Advantages of PA vs Physician

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Mary in Grand Rapids, Michigan

82 months ago

I am wondering if anyone would be willing to share their opinions on what they like the most about being a PA. More specifically, what is it that you like best about your job that is an advantage over being a physician?
Thanks!

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Sue Nichter in Buffalo, New York

79 months ago

I've been a PA for 7 yrs now after being a nurse for 18 yrs and believe one major advantage to being a PA is you always have backup from the supervising physician if needed.

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Bryan Wood in Thorofare, New Jersey

77 months ago

Sue Nichter in Buffalo, New York said: I've been a PA for 7 yrs now after being a nurse for 18 yrs and believe one major advantage to being a PA is you always have backup from the supervising physician if needed.

Hello, Im currently enrolled in a 4 year nursing school and i was thinking about transferring. If i do transfer it will be into a 6 year 3+3 PA program. Would you recommend i stay in nursing school and then after attend a 2 Year PA school to recieve my masters or should I do the joint program... I am having trouble making a decision...When you decided to go to PA school was there any pre-reqs that u needed to complete before you enetered that you did not have for your nursing degree?

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Joe in Meriden, Connecticut

75 months ago

My brother works about 30-35 hours a week as an internist. He makes around 171,000 a year and does several talks for diabetes a year and makes about another 15,000-23,000 extra a year. He has been a doctor for 8 years.

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Stefany in Tampa, Florida

74 months ago

I am a M.A too, and I am in College at night while I work as a MA. Unfortunatelly, the credits I gained in the MA program cannot be transferable to anyplace because I went ot a private school, that I did not know did not have agreement with other schools to transfer credits.So, I had to start over. Anyway,the first thing you need to do is to determine which school you want to go, and what degree you want to get: An AS, a BS or a MS degree. After you have decided this, you need to start contacting schools depending on the kind of degree you want. Once you find the school, contact de PA program to see what are their pre requisits, sometimes you can meet these pre requs in a Community College, then you can transfer wherever you want. Just make sure you contact the PA school first, because if you go to the advicing office for the undergrad program, they will make you take classes that at the end you will find out that you did not need them. I hope this info can help you a little bit. I contacted the AAPA for advice and they really helped me a lot. You may want to contac them. Good luck!

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Josh in Saint Marys, Pennsylvania

74 months ago

Hi everyone,

I am second year PA student enrolled in a 5 year physician assistant program. I have debated many times between becoming a PA or DO/MD. If I continued and graduated as PA how difficult would it be to go to medical school. In my program students do not take a single physics course or a math course besides statistics and to my understanding they are required for acceptance into medical school.

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Joseph in Houston, Texas

74 months ago

Carolyn in Wilton, New Hampshire said: Im in my last year of PA school. This is why I chose PA over med school.

as a PA you can change specialty whenever you want without having to go back to school. Dr's can't do that. They can't change their specialty without going through another multiple year residency program. If a PA wants to do surgery for a few years, and then switch to dermatology they have the complete freedom to do that.

I also chose to be a PA because of the lenght of schooling. it is 8 years to graduate from med school, and then you have 3-5 years or more of residency. Most doctors who start right out of high school wont get their first job until their mid 30's. it's 6 years to be a PA, and no residency involved. if you already have a bachelors degree, its only 2 years.

The time spent working was another factor for me. The dr's ive been with never truly have a day off. theyre always working. I want to have a life other than just working.

lastly, if i was a guy, i probably would have gone to medical school. I want to get married/have kids one day. I'm not going to spend a huge amount of money and time to be a doctor when I really cant be a full time mother and a full time doctor at the same time. I don't want to have kids and not be able to remain committed to a career.

i hope this helps!

By you providing me with this information just about changed a life altering decision and for that I really thank you. THanks very much for that informaition i appreciate it, now i don't have to go to med school. Thank god. I can just be a PA.

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Katie in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania

74 months ago

I'm about to interview for PA school and I think the main difference between deciding whether PA or MD school is for you is your personal goals. For me, I'd like to be out of school and in a stable and growing career in a short time so I can start a family within 5-8 years. I am thinking about marriage and all that and my boyfriend will also be sacrificing by following me to school. I think our relationship would be severely strained if I went away to med school for 4 years then the difficult residency that follows. So my goals for family would be years and years away until I was in a stable practice as an MD. It doesn't matter to me if I'm not the authority on medicine as a PA as much as an MD. I enjoy (and work best) in a team environment and I honestly look forward to consultations with the supervising MD and other practicing PAs, nurses, administrative staff, etc., in the hospital or clinic. Yeah, it might bother me if I'm in the PA career for a while and some younger-than-me MD comes in and changes the way I work, but who really knows. I shadowed a few PAs and I asked one, "What do you do when the patient refuses to see the 'assistant' to the doctor and wants the MD himself?" She said, "Yeah, I used to get mad about it and I wanted to say, 'hey, I'm as good as that MD!' but I just would send them back to chairs for a 2 hr wait to see the MD!"

I guess what I'm trying to say is that being a PA or MD is a way of life. Sure, you can have a family and be a successful MD, but for me, the challenge of working in medicine as a part of a team and be out there in a short amount of time is just want I want. (This is my second career, by the way.) And I can always go to medical school, even if I'm 50 and am tired of being a PA. I wouldn't want to spend all the time and money in medical school only to wonder what being a PA would be like later down the road.

