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ProSpectre

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ProSpectre last won the day on October 28 2018

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About ProSpectre

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  1. My opinion on this type of situation is that you should just jump in with both feet. All that stuff you mentioned is just called adulting, and if PA school is the first time you'll have done the adult thing, then it's due time. Some of the other students will probably be dealing with similar issues as well, and many people before you have done it and succeeded. You can too. Use this as an opportunity to work on your social skills and make friends. Your family will still be there for you, just a phone call away when you need advice (and a reasonable drive away during breaks). It's ok to be nervous about it, but you have to trust that you are ready for this, and that you can handle it. Meeting a challenge like this head on will make you a better person in the long run, I guarantee it.
  2. I'll bite since no one else has. Honestly, it seems like you have a lot of what you already need to apply to PA school. The big ones are a bachelor's degree and patient care experience. The specifics is where it gets a bit more complicated, and where you'll have to do some research yourself. Unlike medical school, the prerequisite requirements vary a bit more between PA schools, so you'll have to start looking at schools that might interest you and check their admissions websites for specific requirements for prereq courses, patient care experience (PCE) hours, shadowing hours, GRE, etc. A good place to start is the PAEA Program Directory. Depending on what classes you took in your microbiology major, you may still have some courses to take, but you won't know until you start narrowing down a list of schools you're interested in applying to. Before you do anything, you should ask some of the PAs you work with or some of your PA friends if you can shadow them; shadowing is a requirement at most schools anyway, and that will allow you to make an honest assessment of whether it's a role you can see yourself in before you commit to taking more classes or whatever. Also, the search function is your friend. This site is a wealth of info, and I promise you that most of the questions that you can come up with have been asked and answered (probably many times over) somewhere on here over the years. I know, because I used it myself for a few years before I went to PA school, and I rarely if ever had a question that someone else hadn't already posted.
  3. Yea one of those was my fault, I replied to a pre-PA post without realizing it had been posted in the Professional PA section until another user responded and pointed it out. It's a downside of my habit of clicking the "Unread Content" link and browsing there since it brings up posts from all sub-forums. I'll keep a closer eye on that in the future.
  4. Most programs actually require you to shadow one or more PAs in order to even be considered for acceptance to a PA program; they want to know that you have fully explored the career and understand what a PA actually does, and that you didn't just see it on the Forbes "Top Jobs" list and decide to apply on a whim. I would encourage you to spend some time going through the pre-PA section on this site, and check out the pre-PA section on Reddit if you're on there. Use the search function and do some reading. There is a wealth of information on both sites, and while your questions are new to you, they are asked over and over again on these sites (which, lucky for you, means most of the questions you have are probably already answered if you look around enough).
  5. There are about 250 accredited PA programs across the country now, and unfortunately the prerequisites vary quite a bit between them. This means that it will take you doing the research online to find out which schools you may want to apply to, and then checking each individual school's website to see what their admissions criteria are. This sounds daunting, but the good thing is that you already have one of the major prerequisities of every PA school done -- quality patient care experience. That will be immensely valuable when the time comes for you to apply. A good place to start is to check the PAEA Program Directory and start looking at schools that may interest you. Focus first on programs that list "continuing" accreditation if possible; "provisional" accreditation are new programs that may not be as established yet, and "probationary" accreditation are programs that are working on issues to ensure they can stay accredited (may or may not be bad). If you have a family, you may want to start first by looking at programs in your area if you can't move, but if not just look at areas you wouldn't mind living during PA school or cities/states you'd actively like to work in after PA school. Then just google the school's name and look at the PA program admissions criteria web page -- every PA school has one and will list everything they require there. In general, the requirements usually include Biology I & II, Chemistry I & II, Organic Chemistry I, Anatomy & Physiology I & II, Microbiology, Genetics, Psychology, and Statistics; most of these courses require labs, but that varies by school. Programs also usually require an additional math course like algebra or calculus, additional psychology courses, and 1-2 English composition courses, and may have other specific course requirements like biochemistry as well (this is where your personal research comes in since it's so variable). Schools usually require the GRE exam to apply, but this isn't universal. Lastly, you should try to set up some PA shadowing since it is usually a requirement and also could save you a lot of wasted time/energy if you decide you don't actually like what the PA role entails. As you do your research, make a list or spreadsheet of programs you're interested in and list out all of their prerequisite courses, their GRE requirements, their shadowing hours requirements, their application deadlines, etc. This will help you narrow your field once you start taking your prereq classes. You'll need to get a bachelor's degree, but it doesn't matter what major you choose. Biology is a common choice since it includes a lot of the required science classes, but you can major in anything. Whatever you choose, focus on keeping all A's and B's (more A's), and work extra hard to get A's in any course that is a prerequisite for PA school. Doing that will increase your odds of getting accepted your first cycle when it comes time to apply. It will be a challenging road, but older students with an end goal in mind tend to do quite well, so starting fresh is actually a pretty good place to be.
