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Physician Associate vs GP watch

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    I’m currently looking at a change in currently and looking for some advice.

    I’ve worked in the veterinary industry for the last 9 years (nursing assistant originally and moved into management over time) but wanting to move in to human health.

    I’d love to study medicine but at 27 and working full time, I’m not really sure I can afford the jump to being a full time student. I also worked from a young age and don’t have A levels etc. so would need to get qualified before I could even consider applying for medicine.

    I’ve therefore been looking at doing an Open University degree in Health Science and then moving in to training as a Physician Associate and just looking for feedback. I can do the OU course part time and continue to work but obviously that would take me 6 years to complete.

    Is it worth it or do I take the leap and try and get ready to apply for full blown medicine? (Sacrificing work in the process)
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    (Original post by LittleFoxJess)
    ...I’d love to study medicine but at 27 and working full time, I’m not really sure I can afford the jump to being a full time student.
    @ForestCat works (intensively too - fairly inspirational) as she does her graduate entry medicine degree.

    ...(Sacrificing work in the process)
    Do you have to not work? I was thinking you were going to launch into a discussion into the merits of PAs vs GPs - thankfully you haven't.

    You can study PA as an undergraduate. More details on the Healthcare forum too. As for whether you should do medicine - it is a decision for you to make really, is it a sacrifice worth making?

    Starting at 27yo isn't old, if that is what you are asking.
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    That is part of it - I do feel too old!

    I guess my main concern is trying to do it in a way where I can still manage to live and pay my bills etc. Plus I’m concerned about how long it will all take - especially as I don’t have the right qualifications at the moment
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    My 2 cents:

    PA's don't have to study as long as GP do. I think it takes about 3-5 years to train as a PA (do correct me if I'm wrong). But to be a GP you gotta do a medical degree, FY1/FY2 and then 3 years speciality training. Thats like 10-12 years.
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    (Original post by LittleFoxJess)
    That is part of it - I do feel too old!

    I guess my main concern is trying to do it in a way where I can still manage to live and pay my bills etc. Plus I’m concerned about how long it will all take - especially as I don’t have the right qualifications at the moment
    Ok... well be assured that there are medical students starting at 40yo, so you are definitely not too old.

    I can tell you the structure of medical school training, but obviously the path you take to go there I can't foretell!

    4 years in Graduate Entry Medicine
    2 years in Foundation Programme (you will be paid then as a doc)
    3 years in GP Specialty Training
    And that's it - you are a fully trained GP ready to take on the world
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    (Original post by LittleFoxJess)
    I’m currently looking at a change in currently and looking for some advice.

    I’ve worked in the veterinary industry for the last 9 years (nursing assistant originally and moved into management over time) but wanting to move in to human health.

    I’d love to study medicine but at 27 and working full time, I’m not really sure I can afford the jump to being a full time student. I also worked from a young age and don’t have A levels etc. so would need to get qualified before I could even consider applying for medicine.

    I’ve therefore been looking at doing an Open University degree in Health Science and then moving in to training as a Physician Associate and just looking for feedback. I can do the OU course part time and continue to work but obviously that would take me 6 years to complete.

    Is it worth it or do I take the leap and try and get ready to apply for full blown medicine? (Sacrificing work in the process)
    I completely understand where you are coming from with the age thing. I am 28 and the time frame of medicine didn't fit with my life goals. Technically you can't be too old to do anything, it's more about how it fits in with where you want to see yourself in the next 5 years. That's up to you. A few more things.

    Most PA courses are full time and with the amount of learning you will have to do (about 50 hrs/week for me and half of that is outside classes) you won't be able to do anything beyond the most minimal part time job.

    PA takes 2 years to train unless part time then it's 4. There is only 1 undergrad course and it isn't accredited yet. With the government on the cusp of announcing regulation for PAs that course may get scrapped.

    Apologies about the misinformation spouted about PAs by med students and doctors. Most think it's an experimental thing that won't last so they don't take it seriously enough to actually research the subject. For the reason above, that will be to their detriment.
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    (Original post by Ilir1989)
    I completely understand where you are coming from with the age thing. I am 28 and the time frame of medicine didn't fit with my life goals. Technically you can't be too old to do anything, it's more about how it fits in with where you want to see yourself in the next 5 years. That's up to you. A few more things.

    Most PA courses are full time and with the amount of learning you will have to do (about 50 hrs/week for me and half of that is outside classes) you won't be able to do anything beyond the most minimal part time job.

    PA takes 2 years to train unless part time then it's 4. There is only 1 undergrad course and it isn't accredited yet. With the government on the cusp of announcing regulation for PAs that course may get scrapped.

    Apologies about the misinformation spouted about PAs by med students and doctors. Most think it's an experimental thing that won't last so they don't take it seriously enough to actually research the subject. For the reason above, that will be to their detriment.
    Thanks so much for your reply - in all honesty, I’ve looked into the undergrad course and as you say, I noticed it wasn’t accredited so I don’t think it’s worth the risk. I think I’d be better off getting my undergrad completed first and then I’ll look into the MSc.

    Where are you currently studying?
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    (Original post by LittleFoxJess)
    Thanks so much for your reply - in all honesty, I’ve looked into the undergrad course and as you say, I noticed it wasn’t accredited so I don’t think it’s worth the risk. I think I’d be better off getting my undergrad completed first and then I’ll look into the MSc.

    Where are you currently studying?
    Yorkshire. Don't want to make it more specific than that haha. There are 25 courses so plenty of choices. I chose up north because more courses up there provide grants. With that and the 10k masters/pcdl loan then if you have no commitments you can manage without full-time work.
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    Most UK trained PAs are on band 6 initally then move up to 7: it's really not that high, ANPs for example make drastically more than them!

    Of the various associate practitioner roles PAs get the short end of the stick regarding pay. In the short term you'll be better off, but in the long run you'll be earning far more going down the medical route.

    If getting into medicine didn't work, you can normally apply for a 5th course via UCAS, which you could do in biomedical science or something similar which is a suitable entry point for the PA. By the time you complete a 6 year part time OU course you could have done a foundation year for medicine for example and the full 5 year degree, which might suit you if you don't have A levels but do have care experience.

    Do you already have a degree & so are not eligible for student finance? Or do you have other financial commitments requiring you to work whilst studying?
 
 
 
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