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glendon in Springfield Gardens, New York

74 months ago

well i am 18 years old and will be enntering a PA program at St Johns University. The program is 4 years straight and I will be a PA at age 22. I was wondering after i graduate can my credits transfer over and lessen my years of medical school?

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amanda in Chico, California

73 months ago

So I am starting my 3rd year of college, but I am only going part time, as I work full time. I am 20 years old. I have struggled long and hard about what I want to get my degree in, "what I want to be when I grow up," etc. I have always been interested in the health care profession (my mom was a paramedic), and I am currently getting my EMT.

From here I need some help with where to go. I have thought strongly about becoming a PA, but I need some help with what will be the best way?

1. Should I finish my EMT, and work as such while I get a BA/BS in something else, (currently I am a family studies major). more/higher education

2. Or should I continue with my EMT, further to get my medic liscense, and then go to PA school. more medical experience

I realize that getting into a PA school is difficult, and that it takes some dediation, so I dont forsee going to such for at least 5 years. But it is in the mean time that I am not sure about. I dont care if you are a PA already, just getting into the program, or just have some good info for me, please let me know what you think.. Thanks!

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Katie in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania

73 months ago

I just went through the application/PA school selection process. I will start school in Jan at EVMS.

In my opinion, it depends on what PA programs you might want to apply to. The majority of the schools like/require you to have medical experience, so the EMT or other medical training you're pursuing would be favorable. But 99% of PA programs require a 4-year degree (BS or BA) so, if it were me, I'd continue with EMT and go for whatever major you want. I was a BS Recreation major and had to take a few science prereqs before getting accepted into the PA program. So you don't necessarily have to have a medical/science BS degree to get in. I think they prefer a well-rounded applicant anyway.

On another note, some of the prerequisites classes (like chem, micro, etc) need to be taken within the last 5-10 years (depending on the program) so if you're planning on pursuing the PA profession, keep that in mind so you don't have to retake any prereqs.

Hope that helps! Good luck!

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Angela in Wilmington, North Carolina

73 months ago

Bryan Wood in Thorofare, New Jersey said: Hello, Im currently enrolled in a 4 year nursing school and i was thinking about transferring. If i do transfer it will be into a 6 year 3+3 PA program. Would you recommend i stay in nursing school and then after attend a 2 Year PA school to recieve my masters or should I do the joint program... I am having trouble making a decision...When you decided to go to PA school was there any pre-reqs that u needed to complete before you enetered that you did not have for your nursing degree?

I definetly recommend that you stay in the nursing program then a Master's in PA. This way you have a job simply with your undergrad, also you then have three options, remaining a nurse, becoming a nurse practitioner, or a physician assistant. Nurse practitioners can practice on their own if that's something you are more interested in. Good luck!

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Alex in Columbia, Maryland

73 months ago

I was wondering if anyone knows information or where I can find information regarding PA's working internationally. I did some searcing on the internet and found some information but wanted to know if some experienced people had any info.
Also, I'm starting the process for applying to PA school. Does anyone have any advice as to what to expect during the interviews and just any tips for applying in general. I have a B.S. already and about a yr of patient care experience. Anything else you already PA people would like to send to a prospective student???

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Pre-Pa student in Hicksville, New York

73 months ago

I didnt get into the social aspects of becoming a doctor. My sister is in medical school right now and on more the one occassion she says she regrets it.
People say they want to go to medical school but dont really know exactly what it takes and what kind of sacrifice you would have to go through to get there besides finacially....
Medical school requires complete commitment, as does PA school, but for alot longer of a time....
Meaning from age 22 to 30, your life is school, your friends are people from school, you have no family, your family are your classmates...
U cant get 10 years of your 20s back... Parties?
Everyday my sister complains about things like when am i going to have time have a stable relationship? When am in going to have time to find a husband? when am i going to get married? When will i have kids?
Thats just going through medical school. People complain about the autonomy but doctors have alot of pressure on them and responsiblity... everyone heard of malpractice? How bout malpractice insurance? P.A's for the most part dont have to worry about that. Peace of mind is something that cant be purchased. Being a Surgeon? Overated, yeah u make 350k to 500, but u work 75 hours a week, you are never off because you are ALWAYS on call. So what is 350k worth if you dont have time to see it? Big house but you mostly just sleep in it. Can't really plan anything becuase ur only a beep away from being in the hospital....
The fact of the matter is there are good and bad parts to every job.
If being a doctor is really your dream then thats a sacrifice that you will make with a smile. For the PA's who are not happy with your job, why did you become a PA in the first place? You knew what the job entailed but now you are sitting here complainging. All the P.A's I know love thier jobs. Most people dont have interferance with a doctor. Most doctors trust P.A's more then NPs because P.A's are taught under a medical model. Most doctors only VERIFY with a P.As

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Pre-Pa student in Hicksville, New York

73 months ago

The bottom line is both are great proffessions and very financially rewarding. If you are sure you want to become a doctor, then P.A shouldnt even be in the conversation, just become a doctor. If you want to become a P.A become a P.A. Then people complain about money about a P.A. P.A's goes to school for 4 years if its b.s or 6 years if its M.S. Doctors go to school 8years plus residency. Of course a doctor makes more!! 4 years in school making 80k-110k is way above average salary for an average person in the United States. P.A's get tons of respect in the medical feild but the problem is people are mixing the 2 professions. A P.A is not a doctor, and a doctor is not a P.A. They both have advantages and disadvantages. People get confused when they try to pin the both together like they are the samething. They do alot of the samethings yes. But dont get mad at the profession if you second guessed your self about your profession and went towards P.A. P.A is a beautiful profession anyone who truly wants to become a P.A become one, who ever TRULY wants to become a doctor do it. But dont try to down play a P.A its one of the best professions in the world.
Oh yeah by the way CNN named it one of the top 5 best jobs to have in America....

money.cnn.com/magazines/moneymag/bestjobs/2006/snapshots/5.html

Copy and Paste that for all the haters!!!

