I am the significant other of a current PA student at Bethel University in Paris Tennessee.
There is a short list of PROs for Bethel PA students
-The didactic year education is wonderful in terms of the material you learn. You will learn what you need to be prepared for clinical year.
-Ms. Addo (the teacher in charge of remediation) is absolutely fantastic.
-Mr. Scates is also wonderful (one of the main teachers who teaches clinical medicine)
-For us the major pro was that we got accepted
There is, unfortunately, a very long list of cons.
-Last week a student was kicked out of the program for a minor infraction during clinical year (they met the 150 hour requirement and set their schedule with their preceptor, but because the preceptor worked three days the student didn't they got kicked out). This might sound crazy but it's consistent with the craziness that happens at the school. This student had no warnings, was in good academic standing and had never had a problem before.
-Be prepared to go 2 years without knowing any details about clinical year (including during clinical year). You will get placed in a "hub" in the middle of the first year. You won't find out where your actual rotations are until the Friday before the first week of rotations (seriously, not even exaggerating). Asking questions about clinical year is a surefire way to be under scrutiny and face retaliation from staff.
-During clinical year, even if you have a "hub" be prepared to move for each rotation or drive 4-5 hours one way. While a few students have been lucky to be in the same area for most of their rotations, there are plenty of students who are driving all over creation, sleeping in their car, sleeping in the hospitals they're rotating at or sleeping on someone's couch for the major part of a year.
-The school is incredibly disorganized. Be prepared to waste precious hours sitting in class doing nothing when you really need to be studying for the 5-10 tests you have that week.
-The rules are constantly changing and frequently conflict with each other. Expectations are ridiculous and consequences are overly harsh.
-Staff are verbally abusive to students and will ask for students' concerns and then berate them for sharing.
-The recently graduated class (2016) has a PANCE pass rate in the 80% which is a significant drop from the historical pass rates.
-You will get sent to meet the disciplinary committee for minor, minor things. One student got in trouble for slamming his computer lid down. (Seriously.)
-Be prepared to be treated like children. Staff will yell at students, call them names, and demean them.
-Students don't dare speak out for fear of being sent all over the country for rotations. (This has happened to people.) Or worse-being kicked out of the program. If the staff decide they don't like you--for whatever reason--be prepared to suffer.
-Be ready to go 2.5 years of your life without having a day off. There have been students who have missed the weddings of immediate family members, have gone to funerals only to get a zero on a test (and face disciplinary action/academic probation). Even missing a class or leaving a class early is grounds for meeting with the disciplinary committee. You will be in class 40 hours per week.
-Apparently the main campus is on probationary status for accreditation (not the PA Program) and has been for the past 2 years. It will get reviewed in December which is right before the next class will start. Current students would likely (hopefully) be transferred, but incoming students would be screwed if they lost accreditation. Read more here:
If you can possibly go to a different school, you should seriously consider it. Many current students are kicking themselves for turning down other schools they got accepted to. PA school is incredibly challenging and stressful. For my significant other the most stressful part of school has been dealing with the staff and facing major uncertainty about clinical year. It shouldn't be that way--the education itself is hard enough.