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Anachronist last won the day on July 12 2018

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About Anachronist

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    Physician Assistant Student

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  1. Generally agree with the above. Unfortunately your UG GPA won't let you even be considered by many programs (auto reject). I spoke with someone on this forum a long time ago who had a similar problem, despite stellar performance for a decade since UG (and really only their freshman semester was the problem). There are just too many people applying and not enough seats, so GPA becomes an absolute filter. Getting your GPA up to 3.0 would be the biggest deal for sure. It's tricky and individual of course, but I would recommend doing the math and seeing what it would require. If you're willing to give it a go once you know exactly what you have to do, then take a bunch of science/bio/med classes and get an A in every single one. It may sound like a lot, but PA school is a lot. I use to work 84 hours a week for a month straight (that is 12 hours a day 7 days a week), and PA school has been much "harder" than that. i.e. learning is harder than working. As for scribing, it depends on the program, some are prejudice against it, but some value it (as I do). You just have to read up on the programs you want to apply to. For what is worth, I've been a EMT, CNA, and a scribe, and I found my scribing experience to be the most valuable by far.
  2. The impression I get, and I believe is widely held on this forum, is that the GRE is only a filter for applications, either you meet the minimums and then your application goes into the "read by a real person" file, or you do not, and you get rejected by a computer (or someone who is just sorting them based on GRE, GPA, pre-reqs, etc). Most programs publish their minimums, sometimes by Q/V/W and sometimes just combined + or - W. Most combined minimums are in the 290's to about 300 at the high end. If over 300 you're generally "safe." If your scores meet the program minimums you're applying for, then don't sweat it.
  3. I agree with @Bubbles. It is just a very basic (probably completely electronic) filter (pass/fail ; decline immediately/go to next stage of admissions) kinda thing, I have never heard any different, and I haven't heard of anyone even talking about the GRE during interviews. I HAVE heard a PhD department chair joking about what might happen if faculty had to take the GRE again and remarking that they "just have to have a minimum" but that they really didn't care about it. In general, 300 meets everyone's minimums, 310 and you should have no problems anywhere.
  4. It is not, it is old (like the originals were VHS), and requires a subscription. But nothing else I've seen even comes close. (Disclaimer: I'm not affiliated with them in any way, I only found out about Acland because a couple clips were used in some of our lectures and I was like "wow these are amazing, are there more?" So I googled the watermark from the video... there is A LOT more).
  5. IMHO: Agree with above. "Take a break is common advice" and I took it, but knowing what I do now, I wouldn't have. Anything you can study that is concrete will help. In my experience: Anatomy was mind blowing, every class I had taken before (4, at 3 different institutions) barely scratched the surface. My advice would be "Acland Academy" videos, they are real cadaver videos, broken up into short sections for viewing. 100% worth the fee. I would have told myself to watch every single one at least once just to get my bearings. <- my #1 advice without question. Physiology was also very in-depth, and some of my UG, had prepared me well for some of it, but not all. I found the YouTube channel NinjaNerdScience EXTREMELY helpful. They are concise and hit all the key points with adequate but not excessive info (very tricky to find, most are either too much or too little). The people who make it are current PA students, so they are right on target, and I have not noticed any errors in their videos. Also it should give you a very good taste of "what you're in for." <- #2 advice, no question. If you are unfamiliar with EKGs, there are many concise books out there that are reasonably priced. I really liked "The Only EKG Book You'll Ever Need" but the others I've seen are also good. The big thing is knowing your way around a rhythm strip, and how the leads relate to the anatomy and how the axis works; if you know the mechanics, learning all the abnormalities will be a breeze. Once you start, DirtyUSMLE (on YouTube) is good for hitting the key points of a lot of stuff. Made for med students but as a study guide, so the depth of info is not over the top. Probably not very helpful until you have background info, just "keep it in mind." Osmosis and SmartyPANCE are also popular online programs. Probably better for when you start as supplemental info to go along with whatever you are learning. They are not cheap, but SmartyPANCE has been pretty helpful (it's just the one I went with; have heard good things about Osmosis too). The big thing for me was the massive volume of information, and the terminology. My medical terminology UG class was a joke (think a children's book about cars when you're trying to train a mechanic). If you can at least have your bearings in the aforementioned info, that will help. But "having your bearings" is probably a lot more than you think right now, it was for me (and I'm a BS Biology major). I haven't had any "conceptual" challenges, but I hammered upper level bio classes pretty hard. For me it has been more like "memorize this whole dictionary, in two weeks; then you'll have a new one to memorize, rinse and repeat." Pharm is an outlier. Programs are very different, and even how to study it is... "complicated." You'll see when you get there. Every rule has exceptions and there are 10 ways to do the same thing, but "which one is "best," is a common theme. I listened to an audio book "Memorizing Pharmacology: A Relaxed Approach," and it definitely helped, but was not "high yield" information. TLDR: 1 - Purchase the Acland videos and watch every single one (only the hands and feet exceeded what we had to know for exams, and not by a lot). 2 - If you're still game, start plugging away at the NinjaNerdScience videos on YouTube. 3 - If you're still wanting more, get a "condensed" EKG book and focus on the mechanics more than the diseases.
