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Jigglytofu last won the day on May 25 2017

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About Jigglytofu

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    Physician Assistant Student

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  1. The goal of any direct or hands-on HCE is to interact with patients, which is why some programs differ on what they consider to be patient care experience. Of course that doesn't negate the valuable lessons of some indirect healthcare experience as you can definitely learn about healthcare and insurance, or the hospital environment. But typically, most schools value experience that is centered on your care and interaction with patients. Someone who is working at the reception desk of a hospital unit does not see patients the same way a CNA would. One answers call lights and fills out paperwork as well as solves technical issues on the floor, while the other helps patients with their daily activities and retrieves vitals/glucose checks. Both are incredibly important to the unit and both posts would allow someone to learn a great deal about patients, disease, and the hospital but schools would prefer a CNA over a receptionist due to their different healthcare duties. Would a Dialysis Tech provide you with the opportunity to work up close and personal with patients? If yes, go for it! If not, perhaps you might want to look into another job such as a CNA or EMT, although like you said, that would require you to have an additional license. I know you said money is an issue- since you're working FT at the hospital, are you able to use any of their benefits for education purposes? My hospital had tuition reimbursement for up to 8 credit hours, although I'm not sure if that included technical college. Also earning a certificate on top of finding a job can take anywhere from 3-6 months, so keep that in mind. I've interviewed with applicants who were only MAs, or social workers, or athletic trainers. You just need to find the right schools that accept those as PCE and be able to use your experience in your application. Go through some interview questions- are you able to use an example from work to answer it? Hopefully you can. Think of your HCE as the spine of the body of your application- all your answers are connected to your HCE. Your essay and interview points should draw from your experience working with patients. Unfortunately I don't know of anyone who has worked as a Dialysis Tech so I can't give you specific information, but overall the more patient interaction the better. Best of luck!
  2. A postbacc program would most likely be more expensive and include more courses than needed (which is great if you want to be prepared, but not necessary if you're aiming to apply to PA schools as soon as possible). Most PA schools require: 2 semesters of Bio with lab, 2 semesters of Chem with lab, at least 1 semester of Orgo, 1 semester of Microbio with lab, 2 semesters of Human Anatomy and Physiology with lab OR 1 semester of Human Physiology + 1 semester of Human Anatomy, and 1 semester of Math (most require statistics, some may require Calculus). The rest of the prerequisites vary between schools. Some schools require an additional Orgo 2 with lab, some require Physics, some English, some Humanities and Behavioral Science, Medical Terminology, Psychology, Genetics, etc... etc... It would probably be more time-efficient (and cheaper) for you to take the core prereqs at a CC and take whatever other classes you may need for the programs you've narrowed down and want to apply to at the same CC. You can even take it online, though I recommend this only for non-science classes as you want a strong foundation for your basic knowledge. I took all my post-bacc classes at a CC online with in-class labs, and it was only $125 per credit hour.
  3. I'm so ecstatic to be posting here ;_; Undergrad: Emory University Major: Biology Minor: Global Health Originally From: Atlanta, GA Age at Application Time: 23 CASPA cGPA: 3.57 CASPA sGPA: 3.3 Postbacc GPA: 3.9 GRE: 162 verbal, 159 quantitative, 4.0 writing Patient Care Experience: - CNA at Emory University Oncology/Hematology floor, 7a-7p (7 months) - CNA at Emory University Cardiovascular Med Surg floor, 7p-7a (one year) - Live-in CNA at nursing home (two months) -Assistant preschool instructor/clinical research at Emory Autism Center (1.5 years) Total hours: ~2500 Other Work Experience: - Research assistant in Neuroscience/Genetics lab working with drosophila (PA schools didn't care, no one asked me about this part of my resume thank goodness lol) Shadowing: - Internal Medicine, PA in private clinic, 24 hours - Internal Medicine, PA in hospital/nursing home/private clinic, 16 hours - Reproductive Endocrinologist, MD, 8 hours - Pediatrician MD, 24 hours - Pediatrician MD, 24 hours Certifications: - CNA - BLS LOR: - Unit director from Cardiovascular floor - Internal Medicine PA I shadowed - Comparative Vertebrae Anatomy professor from college * Additional two LOR from my current Oncology unit director and my supervisor from the Autism Center for my application to Emory's School of Public Health Schools Applied: Emory University, University of Florida, Baylor, PCOM, Quinnipiac, Rush, Rosalind Franklin, Northwestern Application Submitted Date: 6/8/16 Interview Invites: Rosalind Franklin (attended in September), Rush (attended in October), Emory (attended in October), Northwestern (declined interview for October), Quinnipiac (declined interview for November), Baylor (declined interview for January) Accepted: Rush, Emory Attending: Emory University dual degree PA/MPH program!! Withdrew: Northwestern, Quinnipiac, Baylor Rejected: Rosalind Franklin (interviewed), UF (no interview), PCOM (no interview) Attempt: 1st My essay and healthcare experience landed me the interviews, but my interviews definitely got me into the programs. I am incredibly shy and terrible at interviews, which showed through in my first one at Rosalind Franklin. It was MMI format, and