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karebear12892 last won the day on January 21 2019

karebear12892 had the most liked content!

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  1. I second the idea of starting a subforum specifically for POCUS!
  2. Some of the challenges we experienced were finding clinical rotation sites that were close by (particularly pediatrics, psychiatry, and women's health), not having students in the "class above us" to ask questions and mentor us, and not having old exam scores to compare our class's performance with. However, our program faculty was very open to constructive feedback and was always sending out surveys in order to use our evaluations to improve the program. Yes, it was slightly inconvenient to travel for rotations, but my experience ended up being phenomenal and there are plenty of established programs that expect students to travel the 2nd year as well. Any growing pains we experienced were minor annoyances and would not have discouraged me from choosing a new program all over again.
  3. Current EM fellow here. My two cents = I spoke with tons of PA's who were current or former residents/fellows leading up to my residency/fellowship application process. Not a single one of them regretted doing it. But I've also met tons of PA's working in the ER who really wish they had done one. Side note: I really wish we (as a profession) would agree on either calling it a residency OR a fellowship. Using the terms interchangeably can be very confusing.
  4. Personally, I'd go with the less expensive program. I'm a firm believer in "you get out of it what you put into it" as far as quality of rotations go, regardless of how long your program has been around. I chose to attend a brand new PA program to avoid paying out-of-state tuition and I have absolutely no regrets. Yes, there were "growing pains," but ultimately being part of a PA program's inaugural class was a really cool and unique experience. Some of my rotations were better than others (this will be the case anywhere you go) but I did not run into any serious issues and the majority of them were pretty fantastic. I came out of my clinical year with 1,625 patient encounters and over 250 procedures. Received multiple job offers and fellowship interviews. Passed boards with flying colors. Best of all, I came out of PA school debt-free. If I had to do it all over again, I'd pick the new program every time.
  5. Great list! Based on my fellowship interview experience I would also add one more thing to the list of "red flags." I interviewed at one EM program that expects fellows to spend at least 10 hours per week on research, writing articles/case studies, poster presentations, clinical trials, QI studies, etc. Which is fine if you're genuinely interested in those things, but that is not at all why I wanted to do a fellowship year. I'd much rather spend those 10 hours per week seeing patients in the ER or learning new procedures.
  6. I believe it was just scribing in general. In our class, the only scribes we had were from EM, UC, and FM backgrounds. I think the upcoming class has scribes who worked in more specialized areas. I'd be curious to know how they compare as well.
  7. I've contributed to many posts pertaining to this topic; please feel free to browse through them. Scribing (ER) was also my only paid medical experience prior to PA school. I was accepted to multiple programs, graduated at the top of my class, received multiple EM job offers, and accepted an EM fellowship at an academic Level 1 trauma center (my top choice). I am also moonlighting in a rural ER before/during my fellowship. I barely had the grades to get into PA school, but I came out of the program with a 4.0 GPA largely due to everything I learned as a scribe. I was incredibly lucky to have worked with ER doctors who took teaching seriously and were invested in developing my education. OSCE's, which seems to cause PA students a great deal of stress (lol) were easy for me -- after witnessing thousands of patient encounters, I knew exactly what to ask, what to look for, what to order, and how to communicate this to the patient. These skills made the transition to clinical year incredibly easy for me. I always tell people that PA school taught me how to pass the PANCE, but the doctors I worked with as an ER scribe taught me how to practice emergency medicine. It's not just me. My PA program has specifically gone back and looked for patterns regarding pre-PA experience and academic/clinical year performance. Scribes have consistently outperformed every other health profession who has come through our program, both in grades and preceptor evaluations. As a result, our program has actually restructured its admissions process to weigh scribe experience more heavily. I would love to find out if other PA programs have identified a similar trend. Unfortunately, there are still many PA programs that don't consider scribing to be adequate pre-PA experience. Their loss. If I had to do it all over, I'd be a scribe again in a heartbeat. Countless peers have told me that they wish they had been a scribe instead of [fill in the blank]. Everybody's job is important and everyone brings something valuable to the table, but there are very few (if any) other pre-PA jobs that provide continuous patient/provider exposure throughout the duration of the encounter - from initial stabilization to disposition and, most importantly, every single step of the provider's medical decision making process.
