Thank you for your reply! I have a few more questions about the program...
Is the staff usually available when you need questions answered and clarified? When do you have time to study when classes are all day long? Are you able to practice the skills you have learned while in didactic year, such as a designated skills lab? Is the closing of the school from Friday sundown to Sunday sunrise ever an issue when it comes to wanting to study on campus or use the library?
Thank you again, I really appreciate your time!
The PA faculty are respond pretty quickly to my emails. Most of them reply back within a couple hours. The longest I have waited to hear back from an email was a day or two, but that was only because I emailed them on a Friday night. I'm actually very impressed with their prompt replies. They also have office hours to discuss or clarify questions that I might have not gotten the chance to ask during lecture. I haven't found the need to schedule a time to formally meet them because I usually just email them or talk to them during the breaks in between class.
Even though we are expected to block our our schedule for classes from 9 AM - 8 PM, we haven't had that many "all day classes". I think we had 10 or less of those days during this semester. There was maybe 2 weeks where we had several all day classes lined up in the week. During those days, we may have up to 3 classes scheduled. They are usually PA classes and 1 PH class at night. For me, I stay on campus after class and study until 11 or so. The PA faculty also know how hectic our schedule is and give us adequate time to prepare for exams. We also have Jewish holidays in October so most of my classmates finished their public health papers during that time or studied ahead.
I'm still in my first semester so we haven't learned any clinical skills yet. We're going to start clinical apps next semester, but I do not believe we have a designated skills lab. I think we learn in our regular classroom and our OSCEs are held in mock patient exam rooms (they're located in Wilderman Hall where part of your interview was held at). The 2018s (second years) have had guests come in to teach them certain skills and they practice taking history and doing physical exams on each other. Our class coordinator and executive board members can also help organize more time to go over imaging, such as interpreting x-rays or MRIs. There are also opportunities on campus to learn/practice other skills like splinting and suturing.
The library is closed from Friday at 4 PM to Saturday at sundown. It is sometimes an issue when we have exams coming up, but I usually just end up studying with friends somewhere nearby instead. The most common problem that I hear is waiting for the anatomy lab to open on the weekends, but we just wait until sunset on Saturday. Our class coordinator is also currently working with the library to see if we can extend the hours during exams.