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About Statko

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  1. I would pass on this offer, although consider this physician a great mentor and reference! You don't know where life will take you. You don't know what kind of PA you will want to be until you start rotations and ... probably.... not until after your first job or two. This kind of thing is like a noose if you want out... and l, unlike a scholarship or being committed to the military or whatever, you have a personal relationship also on the line. Pay your own way and enjoy the freedom that comes with it. If you decide to work for him, great - you're out nothing - demand tuition repayment! :)
  2. Hello colleagues, Does anyone have experience performing CEs for social security disability as a PA? What was your experience like? I am in a position where my supervising physician is not performing them, but I could. Not sure how to negotiate use of exam room, equipment, etc. ....Plus, I'm just curious if this is something worth getting into or worth staying far away from :) Thanks!
  3. I really think the easiest solution to all this is to just ask to be called - and call each other - what we are: a PA. Or an NP. Or, if referring to a group consisting of both NPs and PAs, say "PAs and NPs." I feel like this whole midlevel, APP, etc thing was created out of an effort to try to address both PAs and NPs collectively by someone who was not a NP or a PA. The result is confusing to the public and offensive to many of those working in both professions. I was reading a post earlier about someone's 70 year old meth patient. Do you think that guy has any clue what an "advanced practice practitioner" is or an "advanced practice clinician" or a "midlevel" or "physician extender" or whatever other all-encompassing terms people who are not PAs or NPs try to cook up? We need solidarity as a profession - we've got enough problems trying to build public awareness of who we are, what we do, etc. There are PAs with 4 months experience and 40 years of experience, all with something to bring to the table. Let's just call each other - and, ask to be called - what we are: PAs.
  4. 4 W's and an incomplete is a lot on a transcript, especially if they are in science classes and/or are prereqs for PA school and are recent. I serve on an admissions committee, and though I am just one person, this would certainly raise a red flag for me. It wouldn't mean that I would pass on your application, though. Again, admissions decisions are made by looking at the quality of the applicant as a whole. So if you have stellar healthcare experience, great letters of recommendation, competitive GREs, and interview well, you're in great shape. The reasons you give may be difficult to weave into a cohesive personal statement that adequately answers the question "why do you want to be a PA" and, simultaneously, doesn't come off as giving excuses. I would suggest using one of your potential LOR writers - especially someone you've taken many classes from or an advisor - to address your personal issues and your preparedness for PA school. This way it ups the credibility and takes some of the heat off you. When you are invited for interviews you must have a humble, polished, honest response to the interviewer's questions about the incompletes/withdrawals. You'll want to practice delivering this explanation in front of the mirror to make sure you give good eye contact, seem relaxed, and are convincing.
  5. Afib, I can't speak to all programs, but this happened at my program when I was a student, and it's happened at the Program I work for (I am not a clinical coordinator). As a student, I didn't have a rotation assigned for internal medicine for the first week of rotations. I was an anxious mess... I had no idea if I would have to move, where I was going, etc. It is getting increasingly competitive for programs to secure clinical rotation sites. There's a lot of students who need rotations and not all providers want to take students, so the sites become very valuable. This is why sometimes students end up in less-than-stellar rotations. That doesn't excuse illegal or negligent behavior in any way. It's in your program's interest to make sure your rotations are safe experiences (for you, the patient, the Program, and the provider!). Programs affiliated with their own university/teaching hospitals tend to have more reliable, predictable rotations. Other programs have exclusivity agreements with certain sites, so this can help with scheduling. I wouldn't say this is the norm, though. In my clinical practice, we had to cancel a rotation last minute due to a staffing issue (we had a provider who was suddenly diagnosed with a terminal illness and we were all covering multiple sites - not a good setup for a student). So it's not always your program's fault, even though when you're going through the didactic year, everything feels like the Program's fault. I've been there, too :)
  6. Bring your specific, objective, documented complaint to your clinical coordinator via email. This is not the time to bring up a "greatest hits" compilation of all your classmates' issues. Follow up with a phone call to your clinical coordinator. If you don't hear anything back in 24 hours, contact your program director and cc your clinical coordinator on the email. Tread carefully: be polite, non-emotional, stick to the facts, ask for a meeting to discuss in person or via skype (if it's a distance rotation). Ask how you should handle your specific issue at the clinic during the time between now and when you meet with your Program. When you have your meeting, ask what your options are and suggest what you want: to be placed in a new/different rotation, for the clinical coordinator to advocate with you, to arrange a meeting with the site, etc. Bonus points for verbally acknowledging to program director and clinical coordinator that this is an awkward position for both you and the program.