I was very weak at thinking on the spot as well as processing my thoughts to articulate. I made sure to practice ALL my answers and possible scenarios for my second MMI at Rush, not to the point of being rehearsed but more so like I was giving a powerpoint presentation- I knew which points I wanted to elaborate, but I didn't memorize each answer in order for it to sound more natural. I walked away feeling confident after the interview and sure enough, I got in. Funnily enough, I thought I did TERRIBLE at my Emory interview. I was the only one who didn't make the admissions committee laugh during our round-table introductions, and my teeth and body were chattering/shaking the entire time so that I barely could get any words out in between the quakes. Thankfully my passions and answers really matched well with their school mission. I also prepared some "unique" selling point/answers for those questions, "why should we accept you?/what would you bring to this school?/what makes you unique?" I thought really long and hard about it and was pretty satisfied with my answers and I think they helped at the Rush and Emory interviews. Also I think the question "what do you think would be the most difficult part of PA school/being a PA?" is a chance to really showcase your maturity and wisdom- did you research the profession enough to be able to give a thoughtful answer, or are you going with a common response like, balancing schoolwork and life? One person in my group actually said he didn't think there would be any difficulties because being a PA rocks! Also, like everyone says, acceptances really are like a toss-up. I got interview invites to places that I thought were a reach, and rejections from places I thought I was a strong candidate for. The important thing is to pick schools that would match well with your goals, and schools that fit you (and you being a good fit for them). Also be sure you think you'll be happy there! TLDR; ESSAY, HEALTHCARE EXPERIENCE, INTERVIEW (PRACTICE!!) Feel free to PM me with any questions, I'll be happy to answer them. I used this forum a lot when I was applying, so I hope I can give back to anyone who needs help!
  4. I interviewed on 10/28 and was accepted, but I'll be turning down my spot so hopefully it will go to someone more suited to the program :)
  5. 1. Is it possible for m? Yes! Almost anything is possible if you want it badly enough. My dad switched careers 3 times in his life. He was 45 when he decided to go back to school for his PhD in an entirely separate field. He quit his job and worked long and hard while still providing for the family (not in finances, but in other matters such as cooking and being involved in his children's lives) for 4 years, often times studying late into the night when we are all asleep and the house chores were finished. Unfortunately, he passed away before he can start anything with his new degree, but his perseverance and dedication is what inspired me to work hard. My mom's boss (an endocrinologist specialist who started his own firm and now makes millions) was a high school drop out. He spent his twenties driving garbage trucks and busting tables (all noble professions) before deciding he wanted something more for himself. So he enrolled in college when he was in his thirties, studied hard while the freshmen were partying, applied and was accepted to medical school then residency and then a fellowship and worked hard through it all. Started his own business with an in vitro fertilization clinic and was in the red for the first couple of years before ultimately succeeding with this venture. There are so many success stories similar to yours, and I just want you to know that you're not alone. 2. Which undergrad degree is the easiest/fastest? I would say Biology will knock out most of the prereqs in PA school. Each school is obviously different so do look them up before you apply but generally: Anatomy and Physiology I/II, General Chem, General Bio, Orgo, Stats, Biochem, and a Psych course and English course will cover 90% of your requirements for both PA school and a Biology major. You can take online classes at a CC to save money and time for special classes such as Medical Terminology, or an additional Psych class that certain schools may require. Be sure to start developing a list of schools you are interested in and try to take your prerequisites for all those schools so you can save time. 3. Can I become a PA in less than 6 years? That depends. It's doable, but difficult, and each case is different. I know of people who took courses in the day while working fulltime night shifts. It was awful and a hellish experience, but they survived. I also know of people who tried this and failed their classes. Do what is best for you, even if it means a longer journey. Don't forget that in additional to an undergraduate degree with decent grades, you also need HCE. Get your certificate as a CNA or EMT now or during the winter/summer break of your freshmen semester. Then try to get a PRN or part time position in a hospital as a CNA (you can work weekends only or as PRN, take off when you need to), or work as an EMT while going to school. It's manageable and you can study and work/rack up healthcare experience simultaneously, working more during your breaks. 3 or 4 years later you'll have enough hours to be competitive while fresh out of college. Depending on how competitive your application looks, you can apply your third year (and if accepted, start PA school right away) or you can apply right when you graduate and if accepted, start one year later which will increase a year in your timeline. Be sure to get great letters of recommendation and write an awesome PS (mine underwent 12 drafts) in the process, don't hold off everything until the last minute. Study for the GRE and ace that. And look at programs that fit you (programs that prefer holistic approaches or prefer applicants with life experience- programs like Duke and Emory come to mind). Do your research on programs and you should be alright. Best of luck!