  6. EMEDPA gave good advice OP. I was in the Guard back in the day and spent a year in Afghanistan doing combat operations when it was pretty hot there. My unit has also spent significant amounts of time in Iraq, Kuwait, the horn of Africa, etc. I wasn't a PA when I was in, so I can't speak much on that specifically, but I've heard it's a sweet gig relative to a lot of other jobs (key word relative -- it's still the military, and there's still a lot of BS involved regardless of your specific job). The deployment tempo for the Guard was much higher in the mid-late 2000's and early 2010's, but you should still be aware of the possibility of deploying and should probably expect to do at least one deployment during your contract (not a guarantee, but it's a significant commitment if you do deploy since they're usually 9-12 months long). We still have troops (including National Guard units) in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Kuwait, etc, so those are still very real possibilities. Then of course there are the state-side disaster duties. The benefits can be pretty good, but just do your research and know what you're getting yourself into.
  7. "Significant issues identified in legal review." Part of that million dollars the AAPA is spending on this investigation is going to a reputable law firm to identify whether or not a given title option could be legally protected. If the title can't be legally protected from use by non-PAs, or is already being used to include non-PAs, then it's non-viable as a new title for the profession. That's a pretty good reason to throw it out. To be clear, I am firmly in the Medical Practitioner camp, I think it's the best title identified so far, and would love if it could be the new title for the PA profession. But I also understand that it's quite broad and technically includes other professions as well (like physicians), so it likely can't be legally protected for that reason, meaning we can't use it. I wish there was a way around that, but we kind of have to trust that this law firm we're throwing handfuls of cash at knows what they're doing. Also, WPP & the law firm aren't choosing the title for us -- they were hired to identify the best potential options based on branding and viability from a legal standpoint. They are simply collecting and synthesizing data to present to the AAPA, where a final decision (hopefully by vote) can be made. For now I'm just trusting the process, and awaiting May to find out the results of the investigation.
  8. It's interesting that she says the exam wasn't "hard enough". The 1st time pass rate in 2014 was only 95%, and crept up year by year until it was 98% in 2018. Did they make the exam any easier over that time, or is there a better explanation for the rise in pass rates? The national 1st time pass rate for both Step 1 and Step 2 of the USMLE exams is 96% for MDs and 95% for DOs, while Step 3 has a 1st time pass rate of 98% for MDs and 100% for DOs. Are these exams too easy as well? Of course not, students just know they're important and use quality resources to ensure they are prepared. My guess is the old PANCE pass rates likely increased as study resources (like Rosh, Kaplan, PPP, etc) got better and students were simply more prepared for the exam. With this new change the pass rates have dropped, but I would bet money that they will slowly creep back up again, just as they have in the past. I'm not discounting her comments, I just think this whole re-formatted PANCE is interesting (not just that they changed it, but that they specifically state that they changed it because too many people were passing on their first attempt).
