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boli

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boli last won the day on September 20 2017

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About boli

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    Physician Assistant Student

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  1. Thanks for all the insight and replies. It helps that we are anticipating moving to a lower cost of living area after I complete school. I think if I go the PSLF route it will be important to find ways to reduce my taxable income and really minimize the discretionary income like LT, d-wade and others have suggested (hello 403B contributions). I appreciate the help!
  2. I'm looking for some perspectives on what people recommend as far as loan repayment goes after school. When I graduate in 2020 I will have ~175k in loans from school (undergrad and out-of-state PA) and my wife has her own 100k from her professional program. We are both eligible to participate in "Public Service Loan Forgiveness" wherein you make 120 qualifying payments (10 years) and the remaining balance is forgiven. This is what my wife has been doing for several years but I've heard some horror stories about end of term application for loan forgiveness where the Gov said "whoops, sorry doesn't count, keep paying". Has anyone here applied and gotten PSLF? I see our two main options as: 1) living as though the loans will be forgiven after 10 years and making the minimum payments. This severely hurts our DTI ratio for home buying and other things on the front end but there's a chance to have 10s of thousands forgiven later. Also gives us the opportunity to invest our excess cash instead of paying it to loans at 4-7% interest. 2) Living off 1/2 our take home salary (estimating take home around 150k for the family total) in a modest home for 5-7 years and aggressively paying back the loans to a zero balance. This would make us essentially debt free by age 40 but severely limits our options on the front end for investing, home buying and childcare options. Any insight from current PAs who are in the loan payment hell? TIA
  3. every dollar you take in loans you'll pay back 3x over by the end of your repayment. Also, idk your living arrangement with your parents but Like Ejohns20 said, I assume included in living with them is food, utilities, internet, cable, furniture etc etc. Those add up so fast and will turn your "cheap place" into a not so cheap place that you're paying for with money you don't have. My schedule is different than some students, but I get up early enough that traffic isn't a problem on my drive. Getting to school by 6am allows me to study for 2 hours before class and get my day organized. Saving the 90min a day in your commute isn't worth the money and really won't benefit you that much extra study time. Not to mention that you'll probably lose time in the end by having your own place and needing to clean, grocery shop, etc. TLDR: your parents are right. Once caveat to my assertion is that if you're in a state that gets nasty weather driving 60min a day each way might really suck in the winter.
  4. boli

    Are you happy as a PA?

