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Everything posted by emorley

  1. Can 1-2 years or experience in an urgent care be a good transition into an emergency room? The clinic I will be working at always has a physician on site and 1-3 PAs depending on the volume. My passion has been ER, but most want at least 1 year experience. My situation has been unique in that I was accepted into an ER residency, which fell through due to lack of funding to approve my position. So after months of being credentialed with no timeline of when I would have recruitment approval I started job hunting and took an Urgent Care position (as I needed to get to work!). Thoughts? Thank you!
  2. I got my first roommate by posting on this forum and skyping with her! It was a great match. Also someone in the matriculating class usually starts a facebook page that you will continuously use throughout your time as a Tech PA-S. Good luck!
  3. Good news everyone! Our program is officially accredidation-continue status! We recieved 7 years with no areas for concerns or citations. Wreck em' Tech!!
  4. Hi everyone! I know interviews are in full swing once again! Best of luck to everyone, and to those who get accepted, WELCOME TO THE TEXAS TECH PA FAMILY! I am currently in my clinical rotations (starting internal medicine in January) and am more than happy to answer any questions concerning rotations! Merry Christmas Y'all!
  5. I can remember trying to "take a road less traveled" approach on one of my essays during the interviewing process. I felt like the other areas of the interview I had done well on, therefore, in hindsight, I felt like it was my essay that may have made me a less competitive applicant for that school. My best advice with these essays is to take straight forward approach and don't try to get fancy, as you don't have the time. In these essays, the faculty are really looking for a person who is honest, practices good medical ethics, and can sufficiently argue a stance on a certain topic. I agree with JohnnyM2 that it may just be one aspect of the interview process, however, PA school is very competitive with a limited number of seats per program per year. If you are not accepted to a program, think about your performance during the interview process, often you can pinpoint an area to improve on. Additionally, there are programs that often offer feedback on your interview (I'm not sure how fast they actually get back to you), but you must request this. The most important thing is to not get discouraged. Most people apply more than one cycle.
  6. Healthcare experience can give you a head start as far as being familiar with much of the material our faculty will be presenting. That being said, if you have the time this year, I would recommend looking into something like ER scribe, medical tech, or volunteering in an underserved clinic etc...but it is not necessary for this program. I am a second year and have classmates with no prior medical experience who are doing very well in the program. As far as GRE, I was told that scores at or above 150 in both verbal and quant was solid (when I applied) It sounds like you keep up your grades and are fulfilling the pre-requs, so I would recommend applying. Tech is a great school!
  7. We have a few students who commute from Odessa, and its approximately 15-30 minutes away from the school, depending on date and time.
  8. Unfortunately we have not really talked about the Master's project. But as soon as we do I can make a post about it.
  9. There may be times that you have to make arrangements for your animals during clinical year. My understanding is that some of the rotations can be up to or more than an hour away from the major city you are located in. In that case, I have heard of students either living in a hospital room for those 6 weeks or living with their preceptor if that is something they offer.
  10. One of our classmates has two Yorkies and she lives in an apartment by herself. My understanding is that she just leaves them in the apartment while at school. She hasn't said this has been difficult for her. And I know of a couple others who have cats. My roommate has become the unofficial animal watcher for some of our classmates so she does this when they go out of town (provided that she is still in Midland that weekend). So if you have animals and do go out of town, I'm sure one of your classmates could watch them (sometimes we all need a little animal therapy :) So the answer to your question is yes, I know plenty of classmates with animals and this does not seem to interfere with anything. Many apartments here are animal friendly. Even the apartment we live in (relatively new-The Palms) allows animals.
  11. I've been around for most of the interviews and they are interviewing between 20-30 people I believe.
  12. You don't need to start studying before school starts, as they do an awesome job refreshing you on some of the basics. Of course if you still have pre-requisites to fulfill this spring, that information will be very fresh when you start school (i took another a psych and nutrition class the spring prior to matriculation and some of that same information I would see in current classes). In addition, its always nice to be able to refer to old college notes (like if you have good anatomy notes or cell bio, immunology or genetics notes etc...). I brought with me some of my upper level bio class notes and I have used them as references every now and then. My best advice is to get good sleep and have fun/ take trips prior to entering the program, because once you start, studying will take up the majority of your time. You worked hard on getting into school, so now is the time to treat yourself before you start a very rigorous yet rewarding journey.
