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Everything posted by brooks23

  1. I feel as though asking for a sign on bonus at this point in your journey, after already having signed on with the company, would be inappropriate. That should have taken place during the negotiations. You could, however, ask them for an advance on your pay to help tie you over. You should definitely let them know what your situation is, though.
  2. 2 one on one interviews. 5 spots is actually a lot for SFU! The year I interviewed and was accepted there were initially 0 spots, but at the last second 2 spots opened up and I miraculously was first on the list. Keep the faith!
  3. Everyone will have a different take on this, as it's very subjective. For me, considering the faculty and how well I jived with them was very important. Class size was also something I paid attention to. Consider the school's connections with surrounding rotation sites and see if they have quality rotations for the students. Consider resources for students including on-campus counseling, cadaver labs, etc.
  4. I think you hit the nail on the head. You're overthinking it. And yes, with your statistics and number of interviews, it must be something about your interview that is losing you a seat. There are subtleties of interviewing that your interviewers easily pick up on. Things like ease of conversation, posture, comfort level, sense of humor, relatability, etc. If you find yourself becoming a different person during your interviews than you really are, then you're missing something. They want to see how comfortable you can be in an uncomfortable situation. Look within yourself and evaluate how others perceive you on interview days. Are you stiff? Robotic? Over rehearsed? How is your eye contact? Look into your non verbal communication just as much as your verbal. You just need to go in there, be yourself, and have a conversation with someone. Sure, have some experiences in the back of your mind that you can whip out, but just talk with them. They want to see you smile, laugh, and be someone that patients can feel comfortable with. Hang in there. You got this.
  5. Congratulations on your acceptance. When I was in school, I also moved coast to coast. I'm not sure what your situation is, but I moved with my wife and newborn son, so we packed up a moving van and they flew while I drove our stuff out. We took everything with us. One big thing you'll want to consider is whether or not your residence will be furnished or not. That will determine a lot of what you'll need to bring. A lot of my younger single classmates lived in furnished housing, so they brought their essentials and called it good. If you know you're going to be moving back home after school, packing light might be recommended. Everyone has different preferences on what they deem "necessary," so most of this will be what you feel you'll want to have with you to make yourself at home at school. I will say this: You'll want your living space to feel like home. It should be comfortable. A place that you can unwind and have some peaceful time to yourself if possible. Just my two cents.
  6. Elaborate on all of your procedural experiences, with emphasis on how good you are with suturing. Getting a job in derm without prior experience is difficult regardless of if/where you were practicing before. My year in EM helped me because as I was interviewing for my derm job, I was able to tell my boss that while in the ED, many of the physicians would have me suture their pts' wounds for them because it quickly became a skill of mine. This impressed my employer. Put anything in there like that, that might set you apart. You could also sign up as an SDPA member now, and include that in your cover letter to let them know that you're serious about pursuing this specialty.
  7. Look, if you want to be a PA, be a PA. If you can successfully make it through didactic year, you're good enough to be a PA. You can't give it any less than 100% though. Rotations can be challenging in the sense that it's like you're working a full-time job, but you were probably working way harder/longer during didactic. Rotations should be fun. There's no pressure to be right all the time. No one expects you to be perfect during rotations. All your preceptors want to see is that you're giving it all you've got, and absorbing the tidbits that they teach you. Soak up every bit of knowledge that you can. It's your opportunity to practice what you've learned, apply it, and make corrections as needed. I had a classmate who was consistently at the lower end of exams and struggled through the entire didactic experience. She studied her tail off, struggled, passed the PANCE, and has been a ROCK STAR ever since. You can't be wishy washy during this thing. You need to commit one way or the other. Based on what you've told us in this thread, and making it through your first year, it's clear that you have what it takes to do this.
  8. How frequently are your bonuses paid out? Quarterly?
  9. How many patient's/day are you seeing? It all depends on how much you're collecting. If you're bringing in a lot of money to the practice, 25% could be reasonable. I'm base salary plus 20% once I reach a threshold.
  10. Unless you're 100% sure you want to pursue medicine, I would make it a priority to shadow a few medical professionals to get a feel for their day-to-day and determine whether or not you're truly interested. Once you do that, then I would start taking your prereqs. Start with the basics: Bio, Anatomy/Physiology, Chemistry, etc, and then move onto your upper level courses such as micro, biochem, ochem, etc. You can get accepted to PA school with any major, so that shouldn't delay your applications at all. All the while you'll want to be trying to accrue as much hands on healthcare experience as possible. (Plenty of threads on that) I'm sure anyone on here would be happy to answer any specific questions you have about the career path. You could also contact your PCP and see if there are any local PAs in your area willing to chat with you.
  11. One of my classmates was RN to PA and she did very well. Don't stress yourself out over "status quo." If PA is the route you want to take, then go for it. Experience as an RN will make you competitive, even without a perfect GPA. You will bring a different perspective and set of experiences to your cohort that many admission committees will find appealing. Good luck.
  12. I'm on the west coast, so not too familiar with your area, but I've seen pay ranging from 50/hr to 65/hr for new grads and even higher in some areas. Most I've seen are salary + collections though, so you'll have to let us know how everything pans out. I was only a year out when I got into derm and I started at about 66/hr if you calculate my salary into hourly.
