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About crystaltide

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    Physician Assistant

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  1. Yeah it will be tiny, but it's enough for us. No interest in kids or a big yard. Sometimes we look at the prices and think there's no way anyone should pay that much for a house, but there's also nowhere (in the US at least) that we would rather live, so here we stay.
  2. I don't know about never being able to buy a house...Living in the city the only thing stopping us from buying a house right now is my $2000/mo student loan payment. San Francisco pays PAs incredibly well compared to other places I've lived, and my partner makes about the same as I do. No family money. Saving for the down payment is the hardest, but we don't have kids so not a big issue to put extra aside for that. Looking to have loans paid off in the next 3-5 years and should realistically be able to buy a 2 bedroom 1 bath here then. That being said, unless you really really really want to live in the city/near the coast, the prices are 100% not worth it.
  3. We do. I cringe at San Fran, but Frisco is a one way ticket back home. Only people allowed to use those are people who were born here, and they're like unicorns now.
  4. In general, it's harder to find a job in a different state from where you went to school. The best place to make connections is on your rotations, and it's way easier to do a rotation in California if you're going to school here. That being said, obviously the negative things you mentioned are for the most part true (aside from the crime thing in my opinion - I've lived in Michigan and Chicago and don't notice crime being worse in California). Reiterating that to say that you may end up taking out more loans/need more savings to go to school in California than you might elsewhere, in order to provide for housing and other cost of living expenses. There are a ton of schools in California, and I work with PAs who have attended pretty much all of them in the Bay area (Touro, Samuel Merritt, Stanford) and I'm somewhat familiar with the Dominican program. The PAs I've worked with from these schools are fantastic. I didn't apply to California schools, but the majority of schools I applied to were out of state. I got interviews at most of them. I wouldn't limit yourself to applying just in geographic location. Good luck! California is incredible and beautiful. I've never regretted my choice to move out here.
  5. Worked in emergency medicine the Central Valley for 6 months, but up in Turlock. It's fine if you're into hot days, meth addicts, and suburbia. Wasn't really my jam so I ended up at an urban hospital closer to home.
  6. Hi Sarahava - I'm not currently working on either, but I'm definitely interested. Feel free to message me.
  7. Anybody else out there in gyn onc? I'm starting a new position and would be interested in any resources others use for studying/CME. What is a typical day like for you guys?
  8. Check out the AAPA salary report. Fairly helpful in estimating salary. If you're in California working as a PA in a specialty, I don't see any way you could take a job for under $100k even as a new grad. As far as nurses' pay, I agree that there are a lot of nurses that get paid more than I do, but that's including overtime and way more hours to be full time than I work. NorCal pays their nurses very, very well, and the traveling nurses even better.
  9. Also unclear if someone has more than one job that provides income. I assume you're asking for the main or full time position here?
  10. It's incredibly difficult to do an entire program with only PBL. My degree is from Northwestern where every week is centered around a new PBL case, and every lecture that week is chosen to supplement the PBL case and help you figure out the pathophys/diagnostics/diagnosis/treatment by the time the end of the week comes around. PBL is great because it teaches you how to learn from cases even after PA school, and Northwestern did a good job of teaching this. For you I would recommend doing more research into individual programs - contact the programs and go to their prospective student days so that you can get a better idea of how integral PBL is to their teaching environment.
  11. As a new grad when I moved from Chicago to California the majority of job openings out here were for private practice ortho surgery, actually. I was invited to interview for several before finding a job in emergency medicine that I preferred. I never got as far as salary negotiations with any of them, so it's unclear what they are willing to pay. From my experience, however, if you aren't working within cities (i.e. SF, LA, or SD), the pay in California is much better than many other areas, and certainly better than Illinois where I came from. I fell in love with California, as well, and will keep my career here for as long as possible, even with the higher tax rates!
  12. I am a new-er grad working for a local group, and I love the experience so far. From my perspective the biggest pros are that the docs are used to working with PAs and that the pay and benefits are great. The biggest cons are the huge emphasis on number of patients seen (private company = more emphasis on profit margins), which can be difficult for new grads. I have heard good things about EMCare and CEP in my area, but the pay is significantly less than the slightly smaller companies.
  13. HarvardX (online) also has a biochemistry course that you can take on edX. I've been going through it to review some topics, and I really like it so far. I believe you can pay to take it for a Verified Certificate, but I'm not sure how taking the course for college credit works on edX.
  14. I'm from the Midwest, went to PA school in Chicago, then moved to the San Francisco Bay area after graduating. I applied to a few positions before leaving Chicago without much luck. Most jobs did want national certification and license in hand, but the licensing in California was incredibly easy - I had that within a month or so of passing the PANCE. I took a few months to find a position partially because my particular area seems to be saturated with NPs (one particular potential employer told me that their VERY LARGE hospital system had a policy that given two applicants, an NP and a PA, with the same background, they were required to interview the NP and offer the position to them, if eligible, before interviewing the PA). As far as tips go, if you know where you want to move, try to get a rotation in a specialty you would want to work at a practice you would like to work now. Make the connections, see if they know anyone interested in hiring. Research the licensing process for that state and prep everything in advance (I submitted my state license application before finishing PA school since CA allows that). Also, if you have zero connections in the area, search all the job sites, look at the hospitals you'd be interested in, but don't be afraid to look outside the box. I got the job I currently have as a new grad because I applied for a different job at the company that required 5 years of experience. And I followed up like crazy. Make phone calls after you apply for jobs. Remind them that you're interested so that they're more likely to remember you. FWIW I am incredibly happy with my decision, and glad I didn't try to stick it out for a few years before moving.
  15. My employer knew I was applying to and admitted to PA school, but I let them know a firm date that I was leaving 1-2 months in advance. My last day was 2 weeks before I started PA school (5 hours away from where I had lived).
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