  7. I would pass on PAEA as a pre-PA student. You'll have plenty of "CME" to keep you busy in PA school. :) And personally, it wouldn't affect my view of an applicant's file one way or the other. If you'd like to get involved, check out your state association. It's probably a much cheaper membership and there's more opportunity.
  8. My initial reaction to your Dean's offer was "yuck." I would counter offer your Dean by letting him/her know you're available to start a full time position now, provided they offer tuition reimbursement toward your Doctorate. There's no way I would lay out the time and resources needed for a doctorate on my own dime if I didn't have something in the bag now. Why should you take all the risk for going into more debt without a guarantee? Who knows where this person will be in 3 years. Adjuncting may be a good option for you to get an idea of what teaching is really like. You certainly do not need a doctorate to adjunct. For me, the biggest pro and the biggest con of academia was the students. There were students who made my day, and there were students that made me question my faith in humanity and the future of our profession. After working full time for a PA program, I found I missed clinical practice after about 18 months. Adjuncting and serving on various committees (student progress, admissions, etc) is fulfilling to me and gives me more balance. When I get sick of patients, I work with students. And when the students drive me crazy, I go back to the office. Works pretty well for me. If you decide to move forward and are offered a job, I can give you specifics of the benefits package offered by my institution for comparison.
  9. Bottom line: Both approaches work and will prepare you for the PANCE. With these things being equal, I'd go where it's cheaper and where I'd have more family/financial/emotional support. PBL is very popular in medical school curriculum, and that trend has spilled over into PA and, to some extent, other fields such as PT/OT, etc. You need to be comfortable (or be open to training yourself to be comfortable) reading a case and not really understanding anything about it or even understanding what your teacher wants you to do; then to take the initiative to dissect the case and "solve" the problem. I don't know about you, but when I read something and I have no clue what the problem is, I feel anxious. PBL is helpful for teaching you to minimize those feelings and to get to work. This skill comes in handy when you are taking a history from a patient and have no idea what their diagnosis is. Typically PBL also involves more team-based learning. I believe that PBL mirrors a lot of what happens in everyday clinical practice. But, it is certainly an adjustment to get used to when you're used to a more traditional teaching style. My program used a hybrid approach; we had some classes that were heavy PBL and some that were lecture/notes style. I would be very surprised if the entire PA curriculum was PBL-based. It's time consuming and PA school is so condensed, I can't imagine how PBL-everything would work. On the plus side, looking back, I tend to remember more about the topics covered on PBLs because I was responsible for learning the material and it required much more engagement and effort on my part. But, I did not like my grades being tied to my classmates' - who may or may not have been pulling their fair share of the work/critical thinking when group PBLs were assigned. I preferred at that time to just be given the facts in a powerpoint and then memorize it for the test (I was in survival mode during PA school for sure!). But I also prefer saving money, so that would be the tie-breaker for me. Congrats on your acceptances and good luck!
  10. I sense a lot of anxiety in OP. I teach and serve on an admissions committee: not every 4.0 gets into PA school. It might surprise you to hear the debates about 4.0 candidates that faculty often have... it can remind you of the debates we have for students with 3.0 GPAs. Personally, my vote goes to whomever I'd be more comfortable seeing as my PA in the clinic. I wouldn't retake a class for a "B" with the GPA you've listed. Depending on the school you're applying to, they may only consider the first grade, the most recent grade, or an average between the two. So this is a lot of worrying and shenanigans for not much payout. As other have said, admissions committees look at you in totality (GPA and GPA patterns (ex: people usually have a bad semester either freshman or sophomore year, then pull it together), GRE, HCE, volunteer experience, LORs, etc). Rather than worry about this, I would encourage you to explore what type of learner you are. When you figure this out, reflect on why that might have influenced your performance in the "B" class. Just be aware of it and that's it. Having your learning style pinpointed is key to dealing whatever life / PA school throws at you. I ask applicants all the time in interviews what kind of learner they are and they have no idea what I'm talking about. You need to know this to get through PA school, especially with a young child. PA school moves too fast to be figuring out what study / learning techniques work for you once you get in.
