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MassPA-C

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  1. New grad here- have been working a grand total of two weeks. Large, urban, academic medical center in the ED with a committment to teaching (i.e. this is something the institution is known for). I present every patient to an attending as does all of the PAs and residents. Depending on where you are with your knowledge there is more hand holding and order suggestions. We rotate through all the areas of the ED eventually (we learn to take care of level 1-2s last) but see a variety of patient presentations every day. I really wanted my first job to be at a place where I would see a variety of complaints but would people around who were used to teaching and willing to teach. That said every attending is different but so far I have am more comfortable with having a safety net and lots of people to learn from. This is the job I interviewed for- I had other opportunities with more autonomy but I feel like I can get that at any point in my career. I should add that while I do present every patient to an attending I am often running info by consultants, pharmacy, PT, case management, residents, who ever can answer the questions. We regularly page patients PCP's and specialists in the ED and send FYI emails to let them know the patient was seen. Sometimes the info you really need isn't from your attending. I had a pts PCP come down to see them in the ED because they were confused and based on our brief phone conversation she couldnt determine if the pt was at baseline or worse. Turns out pt was at baseline so we cancelled our work-up and sent them back to the nursing home with reasurrance and saved the tax payers a 15k + workup for no reason.
  2. I had a hard time getting any chicago rotations. I do have a friend who was able to get one at Rush in surgery. I do think you will have a hard time as the hospitals with PA programs wont usually accept students from outside programs. (I had worked at Northwestern in EM for 3 years and their PA school wouldnt let me do a rotation). I ended up doing my EM rotation at Hopkins and am now working in EM at Mass Gen. My best advice is if you are interested in EM see if you can get a rotation at an academic medical center (and if you get electives do another one in a community ED). My experience was night and day different between the community ED and Hopkins. I had a job offer from a community ED and realized it wasnt for me- I did not want to work urgent care for the rest of my life and I am not cut out to see children.
  3. Depends on the state you want to practice in. Many require you to submit all of your materials together including your PANCE score report. I applied for mine in mass about a week after passing my PANCE. It took them 5 weeks to approve it and get my license. Some states allow you to submit everything before and just wait on your PANCE score to finalize. I would looking into the requirements for the state you plan to practice in and follow accordingly.
  4. Wilsocam- I can only speak to my interview three years ago but my interviewers had my complete CASPA application with my essay on top. It was clear they had reviewed the essay and my application before the interview. I was asked very, very specific questions that would only apply to my application so that is why I said different applicants get asked different questions. Wake is a program where you really need to be a good fit. Problem based learning is not for everyone so they do everything they can to make sure you are a good fit which includes looking at your application and supplemental essays carefully. They have a great idea of who you are when you walk through the door :) Wipanc- this is an interesting question of which I am not sure of the offical answer. I am sure the program would tell you that they look at everyone equally. However, human nature is that you will remember the people you just met/interviewed so I would assume they will have a slightly higher chance. I think that once they have accepted the applicants who stood out to them from each interview group (which is really what happens every interview group) that everyone else has an equal chance of being looking at again at the end. I know a few students from my class who got accepted from the waitlist 2 weeks before the program started and a few who interviewed with me in Nov but did not get accepted until Feb when all the interviews had been finished. Again as a disclaimer I am in no way involved with the addmissions process I have only my personal experience and second hand knowledge from my classmates.
  5. I had a friend accepted today as well! Congrats to all the new soon to be Wake PAs! @ Emilycolli- in terms of interview questions, every interview is different. Different applicants get asked different questions. To give specifics would be akin to violating the honor code at Wake. My year they interviewed 160 of us for th 64 spots. I believe they have upped that number because of the other campus but to be honest I am not sure how it is being handled. I would assume the numbers would hold true though- they will interview around 200 people for the 90(ish) spots so once you get an interview you have about a 50/50 chance. Congrats again to the class of 2017!
  6. I spent quite a few years in quality improvement and health outcomes research before PA school. So these are a few things that I would want more information on if I was peer-reviewing this for a journal. Perhaps the the full-text article will explain as this is just an NP's interpretation of the article written by two other researchers. 1- It appears that they are looking at state level data from different years and in many cases over vastly different time periods. I would be interested in how/why they choose this approach and how the are controlling for the differences. 2-how are they defining "avoidable hospitalizations"? 3- 30 day readmission rates for same or different problem? 4- they talk about statistically improved outcomes for the 17 states that have full practice but do not explain what the other 33 states without full practice are (i.e. was there a statistical difference between the reduced practice and the full practice or vs. the restrictive practice) On the first page they define the groups into those three categories but only present data on the full vs the other two lumped together leading me to believe their was no statistical difference unless they did this. Mean the difference are small and the data has been somewhat creatively analyzed to get it to present what it says (not that researchers don't do that) BUT usually a table with Full vs Reduced and Full vs restrictive and reduced vs restrictive should be included for the sake of transparency (which it seems might be included in the full text article). Finally their "n's" are low because this is state level data, it is hard to infer much from such low n's, especially given the size difference in the two groups. Again, I would be interested to read the full-text article when it is published as it may answer some of these questions. Agree that we need to do some of our own research but one problem with that is that few PA's have research backgrounds. I know I was one of two in my program who had done serious research (NIH level) and published before PA school. Most PA schools are looking for the EMT, paramedic, etc with other patient care experience (how many times on here have I seen people arguing that research should not be considered for direct patient care). As a newly minted PA who is working in EM (I worked in EM before PA school in research) I am excited to practice but also to force my way into research in the department. When I was interviewing, I kept hearing "well we are open to PA's doing research we just never have had anyone want to do it". So in some ways I think letting a few of us research folk in the door will benefit the whole profession in the long run.