  13. Like Romy said, definitely start looking early and put yourself on waiting lists. I currently live in The Palms on Briarwood which is about a 5-10 minute drive from campus and right down the street from a Walmart which is nice. Rent for my two bedroom is 1705 per month and I don't have any complaints. Its one of the newer apartment complexes. It has been a great place to live for me and my roommate. Good workout room open 24/7 and club house with great study areas and free coffee and water. I got myself on their waiting list in December-January and heard back in March, so it can take a while for many places. If you do put yourself on wait lists, call monthly to keep in touch and check on the process (it never hurts to be persistent). yes living is expensive in midland but don't dwell on it because if you attend the program, that's just the way it is. In the grand scheme of things, its not terrible and you will be attending an outstanding program.
  14. I actually took 2 classes the spring before matriculation, and I found it helpful to do so right before classes started because the information was so fresh! As it turned out, one of my transcripts was not going to make it to Lubbock in time to be picked up before orientation day (it is required that they have all transcripts prior to this day, or they will not allow you to do the orientation). I ended up getting a call from the admissions office that they hadn't received one of my transcripts (like 2 days before orientation) and they told me just get one overnighted to myself and bring a hard copy to the orientation. I gave it to the appropriate person and that was fine. I would make sure you have at least 3 weeks between mailing out your transcript and when orientation starts (as it takes schools sometimes a few days to process the transcripts). If you are crunched for time, pay the extra money to get it overnighted to Lubbock (its not that much and in the grand scheme of things doesn't matter the cost). Remember, there are always things that go wrong and that are out of your control. It is always good to be prepared and think and plan ahead.
  15. Congrats interviewees. Tomorrow is a big day for many of you! Remember, eat a good breakfast and have fun with it tomorrow! Some of us will be around in the morning before our class so feel free to ask us questions. We are here to help
  16. As Forensikchic said, if that particular school does not want thank you letters, then I would advise not to do so. However, I have never experienced this and sent thank you letters to all my interviewers. I would use the letters to say something you wanted to say in the interview but didn't (because face it, we all get nervous and sometimes forget) or to talk about something you liked in particular that maybe your interviewer had said (this may also help to remember exactly who you are when you send the letter). Thank you notes are a useful, clever final move in your interview experience. Of course begin with "thank you," incorporate a specific experience from the interview, how you hope to contribute to the program, etc... Benefits of a follow up: Shows persistence, allows you to expand, reinforce, or clarify something discussed in the interview, it is good mannered and reinforces that you want the position at their particular school.
  17. I found the book "How to ace the Physician Assistant school interview" helpful as far as potential questions to arise in the interview. The book includes a brief synopsis of the beginnings of the PA profession, various resources and links to advocacy groups, and what was considered "poor", "fair" and "good answers" to questions. Be prepared to answer the "Tell me about yourself question." Be familiar with the interview style of the schools. UT Southwestern, for example, does a very different interview style called the Multiple Mini Interview. (Look this up and how it is done). Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (the program I currently attend), conducts 2-on-1 interviews with an essay portion. Be familiar with the school's mission and qualities about the program that interest you. Be able to describe a PA. Too often do applicants not have a good grasp on the role of the PA. PAs are healthcare providers who are trained in the medical model to practice medicine (with a focus in primary care). They are nationally certified (by NCCPA) and state licensed. PAs have what I would call "structured autonomy", where autonomy is exhibited through the PA/ physician relationship. PAs provide various medical services, which include, but are not limited to, diagnosing and treating illnesses, performing physical examinations, ordering and interpreting lab tests, providing treatment plans and writing medical prescriptions. At this point, most schools offer a Master's in PA studies. Be able to show that you recognize the rigorous coursework you are about to undertake. PA programs are efficient and succinct, meaning we have little time for breaks. How can you demonstrate that you have good time management? This is what will keep you "afloat." What I learned from my interview experience is that anyone can memorize a prompt of perfect answers, but what can set you apart is the ability to think on your feet, being personable, and being calm, cool and collected (even though you may be thinking its impossible). Confidence is key. Best of luck to all those interviewing this cycle.
  18. When we interviewed, it was a two-on-one interview as well. In addition, we had to complete an essay. Essay topics were different for interviewees (meaning a few topics circulated and you were randomly assigned one of them). The interview is not meant to be scary or challenging. You will be challenged plenty in school. Just give honest, thoughtful answers.
  19. Some additional advice, stay informed on current events that affect the PA profession and have a great answer for the "tell me about yourself question." This is a very broad and open ended question but can be one of the most important ones. I recommend including in this answer something that is not already stated in your personal statement or your application. What is something interesting about yourself that makes you disciplined, able to perform under stress, able to keep a good/ professional attitude around your friends and colleagues, etc... You have already shown that you are capable of doing the work based on your grades, but a huge part about being a PA is the relationship you have with your colleagues, your SP and your patients. Don't be afraid to have fun in the interview or crack a joke. This will help show that you are comfortable and able to add some humor (even though you may be terrified). A fun, interested and determined personality will take you a long way.
