Considering PA, but unsure. Any advice would help!

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evergreen3 in Bayside, New York

33 months ago

I graduated with a BS in Biology and haven't really had much PA shadow experience, but was considering applying to PA programs. My grades aren't too great, they range from A to C. I was just wondering how PA graduates are. I know that it's best to find a PA to shadow, but I can't seem to find anyone. Is the PA program really difficult? Are there many fields a PA can work in? =/

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ErinPA in Ankeny, Iowa

33 months ago

Before you apply to PA school you really to do some research on what a PA does. Many schools require you to have shadowing hours PLUS patient contact hours where you are interacting with patients as some sort of medical worker (EMT, CMA, RN, RRT, phlebotomist, etc). Getting into PA school is extremely competitive. Any school that is worth going to will have a min GPA that is required to get it. For example the school I went to have a min GPA of 3.2 but the average was 3.6 and the average science GPA was 3.8. And don't even look at programs that don't offer Master degrees because that is where the job field is moving and soon all new grads will be required to have a Masters.
The PA program is very intense, its school from 8-4 or 5 everyday, 2-3 tests a week for the first year. Sometimes you are required to stay longer or come in on weekends. Many schools will not give you time off to attend weddings or family vacations, you have to be committed to the program for at entire two years. The second year is the clinical rotation year where you do whatever you preceptor does. So if you are doing a Gen Surgery rotation and the surgeon works 7 -16 hour days in a row, that is what you do.
But getting through the first year is the hard part and the career is very rewarding. All the PAs that I know LOVE their jobs, make a great living and have great benefits. PAs work in almost every field of health care. THere are many in General or Family Practice but many also specialize in areas like Cardiology, Ortho, Dermatology and Emergency Med. But its not for everyone, so I would definitely recommend shadowing. I would contact your undergrad school to see if they know of someone you could shadow or just start calling clinics. There are many PAs who allow students to shadow them. Hope this helps.

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evergreen3 in Bayside, New York

32 months ago

ErinPA in Ankeny, Iowa said: Before you apply to PA school you really to do some research on what a PA does. Many schools require you to have shadowing hours PLUS patient contact hours where you are interacting with patients as some sort of medical worker ( EMT , CMA, RN, RRT, phlebotomist, etc). Getting into PA school is extremely competitive. Any school that is worth going to will have a min GPA that is required to get it. For example the school I went to have a min GPA of 3.2 but the average was 3.6 and the average science GPA was 3.8. And don't even look at programs that don't offer Master degrees because that is where the job field is moving and soon all new grads will be required to have a Masters.
The PA program is very intense, its school from 8-4 or 5 everyday, 2-3 tests a week for the first year. Sometimes you are required to stay longer or come in on weekends. Many schools will not give you time off to attend weddings or family vacations, you have to be committed to the program for at entire two years. ...s.

Thank you so much for your detailed reply! I tried contacting my school about it, but they didn't have anyone. Hopefully I find someone soon! :]

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