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pastudentw

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About pastudentw

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    Physician Assistant Student

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  1. Universities that have "pre-PA" programs are likely just considering those to be advising services for those who want to pursue a career as a PA. This is similar to pre-med groups you may find at many universities for those wanting to go to medical school. It may be associated with a pre-med/pre-PA club. Then there are direct entry PA programs. In these programs, you start your undergrad degree (sometimes an accelerated pre-professional degree) and may have a guaranteed interview or guaranteed spot for their associated graduate PA program, if you stay on track. In my experience I have not come across a PA program that is shorter than 24 months. Meaning, there aren't (as far as I know) any accelerated PA programs. But with these direct entry programs, they are accelerated in the way that the undergrad degree is shorter so total time is technically shortened.
  2. If you don't want to receive the money, elect your award amount as zero or do not accept the aid award. Talk to the fin aid dept at the university. Be careful about trying to return aid money that has already been dispersed. When there is a disbursement, there is an origination fee taken off the top. As stated above and on the federal student aid website, "If your loan is disbursed but then you realize that you don’t need the money after all, you may cancel your loan within 120 days of the disbursement, and no interest or fees will be charged." The money typically must be returned through the university's financial aid department, NOT back to the loan servicer a payment. https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa/next-steps/receive-aid
  3. Just recognize when you need them. It is a long test and if you are getting fatigued, it is time to take a break, even if it is just quick. On the other hand you might find that you are in a groove and just wanna keep plowing through. I wouldn't recommend taking unscheduled breaks though. I dont think there is any more of a strategy to it than that.
  4. I attended PA school in Connecticut. Tuition was about $15k per semester. Each academic year covers two semesters. For reference, my husband was working full time and was able to support us as time went on during my PA program. First academic year I received $20,500 for the unsubsidized loan and $20,890 for the grad plus. Second academic year received $20,500 unsubsidized and $17,778. This was lower because we elected to take out less for the grad plus. It is always best to talk to the financial aid dept. Once you do the fasfa and the grad plus application, you should pretty quickly see what your aid package will look like. Your total expenses will vary so much on what your individual situation is like, COL in the area and the program you attend.
  5. I'm not sure how helpful I can be but I can share my experiences. I'm not a mom yet but just graduated, starting my first job next month and hope to start a family in 1-2 years. My sister is 11 years older than me and I have watched her in her PA career. She started her family within the first year of practice and she has sought jobs that are not Mon-Fri since her husband already works Mon-Fri. This considerably cuts down on the need for someone to baby sit and the cost associated with it. She does shift work and this really helps her spend quality time with her kids instead of a few hours before their bedtime every night. She works 12 days a month. They are long days (14 hrs usually), but that means she has 18 full days with her kids every month! The catch is that not every job as a PA allows this, in fact most don't. It will take time to find a job that allows for a schedule like this. In my job search, it is mostly inpatient positions and EM that will give you shift work. Obviously there are plenty of working PA moms out there working Mon-Fri who seem to figure it out too. I think it is reasonable to think about starting a family 6mo-1yr into your first job as a PA.
  6. You should be able to look at the programs cost of attendance. This number sets the cap for what you can take out in federal loans. This will give you an idea of what your aid package will look like. You will likely utilize the stafford unsubsidized loan and then the grad Plus loan on top of that to cover what you need. You have to do a little extra paperwork on the studentloans.gov site for the Plus loan on top of the fasfa. Make sure you do this or you will be wondering why your aid package is so low. https://studentloans.gov/myDirectLoan/index.action. Then click on graduate/professional students, " apply for a PLUS loan. Make sure you work with the finaid dept at the school. They can walk you through everything.
  7. I am also going to be working for an academic hospital. They requested CMS proxy for the hospital to act on provider enrollment steps like EHR, NPPES maintenance and such. I didn't actually give anyone my username and password but I granted them CMS proxy by filling out a limited power of attorney which gave them the ability to act on my behalf for a lot of the credentialing paperwork which included medicaid and medicare enrollment. I hope this helps!
  8. I'm going through the credentialing process now with a large academic center. They didn't ask for my username and password, rather they had me fill out a release form saying they can manage my profile and information on NPPES.
  9. I would focus more on the "your performance" compared to the national average versus the overall score. The overall score will be converted to some kind of grade for your program whatever algorithm they use so you can use that as a basis for how you did.
  10. Depending on the area, level 1 trauma centers tend to be associated with academic hospitals or have some amount of resident training which means having the PA as an OR assist is not a need. If OR assisting is what you are after, trauma surgery may not be the specialty you are looking for. Trauma surg may also often be combined or associated with a general surgery or acute care surgery service so you will have plenty of surgical patients but not necessarily OR time.
  11. I am a new grad who will be starting my first job in trauma surgery soon. If you have any interest in this specialty after graduation, it will be essential that you at least do your elective rotation in this area, preferably a trauma 1 center if possible. Typical day for me will look like rounding in AM (also covers acute care surg patients). The team is split into two teams that switch off taking the new trauma codes and evals. Rare OR assisting. Possible opportunities for procedures during trauma evals, ICU pts and the floor. Average salary/benefits can be found in the AAPA salary report. Finding a job in the specialty is very tough and they usually like to see prior experience or a residency. It also requires ACLS and ATLS certs. As with many areas where PAs work, it varies so widely. If you can do a rotation with a trauma service and then find a job opportunity from that, it will be your best bet (besides a residency). This is the only way I got the job that I did.
  12. I saw this same image brought up in a different thread as well. I don't know about the exact image, but in the last week of my PA program, we were told by faculty that they were notified by NCCPA that they could expect to see slightly higher failure rates with the 2019 exam. As someone who just took and passed the exam, I think it is fair to say plenty of people will still be able to pass without an issue on their first try. It will be interesting to see the first time pass rates from programs this year.
  13. I think my PACKRAT scores were very predictive of how I performed on the PANCE. We also had the PAEA EOR exams which I think helped us all prepare for the PANCE. Our program purchased HIPPO for all the students and I think it helped move through the material. I did the NCCPA practice exam and was fully in the "green" zone and I did the Rosh Review boost exams but never had the full subscription. All the studying I did felt very adequate and I passed.
  14. Amen to this. Now I have to decide when I can even have children since I don't want to start a new job and go on maternity leave when I'm just starting to get the hang of a few things, plus the debt. Yes, I know these are all considerations to make BEFORE PA school or whatever but just something interesting to think about for those pre-PAs looking in.
  15. Luckily I had the blessing of a spouse who got a great job a few months into my program and was working full time. Even so, we still made out with debt at the 120k mark and I just graduated a few days ago. We were in a high COA area and moved across the country for it, and then back. Program was about 90k for the 28 months. Obviously most PA students don't have a full time income to support them. Based off my estimates, minimum payments will be about $1600 ( which includes a few undergrad loans but not much). If I wanted to pay the loans off in roughly 5 yrs vs 10, we would have to put an extra $1,200 towards it a month. Yay... All you pre-PA kids, read up!
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