  20. There are so many great things I can say about this program, and there have already been a bunch of good changes. I may be biased, but I think I have a particularly great class. The professors have been very impressed with our involvement in community service and extra curricular activities which really helps bring the class together. As far as curriculum goes, all the professors make the information easy to understand and they are fun and relatable. There is a ton of information, but they make it doable. Currently the class above us is on their clinical rotations, so we have the building to ourselves for the rest of this semester and the spring semester. I really like having a building to ourselves. Since you are just around YOUR class, I think that really adds to how close we are. It used to be the case that we did not have cadaver lab. That is no longer the case. In your gross anatomy class in Summer I, you will be traveling to Lubbock a few times to study with the pre-dissected cadavers. While we do not get to dissect ourselves, I find that this is more beneficial in that everything is already beautifully displayed (in addition, dissecting takes many hours, hours that I believe can be put to better use simply studying and applying the information clinically). We also recently got an Anatomage, which is a virtual cadaver table. It has CT images of real people that are digitally colored. The program allows you to break down the body into systems like the circulatory system, GI system, reproductive system, nervous system, etc... It also has a digital library of various pathology scans. You can also "cut" different muscles and organs and enables you to look inside of them. I have also recently spoken with our director who now says that the contents can be displayed on a projector (which will be a great teaching aid). About a month ago, we had our neuroscience professors bring a brain and spinal cord lab to campus which was really great. So, the fact that we don't have cadavers on site in no way hinders our learning. I hope this bit of information helps, best of luck on your interview!
  21. Hi! My name is Liz and I'm a first year student at the TTUHSC PA program in Midland. I would like to use this thread as place to answer any questions about the school and about student life. Please let me know if you have any questions and I or some of my classmates would be happy to get back to you! Congratulations on all those who are receiving interviews :) You earned it.
  22. Texas Tech is currently taking the appropriate measures concerning the probation. The probation was not based on the quality of academics/ curriculum. This is evident in the program's excellence PANCE pass rate : Class of 2013 first time taker pass rate of 98% (compared to a 94% national average). And five year first time taker pass rate of 95% (compared to 93% national average). We also have a new program director Ms. Christina Robohm-Leavitt who has been a great addition to the TTUHSC family and who has helped to improve the program.
  23. With the large amount of people moving to Midland for the oil boom, healthcare providers are needed more than ever here in the area. With the school located in Midland, we as students are better able to serve the Midland/ Odessa community. We have already been involved in a health fair where we were able to take BPs for people in the area and we have volunteered at local hospitals/ spoken on local news stations. In the sense of less distractions I agree with mraschke. The work load is heavy and intensive and demands a lot of time with the books, so having less distractions is nice. We were however able to make a few trips to Lubbock for cadaver lab and were able to enjoy the lively Lubbock college town. What it all comes down to is the quality of the education, regardless of the location. At the Tech PA program in Midland, I have personable professors who are fun and present the information in a way that is easily understood, the best class I could ask for, and good resources. We have a virtual cadaver table (with digitally colored CT images of real people) and various simulation labs and wet labs that are brought to campus. I would highly recommend TTUHSC PA program in midland to anyone interested in the PA profession.
  24. We got the anatomage about 3-4 months ago so we are the first class to use it! It's very cool. All the CT images are scans of real people, and the images are then digitally colored. You can break it down to different systems like the circulatory, nervous, reproductive, GI, etc....You can also dissect organ to look inside them. Also there are various case studies like conjoined twins, stab wounds, etc... They did bring back cadaver lab this year which I found very beneficial and exciting. While some may be disappointed that they do not get to actually dissect themselves, I was very happy having already dissected out. In addition, dissecting takes ALOT of time; time that I'm glad I can instead put toward studying!
  25. Shannyncarey this is true too. For example, I filled out a small form on some personal information for blue ridge apartments but this does not count as a waiting list. The woman I spoke to, Stephanie, recommends I call back monthly to see what has become available. Whenever there is something available, she lets you know, and basically she expects you to fill out an application and pay a fee at that time, and the first person to tie that down (she says really try to get stuff in within 24 hours of that opening) gets the apartment! I believe most apartment complexes are like this. The only one I found that did a waiting list was The Palms and I paid a refundable $100 fee.
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