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Katie925 in New York, New York

73 months ago

Hi everyone, I am a pre-pa student at york college.
I have an important question for those of you already in the pa field.

IS IT IMPORTANT WHAT SCHOOL YOU ATTENDED AND GRADUATED FROM TO BECOME A PA????

OR DOES IT JUST MATTER YOUR GPA FROM THAT SCHOOL AND WELL YOU AS A WHOLE?

PLEASE IM DEBATING WHETHER I SHOULD TRANSFER OUT OF YORK COLLEGE AND INTO A PRIVATE UNIVERSITY
WITH MORE FAME.

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Pre-Pa student in Hicksville, New York

73 months ago

P.S if im a smart P.A, 1.7 million dollars invested,with compounding interest a doctor will never catch up to me....

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Sama in Tampa, Florida

73 months ago

I completely agree with everything you said. I'm a Medical Assistant and I work in a big group of physicians. Of course I am around doctors all the time. I specially work with two doctors, one of them is my best friend. Let me tell you guys...being a doctor is great, but I think that when someone is thinking about becoming a doctor should not think about the benefits of being a doctor, which are a lot. However, an intelligent person will think about the risks and responsabilities they have. I have seen in real life what is to be a doctor. They are reponsible for every single thing tha happen in the clinic. That without counting the HUGE responsability they have when they do surgeries. Also the stress that they have to work under is too much in comparison to what they make. It is true that it is not worthy to make a lot of money and have pestige if you do not have time to spend with your family, to spend the money you have made. Docotors never have time to be with their kids, not even with their partners. They do not have time to be with their friends. Being a doctor does not have to do only with seen patients and doing surgeries. It also has to do with doing lectures for medical students, grading tests, going to meetings,which a lot of times requires to be away home more than one day, going to court for depositions (even if you know you did not do anything,sometimes doctors are called as witnesses), going to seminars, being on call 24hrs or sometimes 48hrs. This profession is not something that you do just when you go to the office, this is something that you do 24/7/365/forever. So, when I am working with the doctors I work with, I do not see my job as a job, I see it as training and like something that is helping me see in real life what is to be a doctor, so that, I can decide if that kind of life is what I really want for me, for my future kids and my future partner. If I decide to be a doctor, I will be completely aware of what it is about...

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Alex in Baltimore, Maryland

73 months ago

i understand that in your interview and personal statement the admissions committee doesn't want to hear that you want to help people, or work with underserved communities bc it's what everyone says and has been repeated numerous times. every resource will tell you that they don't want to hear that answer. so what do you think they want to hear? i mean isn't that the reason that people go into health care, is to help people and to work in medicine.
i'm just at a loss for words when that question is asked, why do you want to be a PA because my answer would be that i want to help people and to provide exceptional health care.

so i ask you guys who have made it into pa school how you handled that question, why do you want to be a pa?

thank you katie from penn. with your insight and help!
and pre-pa student, i thought what you wrote was great.

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Katie in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania

73 months ago

Thanks for your compliment. I think it's great if you want to go into medicine because you really want to improve health care and help people. So if that's what you feel, than SAY IT because it's you! Just make sure you give a convincing argument instead of giving a "one-size fits all" answer. You can say that you think you can make a difference in this hard health-care time and that you enjoy the challenge of medicine and are people/community oriented. . . blah blah . . . they want to get to know you in the interview. If you get an interview, remember that you have already made the program (pretty much). The interview is there to get to know you personally and they are looking for the "too good to be trues" and those people who prove themself a bad candidate by being pushy, soft spoken, or not taking it seriously. In the interview, they want to see that you are committed to the PA profession and its advancement. So make sure you know why not med school because MDs also help people and improve health care. And so do nurses. In my answer, I said I really liked the idea of the PA-physician team because I enjoy a team atmosphere and the schooling was considerably less so I could still start a family and proceed with my family goals that I could not do in medical school. I said that if I didn't get into the PA school, then I would take more classes and get more experience and apply to PA school again. Not go to med school. Make sure you shadow PAs and MDs so you have comparisons and can quote your real-life experiences . . . something that is uniquely you. That's all they are looking for. Someone who knows the PA profession, is smart, a team-player, and friendly, since they will be spending the next 2+ years with you. Just think of and answer as many questions as you can. Then you are prepared. They like to see that too. If you made the interview, you look good on paper already. So just be your professional self and say what you believe!

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Ty in Frostburg, Maryland

72 months ago

Alex in Baltimore, Maryland said: i understand that in your interview and personal statement the admissions committee doesn't want to hear that you want to help people, or work with underserved communities bc it's what everyone says and has been repeated numerous times. every resource will tell you that they don't want to hear that answer. so what do you think they want to hear? i mean isn't that the reason that people go into health care, is to help people and to work in medicine.
i'm just at a loss for words when that question is asked, why do you want to be a PA because my answer would be that i want to help people and to provide exceptional health care.

so i ask you guys who have made it into pa school how you handled that question, why do you want to be a pa?

thank you katie from penn. with your insight and help!
and pre-pa student, i thought what you wrote was great.

