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I am debating having a career as a physicians assistant, nurse practitioner or doctor ?

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Brenn M.’s Answer


Good for you, in wanting to enter the medical field. Here is the information I found through searching your State and Educational requirements, based on your profile saying New York, New York. Below is what New York Health Careers states for the fields you have mentioned. Good luck!

"What Do Physician Assistants Do?
Physician assistants (PAs) are health care professionals who practice medicine under the supervision of physicians and surgeons. Working as members of a health care team, PAs take medical histories, examine and treat patients, order and interpret laboratory tests and x-rays, instruct and counsel patients, make diagnoses, and prescribe certain medications."

"Where Do Physician Assistants Work?
Most PAs work in doctors’ offices. PAs also work in general medical and surgical hospitals and in outpatient care centers, including health clinics, health maintenance organizations, federal or state government institutions, and in colleges and schools."

"What Do Nurse Practitioners Do?
Nurse practitioners (NPs) are registered nurses (RNs) with advanced training in a practice specialty. NPs specialize in areas such as acute care, adult health, women’s health, family health, school health, community health, oncology, gerontology, psychiatry, geriatrics, pediatrics, palliative care, mental health, and others."

"Where Do Nurse Practitioners Work?
NPs work in a variety of clinical settings depending on their areas of specialization. These settings include physician’s and specialist’s private practices, health clinics, community health centers, hospitals, nursing homes, and home health agencies. NPs may also be educators, administrators, or researchers and work in schools or offices."

Becoming a Doctor.
"Educational Program Requirements:
Becoming a physician requires completing medical school. Entry into medical school usually requires a bachelor’s degree or some other advanced degree. As a bachelor’s degree is typical of students before entering medical school, those students planning to attend medical school are often called “pre-med”. A pre-med undergraduate education focuses heavily on science, with courses in physics, biology, mathematics, English, and inorganic and organic chemistry. Many pre-med students also take courses in the humanities and the social sciences.

Formal education and training requirements for physicians are among the most demanding of any occupation. After completing four years of undergraduate education and receiving a degree, medical school applicants must take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). Acceptance to medical school is highly competitive. Once in medical school, students will complete four years of graduate medical education, which includes classroom, laboratory, and supervised clinical training; followed by three to eight years of internship and residency, depending on the specialty selected. A few medical schools offer combined undergraduate and medical school programs that last six or seven years rather than the customary eight years."

See the helpful links below that will take you straight to the extended answers for each of your fields of interest.

Brenn M. recommends the following next steps:

How to be a Physician (Doctor):
Council of Medical Specialty Societies:
Info on being a PA in New York, scholarships, and education details:,National%20Certification%20Examination%20(PANCE).
NY Nurse Practitioner link:
To learn more about being a Nurse Practitioner in New York, go to
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Atul’s Answer

To become a Dr., you need a respectable MCAT score. Until you have that chances are slim.

You can become LN or RN - the former is 4-5 years degree while RN is not. You also have to pass exam before you can practice in that state.

To become Physician’s assistant - you will have least set of requirements and pay may not be as high as previous two profession.

You have to decide what drives you and then work towards that profession.