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  1. If you're trying to compare civilian to military programs, what hormiga described about IPAP sounds pretty much what my civilian school was like, minus the uniforms (although I've heard some civilian schools make their students wear business casual every day). PowerPoint hell for the first year, then clinicals the next. And my civilian school would get super shitty if you're late to a lecture as well, that's not really just a military thing once you're at the graduate level. They also have extremely strict passing measures. One guy failed out our first semester because he was one point below the score he needed in Anatomy and my school was like... sorry, not sorry. Probably for the best in retrospect, because I doubt he would have made it through the rest of the program anyway if he was struggled that much in the beginning. We also don't have much in the way of time off besides a week or two during didactic and pretty much no guaranteed time off during clinical year, since it is all site dependent. I'm doing the HSCP program and I'm in my clinical year right now. I imagine every school is somewhat different - one of my friends went to a PA school where they do a lot of PBL learning, which she really enjoys and I sort've hate - so it's all relative. If you want to look at how a school is doing, I would look at its PANCE pass rates, not all schools have great first time pass rates. It does make me wonder about the quality of school if it can't even properly prepare at least 90%+ of it's students to pass the PANCE the first go-round. As far as rankings go, I don't pay attention to the USNWR at all, as the statistical measures they use are worthless. They're basically peer evals. So I wouldn't let it psych you out that IPAP isn't an Ivy League or whatever. Good luck!
  2. Hi all, Finishing up my didactic year (fun, fun) and I keep reading articles about how the Navy/Air force/Army/etc is involuntarily separating people at 14 years to lower the number of pensions they have to hand out, essentially. I myself don't know if I really have any plans of staying in past my initial commitment since I plan to see how my fiance and I adjust to military life, but it has occurred to me that I know very few military PAs that have stayed in past one or two contracts. Why do you think that is? Are civilian PA jobs just much more appealing than military PA jobs or is the government not particularly interested in keeping PAs in service? To some extent, the armed forces makes cuts at the end of every war obviously, but I suppose I would still expect to see more long-term PAs than I have. Or maybe I just seriously underestimate the appeal of civilian life.
  3. Well, first - did you fail the entire class or just the final? Obviously, it's ideal to not fail any tests, but people fail tests all the time (failing for us is below a 70%). You should reevaluate your study habits and methods, but if you only failed one test, then I wouldn't freak out, especially if you didn't miserably fail it (ie, less than a 50%). This isn't undergrad, you will not get all 97%s without even trying anymore. There are times when you will work your ass off to get a 70%. And there are times when you won't try nearly as hard as your classmates and still get an excellent score. It's the nature of the beast. I'd second what many are saying about filling out the objectives, however. We use Current as our main text and I've never read an entire chapter beginning to end, it's just not worth my time when we cover 5 or more 100+ page chapters every two weeks. Focus on your lecture objectives. Study groups (as in breaking up objectives) are great for this. My class started a Facebook page and we all share helpful documents, Quizlets, etc that we make. Also, I would tap into any resources available from last year's class - we were each assigned a mentor from the class above us and the class president from the year above us passed down several of the study materials they created during their didactic year, including objectives that are filled out. The objectives don't change that much year to year, so it made it easier to go through and fine tune them and add any extra pearls from lecture. If your school is like mine, they don't care at all how you get your information, they just want you to know it and understand it. Find a way that works for you and study hard. Good luck.
  4. I went through the process for the 2013-2014 years and started PA school in May 2014. That cycle they had 10 slots. A lot of the service branches are reducing the number of slots for these programs due to the drawdown. As for competitiveness, I never got a feel of how competitive it was because no one ever seems to be able to tell you how many people apply. But ONeal is spot on in saying that 50 may be recommended and only 10 may be get the final selection letter. I don't know about that timing though, because I started my packet in October 2013 (with an acceptance letter) and didn't finish it until about February 2014 due to MEPS and interview scheduling issues and I got my selection letter March 2014. So they must leave a few slots open, or perhaps they just didn't have enough qualified candidates that cycle. In your selection letter, they will tell you when you are allowed to enlist and I was allowed starting 1 May 2014. I enlisted early May and was getting paid by the end of May with backpay starting from the day I swore in. But I would definitely agree - getting everything in ASAP is extremely important. It is quite a long process, especially if you've never been in the military - the application, the interviews, the security clearance, the interview for the security clearance, etc - make sure you're on the ball with everything because even if you are it could still take your application months to get processed. And you definitely need a letter of acceptance in hand, ideally before you start applying. Some recruiters won't even bother with you until you have an acceptance letter. So it's favorable to also apply to PA school early as well, so you can get an early acceptance and start the HSCP application process early. So as soon as you get an acceptance letter, I would start with the rest of the process and just do as much of it as you can up to that point. If a recruiter tells you that you can't start the process without an acceptance letter, ask them what you can do until you have an acceptance letter, and if they tell you that you can't do anything - find a different recruiter. I was fortunate to have an awesome recruiter, but they are definitely not all created equal, which is something you want to keep in mind, as the recruiter you go to will be the one handling your application. Anyway, good luck!
  5. Thanks for the input everyone, that's what I was expecting based on what I've heard. Always good to be prepared and also prepare the fiancee for the possibility of living overseas. Really, since it's my very first duty station and I'll be straight out of school, I have no preference. The only thing I considered was possibly staying in the states just because of his job (which is extremely portable anywhere within the US, abroad, not so sure) but he's willing to be flexible. I'm still at the stage where moving around seems like an adventure, so I'm looking forward to it.
  6. Hi everyone! I was just accepted into the Naval HSCP program for PA school a few months ago and I was wondering how the duty station assignments are going for new grads. I still have at least a year before I give my duty station preferences (assuming I get a preference, anyway) but I was just curious how it's going right now. My fiancee works in the health professions as well and so he's a bit concerned about how he'll be able to get a job in his field if I wind up getting stationed overseas. He's fine with working outside his field for a few years, but obviously he'd prefer not to. So anyway, just wondering about others experiences with this.
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