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Everything posted by greenmood

  1. Apply. When you are interviewed, go through the entire day and get a sense for the fit. If you're reasonably sure they are going to offer you the job, tell them about the pregnancy in a matter-of-fact way. "I'm so excited about this opportunity, and can't wait to work with all of you. In the interest of full disclosure, I am expecting a baby in _____ this year. I am very hopeful that won't affect your desire to work with me, since I am completely dedicated to this specialty and becoming an asset to your team." I'm not a fan of excusing pregnancy or acting like it's some sort of giant inconvenience, but we all know some employers see it that way. TBH, it's not actually your "dream job" if they treat female employees like crap over pregnancy, so you're better off finding that out.
  2. You can do both, you know. I'm on PSLF but pay buttloads of extra money towards debt every single month. I should be done with all of our household debt (mine + his) in five years. PSLF is my backup. If something happens and I get off track with extra payments, I can still pay the minimum every month and might have something to forgive in 7 years. There is no rule with PSLF that you can only pay the minimum. If you're smart you'll forget about buying a home until you're debt-free. When you own your house, you have to maintain it and that costs a lot of (often unexpected) money.
  3. The only thing that stops my calling bullshit on this offer is the 8 hour days. My math says that's only 1456 hours per year. If that includes no call and no nights, ehhh.... I work 12s with weekends and nights and have good PTO/CME; even if I took all of it every year I would still be at something like 1800 hours for the year. You should definitely counter asking for more money. With your experience that number is crazy. I'd also ask for maybe two weeks of PTO. You would have to ask specifically how that would work with the structure of your schedule - if there is only one person working your opposite schedule, bad feelings can develop quickly when you take PTO.
  4. Might have to follow the link to find out. Kind of weird that you have to pay for this. And $200 is pretty steep. But I guess if there is the demand...
  5. Since you're the first PA they are considering hiring, you might have to do a little education on your own value. That includes throwing out the first offer. I'd take it as a good sign. If you can back up your requests it sounds like they might give you what you're asking for. Good luck!
  6. Big academic center. One a week is probably a little ambitious. Maybe 2 a month. We'll go a couple weeks without and then have two in a day. I can't predict it. I'd say about half have either MEN or VHL and have been under surveillance here but we also get a lot of referrals with no family history.
  7. About a week. I remember having to wait seven days or something. Basically everyone in my class took it the same day at a huge testing center downtown. It was actually kinda fun.
  8. I work in subspecialty surgery. I think we average about a pheo per week here. I'm not involved prior to surgery but I typically see them diagnosed one of two ways. 1) Patient arrives with suggestive symptoms and gets a workup (urine metanephrines and catecholamines), which if positive leads to a diagnostic MRI or PET or 2) Mass is discovered incidentally and workup proceeds from there. Some of the incidental pheos we see are missed diagnostic opportunities (resistant hypertension in young, compliant patients) but most are asymptomatic. To answer the question about referral - you want this patient seen by an endocrinologist with some experience. Once diagnosis is confirmed the patient needs to be on an alpha and beta blockade prior to surgery. We sometimes admit these patients the night before for fluids so they don't go into surgery dry.
  9. I think rev's point stands no matter where you work NOW. Walkoffshot, just pay off the loans. Keep a little for a rainy day. You're delaying the house by a negligible timeframe.
  10. Don't do this. Please. You are going to get yourself into a world of hurt. It sounds illegal - you are signing your name to documentation on a patient you never saw! Think about this. How are you going to back it up in court? You weren't even an employee when some of these patients were seen.
  11. I'd request a deferral. If they refuse to grant one, you'll have to do some soul searching. As I (and others) have written elsewhere this is not the end of the world and is certainly possible to do, but it's not ideal. We all want to assume we're going to have easy pregnancies, healthy babies, and be back bouncing around five days post-partum, but that doesn't happen for everyone unfortunately.
  12. We're transitioning to EPIC next year and I'm excited. My hospital currently uses a horrifying mish-mash of proprietary EMR systems that requires clicking through (sometimes) three separate programs to do what you want. The transition is going to be agonizing (I've been through it before) but I think it will make things better when we come out on the other side.
  13. In order to know how much to responsibly borrow, you need to make a REAL budget (versus the imaginary one most people create and then don't stick to). I'd start by looking at every single purchase you've made in the last two months (just look at your credit card statements, not too difficult) and learn what you truly spend each month on food, gas, entertainment, bills, rent, etc. You might be surprised. Or not. But you'll know where you can make cuts. It's very possible to live off student loans during PA school. A combo of subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford loans, and then Grad Plus loans, is what most people end up maxing out on. If you've already been accepted, the financial aid office at your school should be able to help you figure out how much money you can borrow. Call them. Then use something like unbury.us to figure out how long it will take you to pay everything off.