Hi Alex. I wanted to add a few points to Katie's comments (which were great!) I have been through a few interviews (all were one on one with the interviewer) and have been accepted to a program already! (Arcadia Uni)I am still interviewing at other schools, so my hair hasn't stopped turning gray yet ;-)

I know how nerve wrecking the interview process can be, but I took it as a challenge. Remember, you have already beaten out a handful of applicants to get that opportunity. Plus, you are interviewing the program as well! So, prepare some questions for the director and interviewers. After very interview, I was asked if I had any questions for them. Make sure you read the program's history and statistics. Maybe you might want to ask how strong the PA profession (politically)is in that current state? Each state has its own laws for how PAs work and what they can do.

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Ty in Frostburg, Maryland

72 months ago

My primary reason for pursuing a career as a PA is the flexibility it currently provides. I have shadowed many practicing PAs that have jumped from one specialty to another, i.e. from family practice to general surgery. Also, it seems that you can dictate how much time you want to put into your career. You can moonlight at hospitals while working at your primary job, or you can take it easy and spend time raising a family.

The funny thing was that I wanted to become a MD my whole life. My grandfather was one in England, and I have wonderful memories of how he and his patients were like family. For instance, they would come in and sit for a cup of tea while he would go over their conditions and histories. However, nowadays the medical system (managed care) doesn't provide for those types of environments. I worked as a medical assistant and saw the life of doctor's firsthand.. heard all the complaints and problems. Plus, although its a small pool, every PA I have talked with loves what they are doing and would go back and do it again!

As for working internationally, my first encounter with PAs was when I was a Peace Corps volunteer. They were our primary medical providers and were working under the umbrella of the embassy doc. They were making a US salary in a third world country, while having apartment stipends, and many other perks. How cool is that!? Their standard of living was much higher than ours and I could tell how much they enjoyed their experience.

Hope that helps.

Good luck!

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Katie in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania

72 months ago

Most PA programs require a 4 year degree of some sort. The other ones you jump into right after high school. So finish your degree and then apply to PA schools. The PA program is set up like graduate school so you will need to send transcripts, letters of recommendation, etc, generally through a website called CASPA. Check with the schools you want to go to for preregs and entrance requirements. Most schools do not accept transfer students (ie you did a year of PA program here and want to do the other year there), but to be a PA you need a 4 year degree. I hope that helps!

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Jenae Cimba in South Fork, Pennsylvania

72 months ago

i was thinking of going to Seton Hill and they do take transfer students... thanks for the help!

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Joe in Naugatuck, Connecticut

72 months ago

Where you go for your undergrad degree does not matter. Just stay where you are get your degree and fullfill all the pre-pa requirements and keep good grades, As and Bs, no Cs. Then apply to the schools you want to attend for your PA degree.

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Lucas in Roanoke, Illinois

71 months ago

Omar Abdul-Malik, PA, MPAS in Washington, District of Columbia said: Oh Yeah, I forgot to tell you. Here's a caveat for all those who choose a PA profession. After several years of practicing, you realize that you know as much, if not more than the doctors. I've been a PA for more than 7 years. I work as an HIV/Infectious Disease specialist. I love it! I have NO desire to specialize in anything else (can't stand surgery)! I function with 95% autonomy and can even write Rx for controlled substances (e.g. Percocet, Oxycodone). All of my patient want to see me instead of the doctor. I make some house calls and my patients can contact me via cell phone. I've been a college professor for PA programs and even get paid to lecture about HIV. Now, here's the kicker. As clinically talented and knowledgeable as I feel I am (and others have told me), I can NEVER work without having a licesenced MD as my Supervisor. Further, now matter how talented and BRILLIANT a PA is he/she will NEVER be equal to even the most MEDIOCRE doctor. Lastly, we will NEVER get paid what MDs make. I'm at two non-profit clinics where I make about $95K/yr. That puts me on the high end for PA earnings. However, the MD "ONLY" makes $145K/yr. AND I ACTUALLY DO MORE WORK! Now, I don't owe $250,000.00 worth of student loans. But you've got to consider. That's not that much if you're 35 y.o. and start making an average salary of $180,000.00 (took 20K out for malpractice for an Internist)for the next 30 years. I am now finding the lack of an MD degree quite limiting in what I want to do career-wise. There are medical and pharmaceutical companies that have offered me speaking oppurtunities with sizeable fees. When I inform them I'm a PA they are shocked and regretful. I get, "WOW! You're so knowledgeable, but sorry. We only use use MDs". IN D.C., $95K is nothing.I've a stay-at-home wife home schooling our four young children. At this point in my career, I'm even contemplating applying to Medical School;

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Lucas Anthony in Roanoke, Virginia

71 months ago

Lucas in Roanoke, Illinois said:

I found the comment by the PA who punished a patient who wanted to see the doctor or questioned their diagnosis as offensive and unprofessional. A patient always has the right to know who is examining them and may request to see the doctor if he chooses.
When I hear things like this, it makes me wonder if there isn't a tremendous ego involved here. When ego is involved, bad judgement may follow. Part of being smart is knowing when you're over your head.
I've seen a PA misdiagnose a serious back injury that ended up being septic disciitis. There comment to the patient was "it's just musculoskeletal....there's nothing I can do for you."
If your busy posturing yourself to be seen as exactly like a doctor instead of looking out for the patient, you may reach beyond the scope of your abilities.
PA's and NP's provide valuable services and but they aren't physicians. Of course there are new physicians who are inexperienced. In general though, most physicians are highly trained and competent. No matter how you slice it, they went to 4 years of premed, 4 years of medical school, and 3-5+ years of residency. The practice of medicine requires the depth and breadth of knowledge that this training provides. You can't compress it into a year or two. Alot of other medical professions are just a year or 2 shy of medical school...but they aren't medical school either. PA's should be the best PA they can be...same with NP's and anyone else in health care. There's nothing wrong with being who you are. The medical doctor; however, has and should have the ultimate control of the care of a patient.
There's a reason we spend alot of money to educate doctors. If there wasn't, we could save alot of money churning out only mid-levels.
I agree with the comment above. If you want to be a doctor...go to medical school. If you can't cut it or are looking for a shortcut, don't complain later that you don't get the same "doctor" mantle

