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Unusual Career Advice : PA vs fighter pilot



I'm gonna try to keep this short and simple. (little side note - I know I am shooting for the stars with those 2 highly competitive positions, I am just looking for advice as to where to put my effort and resources) 

I am on my path to PA school. Throughout my college career I made some serious soul searching and decided that PA would give me the best balance of stability, security, and satisfaction in a career. There's a whole another thesis that I could write as to why I want to pursue medicine, but I think most of our reasons are similar : understanding of the human body, making a difference in people's life, etc.

Why do I want to become a military pilot ? I always loved aviation but it seemed more of a hobby than a career. Now every-time I hear a jet going above my head I start thinking if I am making the right choice. It's hard to point to a specific factor - the camaraderie, the once-in-a-lifetime experience, the amazing machines, the stories, ripping through the canyons 500 ft above the ground at god-knows what speed, lifting the heaviest payloads, carrying the most awesome destructive power known to man - y'all know the speech. You get the idea, a more adventurous lifestyle. However, on the long run it is not such a great career in terms of income, security, or lifestyle. Moreover, some fighter pilots warned me against the career and that it is not as fun as it seems. That most of the time is spend doing a desk job.

Options - doing both. I think my salary as PA would be enough to afford aviation for weekend fun. So buying/renting an aerobatics plane could scratch that flying itch . ////or////  I could get lucky with a national guard pilot job, work part time as a pilot, and have my PA career as a day job. Although this is possible, I think this might lead to burnout, losing both flying and medical skills, or being so focused on my profession that I won't enjoy the simpler things in life : camping, building a family, hanging out with friends doing nothing. ////or//// Take it one at a time. Be a pilot first, then go back to school after service. Yet, giving minimum time requirement for pilots is 10 years of service (not sure what it is for guard), going back to school to be a PA might take away some of the pluses that attracted me to the profession in the first place; like a high income and rewarding job at a young age.

Ultimately I am afraid of dying with regret, so I keep bouncing between careers wondering if I am doing too much or if I am even doing enough. The adult in me says to stick with what I started and play it safe with PA school, but the kid in me says tomorrow is not promised and I should be a pilot or I will regret not trying when it's too late.


Thank you in advance for reading my rant and for any advice given !

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Gotta say, your outlook on Aviation as a career is a little off. Sure, shit like carona happens and people get laid off, but that's not every day.

You can make significantly more as a pilot than as a Physician Assistant. But the job after the military probably shouldn't be your reasoning.

A few things, guard/reserves, you can do both. Get picked up by a unit and go to PA school when you become a traditional reservist. It'll be super hard, but not impossible.

But what it sounds like you might need to look into is going to medical school and becoming a Flight Doc. I don't know a TON about the job but it seems like it might blend your two interest pretty well. You won't be a pilot, from what you've said, it sounds like that might be your secondary goal anyway.

Edit: also, from what a few Nurses in my OTS class said, apparently the AF prefers their PAs to have doctorates and not just masters. For whatever that's worth.

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