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PA to DO at LECOM, is it worth it?

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5 years 9 months ago #87081 by AmmaMD
Those salaries are higher than in my high cost of living (= desireable and therefore with MDs) area.

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5 years 9 months ago #87100 by asunshine

ElliePA wrote: I know without a doubt, if I were to go to med school I would not regret it. !!!


That's some strong evidence right there. You might feel better if you shelled out for a meeting with a financial planner. This is some serious debt, and they might help break it down for you. Definitely keep the lines open with your husband--it's a family endeavor, for sure. In medicine, you will find that you move around and change plans quite a lot--some is under your control, some is not. If you're ready to be up for anything, husband, too, it could be very rewarding.

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5 years 9 months ago #87103 by tr_

ElliePA wrote: I do feel, even though the huge debt would exist, that the income to debt ratio is still better for physicians due to the higher salaries over time


Yes, *assuming continued full-time employment*. This point was made on the first page of this thread. If you remain employed as a full-time physician throughout your working life you are likely to come out ahead of where you would be as a PA. But the equation will get muddier if you take time off or spend a significant amount of time working less than full time (which you may very well want to do if you do have children later on).

The most that PAs make around here is 90k with lots of experience. Some may pull in a bit more, but their hours are insane.


Many doctors' hours are also insane! If you want to stay away from 'insane' hours I do not suggest becoming a physician. (Some specialties are very controllable once you finish but lots aren't and you do have to get through at least 7 years of very time-intensive training for all of them.)

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5 years 9 months ago #87109 by PAmom2be
Just to throw a curve ball out there--have you ever thought of becoming a dentist? My best friend is one. Think of it: 4 years if school, then many dentists work only 4 days a week (that's full time) and get paid very well (around 150 mark). You do surgeries all day, which is procedurally very satisfying for her, since you see a patient come in with pain and leave with the problem fixed, you never work nights, only work weekends if you want to, and she doesn't deal with insurance souch as most of her patients pay out of pocket. I think there are some great advantages there. I never considered dentistry because I wanted to do the "life saving" work (whatever that means), but honesty I think she makes more of a difference in her patients lives than many doctors and PAs I know--at least for them. Just a thought!

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5 years 8 months ago #87205 by ElliePA
Thanks again everyone! I am still considering this choice. I guess I will just have to keep soul searching (what I've been doing for the past few years!!!) and try to come to an answer. I know this is a HUGE commitment that cannot be taken lightly. My hubby is very very low-key/low-stress and he has a laid back go-with-the-flow personality. He is also extremely supportive (which is so amazing)! I cannot express is words my love of learning and knowledge. I am such a huge nerd and I have a strong passion for medicine. I know that being a PA is a great and rewarding career, but I also know that I will reach that ceiling when my knowledge and scope of practice will only take me so far in my patients’ care. There have been many physicians I know that have told me to run as far away as I can from medical school and never even consider it, in fact, an anesthesiologist I work with told me she has considered quitting multiple times and “her pay is never guaranteed”. Then there are others, like 2 female cardiologist I work with….one has been practicing for many years and she says I would be a fool for not going to med school and that it can only bring a deeper understanding and a greater financial reward, then the other cardiologist (she just finished her fellowship- first job), said though it was extremely challenging and taxing on her and her family, overall she is very excited and thankful she chose that route. Also, she sometimes complains about her debt load, however she just bought a huge home and 2 brand new cars. I find this ironic. Anyways, I know there will always be those who think med school is a good idea and those who think it is a terrible mistake. The choice is extremely personal, and I guess it just depends on overall life experiences. But I know that this is something that will always stay with me. I just need to make the choice and commit or continue to pursue a career as a PA.

I guess it will come down to...are the benefits greater than the risks?..........

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5 years 8 months ago #87212 by PAmom2be
I'm sorry this is so hard. I think one problem is we only ever really know the road we go down--the road that we didn't pick is always an unknown to some extent. I do think that you can drive yourself crazy with the what-ifs. I don't know if you watch Ted Talks, but this one was really good:
www.ted.com/talks/barry_schwartz_on_the_paradox_of_choice.html
It might change the way about how you think of making decisions. I thought it was very interesting.
I think you should finish PA school (since you've already started), and try it. If you hate it, then you've learned a lot about medicine, you've got a job that pays well, and you have a heck a lot of relevant experience for when you apply to med school. Plus, I think it would look better to say "I'm a practicing PA and I love medicine but want more education," than "I dropped out of PA school and now I want to enter your program.". There are differences, but probably more similarities between the careers, and from their perspective, who is to say that you wouldn't just drop out of med school when you find frustrations there? Plus, if you like being a PA and don't want to go to med school, you've saved yourself debt and time. But, by all means ignore me if that doesn't seem right for you.

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