    I think a lot of it depends on your life situation. I'm in my first year now and I have some days where I struggle with the PA vs med school choice. I anticipate that the feeling won't completely go away in the future, either. If I were 23 and didn't have a family (wife, kids etc) I think I'd have given med school a much harder look. As it were, I didn't want to be an absent father and starting my career as an attending at almost age 40. I didn't want to have to move around for med school, residency, fellowship etc. The list goes on and on for my life situation as to why MD wasn't the right choice. Ultimately I chose to pick my job as just a job and not my identity. I'd rather be "Boli the husband and dad who works as a PA" than "Boli the distinguished physician who also has a family" (keep in mind your mileage may vary and lots of docs I know have great home lives). It's damn hard to have and raise kids when you're in school and training throughout your 20s and 30s. PA has some awesome advantages which make it a great career but like I said, if I were 6 years younger with fewer obligations and applying I'd probably give med school a shot.
  5. A lot of the above advice is sound. I'll add in (and this might be a repeat as I didn't read every post verbatim) but wait to buy books until you talk to some 2nd year students about what books they actually used. I spend hundreds of dollars on books I didn't even open this semester bc I didn't take that advice. Also, a lot of the 2nd year students will be looking to sell their copies for cheap if you wait! Many books (at my program at least) were used as reference texts in addition to the lectures- aka you won't have time to reference anything. Buying any of the RECOMMENDED but not required items is, IMO, a waste of money. You do not need an ophthalmoscope or otoscope etc. Buy a good stethoscope. Also, I personally decided to buy an iPad Pro and apple pencil. I made the transition from paper notes in undergrad to all digital (through one note, notability and google drive) this year and I couldn't be happier with the digital transition. All my notes are portable and sync between my comp, my iPad and my phone. I can search the text for words and I don't have to lug around binders of power point printouts.
  6. I'm always very surprised to see "old-school" PA's champion against increasing the prestige and applicability of the PA degree (whether it be a DMSc or a MPAS or whatever). Then I remember that these are the same people that stood by passively and watched NPs push into the stratosphere legislatively while comforting themselves that "we are better providers" and "our training is actually in medicine". Spend 10 minutes on the forum or looking at jobs and you'll realize that we F'd up by tying the profession to physician groups that no longer have the hiring power they did when private practice was the norm. I get the arguments against the DMSc just like I understand the sentiment against mandatory fellowship training. But the fact is that unless we alter our trajectory we will have been replaced by NPs in 20 years. Easier to hire, easier to train, easier to "supervise", etc etc etc. Oh, and as far as the PT argument goes, PT changed to a doctorate in part to be able to get reimbursement from insurance for direct visits (i.e. no referral needed). This HAS happened is many places and has contributed to a significant growth in their profession, especially in outpatient settings. Lastly, the "just go to med school" comments are ridiculous considering that med school comes with a mandatory residency which effectively triples or quadruples your time in training vs PA school. Not even a close comparison.
  7. I'm not sure if EMEDPA caught what you meant by DL, but in my experience it's not a "online" program model. It's multiple campuses (with classmates, physical exam rooms, professors etc at each campus) that connect via video and microphone to conduct shared classes... You can call it a way to make more money or whatever but it extends a particular program across multiple cities in a state (Omaha and Kearney for example) I agree that "online" school is a joke and not a way to learn medicine. OP, I don't go to UNMC but I attend a school that uses DL. TBH I don't think it's a big deal. You still have interaction with your classmates and you still have the opportunity to do plenty of physical exam stuff and labs and all the fun interactive things. You sit in a physical classroom all day just like every other school. After about a week you barely notice the microphones and the video. I actually enjoy the DL sometimes as I can get up to go to the bathroom, ask my neighbor a question, or whatever I need to do without feeling like I'm totally disrupting class with an in-person lecturer. At our program we have about 1/2 the lectures in-person so you still have plenty of interaction with faculty too. Also, there are smaller classes at each campus instead on one giant class so you get to know your campus classmates very well. If I were in your shoes I would personally pick UNMC but that's just me. Good problem to have!
  8. my onenote didn't come with the massive cloud storage that some student accounts get... so I paid for the space upgrade. All my notes are digital and sync between my comp/iPad/phone. Buy a gym membership if you don't get one through school or where you live bc you'll need the stress relief and can review stuff while you do cardio.
  9. boli

    I can't be a PA anymore

    What PA school is going to take on a person who failed PANCE 6x though?
  10. Short answer is - no (assuming it's ARC-PA accredited). Once you're a PA-C no one cares where you went or what "US News and World Reviews" claims the rank was. The only time it MAY matter is if you want to do a fellowship and you have the opportunity to go to the same program where the fellowship is offered. But that effect is probably minimal in the grand scheme of things. If you have the choice between programs when you've been accepted then other factors would help me with my decision: PANCE pass rate, tuition, availability of clinical rotations, geographic area, length of program, etc.
  11. boli

    Want to quit PA school

    You're definitely not the only PA-S to feel this way. We had several people drop at my program already. I don't mean to stereotype you, as I know nothing other than what you've posted here, but I think a lot of students that are in PA programs have been hyper-successful their whole lives (academically and otherwise) and failing a few exams really gut checks their psyche. Personally, it sounds like you want to be a PA but you thought it would be easier than it is. That's weak. If you quit now you'll never be able to live with the fact that you gave up when things got tough (at least I wouldn't). I hope you keep pushing. Best of luck!
  12. first year PA-S here. Before school I had PA's tell me to go to med school for the money, and I had MDs tell me to go PA for the life flexibility. Honestly, if I could do it again and was in a totally different life situation (no kids/family, maybe 5 years younger) I'd have probably went for MD. But I didn't, and I can't change that. IMO looking back regretfully is pointless. I don't see myself practicing full time my whole career as I'd like to teach and invest my time other places. Time is so much more valuable than money. Jm2c
  13. Do you mind expanding on the residency/life balance? what kind of hours are you working and on-call, what shifts do you work etc?
  14. Could be way off, but his user photo looks a lot like the Boston skyline from the pier. So I'm guessing Boston
  15. His real name is Zubin Damania (MD hospitalist from Stanford originally) but he goes by ZdoggMD now online and makes satire/parody music videos to talk about issues in healthcare. He's pretty funny and generally I find myself agreeing with his views. If you don't want to hear his "rants", I recommend at least checking out his music videos or DocVader series as EMEDPA mentioned.
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