If there are any UNE or Rush grads out there on the forum, I'm interested in your opinion of your respective program. Did you have a positive experience? Feel well prepared? How were the clinical sites?
I was accepted to both and am trying to make a decision between UNE and Rush.
Rush is a newer program, I think 3 years old? Clinical site locations are likely less well established, but the program has the ability to lean heavily on its giant academic medical center.
UNE is 20ish years old, clinical sites are more well established and quality of sites I anticipate would be consistently good (at least decent)
Tuition is nearly identical 96k at Rush vs 98k at UNE. Cost of living in Chicago for 30 months is significantly greater than Portland ME for 24 months.
Rush is 30 months with the final 6 months dedicated to a chosen specialty. UNE is 24 months, standard 12 didactic 12 clinical.
I think this extra 6 month clinical offering at Rush could be huge for my first job. More confidence, less time feeling terrified and out of my league as a dangerous, new, and inexperienced new PA.
Ultimately I want to be back west in ID, WA, MT or OR doing ER, urgent care, maybe family med so neither school has regional connections.
My heart wants to be in Portland ME at UNE because i liked the faculty, students, and location better. My gut says Rush might better prepare me for my first year of practice and leave me with less anxiety and fear as a sketchy new PA.
I expect that 3-4 years into practice I will have found my groove after graduating from either ,and both schools seem well equipped to train good PAs. How real is the first year of practice pucker factor, is it worth it to stay in an expensive city paying an extra 10-20k to mitigate this? I don't ever want to live in a large urban city but should I suck it up and deal with Chicago for 30 months?