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Yung in Overland Park, Kansas

71 months ago

Lola in Grand Rapids, Michigan said: You seem to be very lost. A top notch surgeon doesn't even make $ 800,000 a year. According to research. The average pay for a doctor is only that of 197,000. (Payscale.Com, Salary.com, Vault.com, etc...) And sure its only two more years than a Physicians Assistant. But remember there are residency years and a graduate would be likely to make over 35,000. I'm well aware of this as my sister is in her last year of residency right now, making literally minumum wage. So really, its more like 5-6 more years.

Im sorry your horribly misinformed. Im a nurse and work with a surgeon everyday, 15 total doctors. Alot Im very close to. And I know how much doctors make, and not just mine but many other and in many other types of practices. Doctors I work with make well over 800k. I know what the internet tells you but they are so wrong! I over heard our doctors looking to hire a radiologist, and posted it for 500k a year and decided to up their offer to 600k a year because they were not getting any offers. The internet does not put into factor alot of things, so always fall short for doctors. I know family doctors in the area who make 400k and do zero surgery. And the most Ive heard of a PA is making over 200k and that is rare. My best friend I work with is a PA. He makes around 80k a year. And pulls in revenue of about 55k a month. And my doctor who is the senior partner says the PA's help pay the other doctors who dont pull in as much revenue. So no matter what money you generate as a PA it will always go into the doctors pockets. And thats right out of the mouth of what I believe are some of the best doctors Ive ever met.

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Yung in Overland Park, Kansas

71 months ago

The PA's making alot of money are because they either have a residency in surgery or just have alot of experience. What they do is self employ themselves to help in surgery around a geo area. For instance you have a residency in general, ortho, and cardio thoracic surgery. So around a city area you have a schedule of surgerys you perform and get a certain percentage of the revenue. Alot of time PA or surgery assistance will get more back then the MD. So they wont get that whole thing but they will contract with that hospital for a certain amount. I know three personally who do that, one claims he makes almost 300k but I know for sure one makes around 200k. The PA I work with I personally have witnessed out diagnois other referring orthopaedic surgeons. And his father is an MD so why didnt he become one? Because he says and I believe him. He did not want all the responsibility. He has no call and a 9-5 job, makes decent money and can come and go as he pleases. Hes a big out doors guy we hike alot together, so this was important to him enough where he chose PA. Plus he admits he wanted to be in the working field alot sooner. Now for the other two PA's I work with they aren't nearly as bright but one was too old when he entered the medical field, and the other is a girl and she wanted to have a early family. And my comment early was for the individual who thinks surgeons only make 200k a year. I was in the service and a 0-5 in the navy got around 120k with all his yearly bonus and pay. So trust me a civilian doc makes, especially a surgeon makes alot more then 200k. Unless they are barely working.

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zee in Endicott, New York

71 months ago

Bryan Wood in Thorofare, New Jersey said: Hello, Im currently enrolled in a 4 year nursing school and i was thinking about transferring. If i do transfer it will be into a 6 year 3+3 PA program. Would you recommend i stay in nursing school and then after attend a 2 Year PA school to recieve my masters or should I do the joint program... I am having trouble making a decision...When you decided to go to PA school was there any pre-reqs that u needed to complete before you enetered that you did not have for your nursing degree?

Look into Nurse Practitioner Programs after you finish your 4 yr nursing. Can often finish in one year and be on the same level as a PA being a MLP.

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lilaznsurfer in Los Angeles, California

71 months ago

OMG I am so glad to have run across your blurb. I am deciding whether to get my masters in medical medicine (it will lead me to the PA) or to get my doctorate's.

1. I am not very good with authority. I like to run by my own schedule and I don't like to have people question me.
2. People do not respect PAs as much as they do doctors.

So that said, I am 25 and need to make a decision soon. Yale's PA program is only 2 1/2 years whereas med school is another 4. I need to make money now *(don't get me wrong because I love the medicial field and dealing with patients) but I've taken all this time to get my bachelor's and then travel the world and now I am broke and need to start my career. Do you really suggest being an MD if time is ticking and I have a family to take care of. I mean, it seems like we have the same dilemma. PA vs. MD. Which is going to be more beneficial and more convenient for me in the long run? Where will I get more satisfaction?