  13. Not always that simple. Wife, newborn child at the start of PA school. No savings, and no income. Loans for private school (well above 100k where I attended) plus living expenses, medical bills, etc. It adds up quickly.
  14. Really depends on your practice and location. You've been training for two months..and no offer? No discussion of offer? Seems like free labor to me.
  15. If you have a good rapport with one of the physicians, I would just bring it up casually with him to see if they've ever considered bringing on a PA, and then go from there. He might be able to tell you how to navigate bringing it up with the decision makers of the practice.
  16. My personal opinion is that online programs can't offer the same level of training as an in-person program can. I'm sure there might be others with differing opinions. Looking back, I can't fathom learning what I learned in PA school if it was done in an online format. You need in-person, hands-on training for so many of the skills you'll learn during didactic year, ie proper otoscope technique, proper exam, auscultation techniques/methods, procedures like suturing, casting/splinting, intubation (if your program trains on that), having a partner to practice other exam techniques on over and over until you're sick of it, and numerous others. It's one thing to read/listen to lectures online, but that will only get you so far. I think you'll look back and be glad you moved for an in-person program. Just my two cents. I'm sure you'll get lots of other pearls of wisdom. Good luck.
  17. Similar debt, wife, and kids when I graduated. Prioritize your payments and living expenses when you're done and you'll get into the habit of living within your means while aggressively paying it off.
  18. Being confined to that geographic region might make your search even tougher. I worked for Vituity right out of school in a busy level 2 trauma center in the central valley of CA and had a great experience. If you're willing to be flexible on location for your first job out of school, you will gain great experience and make yourself so much more marketable to the employers in the "desirable" areas of living.
  19. My best advice would be to keep the longevity of your career in mind at all times. You are absolutely correct about the potential to be boxing yourself in with surgical assisting. While I know plenty of people who love their jobs and have great careers as surgical assistants, you will have limited (if any) options down the road if you burn out, or want a change. Pursuing PA now may be a heavier investment in the short term (debt, obtaining quality HCE, etc), but if you consider 15-20 years down the road, it will give you more options, including surgical specialties.
  20. I don't see that particular posting anymore, unfortunately.
  21. My situation was similar, but different in that I was a new father, not a mother. I truly believe that being a new mother would be more difficult, especially if you plan on breast feeding, etc. Having said that, I'll tell you that my first son was 2 weeks old when my program started. It was extremely difficulty of course, but IT IS POSSIBLE, and as long as your husband is 100% committed and on board with your schooling, you can do this. Everyone's situation is different, but I am so glad that I didn't defer. When I was at home studying, I would study for a couple hours, then take 30 minute breaks to play with my new little family. Then get back to the books. The above posters bring up great points. I just thought I'd add my different perspective for you. I've now been out practicing almost 2 years and have no regrets. If your husband will be staying home with the baby, I say go for it. If he'll be working full time, that's a different situation entirely. Good luck!
  22. Agree with the "two schools of thought," comment. Ultimately, you should pick the school that is the best fit for you. You don't want to have regrets down the road when you aren't meshing well with your cohort, policies, and/or faculty. Of course you can argue that you should just save money and go to the cheaper school. This does carry some weight because once you graduate, as long as you have the PA-C, few will ever care what program you attended in terms of job seeking. Still, you want to be happy where you study. School is stressful enough in an ideal educational setting. You don't want to make any additional sacrifices that are unnecessary. Just my two cents. Good luck.
  23. EMT work is very good experience for PA school. I worked as an EMT and then went on to become a paramedic prior to PA school. Paramedic is of course better experience, but EMT is also very helpful. I think EMS work is among the best preparatory experience that one can obtain before PA school. Direct patient care, critical thinking, treatment plan development/execution, and learning valuable life-saving skills will translate well to PA school. I would avoid medical tattooist. I'm not familiar with that line of work, so I can't speak much to it, but I'm not convinced that admission committees would accept it is direct patient contact hours. Maybe they would. Surgical tech is also a good way to go. Great experience in the OR and exposure to good medical conditions. My personal opinion is that EMS is the best way to go though. I'm not sure what you mean by specialty in treating burns. EMTs/Paramedics don't specialize. They see anything/everything and need to be well versed in all aspects of prehospital emergency medicine.
  24. Chemistry would be a fine undergraduate degree for any specialty as a PA-C. There aren't any BS degrees that cater towards dermatology (to my knowledge). Also, the title of your thread is what caught my eye. Understand that if you become a PA in dermatology, you are NOT a dermatologist assistant. You are a PA specializing in dermatology. This is the same with any specialty. Just something to keep in mind for future reference. Let me know if you have other questions. Good luck!
  25. If you're willing to relocate to "less desirable" areas, your odds will go way up. I've seen several postings (I think one in Idaho recently) that have stated they're willing to train. Have you tried networking with the place you rotated at? If they're not hiring, they might be willing to give you the names of some other surrounding offices that might be interested. One thing to be careful of: If you do get a job offer, run through it over and over again. I've seen a lot of instances where a new candidate is taken advantage of. My first derm offer (right out of school) involved a physician offering a low ball salary, no benefits, and no bonus for 1.5 years. His rationale was that I would be training with one of the best dermatologists in the world and that that was more than fair for the offer. No thanks. Just be cautious.
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