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About pastudentw

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    Physician Assistant Student

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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!
  8. https://paealearning.org/future-educator-fellowship/ I participated in the Student Health Policy Fellowship and had a fantastic experience with the PAEA. I'm sure the Future Educator Fellowship is just as great! Edit: Updated with more current link.
  9. I really liked the Rosh Review EOR boost exams!
  10. Everyone will have a different answer to this because like stated above, it is variable based on the type of facility, residents or no, how many other students, hospital policies etc. For example, I was first assist in more than half of the cases I scrubbed on for my surgery rotation but I was at a non academic hospital without residents or med students versus other students at academic hospitals where there residents and other students so you had to take more turns scrubbing in. If you can show you can be trusted early on and can demonstrate competency in other ways, it may improve your chances of your preceptors having you perform the procedure with their supervision. You will want to become very friendly with the nursing staff where ever you are (especially in the OR) and ask them if you can spend some time placing IVs or foleys. But the majority of the time should be spent alongside your preceptor and what they are wanting you to do.
  11. You should first utilize the Grad Plus loan along with the unsubsidized Stafford. I know this isn't what you are primarily asking but the Grad Plus loan is a federal loan that almost every PA student uses before they tap into any private loan because it usually isn't necessary to get private loans unless your personal expenses are quite high. I have posted the link below and highly advise this versus any private loan because the loan terms will be much better and you will be able to defer payments while in school and up to 6months after graduation, which is just like the unsubsidized Stafford Loan. Also make sure you are working with the financial aid office at your program since they could work you through this process and then if you still need private loans, they may have recommendations. https://studentloans.gov/myDirectLoan/launchPLUS.action?plusType=gradPlus
  12. Is the $49,000 student aid just from the unsubsidized Stafford loan? Or is that including the Grad Plus loan as well? Most PA students will utilize all funding from the unsubsidized Stafford Loan and then you would borrow with the Grad Plus loan. This should cover the estimated cost of attendance set by your university. If at that point you still need more funding, then you would look into private loans.
  13. I think you would be truthful in selecting "no" for that question. Like you said, you haven't enrolled in courses or matriculated. I agree you have nothing lose other than a couple hundred bucks and the deposit at the other program. I think it is worth the shot.
  14. Classify the experience by the duties that you mainly perform. Many jobs have some level of clerical work but if that is the majority of what you do then that is HCE. If you are taking vitals, rooming patients, taking a history and assisting providers for your primary responsibilities, that is PCE. I suppose you could split the hours but I think that is confusing as most people will understand that a MA will have some level of office work. The link for CASPA definitions are below. https://help.liaisonedu.com/CASPA_Applicant_Help_Center/Filling_Out_Your_CASPA_Application/3._CASPA_Supporting_Information/2_Experiences#Patient_Care_Experience
  15. I highly recommend contacting your career center through your undergrad university or CC. They have counselors who will work with you on this. Even if you are an alumni, I'm sure they would be happy to help. Just another resource for you. Addition: The writing center or career center may also be able to advise you on your personal statement.
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