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Posts Tagged ‘graduate school’

posted the other day about the excitement (and trepidation) associated with going back to school.  Here’s the rest of the story…

I originally planned to go back to school for a Master’s in Equine Reproductive Physiology, with the goal of working for a private equine repro firm, or breeding farm, or possibly in research.  I was very close to doing this immediately after I graduated from undergrad–I had met with the program director at Ohio State several times and thought I was ready to go–but at the last minute I found out I was missing a bunch of pre-requisite classes.  (Neither the program director nor my academic advisor had thought to check on that.)  That development combined with a few other factors (i.e. life) convinced me to put off grad school until a yet-to-be-determined later date.

Last winter I contacted the new program directors at OSU and, over the summer, trekked to Columbus a couple of times a month to shadow their research lab and clinical patients.  Towards the end of the summer, I had a bit of an epiphany: I was bored to tears about 80% of the time I spent there.  Around that same time, I did some additional research into the profession and found some key new bits of information.  Namely, that the economic slump hit the tiny little equine repro industry hard and had turned it into a contracting career field.  Also, the repro world now values hands-on experience above extended education, the average starting salary is about $40,000/year (not worth 2 more years of student loans), and I could go to a tiny handful of locations that *might* be hiring at the same time I’d be job hunting.

Can you blame me for reconsidering my chosen career path even before I’d really started down it?

So, I made a list.  (I’m really, really good at lists.)

~

What I want in a career:

1. Intellectual stimulation

2. Emotional fulfillment

3. Financial freedom & the ability to support my hobbies (travel, horses, etc.)

4. Expanding job market

5. Multiple job location choices

~

Shortly thereafter, I stumbled across the Physician Assistant profession and began researching it.  I met with the admissions advisor at the KCMA program here in Dayton, did a lot of reading & research, and went on some job shadows. 

And the PA profession and I…well, we just clicked.

I sort of feel like I’m divorcing the equine science/animal health fields.  But, you know what?  I’ve paid my dues and it’s my right to walk away.

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A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to job shadow a Physician Assistant in the ER of one of our local hospitals.  Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see a whole lot of action, but I’m tentatively scheduled to go back in June and hopefully I’ll get to see more then.  This was the second PA I’ve shadowed (the first was at my neurologists office) and a very different setting from the other experience.  I love that I leave excited and ready to learn more about the profession!

I’ve been struggling with the “what I want to be when I grow up” question for quite some time now.  Now–finally, finally!–I have a plan.  On Tuesday, May 10th, I officially became a college student again when I registered for class at Sinclair Community College.  I’ll have 9 prerequisite classes to take before applying to Kettering College of Medical Arts’ Masters of Physician Assistant Studies program

For now I’m planning to ease myself back into things by taking a “soft”(er) science class–psychology–this summer.  Starting in the fall though, it’ll be all chem, o-chem, and bio for me!

And so the journey begins…

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