Paramedics who became PA's


Paramedics who became PA's

This group is for paramedics who went back to school to advance their knowledge and careers and became Physician Assistants! We can talk about the process, what we are doing now, and give helpful hints to those who are looking to do the same!

Members: 29
Latest Activity: Sep 16, 2014

EMS Discussion Forum

Paramedics to PA route 2 Replies

Last reply by Tom Kodz Mar 8, 2009.

Paramedic... PA? 1 Reply

Last reply by Tom Kodz Mar 8, 2009.

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Comment by geoff.horning on May 11, 2012 at 5:51am

Hi guys, I've been a Paramedic for about 10 years now and am currently teaching outside of the US.  Seriously considering PA school when I return home.  I have a BA, but it was never science heavy and all of my sciences are expired now anyway so if I do decide to go and get accepted to school, I'm going to have to repeat at least a year of undergrad first.  Hope you don't mind me following, I'd like to see and hear some of the opinions out there on the subject.  As I'm sure you all understand its a big commitment if I do decide to do it. 

Comment by Tim Schreck on March 2, 2012 at 9:28pm

I'm a long-time paramedic due to graduate PA school in August and hope it's OK to follow the group. I love EMS and hope I can find some way to combine the two professions. I'm looking forward to reading everyone's thoughts and I hope the group stays active. Tim

Comment by Tom Kodz on December 14, 2010 at 11:48am

Hey everyone, thanks for joining! Glad the discussion has gone on while I was away. I had a lot of things happen to me this year (broke my leg, grandmother died, had to take my PA Recert exam, etc) that I was away for awhile. Thanks for keeping it going! I myself did find my 20 years of medic experience highly invaluable during my training, but had to relearn some things along the way (more in depth H&P skills) and a new way of thinking. The hardest part as a medic was getting them to the ED alive and then handing them off. You didnt need to worry about disposition. I think the hardest part was learning what to do after the protocols have been exhausted, and then what to do with the patient after you confirm (or dont confirm) the exact diagnosis or workup (if they need admission, social services, specialist referral, or discharge home) Then the first time you send someone home after treatment and eval you wonder if they will come back even sicker, or possibly die if you made a mistake in sending them home. It freaks you out the first few patients that you make that "ultimate" decision" on. And for the most part PA's are generally very well respected in my state of practice (CT), however there are still some MD's (especially specialists) that dont respect what we do, and see us as dumb, incompetent, or in some cases a threat, and then you need to deal with drama and confrontation that sometimes needs to happen. But for those most part, the health care community respects what we do, and most importantly, the patients do too! I too have not had the chance to keep riding on the bus (I hurt my knee pretty badly and have trouble bending and lifting) but still keep my license, just in case I ever find time to have my surgery and get back into it! It was one of the greatest times I ever had, and wouldnt trade my time in EMS for anything. I love what I do now, but still miss it very much! I work in ER medicine now part time (I teach full time) and still draw on my experiences frequently! Keep the comments coming!



Comment by Phillip Kirkland on July 13, 2010 at 12:31pm
Congrats Drew... I have now been a Paramedic for 31 years and finished PA school in 2005. Although the experience of working EMS, Fire, and Aeromedical services were an integral part of my being for many years, they all made my transition to PA school so much easier. I did the same types of study groups when it came to the Cardiac/Trauma areas and a couple of Athletic Trainers did the same when we did the sports med. portion of assessment. I certainly don't get paid as a medic anymore, however, I am so proud of that experience and I use those skills when going on Medical Mission trips (particularly in Third World Countries) and also on deployments with either the DMAT-1 or USAR-3 Teams that I am involved with.

Best of Luck !

Comment by Drew Harrill on July 13, 2010 at 11:56am
I am completing my first year of PA school this week. As with most every class, the diversity of previous health care experience will be broad. However, I have found that my education as a paramedic has been invaluable. The knowledge of the foundations of cardiology, pulmonology (especially the RRT background, in your case), musculoskeletal, etc allowed me to absorb the material at a much faster pace. Take cardiology for example. Remember how foreign and confusing things like a "QRS complex" and "AV blocks" were when you started paramedic school? Now you can move at much more relaxed pace. In fact, myself and another paramedic held study sessions many times after class. The examples go on and on - medications, physical exam findings, taking a history, documentation. While the PA profession does require you to alter or add components to some of your ingrained routines (ie physical exam), the foundation is well established.
Regarding work, I too, am like you in that I can't give it up. Mind you, it can be difficult to work even part-time and attend school/study. However, when breaks allow I return to the truck not only to stay sharp on the skills and to put into practice what Ive learned, but because even after 12 years, I still love the job.
Good luck in your upcoming journey.
Comment by James Bartus Jr. on July 13, 2010 at 10:37am
Hi Tom, hope it's not too premature to join the group, I've been a medic for 10 years now, an RRT for 5. I was just accepted to the MCPHS PA program begining this January. I'd love to hear the experiences of other medics who went through PA programs, are they still working as medics even part time? I can't imagine giving up working in the streets even if only a few days a month, just for the fun of it.
Comment by Klint Kloepping on June 18, 2010 at 10:48am
Hello all! I am still a Paramedic, finishing up my Nursing degree. However, PA school is definitely a real possibility. Any suggestions on how to make my resume stand out any more for PA school?
Comment by Thomas Durkee on May 3, 2010 at 3:50am
Hey I have a quick question: My friend is an Xray tech who is considering PA school, but he has been diagnosed with Hep C. It is well controlled with drugs.

Is he going to have problems getting hired as a PA with his Hep C? I am wondering about the liability concerns.... will a hospital hire a PA with Hep C?

Comment by Phillip Kirkland on May 2, 2010 at 11:39pm
This picture here is of me working in Guatemala in an orphanage's medical clinic, while finishing up some suturing, with the help of one of the girls there, that dreams of being in healthcare
Comment by Phillip Kirkland on May 2, 2010 at 11:37pm
Other than going to Medic school in 1978, becoming a Physician Assistant in 2005 was a dream come true. So many opportunities to do medical mission work and function at a higher level is awsome. Although I did not work as a Paramedic when I decided to go to PA School, I am constantly going back to my Medic days to help make decisions. I am on both a Federal DMAT Team and a USAR Team. I enjoy Wilderness, Austere, Disaster and Tactical Medicine, which takes me back to the Medic era but allows me to function at a higher/different level of care

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