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PA in Land of 10,000 Lakes in Minneapolis, Minnesota

71 months ago

Lucas Anthony in Roanoke, Virginia said: I found the comment by the PA who punished a patient who wanted to see the doctor or questioned their diagnosis as offensive and unprofessional. A patient always has the right to know who is examining them and may request to see the doctor if he chooses.
When I hear things like this, it makes me wonder if there isn't a tremendous ego involved here. When ego is involved, bad judgement may follow. Part of being smart is knowing when you're over your head.
I've seen a PA misdiagnose a serious back injury that ended up being septic disciitis. There comment to the patient was "it's just musculoskeletal....there's nothing I can do for you."
I find THIS comment to be extremely offensive and unprofessional, and it is clear that you do not respect the profession as a whole. I have seen A DOCTOR about to misdiagnose a myocardial infarction, brushing it off as GI in origin, with myself being the one saying, "No, I think we should get a troponin"...As PAs, we are taught to know our limits, and we always, always have to answer to our supervising physician. If the PA DID misdiagnose the disciitis, then the supervising physician did as well, because that physician takes the ultimate responsibility for all patients seen by the PA. I do agree that no PA should ever say that they know just as much as a physician, even if they've been in their field for 10 plus years, because of the fact that they did not receive the same medical school training. By the way, the "punishment" that you spoke of--that is a REALITY. If a patient wants to see the doc at the last minute and instead they're scheduled for the PA (and they were informed of that ahead of time), why should they have the privelege of skipping in front of all of the other patients already waiting to see the MD?

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PA in Minneapolis, Minnesota

71 months ago

What PA is asking to be paid the same as an MD? I personally love the fact that I only work half as many hours as my supervising physicians, and would never expect to get paid their salary because I don't want the stress, the call, and in general, lack of a real life that comes with that salary. I disagree with your comment that "non-physicians do not practice medicine"...PAs do indeed practice medicine and I have a license to prove it. Yes, I have to answer to my supervising physicians, but do you think that they sign off on even half of my notes? No. And while you give off the impression that you tend to think very poorly of the PA profession in general from the tone of your paragraph and especially your comment about "this mid-level thing", I can assure you that there are many physicians as well as patients out there who do appreciate us and the care that we provide.

Lucas in Cleveland, Ohio said: Why should a PA be making as much as an MD? They're NOT MD's. The previous comment mentioned that MD school is just 2 more years. Many other health are professionals go to school 5-7 years but that doesn't make them MD's either.
I keep hearing PA's say they're just as smart as doctors and their training is just like medical school. If that's the case, why didn't they just go to medical school? The usual reason is because they didn't want to go to school that long. In other words, they want a short cut. Sorry, it doesn't add up.

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PA in Minneapolis, Minnesota

71 months ago

I agree, my physician IS dense...which proves my point that MDs can be just as dumb as a dumb PA. A dumb person is a dumb person.

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kay in Corsicana, Texas

71 months ago

Joe in Wallingford, Connecticut said: If you want to be a doctor go to medical school, if you want to be a PA go to PA school. Here is the facts; to be a doctor it is only 2 more years of school on top of what PAs do. Residency is hands on the job training, you get paid and no longer spend time sitting in classes and constantly studying. As a doctor you get paid ALOT more. One of the biggest myths is saying that doctors always work. As a doctor it is your choice how and when you want to work, just use your head. If you want to work alot of hours then go ahead and you will make even more money. I have a relative who works constantly as a MD and makes $800,000 a year. I also have a brother who is an MD but only works 35 hours a week and makes $200,000 a year. Its your choice.

this tell more than the other 1

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Susie in Phoenix, Arizona

71 months ago

Is anyone familiar with Midwestern University in Glendale, AZ? I have plans to tour the facility soon and I've heard it has a great reputation. Thanks!

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Confused in Torrance, California

71 months ago

I have a choice between Yale PA and Northeastern PA program in Boston.

Which is better? What are the perks to the two of those? Which would you choose? I need help! Please!

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PAMD in Farmington, Michigan

70 months ago

I am also confused about whether to become an MD or a PA. The biggest bump in the road for me is whether or not I want to sacrifice so much of my life to become and MD. I think I am going to marry my girlfriend, who already has a kid, so I am very ademant about going medical school because I know I will not be able to support them emotionally in a way that I would like to. However, in about 10 years, after residency and paying off the loans, we would be able to live a rich life. Granted, I still wouldn't be around very much at that time in my career, but at least my family would be happy, if they could pass through all that studying with me.

I was thinking about doing the HPSP for the air force, but still, I feel that I would not see my family very much if I did that.

I mean it's wonderful that I did great on the MCAT, that I have a great GPA and taht I am ready to go to medical school, but I think I will probably lose touch with the ones I love if I were to spend the next 7-8 years in school and residency. I love medicine and caring for people, but I also know that it's not the same as being with your family.

Also, the title of MD is a hard dream to put aside for PA. I would like to retire early one day to live on an island, sleeping in a hammack and listening to reggae all day and night...hahaha, in my dreams!

But seriously, let me know what you think! Thanks!!!

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Susie in Phoenix, Arizona

70 months ago

As to whether to pursue Med School or PA School...personally, I think age is a HUGE factor in your decision process. If you're in your early twenties...you've got time on your side. I'm looking at PA school because I have a BSBA, need pre-req's and I'm 37 (and have a 9 and 12 year old as well!). I don't have time for med-school or the $ to re-pay the loans! I understand that 7-8 more years of school sounds daunting, but I definitely think it will be worth it for you, in the long run. My husband was pre-med and decided to forgo med-school b/c he wanted to start working to make $ after graduation. Fortunately, he has made wise career decisions and has done very well in business; however, he frequently says, "I should've been a doctor!". As a doctor, you'll make a difference in people's lives, work in a recession-proof career and live a very nice lifestyle...for the rest of your life! I'm not saying it will be easy...but nothing worth working hard for is!! I say "go for med school" and don't look back. You NEVER get the time back.....you just get older and wiser!! And then you might hear yourself saying, "I should've been a doctor"! LOL! Good luck!!!!!!!!!!

