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Lifestyle choice: PA vs. DO/MD as a Climber!


Original Post
L L · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2017 · Points: 0

Hey guys!

I've been struggling with the age old choice of PA vs medical school recently, and was curious as to what you guys had to say (I apologize in advance for bringing it up again, ha). I'm really curious to hear some perspectives from PA's or MD/DO's here on the forum. What do you think offers the most flexibility/time-off for climbing and traveling?

I'm currently a pre-med college student working on my undergrad in Biochem, and pretty much climb every chance I get. I've worked as an EMT in a local ER for a while and love the atmosphere. I work with a lot of midlevels and doctors and they all seem pretty pleased with their choice. I've done pretty well in school and I'm pretty confident that I could go either route, at this point. Climbing and venturing outside is pretty much what I live for, and I'm looking some opinions on life satisfaction or happiness as a medical professional.

I'd really appreciate the response! 

Cheers!

caesar.salad · · earth · Joined Dec 2012 · Points: 75

MD here. Don't go to medical school. Your climbing will suffer. Be a PA or RN. 

Benjamin Mitchell · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 0
Tim Lutz wrote:

#problemsoftheprivledged

I mean that's basically what this site is though, right? Getting tips on techniques/training/gear/etc in order to pursue a hobby is well within the "first world problem" range. Not sure why anyone should give OP a hard time for trying to make an informed decision. 

slim · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2004 · Points: 1,107

i thought this was going to be a pennsylvania versus maryland question.

L L · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2017 · Points: 0
Benjamin Mitchell wrote:

I mean that's basically what this site is though, right? Getting tips on techniques/training/gear/etc in order to pursue a hobby is well within the "first world problem" range. Not sure why anyone should give OP a hard time for trying to make an informed decision. 

I've read his bio and I'm unconcerned.

Benjamin Mitchell · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 0
Tim Lutz wrote:

he is trying to decide between being a 200k a year doctor or a 100k a year PA.  either the 1% or the 2%, and basing it on climbing rocks.


should he get the 2018 Tacoma or a Sprinter to celebrate?!   only MP can help him decide!   can't wait to find out!!!

ooo definitely the taco

Lardtazium · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 0

Damn guys lets not crucify OP. He's asking for help 

Mae Rae · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2011 · Points: 15

Your perspective on many things will change within a few years of your career, and then again years later.  Work is different from school.

Don't ask that question here.  

Find a few 40 year-old MDs and ask if they wish they were a PA.

Find a few 40 year-old PAs and ask them if they wish they were an MD.

I'm pretty sure I know the result, but do your own research.

L L · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2017 · Points: 0
Lardtazium wrote:

Damn guys lets not crucify OP. He's asking for help 

Thanks brother! I'm sure all of us would be thankful for healthcare professionals should they take a nasty whipper!

caesar.salad · · earth · Joined Dec 2012 · Points: 75

Luke, if you want some honest answers, PM me. I got my MD and then decided to live in a van and climb full time. 

Sir Camsalot · · thankgodchickenhead, Ut · Joined Sep 2007 · Points: 145

PA here. Work 3 days a week, 4 off and make a good living but not nearly what an MD would make (depending on your specialty). Pros and cons to both. More commitment to education and training will earn you a better paycheck. I think I made the right choice as I started in my 30's. You're welcome to PM me with any questions.  

grog m aka Greg McKee · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 70

Because you are asking this question you must not have a good understanding of what Med school and being a doctor will entail. 

L L · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2017 · Points: 0
Dave Kos wrote:

Which leads me to posing my question here.

L L · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2017 · Points: 0
grog m aka Greg McKee wrote:

Because you are asking this question you must not have a good understanding of what Med school and being a doctor will entail. 

Kind of a gnarly over-generalization based on just a typed words by me, but I'll take it. I have enough friends in Medical school or residency to know how hell in can be, which is why I'm in the slight predicament I'm in now.

caesar.salad · · earth · Joined Dec 2012 · Points: 75

Medicine takes over your life as an MD. If medicine is not your number 1, 2, and 3 priority, don't be an MD. There are plenty of other ways to enjoy the practice of medicine without being an MD/DO. I know MANY MDs who wish they weren't MDs. That includes junior residents through senior attending physicians. I don't know any RNs, PAs, or NPs who wish they were MDs.

Clinton E · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2016 · Points: 0

I'm a 4th year medical student, you're welcome to send me a message with questions. I think the bottom line is you have to take all opinions with a grain of salt and do what is right for you. Everyone has a different perspective, but none of them are yours.  

jdejace · · New England · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 5

I'd recommend against becoming a physician in the US. The cost is absurd, the hours are uncivilized. 

jdejace · · New England · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 5
caesar.salad wrote:

Luke, if you want some honest answers, PM me. I got my MD and then decided to live in a van and climb full time. 

Jealous :-) 

caesar.salad · · earth · Joined Dec 2012 · Points: 75
jdejace wrote:

Jealous :-) 

Jean, we actually know each other. I did rotations at MMC and I climb at Evo.

jdejace · · New England · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 5

No shit :-) Glad you're living the dream! 

normajean · · Reading, PA · Joined Jun 2015 · Points: 100

Medicine would most likely take over your life, at least for the duration of Med school and residency. In Med school it will be the academic load, and in residency, crazy schedule. So 7+ years later (depending on your chosen specialty) you will be back to climbing. It does not sound like you are dying to be a physician, so PA is a better option, imo. 

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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