PA's going to DO school?

Well…Help! I have been a PA for 6 years now, and want to go to DO school. What advice is out there on how schools look at PA’s wanting to go to DO school? It surely isn’t about the money, as PA’s get paid a lot.

the question that comes to mind would be

why do you want to become a Dr. if as a PA, you have a lot of autonomy as it is??

Thanks for the response. Well, it has been rewarding as a PA in that respect, but I have found that patients who should get 30 days of antihypertensives, get only 1 week in some ER’s, even if they are well known patients to the physicians and staff. Lets just say that sometimes in life, you want to do things your way, as it coincides with the “moral way”. My motto is to treat others, as I want to be treated. As a PA, I am limited in this capacity, be it due to prescribing hurldles, or other things that hinder doing the best for patients. Don’t get me wrong, of course a PA is not the Doc. So it doesn’t matter if you have some “doc” knowledge here and there, it is about decision making and choosing the best for patients and making final decisions on things. Having a practice and not charging patients so much is my objective, but when you are in “the system” you have to go with the system in place.


Hi erpac. I have been a PA for almost 20 years, and am now moving forward toward med school. When I was starting out, many MDs told me I would become frustrated with my position in medicine and the lack of autonomy. Over the years, I have seen many PAs reach a plateau early in their careers, and have heard complaints of the lack of upward mobility. On the other hand, many PAs play an integral role in medical and surgical teams, and have a great deal of authority, though supervised. Others work in rural clinics, and “run the show”, with peripheral supervision. My experience as a PA has been a very positive one, but I am of the belief that if you desire to become more, then you should pursue that goal, regardless of the barriers. When I was starting out, it was taboo to talk about becoming a doctor, as if your were betraying the PA profession. This attitude seemed unique to PAs, as most other professions rewarded that kind of desire to become more. Most PA programs today still will drop you from consideration if they think you are using PA school as a springboard to medical school. But I believe life is what you make it, and if you desire to become a doctor, whether you are a PA, RN or someone starting late, then you should go for it. Hopefully you will be rewarded with your pursuit. I have reached the limit of what I want to achieve as a PA, and will continue my life as a physician, calling all the shots and having the final say. Best of luck to you.

Thanks for posting this. I have been an RN for the past 1.5 yrs and lately, I have been contemplating applying to PA school and yesterday something just clicked and now I am leaning more towards the MD route again.