I've been going through the same dilemma as ElliePA for the past 4 years I've been thinking of applying to med school but I'm so scared of accumulating more debt. I'm Married and am a homeowner , I already have 2 master degree, one in teaching and then Health science from PA school. In the end, is it worth it to go to medical school? I currently enjoy my PA career somewhat, but I feel like I want more of a challenge. I've been working as a PA for 10 years now and I guess I want to know what else I can do in this field besides returning back to school for an MD degree. my patient load is dependent on the surgeon I currently work with and I help with a colonoscopy screening program. I've seen worked with providers and management who don't think much of PAs (the one practice administrator I currently work with at first consider PAs like medical assistants...no respect for PAs as midlevel providers) one get tired after 10 years of trying to prove oneself to in the field. My supervising doc is really nice and I enjoy working with him but I get tired of nursing and managerial staff who don't think my professional opinion matters and I'm just "his assistant" who just see his post op patients.....I digress
I am thinking of applying for my Doctorate (PhD) in population health management and see what opportunities are available out there for PA's in health care management. I am in my early 40s and started a family and was wondering how I can better myself in the medical profession and feel like I'm growing in my field. I'm ready for a change. Any advice for me.....
Hi RubeMomtobe, I don't know much about job opportunities as a PA, so I can only really comment on the medical school part of your question. While it is true that medical school is a challenge, and it may (or may not) be true that you will get more respect as a doctor, IMHO it seems like kind of an extreme solution to your current problem. You already have a degree that allows you to take care of patients pretty independently, and you have a home and a family. Medical school and subsequent training will take many years, you will sacrifice a lot of time with your family, it will cost a lot of money that you don't have, and by the time you finish training you will not have that many years left to earn enough to make it financially worthwhile.
From what I can tell, one of the nice things about being a PA is that you can switch fields pretty easily. If you are tired of GI, you could do ortho or cardiology or whatever you think is interesting. You don't even need to go back to school to do that. You could also get a different job in the same field but with nicer nurses and administrators. Or keep the same job but decide not to care as much what other people think. But even getting the degree you mentioned in population health management sounds like a better solution than going to medical school. Maybe other PA's would have other ideas of what you can do with your current training and experience.
Thank you for the advice sahmd, I really appreciate you taking the time to write this. I took this advice to heart. I honestly love the freedom and independence my job gives me. I will look more on the positive as you've reminded me and just better myself in other areas.