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kim in Albany, New York

70 months ago

i personally wanted to go to med sch but due to family set backs and loss of my mom i am at a point where i know i am not emotionally ready for long daunting years of studying. i have manage to keep my grades up thus far, i have a good gpa. i still have the dreams of helping others this is why i still want to be in the health profession. therefore i have decided to be a PA. I know i will not regret this, i will comfortable and i will be able to assist my family earlier than i expected. if you love helping people then it doesnt matter what chain of the ladder your on, just never stop working and helping people, thats the reason why you got into the profession.

also im applying to PA school in the city stony brook, nyit and albany medical college. i don't know that much about nyit..is it a good pa program. i am currently getting my bs so therefore i will be applying to their masters program.

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hesapp in Spencerville, Ohio

70 months ago

Sue Nichter in Buffalo, New York said: I've been a PA for 7 yrs now after being a nurse for 18 yrs and believe one major advantage to being a PA is you always have backup from the supervising physician if needed.

I found what you said really interesting, because I've been a nurse for 9 years. I'm getting my BSN right now and had planned on getting my MSN. But I'm considering a PA. The amount of time it takes to get the degree doesn't seem much longer.

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not confused anymore in Edinburg, Texas

70 months ago

i was also confused, so i decided to shadow a few md and a few pas. i was surprised to how many mds actually asked me " have u ever thought about taking a different route such as a pa or np?", when i asked them why they all gave me a similar answer, saying that they love what they do but wish they had spend more time with their family. one doctor said he hates all his friends becasue they are all other doctors who are tired of their hectic lives, so all they do is play golf and complain about their carreer choice. i also plan on getting married in a few years, and i dont want to miss out on seeing my kids grow up, and spending time with my then wife. i made up my mind when i shadowed a pa who worked 9 to 5 and then coached his sons soccer team. he had everything that i planed to have in my life, patients who respect him, decent salary, and a great family. he told me not to worry about money, because he makes 89K a year and his wife makes 60k as a proffessor, so they are well off and have a great relationship eith their kids. a doctors salary will never be worth as much as family time with two incomes.

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Oldie in Lansdowne, Pennsylvania

70 months ago

Susie in Phoenix, Arizona said: As to whether to pursue Med School or PA School...personally, I think age is a HUGE factor in your decision process. If you're in your early twenties...you've got time on your side. I'm looking at PA school because I have a BSBA, need pre-req's and I'm 37 (and have a 9 and 12 year old as well!). I don't have time for med-school or the $ to re-pay the loans! I understand that 7-8 more years of school sounds daunting, but I definitely think it will be worth it for you, in the long run. My husband was pre-med and decided to forgo med-school b/c he wanted to start working to make $ after graduation. Fortunately, he has made wise career decisions and has done very well in business; however, he frequently says, "I should've been a doctor!". As a doctor, you'll make a difference in people's lives, work in a recession-proof career and live a very nice lifestyle...for the rest of your life! I'm not saying it will be easy...but nothing worth working hard for is!! I say "go for med school" and don't look back. You NEVER get the time back.....you just get older and wiser!! And then you might hear yourself saying, "I should've been a doctor"! LOL! Good luck!!!!!!!!!!

Hi Suzie, I am glad to see that I am not the only the older person considering a PA or MD career change. I am 38, married, with a 10 and 7 year old. I will be completing a PhD degree in public health next year. However, I'd like to take care of patients and also do research. I am getting mixed advice on PA or MD. The short time for the PA is attractive given my age. However, I am not sure that I will be competitive for research grants without the MD, plus the idea of not having 100% autonomy is a drawback, although I can probably adapt. If I go for the MD, I would be completing residency at age 47. At the same time, I don't want to decide to go for the MD after being dissatisfied with the PA. Any advice from MDs and PA's is greatly appreciated.

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CC in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania

70 months ago

I'm so glad I found this forum although it has given me more doubts about what I want to do. Are there any programs that exist to continue from a master to a PhD as a PA? I think PA school makes a lot of sense for the reasons that people have listed; flexibility, more than livable wage, less time consuming to finish school. I don't want to get to a point where I feel limited, I'd like to be able to take multiple paths with my career such as clinical work, but also teaching or research. Can anyone give me more perspective on the Nurse Practitioner route? Someone said something about the PhD in Nursing too, but I thought that was more research oriented than applied, does anyone know? I know I'm getting off topic about the PA vs. Physician, but I have had my Bachelor degree for nearly 3 years thinking long and hard about how I want to further my education (notice I didn't say if). I've narrowed it down to Physician (DO), PA, or Nurse. I feel that PA would be great, but I have "problems with authority" at times and am a very independent person. My Mother and brother are Nurses; my Mom owns a retirement home and my brother suggests the PA route for me. My Mom's business is a consideration too if I took over in the future, a PA wouldn't necessarily benefit me as an Administrator in a retirement home unless I found a Dr. to come on board with me....is that correct?
To what extent can you be independent as a PA?
Whoever answers me, thank you so much!!!

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brainsurgery in Portland, Oregon

70 months ago

Confused in Torrance, California said: I have a choice between Yale PA and Northeastern PA program in Boston.

Which is better? What are the perks to the two of those? Which would you choose? I need help! Please!

If you're going on reputation alone, definitely choose Yale.