  6. 30k is not worth the "accreditation issues." That would be a huge red flag for me. When you start a program you are placing your day-to-day life in their hands, a lack of organization can be a huge burden on you, and worrying about accreditation on top of that is not good. You're also "in it for the long haul." Transfering is not an option, and leaving that program and applying all over again would be a nightmare scenario. Even if it was 100% justified, it would likely not be looked at favorably by admissions committees the second time around.
  7. Ours use to be business casual all the time, but apparently they go back and forth on the issue, we currently do not have a dress code for classes other than basic "not provocative, no clothes in ill repair, no obscene graphic t shirts" kind of stuff; but all patient encounters and all simulated patient encounters are biz-cas + a lab coat. (Also no scrubs outside of an OR). Personally I don't think there is much benefit for classes, the way we are now makes sense to me. The hiccups get sorted out with the occasional dress up days. But dress varies so much from practice to practice that preparing for biz-cas all the time doesn't make too much sense. You can even argue that lab coats and ties should not be allowed because they are proven fomites due to infrequent washing. But traditions are difficult to change.
  8. There is a FL Pre-PA FaceBook group that has postings and responses sometimes, many around Orlando. You can also try cold calling. Private practices are generally a better bet (I got literally dozens of reluctant declines because hospital policy wouldn't allow it without a contract from a university or some other official body, despite the PA being interested in letting me shadow). I eventually got mine through volunteering at a free clinic and a friend of a friend. It is definitely a tricky hurdle to overcome, but persistence pays off. Also consider shadowing MDs as well, it all helps and that way you might be able to make a connection because the MD might "know someone."
  9. GPA is good. GRE is TBD? Shoot for a 300+, 310+ and you're plenty safe (it is just a filter in most programs, they don't care if you got a 305 or a 315). Your patient care hours will not be sufficient for consideration for many (most?) programs. Volunteer hours are sometimes counted, sometimes not (check with the specific programs you're applying to, they all have criteria on their websites), and 200 is low either way. I would plan on working full time until the next cycle. Depending on the state and your situation, EMS, phlebotomy, scribing, MA, and CNA are all popular choices to get PCE. But again, check specific programs, sometimes they weigh those experiences differently. i.e. some count them as full hours or 1/2 hours. 1,000 puts you in the playing field, 2,000 is better, more than that isn't likely to make a big difference. But keep in mind, it has to be "hands on" with patients. Patient transport is often not considered for instance. Programs also have different requirements for when their minimums have to be completed. Some by time of application, others by a certain date, and others by matriculation. So, again, check specific programs you plan on applying to.
  10. Good deal. Yeah I'm not sure about how the whole minor/first time offender expungement thing works, I have only heard about it 2nd and 3rd hand. +1 for your state board getting back to you with a definitive answer. Just be ready to talk about/explain it, what you learned from it, how it affected your life etc. They will ask during an interview, and your answer goes a long way. Fortunately, in my opinion anyway, an almost decade old minor in possession charge is not a big red flag to many people. If you make it to an interview, they are already very seriously considering you for admission, so when they ask about it, it is to see how you react and how you explain it in a professional way, so prepare for that, and you should be fine. Best of luck.
  11. Agree with above comments. No need to retake the GRE. When it all boils down, just any program that is accredited, has a high (95+%) PANCE pass rate (which means they are teaching pretty well), retention rate (which means they aren't failing people a lot; no one should fail PA school barring extenuating circumstances, everyone is already a good student), location, and cost. Rankings are pointless, and university name recognition only goes so far. GRE, GPA, and PCE hours are the big hurdles for most people, you seem to be fine in all of them. Apply broadly, have a couple backups, and you should be good to go. When you start having to pick from acceptances, go with the best fit for you, the vibe you get, the location, and the cost. I have seen people walk away from top 10's (including top 1 and 2) just because they didn't like the atmosphere of the program, and they probably made the right decision for them.
  12. Because you were a minor, it might be worth consulting a lawyer. I have heard that some records can be "expunged" and basically never existed, and you wouldn't be obligated to disclose them and they would only show up on a very in-depth background check. But that is state, offense, etc dependant. That said, if disclosed, you will absolutely have to explain it in an interview, and even if not disclosed, possibly to get a license, and almost certainly to get a DEA number. For the time being, if there is a way to just list what it was, and that you were a minor when it happened, so the programs at least knows what they are dealing with, that would be helpful. (supplemental docs, or I recall there being a few text fields for random stuff). Might as well go ahead and start consulting a lawyer now actually, and even your state board, and possibly DEA just to know what hurdles are ahead of you. Don't want to be left wondering when the time comes to get licensed or go looking for a job.
  13. Agree with all of the above. Also PA anatomy is no joke, I had had a lot of UG anatomy and it barely scratched the surface of what PA school got into. I would highly recommend Acland videos, real cadaver dissections broken up into short videos and explanations. Yes, watch every single one (hours upon hours). If I could go back and do one thing in preparation for starting, that would have been it.
  14. Can get a chepo one on Amazon, but if you want a good one that you'll use for years to come, eBay has some decent deals every now and then.
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