  11. A couple of extra thoughts...Keep in mind why programs have adjuncts and guest speakers. These individuals typically present subject matters that the principal faculty don't have expertise or interest in. The adjuncts and guest speakers are most likely PAs and MDs working out in the real world who are compelled to share their interest and expertise with students, usually for very little money (money is another reason why adjuncts/guests are used by programs, but that's another topic). These individuals are often great sources of clinical vignettes... if you're confused about something academic they're saying, ask them about how whatever they're presenting on shows up in clinic and how they treat it. I bet you'll remember what they say. Anyway, these are not polished faculty members who have the time or training to write objectives, powerpoints, etc. These are also the same types of people who are going to be precepting you or supervising you in the real world, so it's good to develop strategies to adjust to their style while you're still in the didactic year. It will make your clinical year easier. You will get assignments, questions, or requests to prepare presentations from preceptors and there will probably be moments when you have no clue what they are looking for or want. And they will not be impressed if you ask for objectives or an outline of what they want covered. In the didactic year, usually the content of guest/adjunct lectures is overseen or coordinated by a principal faculty member who has the challenge of making sure the relevant topics from the PANCE blueprint are presented and the relevant objectives are covered. If you're not getting objectives from either the adjunct/guest lecturer or a principal faculty member, that's a concern and a fair complaint. Providing objectives is an ARC-PA mandate (it's a "B" Standard, but please do not go running to ARC-PA about this... follow the grievance policy in your student handbook first). Using discretion about what types of battles to fight and who to bring them to is also good practice for the real world. If you were working in a hospital and saw something unsafe or felt something was unfair, you wouldn't run to OSHA or the Joint Commission; you'd go up the chain. Vetting both adjuncts and guest lecturers is also an ARC-PA mandate, which your program director (not students) is responsible for. HOWEVER, typically programs distribute student evaluations and surveys in which you can unleash your fair criticism anonymously. The trends from these surveys usually find their way back to ARC-PA in one form or another, so you do have a voice.
  12. There's nothing in this student's list of complaints that I can tell violates ARC-PA's Standards. Going to ARC with this is potentially academic/reputational suicide. ARC won't take anonymous complaints from anyone... students, community members, faculty, etc. An identified student who submits a complaint to ARC will have their grievances heard, if it appears to violate a particular Standard, but ARC will immediately contact the program director to begin a fact-finding process. Program director is likely to feel back-stabbed, and this can affect how timely transcripts, the content of and how quickly letters of recommendation get sent out, etc. A lot of the complaints here sound like typical didactic student misery to me. I would echo someone else's suggestion of getting a very level headed group of students together to schedule a time to voice complaints to faculty (there is probably a grievance policy in the Program's student handbook?) and/or ride it out and count the days to clinical rotations.
  13. Hey Reality - Totally on board with your comments, you're spot-on. Especially the can't cure dumb part. :) I am more curious about whether the crossfit culture actually recognizes ("allows"?) modifications. If the workout is prescribed and people are getting a lot of grief or peer pressure when they do less reps, less weight, modify the grip, etc then it's much easier for me to say "No crossfit." or "No crossfit until cleared by PT" (sorry to throw it off on the PT...) But my patients claim otherwise... and so it makes it harder to say "well, you can't lift 25# at crossfit, but you can at work." And I am sure as heck not going into a crossfit in my soft postpartum state to find out! haha.
  14. Anyone have any insight as to how / if Crossfit workouts can be modified for those who are employed yet injured? I live in a rural town that has a small but enthusiastic Crossfit community. I have noticed (might be imagining it) an increase in workplace injuries in those who also participate in Crossfit. I'm a weakling and am pretty intimidated by the whole Crossfit concept; I don't really understand how it works. I thought it was a pretty prescribed, full-body regimen that people are expected to power through. I find myself putting people on workplace restrictions and then see their cars in Crossfit parking lots. I'm not experiencing an uptick in people who are trying to avoid going back to work. These are pretty motivated patients and I get the sense that they are going to work and work out no matter what I recommend. It's tricky to assign appropriate lifting / activity restrictions that don't completely leave them out of being able to work, but that don't encourage them to go full-steam at crossfit and experience delays in healing / new injuries. Two issues - which came first - workplace injury or crossfit injury (I'm not even getting involved in that one... in my mind, doesn't really matter now that the injury is there and I've gotta figure out how to deal) but secondly, I'd like to know more about the crossfit culture and if any PAs have any tips for setting injured crossfitters up for success?
  15. Again, this is about playing the game and operating in the environment you're in. You might not like patient satisfaction surveys, but guess what... your department head, the CEO, and the board of the hospital do nothing except pour over patient satisfaction data in their meetings to benchmark your institution against everyone else. Admins don't care what individual PAs, or for that matter, what individual docs think. They care about money and perception. So, if you want to substantiate why you deserve a raise, prove a colleague isn't pulling their weight, your department's outcomes are better than any of your competitors - patient satisfaction scores come in very handy. It's not like PAs, docs, or anyone else has a choice whether or not Press Ganeys get sent out to patients. That's the reality of working in hospital medicine. To be mad about it doesn't really do anything, might as well figure out how to leverage it to your advantage.
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