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Oldie in Lansdowne, Pennsylvania

70 months ago

CC in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania said: I'm so glad I found this forum although it has given me more doubts about what I want to do. Are there any programs that exist to continue from a master to a PhD as a PA? I think PA school makes a lot of sense for the reasons that people have listed; flexibility, more than livable wage, less time consuming to finish school. I don't want to get to a point where I feel limited, I'd like to be able to take multiple paths with my career such as clinical work, but also teaching or research. Can anyone give me more perspective on the Nurse Practitioner route? Someone said something about the PhD in Nursing too, but I thought that was more research oriented than applied, does anyone know? I know I'm getting off topic about the PA vs. Physician, but I have had my Bachelor degree for nearly 3 years thinking long and hard about how I want to further my education (notice I didn't say if). I've narrowed it down to Physician (DO), PA, or Nurse. I feel that PA would be great, but I have "problems with authority" at times and am a very independent person. My Mother and brother are Nurses; my Mom owns a retirement home and my brother suggests the PA route for me. My Mom's business is a consideration too if I took over in the future, a PA wouldn't necessarily benefit me as an Administrator in a retirement home unless I found a Dr. to come on board with me....is that correct?
To what extent can you be independent as a PA?
Whoever answers me, thank you so much!!!

I don't think there are any doctorate degrees in PA. However, you can do a PhD in most areas, although some may require some prerequisites. For example, you could do a PhD in leadership if you want skills to run the retirement home.

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Laurenie in Miami, Florida

69 months ago

Hi,
Do PA's have to do a residency?

Carolyn in Wilton, New Hampshire said: Im in my last year of PA school. This is why I chose PA over med school.

as a PA you can change specialty whenever you want without having to go back to school. Dr's can't do that. They can't change their specialty without going through another multiple year residency program. If a PA wants to do surgery for a few years, and then switch to dermatology they have the complete freedom to do that.

I also chose to be a PA because of the lenght of schooling. it is 8 years to graduate from med school, and then you have 3-5 years or more of residency. Most doctors who start right out of high school wont get their first job until their mid 30's. it's 6 years to be a PA, and no residency involved. if you already have a bachelors degree, its only 2 years.

The time spent working was another factor for me. The dr's ive been with never truly have a day off. theyre always working. I want to have a life other than just working.

lastly, if i was a guy, i probably would have gone to medical school. I want to get married/have kids one day. I'm not going to spend a huge amount of money and time to be a doctor when I really cant be a full time mother and a full time doctor at the same time. I don't want to have kids and not be able to remain committed to a career.

i hope this helps!

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Lucas in Cleveland, Ohio

69 months ago

lilaznsurfer in Los Angeles, California said: OMG I am so glad to have run across your blurb. I am deciding whether to get my masters in medical medicine (it will lead me to the PA) or to get my doctorate's.

1. I am not very good with authority. I like to run by my own schedule and I don't like to have people question me.
2. People do not respect PAs as much as they do doctors.

So that said, I am 25 and need to make a decision soon. Yale's PA program is only 2 1/2 years whereas med school is another 4. I need to make money now *(don't get me wrong because I love the medicial field and dealing with patients) but I've taken all this time to get my bachelor's and then travel the world and now I am broke and need to start my career. Do you really suggest being an MD if time is ticking and I have a family to take care of. I mean, it seems like we have the same dilemma. PA vs. MD. Which is going to be more beneficial and more convenient for me in the long run? Where will I get more satisfaction?

It sounds like you don't really want to put the effort into going into medicine. Getting into med school isn't a slam dunk. You have to have all the required premed level prerequesites and do extremely well in them, do well on MCAT, interviews, etc. (We lost half our premed class in inorganic and organic chemistry.) It takes more than brains...it takes brains and drive.
If you don't like taking orders from others, that would worry me as you might be less likely to ask for help when you're over your head. If you do something other than medicine (M.D., D.O.), you're not going to call the shots, nor should you. If you're looking for school that is easier and shorter, less responsibility, no call, great hours, then you aren't a candidate for med school anyway.
Just be good at what you do and accept your whatever profession you choose for what it is .....and what it isn't.

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travia in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

69 months ago

Oldie in Lansdowne, Pennsylvania said: I don't think there are any doctorate degrees in PA. However, you can do a PhD in most areas, although some may require some prerequisites. For example, you could do a PhD in leadership if you want skills to run the retirement home.

I am a Biology Teacher, with M.S. in education. I considered PA school, but I decided to become a Nurse Practitioner. The main reason I choose this route is because, I will not need to work under the doctors supervision. As a Nurse Practitioner you can practice independently. Also, there are several high paying specialties that you have as a nurse. i.e. CRNA. Also you can get a DNP (Doctorate of Nurse Practitioner). Why limit yourself. The good thing about PA school is you are trained in a model very similar to medical school. The bottom line is do what's best for you and your situation.

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bmorg in Virginia Beach, Virginia

69 months ago

I also fought with the decision of MD vs PA. I had thyroid cancer when I was 8 years old and wanted to be a doctor from that point on. Sadly my mother passed away from leukemia when I was 22 years old. I have changed a lot and don't have the confidence and drive I used to, I struggled a lot dealing with her passing. I know what it is like to be on both sides of the fence, I have had cancer and lost someone very close to me. I don't care about the money, I just love medicine and want to help people. I just can't decide which is best for me. I do want to have a family soon so PA is looking better and better BUT then I think maybe I am just giving up and settling. I am so confused. If some of my PA credits would transfer to MD I woulnd't hesitate because I could practice for a while, get my confidence and go be a doctor but I have heard they do not transfer. Looking for advice...please help!! Thanks

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