  7. ugh. the dreaded "no new grads" response. It is worse when they say they will consider new grads, interview you, and then tell you they went with somone with more experience... Which happened to me a lot! But have no fear you will find a job! It might take you a while (and you will have a much better chance of interviews once you can click that you have a license on the online apps) but it will happen. I did not stay in the area I went to PA school, if I had I would have had a job no problem (I had many offers during my rotations) and many of my friends did stay in the area and easily found jobs. I would say for those of us who moved it took us all about 3-4 months to find a job and then add in the 6-8 weeks for credentialing before a start date. I eventually found a job in EM (which was my 1st choice), making great money, 2 subway stops from my house- so you can have it all you just have to keep looking (and be prepared to live for 3-6 months after graduation without an income)!
  8. I think it depends on your job. I work 4 - 10's for my regular job and between 2-3 per diem shifts per month. I don't have kids (yet) and my husband works 80+ hrs per week so I am home much more than he is- we decided to spend a year or two out of school working as much as we felt able to pay off bills and loans. We still live in a very expensive city so those extra shifts allow me to pay off loans a little faster/save for a down payment.
  9. I will chime in on the question of rotations as well (I just graduated). WIPANC is correct on the 5 local/1 at the medical center with lots of rotations throughout the state. We also had to do 1 rotation in an underserved area (which may have changed?) but much of NC counts as "underserved". I am from Chicago originally and really wanted to do rotations back home which for a variety of reasons did not work out (not Wake's fault). I requested that as many of my rotations be in Winston as my husband was there and did not want to spend many rotations away from him. Wake will try to make this happen for people who are married or have kids but it is not promised. I ended up with 2.5 rotations at the Medical Center (my peds rotation was spend 1/2 inpatient at the medical center and 1/2 outpatient), 5.5 rotations in Winston area (which is a pretty big area but within a 30 min drive of my house), 2 rotations in Greensboro which was a town over and about an hr drive each way, and 1 rotation in Maryland for which I had signed up. Overall, my experience with rotations was fabulous! I had great preceptors and it ended up being a good thing that I didnt have Chicago rotations as we are now living in Boston :) On the housing issue there is free housing for many NC sites that are more rural- but if you plan to go out of state (many of my classmates went to Hawaii or Bolivia) you will need to have your own housing. If you want to come to Boston I will be here but I wont let you guys sleep on my couch! :)
  10. I am a type 1 diabetic with hypoglycemia unawareness so I test frequently and eat a small meal or snack every two-three hours. I have a few other autoimmune issues as well so I take three pills a day at weird times with/without food and average 2-3 appointments every 3 months. All of this was managed pretty easily by my program. I was very upfront about my needs and had many doctors notes to back them up. Clinical year was actually easier for me as there were only 1 or two rotations where grabbing a granola bar or apple in between patients was not feasible. I told every preceptor (as required by my program but would have anyways) that I was diabetic and everyone was great. For me diabetes is covered under the ADA so they are required to make reasonable accomodations. I second that your program should want you to succeed. I would argue that having to deal with medical issues will make you a better PA as you can relate to your patients better.
  11. So it is doable- I have a research background (dropped out of my phd program though) and was able to get bare minimum direct patient care hours (I think I had 1200 total) and get into five schools, do well, graduate, and get a job in EM at a top five hospital. There are schools who will value your research background and see it as a plus and not push for the direct patient care but you will have to seek them out. One thing to consider is that by becoming a PA there is very little NIH level research going on that involves PA's. You will have to be willing to leave it behind so to speak and focus on being a PA for now. I do think things will change as more people with research backgrounds prior to PA school enter the PA profession but from my own standpoint I know I am often met with a incredulous "you've submitted IRB's/NIH grants/Published papers/presented at national conferences (other than PA oriented ones obviously)?" and then a comment like "well we are open to that but we have never had a PA interested before". I am excited to pave the way for the research interested PA's and show that PA's can handle research as well. PM if you want a list of the places I applied.
  12. I did most of my pre-reqs at the city colleges in chicago and got into five schools (northwestern and rush included, declined interview at rosalind) so you should be good there. Good Luck!
  13. I would also check with the schools you are planning to apply to and make sure that a baby cuddler counts as direct patient care. Most schools will want to see paid hours so also consider what the others above have mentioned.
  14. I think you will need ochem to take biochem (at least I did everywhere I looked) but I am sure there are a few places that don't require either. That being said, you say you science gpa is a 2.8 in another thread- if you are having that hard of a time with ochem you may need to think long and hard about PA school or at least consider taking a few more sciences class to get your gpa up a bit. Not saying this to be negative but just realistic.
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