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About Chica724

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    Physician Assistant
  1. I've done it twice since I graduated in TX, first job in California, then 3rd job in MA. Indeed and lots of Internet searching was useful. I casted a wide net for my first job and applied to any surgical positions that I could find that would accept new grads even if it wasn't the subspeciality that I wanted. Took me about 1.5 months both times to get at least one offer. I would try to lump the interviews depending on when I would be in the state for a few days. It's a pain but definitely doable even as a new grad. Also, I did everything like two months before graduation. Therefore, I graduated, took the pance, moved to CA, and started working in less than 4 weeks.
  2. I agree with EMEDPA and would rather bang it out in a few hours and be done. Even having been specialized for almost 6 years, CME resources was all I needed to pass with flying colors. For those who say that they would rather do a take home exam...umm you still have to take a proctored exam as well if you read the proposed changes. Therefore, it's two exams not just one like it is now!
  3. I don't agree with it either. Not only is it now TWO steps exam wise, but what about the following scenarios regarding this specialty exam that will be required : 1) Someone out of practice for a couple of years when it's time to re-certify, what exam would they take? 2) What if you just changed specialities when you have to re-certify and have not yet been in that specialty? There is usually a lot of on the job learning for subspecialties. (I have been in ortho spine, neurosurg, and now general surgery that also includes surg onc and trauma in my almost 6 years as a PA.) 3) What if you change specialties 1 month after taking that exam? Then it means nothing! 4) As many primary care PAs would tell you, the current exam uses TEXTBOOK info and does not necessarily reflect day to day practice therefore, they sometimes still have to study. How would this apply to the specialty exams? Would it be textbook answers or day to day practice, which VARIES between regions and even between practices! 5) What exam would highly specialized PAs take like I don't know say reproductive endocrinology? Would they take OBGYN, Endocrine? I think it is them trying to push this CAQ as they have continued to try to push on us over and over again. How likely do you guys think it is that this actually becomes the new recert model?
  4. Took me 3 years to pay off $110k. 2 things that helped: 1) being frugal 2)having my dad take out a line of credit at 4.3% for 75K and I paid him back every month a fixed amount of about $2200 something like that over 3 years and I paid the remaining amount on my own on top of that. I also took out an interest free loan from my then bf now husband for like 20k :-P. The 4.3% was wayyy better than the 6.8-8.5% that I had!
  5. This post caught my eye since I too am moving from CA to Boston after 4 years of practice in CA. How has your job been so far? I am also wanting to find out about how long did your license take to get and how long credentialing took at MGH to get as well. I will be submitting my MA license app soon. We will be moving around end of June to beginning of July. So I think I will start to apply in the next few weeks. Oh and just out of curiosity, were you paid for 1) interview expenses to go out there and/or 2) for relocation? When I came from TX to CA, I didn't get any of this, but I am not sure if it varies.
  6. Texas is very PA friendly...esp Houston due to the med center
  7. I am wanting to see how often you guys are on call. I am never on call, but when I start looking for a new job, I want to see how often most PAs are on call. Also, is your call the kind that requires your presence or just answering phone calls? And are you compensated separately for being on call? Also, please mention your specialty. Thanks.
  8. So I have 10k in perkins loans and the way it works for PAs in case someone doesn't know is that you get your loan (interest and all) cancelled over 5 years as long as you work full time for 5 years. I think 15% gets cancelled the first two years, 20% the next two, and 30% for the final year. So I had a question regarding this. I read somewhere that if you stop working for greater than two weeks, you may not be eligible for cancellation of that year. However, say I have a child during one of those 5 years and take 3 months off to care for him or her even though I am technically still employed. What does that mean for cancellation? Does it mean that I have to pay for the entire year? that I have to make payments only during the time that I wasn't physically working? or what? Anyone have any ideas? I tried to look for this info all over the internet and couldn't find it.
  9. One thing to make sure of though is the FMLA laws in you state. I know in California, in order for FMLA to apply to you, you must have been working there for at least a year. Congrats!
  10. So I was lucky in that my parents paid my entire undergrad...so went into PA school with zero debt (no credit card debt, education loans, car loans, nothing.) I went to a private school for PA school and graduated in Dec. 2009 with about 110K in debt with varying interest rates from 5% up to 8.5%. So 10k of that is perkins loan which gets cancelled over 5 years as long as you work full time as a PA for 5 years. So that left me with 100k. I started paying my loans off while being very frugal right after I graduated since I started working right away, but my father was appalled at the 8.5% interest rate that I had for some of my loans and took out a line of credit on his house for 70k at 4.3%. So I paid 70k to the loan companies and now I pay my father $2020 a month for three years (this gets taken out monthly from his bank account.) My last and final loan payment to my father will be in May 2013. I also still had a bit over 7k left by the time we did this with the loan companies. So my boyfriend gave me 7k to pay back to him at of coarse 0% interest and I made the last payment to him this month. So that means I would have paid off a bit more than 100K (due to interest) in 3.5 years after graduating. If I had gone to a public school, I would be debt free already since that would have only cost me about 60k total. I make a bit over 90K a year after bonuses and after taxes only take home a bit over 60k. So the only way to pay my dad $2020 a month is to be frugal. Even while paying my loans off in 3.5 years after graduation with the new 4.3% interest rate, I calculated I will still pay a whopping $14k in interest for all of it in the end. That's enough to buy a car!
  11. I am actually not in Texas anymore. I am in California now and working in Spine since I graduated. However, right after we all graduated it seemd that about 1/3 of our class went into fam. medicine or ER, a couple into ob/gyn, a handful in peds or peds specialty, another handful into med. specialty, and the rest in surgery (which was mostly ortho.) I graduated in 2009 and it seems as though already about 1/3 of the class is at least into their second job and some into 3rd. However, yes working in the med center is a great way to network and many of my classmates got job offers in their rotations even though only a few actually ended up working there.
  12. Ok I see your point a bit better now. I defintely agree that most of the cases you mentioned lacked the use of help when they felt they might have needed it, but it did seem as though some were actually mistakes in diagnosis where they probably thought they were right all along. I know though that as a PA I feel pressured to get patients through clinic without having my SP come in after me. I try as much as possible to avoid this especially since he is a doc who spends a ton of time with patients. So if I have to have him come in, I will sometimes have to wait a while while he finishes with the patient he is with in order to adequately explain what is going on with the patient I want him to see after me; or else he will end up repeating the whole visit and this will put him further behind. It can be difficult to balance self-confidence with knowing when to ask for help.
  13. Datachem was a bit easier than the pance and kaplan was a bit harder. Kaplan was good in that it gave almost all patient scenarios, which is more realistic of the pance.
  14. Average 45 hours a week in ortho-spine; no call. Get paid salary. Work probably only about one weekend day a month for 2 hours or so.
  15. Well I am sure the OP had a huge boost of ego with this post, but we also have to remember that we all have to start somewhere and as we gain experience in a specialty, we will all make mistakes as we learn and grow and simply because we are human. All I have to say is I hope the OP doesn't make students feel stupid for having to learn to get decent at something.
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