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Everything posted by UGoLong

  1. These things happen. I can think of two approaches: 1. Ask your letter writer if his or her letter included anything about specifics as to why they recommended you for the program. It's possible that they combined both letters into one and I would suspect that would be OK. If not, you could ask them to write a second letter discussing why they think you would be a good candidate for the program. 2. Find another reference and have them write a letter of recommendation. 3. If you have "enough" letters of recommendation, don't worry. Best of luck!
  2. I'm all about you doing what makes sense for your career interests. If all you want to do is upgrade your science grades, then just taking the classes makes sense (unless, somehow, it would be less expensive to get the bachelors). If having another bachelors would open other careers to you that you might be interested in regardless of whether or not you become a PA, then that makes sense. I wouldn't spend money on a degree you don't need when you can just take enough classes to improve your average and demonstrate you can hack the work of being in a PA program.
  3. From the language of your post, I'm guessing that you might not be a native English speaker. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that but it may suggest you might benefit from having an English speaker edit your personal statement, cover letter, etc. If you could summarize your grades, healthcare experience, etc, someone here might be able to give your some more input. Your screen name suggests that you are older and might have some other career experiences. Sharing that information might help. From what I've seen, age is not generally a problem (I was more than twice the average age of my class in PA school).
  4. It depends on their cycles. Where I teach, we are just starting to invite the first round of applicants in. Be patient!
  5. It might be time to revisit why you want to be a PA. You might be able to overcome your anxiety, and that would be a good thing, regardless of your career choice. But maybe you could do better by asking yourself what it is that you really want to do with your working life that doesn't involve having to dull your senses to the point where you could tolerate it. There are as many PA jobs as there are PAs. Often our jobs involve dealing with pressure at times and often working with people -- some who are total strangers -- who definitely aren't having their best day. It could be considerably more stressful than being an MA in urgent care. It can be very rewarding but it can also bring out anxiety. I wish you the best whatever you decide to do in life.
  6. I would report the class directly to the school(s) that require it. Once you close your CASPA application, that's the best way I know of. I did the same years ago.
  7. What's the problem you are trying to solve?
  8. Weirdest question I ever heard: "Tell me which body part you would want to be and why." Now, obviously, not a serious question but just an attempt to see how you react in an unscripted moment, many of which you'll face in medicine. My advice: Just pick a body part you admire and go with it. Like: "I would be a kidney because it purifies the blood, helps control blood pressure, uses some cool chemistry, and it does it all without being flashy." That's not what I said -- I was another interviewer. Some applicant picked a testicle and then couldn't follow that up with a good "why." After fumbling around for a minute or two, he moved on the the ear!
  9. Perfect opportunity to tell me about yourself. It's a cocktail party question and all of us should be able to say something. I think part of the problem is that some people think too much about being judged by every word you say. You need to learn how to turn that fear off.
  10. This above is really good advice for anyone in your shoes. Life changes you; early exposure to a prospective career becomes key to avoid at least some of the reworks we do with our careers over a lifetime. When we lack some experience (at any age), we tend to build models of what our lives would be like if we do X, but we really can't be sure. If your life is anything like mine, sometimes you ultimately find that the reality is not quite the same as the dream you had at 13. While we can never be sure, we owe it to ourselves to do some legwork early on. Reading your story, I am amazed with your progress in life. Very cool! At the same time, some of the life choices you are considering could really affect your plans. Buying a house could cut off some options (and having options seems to make life go smoother) by tying you down to a particular place at a time when you might want to be more open to change. While it may sound cold-blooded, so does getting married to someone who may be transferred at the whim of the government, unless you are both willing to be separated while you go to school. I went to PA school with a woman from Alaska, a guy from Colorado, and another woman from North Dakota. I'll bet they were glad to have had some freedom when they were applying to schools. Good luck!
  11. I don't see a universally right answer to your question. From what I've seen, a large number of applicants do post-bacs and at a variety of schools ranging from community colleges on up. There is a certain "overhead" associated with getting a masters degree. You usually have to take additional classes that don't necessarily help you in applying to a PA program and it can be more costly than a targeted post-bac. You've already started to follow a career path that you later changed (not a criticism: lots of people do that), so you probably would like to be as efficient as you can this time -- in both time and money -- in case your interests change again. The question I would ask is, is there a masters out there that would help you down the road in a job you think that you would enjoy, whether or not you ever become a PA? If there is, then I would consider going that route. If not, I would just take the classes that you need. I'm not sure if this applies to you, but enrolling to take isolated classes as an adult student can have its advantages. As an adult student, I was able to just take the courses I wanted to without having to take the college's recommended prerequisites for each course. As an adult, I was responsible if I took too big a bite and failed a class. (Heck, as an adult you're responsible for all the consequences of your actions anyway!) That didn't happen and it saved me time. Good luck!
  12. A bit low on the GRE but the rest looks good. You did well in the masters program which most applicants don't have and you have a good bit of PCT time. Assuming your LORs and personal statements are good, I would expect you to get some interviews. Good luck!
  13. Changing careers is doable and hopefully you have enough experience with PAs to understand something of the profession. As someone who moved from engineering to medicine, that are many transferable skills. I would recommend finding a local PA program and arranging for an informal visit. While programs have different requirements, starting from somewhere might be easier and a few hours might clear your mind for what might follow. Many schools have expiration dates on some of their prerequisites, so you will likely have to retake (or maybe take for the first time) some classes. Another plus of that is that you kind of get back in t he saddle as a student and demonstrate you haven't lost a step. Schools have different requirements for patient care experience. While your professional life until now is healthcare experience, that's different from actually caring for patients. You might give that some thought as well. Best wishes!