  6. ^ I agree about the hook, as it will be your selling point for the question "why should we pick you over other applicants." It doesn't necessarily have to be a work or volunteer experience. For example, I thought my hook would be that I have worked with such vast and diverse range of patient populations of all ages, socioeconomic classes, and cultures and that I had worked in both research and clinical settings, both on night shift and day shift so I have seen the hospital environment during all hours of operation. But I interviewed with RNs who have much more experience than I do in that field, so I had to re-evaluate my hook and what makes me unique. And I decided that I had a unique perspective on death and dying. My dad passed away in college so I knew what personal grief felt like. But at the same time, my work on an Oncology unit gave me insight to how a healthcare worker deals with death and dying and how we treat patients in these situations. These experiences led me to realize the need for palliative care and to talk and advocate about this issue instead of just sweeping it under the rug. Another question to consider is, "what do you think will be the most difficult part of being a PA?" A strong answer would be something other than the didactic curriculum or time management. This is a good chance to show your wisdom and maturity. For example, realizing that as providers, we have the responsibility of treating the patient but processing the wisdom to realize we can't cure everything. That we are going to lose patients, regardless of how much we try. Death is a part of life, but at the end of the day, we're here to provide the best care we can for patients. There is a difference between unbridled idealism and optimism. One last thing- you may have the most wonderful, thought-provoking answers, but if you are unable to articulate that in the interview it will be in vain. I was rejected at the school I interviewed at first, and after calling for feedback, they told me it was due to my interviewing skills and to improve on communicating my ideas in a clear and concise manner. So practice, practice, practice until it feels smooth and rolls off your tongue! Don't memorize your answers, but do keep in mind the ideas behind your answers and be able to talk about them (like you're giving a good presentation- you have bullet points, but you're not reading off the slide). I practiced this and did much better on articulating my thoughts, and consequently was accepted at the schools I interviewed at later.
  7. I just declined my interview offer, I hope that opens up a seat for someone!
  8. I'm going to be giving up my acceptance in favor of my top choice program, but Rush is such a great school and I know they will undoubtedly produce an amazing class. Good luck to everyone!
  9. Why do you want to be a PA? If you have a genuine reason other than "I couldn't get into medical school," then go for it and best of luck to you! If not, spend some time examining your motives for wanting to be a PA and if you can handle the rigorous curriculum. Since most PA schools condense two years of medical knowledge into one year, oftentimes the first didactic year in PA school is more difficult than the first year of medical school. Look at why you failed out of the master's program first and try to address those issues before deciding to apply to PA school, if you still want to be one. Have you considered other career options in healthcare outside of medicine (AA, PA (PathologistAassistant), etc...)? If you haven't yet, now would be a good time to do some research to make sure this is absolutely what you want to do. Running into a closed door isn't always a bad thing as it forces you to slow down or halt and do some thinking and reflecting.
  10. AHHHHH I CAN'T BELIEVE IT!!! JUST GOT THE CALL!! I was at work and jumping up and down with excitement haha. I probably won't be class of 2019 though, just because I'm a dual degree applicant but congrats to everyone!
  11. I submitted my supplemental application on June 26th and was verified as complete the day afterwards. Their last two interview dates are 12/2 and 12/12. I had to change my interview date from 11/16 to 12/2 due to my oath ceremony being scheduled on the same day. But hey, at least I'll be a US citizen now! :) EDIT: Just gave up my interview spot so hopefully someone else receives good news!
  12. I was fortunate enough to know a couple of PAs who were family friends. The PA on my floor also used to be in my position so he was very willing to let us CNAs "shadow" him at work (while we were also working), ex: letting us see his procedures, etc... There are some other ways as well. If you go to Linkedin and join your university's alumni page, you can find several members who are probably PAs. Contact them through Linkedin so they can see your connection through the university, and many will be willing to let you shadow.
  13. Whooaaa just received an interview invite for 11/16! Very excited :)
  14. Thanks so much for the responses! Ok, I feel more at ease now haha. I was just confused because they moved my interview date due to this change in application, but I guess the actual interview isn't that much different after all.
  15. Hi everyone, Is anyone in the same boat? I originally applied for just the PA school but was regretting not applying to the dual degree program so much that I called and they were gracious enough to change my application. My interview got moved from the 26th to the 31st, because that's when all the dual degree program applicants are being interviewed. I was just wondering what it was like?
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