  8. 1. Join SEMPA. They offer discounted membership rates for students. Take advantage of the educational and networking opportunities that will be available to you once you join. 2. Flexibility. Be willing to work where nobody else wants to work. Academic/trauma centers in desirable urban areas have no problem recruiting experienced PA's, but there are plenty of other ER's that struggle to incentivize providers to sign on. Depending on where you live, that might mean a rural area, an underserved area, a less affluent area, etc. You don't have to stay out there forever, but you've gotta start somewhere. 3. As mentioned above, consider a postgraduate residency/fellowship. If you are absolutely sure that you want to stay in EM for the long haul, there is little downside to doing so. I have yet to connect with anyone who has regretted doing a fellowship/residency. More and more of these are popping up all around the country, and not just for EM. Whether you agree with it or not (and that's a discussion for another time, lol) the PA profession seems to be slowly moving away from lateral mobility and postgraduate training programs are becoming more prevalent. 4. Do as many EM rotations as you can while you are in school. Hope this helps. Good luck!
  9. Recently encountered my first "it's probably nothing" fast-track disaster as a practicing PA in a rural Southeastern community hospital. 29 day old (delivered at 37 weeks) with reported chief complaint of "constipation." Saw on the tracker that the patient was afebrile and initially thought about picking up the chart, but my experience with neonates as a new grad is limited at best, and given that it was only my 3rd day of work, decided to pick up another chart and let the more seasoned provider handle this one. Thank goodness I did. His Na+ was 110. Turns out the parents were heavily diluting his formula and the child was H2O toxic. Ended up transferred to tertiary care center 30 miles away.
  10. Good afternoon, If anyone with at least two years of clinical experience (or anyone who has completed residency/fellowship) is interested in working for TeamHealth, please PM me. Any location/specialty is acceptable. Thank you!
  11. It's definitely a great academic environment for someone who wants to remain in academics/research post-graduation, but most PA's don't go that route. I think you're making a great decision. Congratulations and welcome to the FMUPAP family!
  12. I am a member of that "1 graduating class so far," so obviously I am biased. But if you want to become a PA (and it sounds like that's really the underlying decision to be made here), then you should have no reservations about attending FMU. I will reiterate what others have said -- employers don't care one bit where you go to school. Patients don't care where you went to school. Your supervising physician won't care where you went to school. It really doesn't matter one bit. If you want to practice as a clinician out in the community, all that matters is that you are licensed and certified. Everything else (GPA, test scores, extracurriculars, etc.) becomes irrelevant. If you want to teach at the graduate level or become involved with research/publishing, then it MIGHT help you. But it is certainly possible to do those things if you attend a public university. People have their doubts about attending a new program; it's natural. I chose FMU for financial reasons. Minimizing my student loan burden was my top priority when choosing a PA program. I was accepted elsewhere but this was the most affordable option. And I'd do it again in a heartbeat. My clinical rotations were phenomenal, I passed my PANCE with flying colors, and I've been accepted into my top choice EM PA fellowship program. Attending a new program (which wasn't even ranked, by the way) did not stop me from accomplishing any of that. On a related note, I did consider attending the Johns Hopkins EM PA residency. I actually flew up to Baltimore during a school break and shadowed a current PA resident. It quickly became apparent to me that the program was not at all for me. Everything about the program and the ED seemed to revolve around research, clinical trials, publications, etc. I've never seen an ED operate with such a lack of urgency. I felt completely out of touch with reality. When I realized that their priorities did not align with my career goals, I withdrew my application. The fellowship I've chosen to attend will take place at a hospital where most people who aren't in the Southeast have probably never heard of....and I'm completely fine with that, because I'm going to get incredible clinical experience, which is all that I'm after. It's very easy to become drawn to the allure and prestige of programs like Johns Hopkins, but I'd encourage you to reconsider your priorities and look past that. Figure out which path is most suited for your career goals, regardless of who is offering the degree.
  13. It is entirely possible to have a dog while you're in PA school. I've had my beagle since I was a sophomore in college. I was worried he wouldn't get the time and attention he deserved while I was in PA school, but it was never a major issue. I lived in a dog-friendly apartment with no roommates. We'd go for short walks together in the morning, again when I got home from class/rotations, and again before bedtime. He stayed in his crate when I was not home. At first, I felt bad about leaving him in a crate all day, but he actually really likes it. It's not cruel as long as you don't use the crate as punishment and you don't leave them locked up for excessive periods of time. He has treats, toys, and an orthopedic doggy bed in his crate that is more comfortable than my own mattress. If you're going to run into an issue having a dog in PA school, it's more likely going to be the financial burden than the dog itself. Be prepared to spend money on food, supplies, veterinary bills, etc. Pet insurance was one of the best investments I ever made; I just wish I'd bought it sooner. If you can afford it, I say go for it! I love my little guy more than anything and can't imagine life without my best friend!
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