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  1. Hi all! I am looking for some advice/insight on whether as a Pre-PA student I should Organic Chemistry 1 & 2, or could just take Essentials of Organic Chemistry? From what I've seen as far pre-reqs for the PA schools I'd like to apply to, Essentials of Org. Chem. would suffice (Chem 330 at my school). However, no programs I've seen specifically say anything that Essentials is okay vs. the full year of Org. Chem. Anyone have any experience on this topic/any thoughts? Thanks in advance!!
  2. Ahhhhh that makes much more sense! Would you consider communicating between the patients and physicians to relay information about patient symptoms or treatment plans/care to be considered "direct"? The only reason I want to say yes is because, for example, if the patient was having some sort of bleeding/serious symptom and needed medical attention right away and I didn't prioritize reaching out to the physician to see what should be done, it would be my fault. Point being, I feel like I had a decent bit of responsibility for facilitating their care - but not in the way that the patient is in the hospital and I'm caring for them - if that makes sense! Again, thank you for all your help!
  3. Thank you so much for taking the time to go through everything!! As far as medications go, we had a list of standing orders - for example if we scheduled a patient for an abdominal surgery, we can prescribe the pre-surgery antibiotics, which is co-signed by the physician. I worded it wrong lol - not prescribing in that way, but prescribing on behalf of the physician based on our standing orders. Anyways, thank you too for saying HCE isn't less important! I was reading an article about this and they said "it's better to undersell yourself than oversell yourself, and be wrong about it" meaning it's better to give yourself more HCE than PCE if you're not 100% sure and let the PA school admissions decide for themselves. Definitely going to combine UGoLong's & your advice together and find an appropriate way to split it up. I was thinking to just do 50/50 but now that I think about it maybe it's more HCE than PCE. My only argument for thinking it's more PCE is that generally if I wasn't scribing, my whole day was spent primarily on the phone with patients, hearing their symptoms and relaying it to physicians and calling patients back to go over treatment plans. When I had free time, then all the other HCE tasks came into play. Sorry for the long messages, you & UGoLong have helped a lot to organize my mind on this topic, thank you again!! :)
  4. Ahhhh I see, thank you! But still I wonder, when CASPA says "directly responsible for patient's care" - does this mean without the direction of a physician? Like responsibility solely on our own? Like I said, I feel like I had direct responsibility for the care of patients, however, it was mostly under the direction of a physician. But I hear what you're saying - this is one of those things where it's up for interpretation. Just need to stick with the definition of PCE & HCE as much as I can. I definitely feel like dividing up my hours is fair - 50/50 seems like a bit much, maybe 60/40, 60 being PCE & 40 being HCE. Going to spend some more time thinking about this! Thank you for your help!!
  5. Pre-PA student here as well! I took A&P 1, Chem 1, & A&P 2 all with an online lab component due to covid. My transcript states "Classes during a national emergency" or something like that - but basically it states on my transcript from my school that these classes were doing covid. Many PA schools that I've been researching say "will accept online labs completed due to covid". However, a couple of schools I saw said "only during 2020" - this worries me because I'm taking a A&P 2 right now online because my school has not restarted going back on campus. So I too wonder if that would be an issue since I'm taking an online lab in 2021. There is a PA virtual fair with a bunch of schools on April 7th, you can ask specific schools questions about this topic! Wishing you the best!
  6. Hello! I hope someone can help!! I am so confused in regards to if a medical assistant is considered PCE or HCE for CASPA. I've been an MA for 3 years, this past year I've been working in an Urgent Care. However, the two years prior is what I'm worried about. I do feel it's considered PCE based on what I did/level of responsibility, but the way CASPA describes it is freaking me out a bit. This might be a long post but I hope even just 1 person can give me some insight!! CASPA states: "Patient Care Experience Experiences in which you are directly responsible for a patient's care. For example, prescribing medication, performing procedures, directing a course of treatment, designing a treatment regimen, actively working on patients as a nurse, paramedic, EMT, CNA, phlebotomist, physical therapist, dental hygienist, etc. Healthcare Experience Both paid and unpaid work in a health or health-related field where you are not directly responsible for a patient's care, but may still have patient interaction; for example, filling prescriptions, performing clerical work, delivering patient food, cleaning patients and/or their rooms, administering food or medication, taking vitals or other record keeping information, working as a scribe, CNA (depending on job description), medical assistant, etc." My Experience: I've been a Medical Assistant since 2018, right when I graduated I got a job through my MA externship to work in a GI/Colorectal surgery clinic inside a local hospital. The office had 4 GI Drs, 3 colorectal surgeons, 1 hepatologist & had 2 PAs/1 NP (one for each field). I worked with 3-4 other medical assistants and we did everything. We roomed patients (some days seeing 90-100 patients), covered for surgical schedulers if needed, covered for the front desk if needed. On top of doing out our own job! We were assigned physicians we would personally work with to delegate where patient calls/messages would go. For the first year, I was the MA for 1 gastroenterologist. The second year, I was promoted to working with the colorectal surgery team. I then worked with 3 surgeons (with 1 other MA), 1 was the chief of colorectal surgery for the hospital - I became one of his personal scribes who would go in while seeing patients and do his note/visit summaries, we would see around 20-30 patients when he was in clinic. Day to day duties consisted of prioritizing/answering messages/calls