of PA school should purchase this book. I do however have a couple of questions that hopefully you may be able to help me with. Here is my scenario:

I really want to be a PA. I currently have about 70 credits from previous college work. I am currently taking pre-reqs at a local community college (CHEM 1, CHEM2, A&P1, A&P2, Statistics, etc). I then would like to transfer everything I can into a school to finally get my bachelor's so that I may apply to PA school. Problem is, I work 60 hours a week right now, and I have to complete (most of) my bachelor's online. So, considering that I can not get a biology or chemistry bachelor's degree, which degree will make me the most competitive? I know that I can apply with any bachelor's, but want to do nothing else than be a PA. I have 20 years health care experience (paramedic), and currently still work in the health care field. I am maintaining a 4.0 GPA in my pre-req studies, and will relocate my family to ANYWHERE in the country to finally get this done.
OR, I could enter a BS/MS program and try to transfer in with most or all of the pre-professional phase completed. By the time I get in, will have all or most of the fist two years complete, can enter the professional phase and spend three years in PA school, then come out with an MS. I KNOW, I KNOW, I have read it here a thousand times that there is no difference between BS and MS, but at this point I will more than likely have to wait till fall 2012 to

For some reason it cut off the last part of the post:

At this point I will more than likely have to wait till fall of 2010 to enter, so I might as well continue to gain credits.

Should I apply to CASPA now, even though I won't be qualified for many of the schools.

Thanks,

Don

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J.Saunders in Waterford, Michigan

46 months ago

Tiffany,
All of your posts have been very informational and helpful to me!! Thank you so much. It helps to hear information from a PA because you tell it like it is :-)
I have a few questions for you if you could spare me a little of your time. I am a 24 year old female. I have 7 years experience as a comprehensive dental assistant to a general dentist who was certified in oral surgery. I was trained to assist in IV sedation and many different oral surgery's. I am currently in my last year of my associates in applied science: Echocardiography, doing my clinical rotations and my accelerated program at an accredited school. I am interested in Pediatrics and cardiology. I want to become a PA eventually, however i do want to get out in the echo field for a bit and get into peds hopefully at the DMC in Detroit. However I would like your opinion on what i should get my 4 yr degree in? in order to keep me headed in the pediatric cardiology direction and still prepare me to be accepted to a accredited PA masters program. Any thoughts or advice would worth more than you know!!! thanks

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Holly in Peoria, Illinois

46 months ago

I'm getting my associate's in dental hygiene. I'm thinking about working and getting my bachelor's in biology something like that and then applying to PA school. While getting my bachelor's I could also work and get experience in health care setting. I'm wondering what the job outlook is for PA's? Are PA's able to find jobs or are they struggling. I know the occupational outlook handbook says demand is high, but I want to know what PA's think. Thanks!

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Shaina Outofthecountry in Seoul, Korea, Republic of

46 months ago

Stephanie PA-C in Newport News, Virginia said: The difference is in the name of the degree. If you already have a Bachelor's, I suggest getting your Master's in PA- because regradless of the degree, the work is Master's level work. I graduated from Howard Univ, which only offers a Bachelor's in PA and I had NO trouble getting my DEA number or finding work.

Hello,

I am so glad I found this Forum. I have a degree in Psychology and a masters in Education and I want to become a PA. I am currently teaching in South Korea, and will be moving to England next year wit my fiance (military) and this moving makes it hard to find a school. Can you please give me any information? I would like to go online to take some pre-req but I have no idea what I should take or what kind of degree I should do. I NEED ANY HELP AVAILABLE! I dont know anyone in the field and I would love to start taking courses to get them out of the way. Please email me at nairobi.ricketts@gmail.com. I really need help from anyone willing to give it :). Thanks so much

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Lesh in Reseda, California

46 months ago

Shaina Outofthecountry in Seoul, Korea, Republic of said: Hello,

I am so glad I found this Forum. I have a degree in Psychology and a masters in Education and I want to become a PA. I am currently teaching in South Korea, and will be moving to England next year wit my fiance (military) and this moving makes it hard to find a school. Can you please give me any information? I would like to go online to take some pre-req but I have no idea what I should take or what kind of degree I should do. I NEED ANY HELP AVAILABLE! I dont know anyone in the field and I would love to start taking courses to get them out of the way. Please email me at nairobi.ricketts@gmail.com. I really need help from anyone willing to give it :). Thanks so much

Hope this helps:

www.pg2pa.org/PA_NP.html
www.paeaonline.org/index.php?ht=d/sp/i/197/pid/197
www.paeaonline.org/index.php?ht=d/sp/i/194/pid/194
www.paeaonline.org/index.php?ht=display/Faqs/i/56325
www.paeaonline.org/index.php?ht=d/sp/i/25515/pid/25515
www.paeaonline.org/index.php?ht=d/ContentDir/pid/255/searching/1/state_id/44
www.physicianassistantforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13564
www.physicianassistantforum.c...ead.php?t=7821

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PA-C in Westlake, Ohio

46 months ago

J. Saunders-
Well you picked a great field to work in for starters. It sounds like you have a lot of healthcare experience as well which will really come in handy during your application process and interviews! Your major doesn't really matter so much as long as it is science or health based in general. I would focus on a major that is science based so that your pre-reqs for PA school are also required for your B.S. so you aren't wasting 6 yrs of your life getting your B.S. (because you had to take additional classes for pre-reqs or to graduate), also so you are competitive when it comes to application time. It's great that you already have some fields of interest.. that won't really come into play until rotations during PA school so don't worry about that now. Applying for PA schools is just about preparing and a lot of research. Unfortunately, every school has different pre-reqs so I would start narrowing down schools by geographic location, tuition/finances, or other important factors. If you send me your email.. I would be happy to answer any other questions...

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Crystal in Kinston, North Carolina

46 months ago

Stephanie PA-C in Newport News, Virginia said: The difference is in the name of the degree. If you already have a Bachelor's, I suggest getting your Master's in PA- because regradless of the degree, the work is Master's level work. I graduated from Howard Univ, which only offers a Bachelor's in PA and I had NO trouble getting my DEA number or finding work.

Stephanie when did you graduate from Howard? I am currently going to a community college for my Associate in Applied Science and wanted to transfer to Howard to recieve my bachelor degree for PA. I don't know if this even possible because I know some schools do not allow transfer credits for this program. And if you don't mind would you email me because I have some questions.

crystallewis3@gmail.com

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Crystal in Kinston, North Carolina

46 months ago

LesH in Los Angeles, California said: I think they have a lot to offer PA students. They have been around long enough to provide a good training experience. Their faculty has some seasoned PA educators. It's located in an HBCU and meets a mission to serve a medically underserved. I spent a little time working with the program several years ago. I was impressed then. I've known their Clinical Coordinator from our days at the USC PA program, way back in the late 80s-early 90s. They tend to have a small class. Hey go for it...
Les Howard, PA

where is UMES?

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