I don't know if I want to be a PA anymore

I am in my fourth year of college (I’m a junior technically as I spent my first three years of college at a community college before I transferred to the university). Last year, I decided to switch my career path from physical therapy to physician assisting. In order to be accepted into PA school, I need many healthcare experience hours, and right now I have none. I’ve tried applying for positions as a medical scribe since November 2015 and have gotten nothing out of them. I tried coming up with a Plan B since my scribing application attempts have been unsuccessful, but my Plan B would consist of graduating undergrad and then having to go to vocational school/community college to obtain certification or licenses as some other medical worker (i.e. CNA, paramedic, phlebotomist, and so on). Then upon graduating one of those programs, I would need to find a job working in whatever I completed for at least one or two years full time to get the experience needed for most PA schools. It’s so ridiculous, and then there’s the GRE’s to study for, getting three letters of recommendation, applying through the complicated-sounding CASPA, and it’s all just getting to me.

I’m really starting to rethink about if I want to go through all of this just to be a PA. I’m tired of studying, and I just want to get started on my career. I’m questioning if being a PA will be worth all of the trouble that I would have to go through for it. Even if I do land a medical scribe job somewhere (which doesn’t require certification, it’s on-the-job training) I would still need to spend at least one year after graduating with my bachelor’s degree to have enough experience to be considered for PA school. And then all of the grad school debt I would go into…

I’m really unsure as to whether I should continue pursuing being a PA or not. What should I do? Any PA’s out there that could give me advice?

I am not a healthcare person at all, however:

If you no longer feel good about your proposed career path, drop it, don’t throw good money after bad.



Okay so quick question. Are you feeling less of a drive for PA because of the schooling and worry of debt, or are you genuinely not feeling a call for medicine anymore?

PA as a career is a very stable and good career (my sister is one). It is a rapidly growing field and coming out you make a decent salary (75kish-120kish). There is also a lot of movement in the field so you can jump between specialties. The schooling required in the medical field can feel grueling a times (I’m in medical school), but maybe try to get some more hands on patient exposure to see if you still really want it? Like, for example, look for a nearby free clinic to volunteer at, volunteer in the ER, etc. Then make your decision from there. I wish you the best, take time in prayer and maybe try talking with others in the field about the job. Hope some of this ramblings helps you.

Medical careers involve an enormous amount of study and work but they can pay very well. I don’t know if anyone else can tell you whether you are suited for that kind of work. Ask PA’s if you can shadow them for a few days.

This was going to be my recommendation, too–to see if they could “shadow” someone who is already a PA, to see what it’s like.

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