Why I switched from Pre-Med to Pre-PA

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Hi there!

Today I am going to share why I switched from being Pre-Med to Pre-PA (Physician Assistant). If you have been following my blog for the past year, you would know that I was applying to medical schools last summer and submitted my application in mid-June/July. After submitting my application, there was something that did not settle right. I began to reflect on if the additional years of schooling, loans, time being away from family and friends was what I wanted. Of course, becoming a physician is a fantastic occupation, but with these second thoughts in mind, something was telling me that this is not the route for me. At the same time, I was beginning to learn more about the PA profession and wholly guacamole was I so disappointed in myself for not looking into this a long time ago!

After speaking with friends who were applying to PA schools at the time, I began to learn more about the profession and decided to switch over for these primary reasons:

  1. Shortened amount of schooling (PA programs are typically 2.5 years in length, although some programs differ).
  2. Being able to work right away after schooling.
  3. Lateral mobility in changing specialties.
  4. Working more within a “teamwork” environment.
  5. Work-life balance.
  6. More time with patients.
  7. Job opportunities.
  8. Less debt.

Although these are a few reasons, I believe the PA profession is unique in that it is a growing profession that has the potential into expanding the healthcare field as we know it and overall improving quality of patient care. I remember having one physician that I scribed for telling me to consider the PA route since it provides the same amount of gratitude without the years of residency, etc. I reflected on this conversation for a bit and knew that all I wanted in life was to be a healthcare provider that is compassionate, caring, and attentive despite the title that follows the end of my name. So after making my decision, I told my mom and friends and received nothing but positive words on my choice.

All in all, if I can give any advice to a high school student or incoming freshman for college, I would say to truly explore all of your options and shadow, shadow, shadow! Shadow multiple MD/DO/NP/PA/RN’s and more until you’re set on your life-long dream. Although I do wish I would’ve made the decision earlier, I am grateful for the trials I endured as a Pre-Med of taking the scary MCAT, and additional sciences courses because it taught me more about resilience and how to continue moving forward when roadblocks arise. Now that I’ve graduated college, I am taking Anatomy & Physiology and Microbiology at my local CC, scribing, shadowing, volunteering, and studying for the GRE to apply to PA school in 2020. Life sure is something, but I couldn’t be happier with my decision!

Thanks for reading,

Ari

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