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Anachronist last won the day on July 12 2018

Anachronist had the most liked content!


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    Physician Assistant Student

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  1. RegalEagle nailed it. The only thing I'd add is that there are so many resources out there, sometimes you can get lost in the woods, so pick a couple good ones and stick with them. You can start experimenting with some of them now and then hit the ground running when your classes start. My picks are subjective, and there are plenty of other good ones out there. My top list is: OnlineMedEd (free videos) and NinjaNerdScience (on YouTube) for actually understanding material. PancePrepPearls for learning testing buzzwords and narrowing down study topics (less useful in the beginning but big later on). RoshReview and UWorld have great practice questions and answer explanations, and SmartyPANCE is a close 3rd. For anatomy only, I found Acland videos and Netter's Atlas super helpful (esp if you have a real cadaver lab).
  2. Good job. From all of the faculty I talked to and what I've seen on here, maturing in college is very noticed, and appreciated. So you've done all of the right things in that respect. Just be prepared to talk about it in interviews. The only outlier is your GRE, you need to find out how the scores are reported (sorry it's been a couple years since I did it); I just remember something about an aggregate score vs a most recent score; but not sure if that was the GRE itself, CASPA, or individual programs. But from what has been tossed around a lot on this forum (and some programs publish) there are hard cutoffs for GRE scores, if you're below it, no one will ever see your application. Published cutoffs are around 300 +/- 10, and it is suspected that a lot of programs have unpublished cutoffs in the 290's. On an quasi related note, I've heard (non-PA program) faculty lament using GREs, and muse that if they had to take them again they would probably do poorly. But it is the only level playing field that most students come in on (a 4.0 at/in one university/major might be very different than a 4.0 at/in another) and it's just an extremely convenient way to cull an enormous number of applications down to something more manageable. Hope that helped, and best of luck
  3. Overall GPA and sGPA are good, PCE is adequate for almost all programs, shadowing is sufficient, that GRE will get you auto rejected from a lot of programs though. Need to boost your GRE (I don't remember if most places aggregate the score or take the most recent one). If you can, retake those classes you did poorly on and get A's in them
  4. Red flags are a PANCE pass rate less than 90%, if you have to find any of your own required rotations, and any problems with accreditation. A personal red flag is any program that doesn't also have a medical school; but that is much more subjective. Other than that, UGoLong is on point.
  5. Watch every OnlineMedEd video, they're free.
  6. I found Rosh and UWorld to be a really good combo for getting a feel for what the PAEA exams would be like. SmartyPANCE has great study material and the questions aren't bad, but I liked Rosh and U more for adding some complexity and they both have much better explanations for why the correct answer is correct and the incorrect answers are incorrect; sort of teasing out important factors in the question that could change the answer completely. In general I would say the average SmartyPANCE question is on the average to easy end of a PAEA question, and an average Rosh/UWorld question is harder than the average PAEA question. I generally did much better on S than I did on EORs, and I generally did more poorly on Rosh and U than I did on my EORs. My 3 part combo tended to be Rosh, U, and PANCE Prep Pearls; I would add the OnlineMedEd videos when I had time. And IMHO, the Rosh Boost exams are well worth it.
  7. Yeah, from what I saw 3.5 was the "safe" number to not have your GPA questioned in any way or for it to be a hindrance, but 3.4 trending upward and a higher science GPA are all big +'s. When it comes to interviews, just remember, they wouldn't be interviewing you if they weren't already interested in you being in the program. So if GPA (even though it is hard to criticize a 3.4) or anything else comes up, they just want to see how you handle being asked about it. They seem to care less about whatever they asked, than they care how you respond to being asked about it. That was a theme that seemed to pop up during my interviews and in talking with other students anyway.
  8. Recent grad here. From what I gathered going through the process 2 years ago and seeing others' experiences on this forum, there is a hierarchy of importance in applications. 1 - Does your GRE meet the minimums? This is a hard reject/move on to consideration. A super high score doesn't improve chances much. 2 - Do you have the minimum PCE? Program variable, but another hard reject/move on. A lot more (2x-3x or more) than the minimum doesn't seem to be especially helpful. 2 - What is your GPA? 3.5 or better is likely to be considered. Also, how are your prerequisite grades? 3 - How does the interview go? I've seen stories here (and experienced it myself), some interviews can go really well and others just fall apart, people generally improve the more they do. Everything else is a bit ancillary. The only other big part of getting an interview is going to be the personal statement and the letters of rec, but there is so much variability that it's hard to give input. My two cents on the animal shelter volunteering is that it can't hurt, but is unlikely to help much. If it is short term, it matters even less. But it could give you something to talk about in an interview. So if you want to do it, and there isn't something else more relevant it is taking time away from, go for it.
  9. Hello everyone, I'm a new grad moving to Morehead City at the end of the month. I've been watching job postings but it seems that the area is still rural enough that the online market/listings are less than ideal. I'm planning on going to old fashioned route of dropping off CVs and word of mouth. Does anyone have any tips, advice, leads in the area? I'd be happy to travel as far as Jacksonville or New Bern. Thanks in advance.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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).
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
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