Pre-dent changing to pre-PA



Hi guys!
I graduated in 2017 and on my track to dental school. I actually applied to dental school that year but got rejected to all because I took my DAT too late. However, later tht year I decided that dentistry isn't for me, plus I'm not ready to take on a huge debt afterwards (300-500k sounds scary too me). So i'm changing my goal towards PA.

I started researching PA programs and most of them accept my dental assistant hours as PCE. I have around 400-500 hours so i'm planning to finish my prereq (anat, physio, micro) by the end of this fall. Then do either CNA or phlembotomist programs and work for 1 year and a half to collect hours. I'm aiming at 2000-3000 hours. Do you guys think this is a good plan? Or do people generally have way more hours than this?

I'm also concerned about why PA schools actually accept dental assistant hours? I know DA have patient interactions but aren't those more towards dental school? Won't they question why am I even applying to PA schoool? If i use those hours, will they ask why not dentistry? I mean i think it's probably gonna come up during the interview anyways. But will it look bad to have DA hours?

Also, most programs require one letter from a clinician. I 'm still looking for a doctor, PA, or NP to shadow. I'm puttin NP on my list since PA and NP are so similar. I'm wondering if it's necessary to shadow a PA? I know some programs said it's 'recommended' but would it be ok if i shadow NP (i'm planning to ask my NP if I could shadow her).

I'm also wondering about LOR. Since most schools want LOR from any clinician, would it be okay if I actually use my dentist's LOR tht I used to apply to dental school?? I'm not sure if it will look bad for PA schools but im actually really close to my dentist since I worked and shadowed him for almost 2 years. and I outlined my own LOR for him to edit so i know it's a strong LOR too lol

Also, how wuld the schools confirmed that our hour are accurate? Will the schools need our clinicians to sign somethng? I don't have such form from my dentist or the physicians I shadowed back 4 years ago :(

Sorry, I'm still new to PA field and still doing research about it. So if some of my questions are too easy to answer, I apologize in advance!!

Thank you again for helping me out!

Comments

  • I believe 2,000-3,000 hours is a reasonable goal. It is an excellent idea to practice as a CNA or an MA. I'm not sure which schools claimed they were admitted because the dental assistant isn't accepted at a lot of schools. I strongly advise you to spend some time doing something else in order to broaden your school possibilities. My sister did so as well, and now she has a great job. I visit her every time when I have any health questions, except of my teeth, because I am going to thehealthysmile.net for this question, they are the best in this domain.
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