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I have been working my butt off in University and have stellar grades but I have always had a cloud of doubt over my head in terms of time consumption to obtain licensing as a practicing physician. 

 

I am currently doing a dual b.sc in Biology and Neuro and I was planning on applying to Medical schools next year. However..I was recently talking to one of my biology professors, he recommended I look into Pathology Assistant and Physician Assistant (does anybody know the difference besides gross anatomy vs general care?)

 

I have always wanted to work in Pathology as I love the Science aspect of it but looking at the price of medical school, the time consumption, the questionable linking to actual preferred residence and then further licensing..I am going to be in my 30's before I can even begin paying off this boat load of debt. 

 

As a pathology assistant, it appears that it is a 2 year M.Sc, you get certified and you have hospitals, private clinics and schools throwing jobs at you with starting salaries in the low-mid 80's (climbing over 6 figures with experience). This is the same deal with Physician Assistants but you have a more broad spectrum of work and is a little more competitive due to the nature of the work (it is my understanding that a lot of people don't want to cut open suicide victims bodies on a daily etc). 

 

Logically, beside sometimes feeling like MD's monkey, why not go for this profession. 

 

..am I missing something?

 

 

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I am a pathologists' assistant graduate and 1st year medical student. The starting salary you have quoted is more representative of working in the United States. In Ontario, you are generally offered 65-75k to start. It does climb past 100k when taking on more administrative roles. There are more opportunities to work in hospitals dissecting surgical specimens and assisting in hospital (not forensic) autopsies.

Overall, it's a great profession with the chance to see weird and wondrous things every day. The hours are steady (unlike nursing -and perhaps physician assistants) and you are generally not making life altering decisions (mostly following designated protocol) so work doesn't follow you home. There are some disgusting (washing out colons) and dull (searching for lymph nodes in fat) tasks you'd have to do. I was mostly frustrated by the scope of my practice. I am a curious person and, as a PA, I would never get the full "narrative": case history, diagnosis (if not discerned grossly) etc. Feel free to PM me any questions.

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I guess the question is what YOU really what

 

There's always limits to PA and pathologist assistant in terms of their scope of practice

PA's are restricted in terms of the things they are allowed to do while MD's aren't (obviously depending on what type of MD you are)

i.e you aren't gonna see a family doctor seeing a flu one day and doing brain surgery the next. 

 

same goes with pathologist assistants-you'll be frustrated with the scope your practice although you feel like you have all the knowledge there

 

If you're happy with that then by all means go for it  :)

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I can only speak for Path Asst. 

 

Competitive. Over 100 applicants for 6 spots in Ontario.

 

Great career opportunities but again the salary in Ontario starts at around 65-70k/yr and tuition is 23,000/yr

 

Its a lot of money to spend if your end goal is to get into medical school and they really try to screen out the people they think will eventually apply to med. You can PM me for details if you want. 

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Can you link me to where you found out about the application number? 

 

From my understanding there are a handful of schools that train PAs in Canada

 

I can only speak for Path Asst. 

 

Competitive. Over 100 applicants for 6 spots in Ontario.

 

Great career opportunities but again the salary in Ontario starts at around 65-70k/yr and tuition is 23,000/yr

 

Its a lot of money to spend if your end goal is to get into medical school and they really try to screen out the people they think will eventually apply to med. You can PM me for details if you want. 

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There isn't a link for the information. I just know because I was involved with the process this year at Western (the only program in Ontario)

 

The only other accredited program in Canada is Alberta however I do not know much about this school. 

 

There is also a program in Manitoba that accepts 2 people/yr (however the program is not accredited) as well, I've heard BC is/is thinking of starting a program.

 

PM if you want. 

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