  14. Agreed. I have bonkers in student loans, but I have perfect credit, got a 0% interest new car loan when I was two months into my first job, and had no problem getting a ridiculous mortgage solo a couple months after that. You know when my credit did actually dip? When I paid off (and then cancelled) a bunch of store credit cards after I took Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace class. But now it's perfect again. To answer the earlier question about loans affecting your ability to make free financial decisions in the future, OF COURSE THEY DO. Absurd question. That kind of debt impacts every financial decision you make.
  15. I understand your panic. You will feel much better once you have a plan. There is lots of good advice here. I'm about 180K in the hole. I signed up for PSLF as my "backup" and am aggressively paying down debt after spending several months binge-listening to Dave Ramsey. I don't agree with everything he says, but by God he makes you believe you can do this shit. Make a plan, and get started. Even if it changes NOTHING about your current situation, you will stop having panic attacks every three months.
  16. If you're talking about the Public Service Loan Forgiveness, the monthly payment amount will be based on your income and degree of financial hardship.
  17. I really think you should stick it out. There are so many possibilities for a licensed PA right now, and you haven't given yourself the chance to explore them yet. I will say though - your attitude will determine, in large part, how much you enjoy the rest of your schooling and the first few years of your career. Sometimes it sucks, sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes you're inspired, sometimes you're not. You can spend the next year cultivating the mental and spiritual fortitude to weather the crappy parts.
  18. Haha, I would not say that. That's too much debt. It's a hard lesson to learn when you're 30. I don't even recall blinking once about taking on more and more student loans when I was in college though. There was this attitude that college would be worth it, but that really only pans out if you're smart about borrowing and get your degree in something useful..
  19. I am also doing the public service loan forgiveness, like delco714. Just make a plan and be realistic. Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  20. I'm really wary of sharing too much here, but here goes. If you have any specific questions I'm happy to answer through PM if you think it will help you. We currently owe $293,000 in student loan debt. I won't go into the gory details but we both attended state schools (myself on a partial scholarship) for undergrad and worked during school with no financial support from our parents. We both returned for masters degrees in our chosen fields several years after graduating. We are in our early thirties. We have a car payment. We have a house payment. We have a medically complex baby. We could (should) have waited to buy the house. We could (should) have bought a used car. I regret nothing about the baby. I make a very good salary for a PA two years out of school (115K). My husband works in a lower income field. We started taking Financial Peace classes, and my new (kinda harsh) friend Dave Ramsey says I should be able to pay off a good chunk of those loans in the next five years. If I had deferred the house and purchased a used car we would be in even better shape since we live in a very low cost of living area of the country. EDIT December 2019: Four years later. I get a lot of private messages about this post. Please keep them coming. I'm happy to chat with anyone who feels like they're drowning or just needs a little advice from someone with a large debt burden and the benefit of time/experience.
  21. I'm two years out from school. When I was looking for jobs I would have been at a serious disadvantage without the Masters. I know there are a lot of places out there that will take a PA without one, but I don't see the sense in restricting yourself from the get-go if you can help it.
  22. Length of mentoring should be specialty-dependent, in my opinion, and should be tailored to the needs of the new employee. Not everyone needs the same amount of mentoring. Not knowing anything but what you've said, I would ask for six months of work at the "training" site before beginning at the solo site. And you should have a very clear schedule for exactly when your mentors will visit this solo site. "1-2 hours of a 12 hours shift" will suddenly become 45 minutes, then a phone call, then nothing. And your comfort level should be the deciding factor for when mentoring eases off, not a specific timeframe.
  23. One thing to add: although WF stands for Withdrawn Failing and may count as an F on your GPA calculation, people can get these on their transcripts just by withdrawing after the add/drop period ends. That's why you need to think carefully about dropping a class after the add/drop period. Although you might be passing and have an excellent reason to drop the course at that point in the semester, that won't be apparent to a graduate school unless you specifically explain it. :)
  24. I actually thought a couple of the answers were decent. I'm not sure we're ever going to get the public to regurgitate the whole truth of our profession. Heck, I bet if you asked people "what does a doctor do" most of them would say "takes care of sick people". I'd be happy if someone answered "what does a PA do?" with "takes care of sick people."
  25. The only person who has a choice between PA and NP is a nurse. Most of us were not nurses, nor did we want to be nurses.
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