  14. I think many people change careers throughout their lives as their perspectives and situations change. Not to mention the inexorable changes in the outside world. There is sometimes a tendency to be bitter about it, or to judge oneself on the basis of one's year-over-year income change. I hope you don't do that but instead are motivated by trying something new. You have supported your family, saved lives, and experienced a lot. Perhaps it would be best to just be happy that you got to here and that you have decided to make some changes for the next stage of your life. My best wishes as you move on. As to the career you left, it will be in the hands of the next generation and the continuing winds of change that come from all directions.
  15. First of all, it looks like you've done your research. And good luck! My recommendation is based on the fact that we all change our minds. I would recommend getting a BS in something that you're interested in and could lead to a job you would like even if you don't become a PA (like you decide later that it's not for you, etc). A degree is an investment and I like the approach of keeping your options open while you fulfill your requirements for PA school application.
  16. You sound like a guy in my PA class. He too was a science teacher who went on to become a PA. He was an excellent student and I believe he is now in primary care in Iowa. Making career changes at a low point is not uncommon. Try not to feel rushed but maybe a bit encouraged by setting out on a new path. As the last poster noted, spend some time shadowing PAs; there are a great many different practice environments and probably no two shadowing experiences will be exactly the same. You will need some patient care experience and you'll need to fit in time to do that. Another reason not to feel rushed. Not only do the schools want the experience but you, especially at a low point, needs to find out if caring for people on something other than their best day is for you. Another step might be to go speak to the academic coordinator at a local PA program. Not to see if they'll let you in, but to learn what it would be like. Don't worry about your age; I was almost twice your age when I started! Good luck! I hope you too will find that actively -- but not rushing -- a new direction will help your mood. Look for small ways to try new experiences. It can teach you a lot.
  17. This happens. Ask the second school for another date. It's a chance to be professional.
  18. You'll probably come in doing what you've done before and usually that will work. A few pieces of advice: 1. Don't fall behind. 2. "Kit" your enhanced notes so that you'll have something (a "kit") concentrated enough to study from right before an exam. Exams can come like picket fenceposts and there is often not enough time just to pick up your raw class notes and blaze away a few days before the test. 3. If studying in groups works for you, then fine. Always be on the lookout for whether the group is covering more stuff that you do know and not enough what you don't. 4. If you do poorly on an exam, try a different approach. Some classes don't lend themselves to your old approaches. Be willing, for example, to do some hands-on review (good in anatomy), or draw drug family trees, or whatever. 5. Don't try to memorize what is best understood by learning the underlying disease process. Then the treatments will often become more obvious. Good luck!
  19. Rpb, now if you want it. I started taking prereqs when I was 51, though I already had a non-biological BS. I'm assuming that you have either worked with or shadowed some PAs which is a good place to start. Programs seem to like diversity and being older can be a real help with the interpersonal skills needed with patients. In 10 years, you're going to be 10 years older no matter what you do. I would recommend that you be sure that this is what you want to do and give it a shot. Assuming you have a BS, you could take a prereq course of two in community college and see what it feels like (after the shadowing bit). Good luck!
  20. I agree with the Rev. Another thought you should keep in mind: strangers don't know what you know and what you don't. A harried RN is going to ask you questions you may not know the answer to: that goes with the territory. Don't panic; just let them know that you'll check with your preceptor. (I'm assuming that the attending is your preceptor? That wasn't clear to me from your note.) PA students are NOT supposed to be on the own, writing notes without oversight or orders at all (unless countersigned by a provider before submission). If that is not being followed on this rotation, call your clinical coordinator IMMEDIATELY. You will probably feel dumb on each new rotation. Embrace that. You will get better as you go. Good luck. Don't let this rotation turn you off to inpatient medicine!
  21. This is a predicament. It sounds like you have some reasons to go elsewhere so keeping your options open is a reasonable plan. I was in the same boat when I applied but could afford the deposit and so that's what I did. If you can't afford the deposit -- or if even paying it wouldn't keep your options open long enough to get to your other choices -- then it becomes one of those life choices. You could decide that getting accepted by this school wasn't a fluke and that another school you are more interested in might accept you. To me, doing that and missing a year would be better than starting to sub-optimize your life. Or you might feel better being in a program, even if your Spidey sense is that it's the wrong one. There is no wrong answer; just do what seems best for you and live with the consequences. You won't always be right but you will always be you! Good luck!
  22. They can be a crapshoot. I know of a large state university with a well-known medical school that pulled its application for accreditation AFTER its ARC-PA site visit. Not only do the ARC-PA requirements demand certain things of a new program, but they also require support from the institution as a whole. There really isn't much an prospective student applicant can do to find out how the program will do. If something happens and one you're interested in gets accredited, great. Otherwise go with a school that already has at least provisional accreditation.
  23. It can be found in UpToDate "perioperative management of patients on anticoagulants." We generally only bridge for an artificial valve. Otherwise stopping for a few days is not normally of concern. Usually we stop 3-5 days before as using Vitamin K greatly delays getting back to a therapeutic dose.
  24. Being only a few weeks in sounds like he is probably still adapting. Eventually, he might be able to take a day off over a weekend when there isn't a test early the following week. Having things like that to look forward to can help. Also maybe setting aside an hour or so at the end of the day to sit, talk, and share a drink might be nice.
  25. In ten years -- if I'm lucky -- I'll have been married to the same great woman for 63 years, have kids approaching 60, and grandkids in their late 20s. I hope to still be working part-time in clinic and teaching, and still taking January off in a warm climate. I hope to be able to focus on what I can still do and not what I can't any longer. I'll try not to obsess about the future and just look at opportunities as I encounter them, trying to choose what makes me happiest. And remembering that, as you age, no points ever "come off the scoreboard:" the joys you've already had and your old experiences stay with you.
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