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Experiences with a mid-career change into another field requiring going back to school? Specifically direct patient care but any insights are appreciated.

Hello,<br />
<br />
I have worked for over 15 years total in public health policy, operations, and communications, most recently serving as a director of communications and policy at a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the Washington, DC area. I obtained a Master's in Public Health.<br />
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As someone who is in my early 40s, I am potentially embarking on a mid-career shift from a public health office job to direct patient care, specifically perhaps a Physician Assistant career. Any thoughts about that field or a related field would be appreciated. For example...I think it would be immensely rewarding to work with patients, but how stressful is patient care? Do you approach each day looking forward to work or are you stressed by a large patient load in today's environment? Day to day, is it a manageable work load with only occasional spikes in stressful days, or is nearly every day pretty stressful?<br />
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I am seeking insight and advice from people with experience in a health care career. Your insights can be anything from prerequisites to applying to grad school to beginning one's career in patient care. <br />
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I have been researching the topic, including completing multiple informational interviews and shadowing at a local hospital. I'd like to hear your thoughts.<br />
<br />

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1 Answer


Belkis McPhee

A career in medicine can be exceptionally rewarding. Before you embark on this change there are many factors that you must consider. Information below:

1) What were your grade in college in science? If you didn't love it, then the course work will exceptionally challenging
2) Can you afford to take off a year without pay? PA school requires that you NOT work while you are attending school. Can you afford to pay for PA school ? Estimate 80,000 or more.
3) Are you comfortable with prescribing medications under a doctor? PAs work under the license of a MD versus ARNPs can prescribe under their own license.

Reflect on these three for now and let me know if you need further assistance.



Answered 1 year ago

Belkis McPhee