from patients in a timely manner, either helping them if we can ourselves or passing on the message to the appropriate physician where we would call the patient with their response. We would prescribe medications based on what the provider wanted, meaning: they would tell us what to prescribe and we would propose the orders for them so they didn't have to. Assisting in in-office procedures. It's important to add that I did too have a handful of administrative duties like scanning in medical records, refill requests, scheduling appointments, prior authorizations through insurance companies. (Even these I would think should be considered PCE based on the responsibility factor). Long story short, I did A LOT of work that I feel is considered Patient Care Experience, regardless of it's considered administrative or clinical. Meaning, I felt that I was directly responsible for the care of patients, under the supervision of the physicians. If I did call back to explain a treatment plan (made by the physician), then the patient would never get called. If I didn't call to schedule their surgery and make sure they have everything they need to prepare for a colonoscopy or colon resection, it would be my fault. In August of 2020 I transferred to an Urgent Care as I begun my prerequisite PA courses that needed to be on campus (or so I thought bc of COVID). Anyways, I am getting (official) back office MA experience now. However, I am terrified that my 2 years (4,000 hrs+) of GI/Colorectal surgery experience will be deemed as Healthcare experience rather than Patient care experience, which I feel would hurt my chances of getting into PA school. Even the thought of dividing it half and half between PCE & HCE doesn't make me happy, but I rather do that then consider all this time HCE. I'm sorry for this long post, maybe I'm being ridiculous and overthinking this - but if anyone can share their insight or personal experience that would be highly appreciated!! Thank you
  7. Wow! Thank you for this response!! This really makes me feel a lot better and helps a lot- especially saying that undergrad is about showing you're able to get good grades in hard classes. Honestly, I get so overwhelmed by trying to remember the little little details of everything (in A&P for example) that it ultimately does feel like it serves me no good and I don't as well as I could on an exam. Thank you for taking the time to share your experience/reflection of your undergrad classes post-PA school! Very appreciated!
  8. Hi! I'm a pre-pa student too in my undergrad (very very new to this forum too). I've been working as a medical assistant for 3 years and I would have never considered PA if it wasn't for that. I got my certification while I got my AA degree, however, there are many schools that have a 8 month program and they help you get a job as well! I read too that being a scribe may only could as healthcare experience, not patient care experience (very confusing). It seems daunting taking a gap year (I worked full time for 2 years as an MA and very slowly started my bachelor's program - I should have been applying to PA this year ). However, it may be worth it to get that experience! Being an MA was/is extremely rewarding You got this! Wishing you the best!
  9. Oh wow, thank you so much! I've heard of imposter syndrome before (and relate VERY hard since I was young). I think it's crazy (in a good way) that just from me posting what I posted, you suggested imposter phenomenon. I googled it and there are so many articles relating it to the PA profession - I'm shocked but after reading up on it I completely get it. I've always been told I'm "underselling myself", so hearing it from a stranger really solidified it (I have a tendency to believe those around me are just saying it to make me feel better). I will definitely continue to look further into this and work on gaining more self-confidence when it comes to my studies. Definitely a huge goal of mine before starting PA school. You really helped a lot, thank you, much appreciated! P.S: I like the quote!
  10. Thank you for this! That’s exactly how I was feeling. Out of all the prerequisites A&P is the one I definitely have the most genuine understanding of the topics. However, I feel like the finite details of the topics are what I’m just sort of memorizing for the sake of exams, I worry that might hold me back compared to others. Now chemistry is a completely different story..... (lol) but A&P I feel confident in the general topics/basics. For example, I’m currently learning the cardiac system in A&P 2. Anatomy of the heart I got, details of the EKG I got, basics of the wigger’s diagram I got, but then our professor relates it back to neurophysiology unit from last semester and I blank on which ions are moving in and out of the cell.... Sorry... I’m rambling & I feel like I’m over thinking things and letting my anxiety/imposter syndrome take over as I’m studying for an exam/doing PA school research! Lol! Thank you for your reply, I appreciate it a lot!! :)
  11. Hello! I'm currently in my undergrad program taking my prerequisites for PA school. I plan on graduating in the Spring of 2023 and applying for PA school that same year. As I begin my PA school research, I keep having self-doubts on my ability to learn the content in PA school, which questions my ability to "make it" as a PA. While I am doing well in my undergrad/prerequisite courses, I fear I am not genuinely learning the information - just merely memorizing and doing well on exams. My question is: Will I/How badly will I struggle in PA school if I don't remember/didn't efficiently learn the coursework from prerequisites like Biology/A&P/Chemistry? I do not fear applying for PA school/getting accepted (aware that it may not happen the first time I apply), but my current GPA is 3.8 and I've been working full-time as a medical assistant for 3 years (plenty of PCE, HCE & shadowing). However, I fear getting into PA school and having the feeling of "what did I get myself into". I've had PAs that I work for all tell me that I can do it, but I keep having this lingering self-doubt that my ADHD brain and I will not be able to grasps concepts like others will due to my lack of deep understanding during prerequisites (and just having recently been diagnosed with ADHD & still learning what medication works best for me). Is this feeling normal? Thank you to whoever can give me some honest insight!
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