  9. I do too. The AAPA Facebook post where I posted the link from earlier today has mostly negative comments about the title change though. There's the standard mix of indifference & apathy, along with a few of the same old tired arguments about why we should stick with what we've got. The lack of vision is disheartening.
  10. I never said that cost should be the sole factor in choosing a PA school, but only a fool would discount cost completely simply because they're going to make a good salary as a PA. The tuition listed by the OP easily puts that school in the top 1-2% most expensive PA schools, so it should definitely be a factor in their decision. Especially when the average cost for PA tuition is well under half that, and there are over 200 schools (out of 250 programs total) that are under $100K. Just because you would pay twice that amount to go to PA school doesn't mean it's good advice to give others. That's med-school level debt without the physician salary to go with it. Time and again pre-PA students ask the tuition question and invariably get advice from some posters to not worry about cost, or to attend the most "prestigious" school they get into. But then there are the posts from PAs who did exactly that and now regret that decision, and state that given the option to choose again they would pick a cheaper school. Yes it's anecdotal, but it should still make you think. I don't know if the OP has any other options for PA school right now, and I guess I was phrasing my above post as if they did have other options/acceptances. If this is their only acceptance, then maybe it would be worth it to them, but they should still think very carefully before attending one of the most expensive programs in the country.
  11. For those interested in the title change, the AAPA just sent out some information about the most recent survey (no results yet of course). They answered some of the common questions & concerns people raised and provided a little more information on the process and why some popular titles weren't included (i.e. they were previously considered and eliminated, as many here have suggested). The survey had over 27,000 responses though, so it should provide some pretty robust data for them to work with. As much flak as the survey got, I think WPP is really doing their due diligence and it will be interesting to see the final results in May.
  12. Wow, we're not only more restricted than NPs in treating workers comp patients, but we also fall below chiropractors. That's just sad. If charts like this don't demonstrate an urgent need for PAs to get involved and start pushing for OTP and legislative parity with NPs, then I don't know what will.
  13. Yea that's honestly insane. Is that just tuition, or does that factor in all fees and cost of living expenses as well? Either way, taking on $180K of student loan debt for a career with a median salary of $105K is not a great return on investment; it's definitely possible to pay that off, but it would be a significant burden for many years. Running some quick numbers with a loan payment calculator, paying off $180K at the current Grad PLUS interest rate of 7.08% over a 10 year period would cost you about $2,097 per month (over $25K per year); you'd pay about $71,685 in interest alone over the 10 years for a total of over $251,685 when it's all said and done. This is a very rough estimate, but you get the idea. When there are literally dozens of programs with tuition well under half of that cost, I just don't think I'd be able to bring myself to take on that kind of loan burden for PA school.
  14. ARC-PA has recently denied approval at a couple of universities working to start entry-level doctorate PA programs, stating that the accreditation of doctorate degrees is beyond the scope of their authority. Until the issue is somehow changed through ARC-PA, the only option seems to be the post-masters DMSc degrees.
  15. As a new grad PA, I wish there were more preceptors like yourself out there who actually talked to their students about the issues the profession is facing. I think there were relatively few students in my (large) class who actually knew what OTP is or who understood the importance of the title change. I heard precisely 1 PA preceptor in my clinical year bring up the topic of OTP, and I think I actually had a better understanding of it than he did; I was glad to see he was at least keeping up with changes within the profession and advocating for practice parity with NPs though. These issues were never discussed by any of the numerous faculty PAs in my program either, and only a few students I spoke with seemed well-versed on the issues. Unfortunately, the apathy among many practicing PAs seems to mirror the apathy of students in PA school when it comes to the issues facing the profession. I think preceptors and PA faculty alike should make it a point to highlight the importance of PA advocacy to students, and I think this would be well received if just a little bit of time was taken to explain the issues and why it's important for their future. Most of what I know about these issues has come from this forum and the Huddle, and I think that's a crying shame.
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