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  1. Hey guys, Just happened by this thread thought I'd help out if I could :). Was in the class of 2015. Make sure you're calling the PA program office to find out info, not the general admissions office. I believe Kim Williams is still the main contact there. Don't worry about the short article too much. I think there was a short quiz on it during interview day, but I never saw or heard of it again after that. I'm pretty sure no one ever looked at it. The Medical Terminology course requirement is.... a little bit of a joke. If you haven't completed it yet, please don't go signing up for a college level course. Just google "ExpertRating Medical Terminology" and complete that one, which is how I did it (unfortunately I'm on a computer with disabled copy/paste function for a link). You can skip to the end and take the test for the certificate, multiple attempts allowed. 100 bucks and 20 minutes saves you a big headache.
  2. @sas5814 Sorry the quote function isn't working for me, but your last paragraph describes a "Hammer Clause" in a malpractice policy. They're becoming very common.
  3. I'm not completely sure, but I think 2000 hours of tox experience (in this case, remote consulting), and passing the C-SPI exam. Don't quote me, there's probably more to it. Keep in mind that (at least at this PCC) they employ people first with the background degree, then train for 2+ years before pushing you towards certification.
  4. Hey all, Currently a EM-PA resident at U of Iowa (click here for my ongoing thread on that) and doing a rotation at the state poison control center in Sioux City. Besides having a blast learning from the experts in the wild world of tox, the director and I have been talking about then possibly employing PAs in the poison control center as Specialists in Poison Information (SPIs). I just wanted to get a quick gauge of interest in this type of job. Basically, you function as a remote consultant to hospitals and the public that call in needing help with tox/overdose/envenomation cases, and get pretty specialized knowledge in toxicology that puts you light-years ahead of just about anyone else in the medical community. Currently there's not really a clinical aspect. The governing body, American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC), has recently written new policy enabling PAs to become certified specialists (C-SPIs), along with RNs, PharmDs, and MD/DOs. The Iowa Poison Control Center currently employs PharmDs, a board-certified toxicologist (MD), and many RNs with this certification, and they're interested in broadening their approach to staffing. The general progression is you get hired, then work (supervised) for ~2 years as a SPI, and then become certified (C-SPI) which the center helps facilitate. I believe there's one further certification from the American Board of Applied Toxicology, after which you can call yourself a Clinical Toxicologist. Now, it may seem a little odd that there's one certification for different provider levels. But as the world of tox is pretty small, I don't think it made administrative sense to stratify certifications even more than they are. However, from what I've gathered, the compensation and benefits do track significantly with your background degree. Anyway, just trying to gauge interest in the idea. To be clear, this is not a job posting, and I don't have any details of what this kind of job pays. If you're really interested, PM me and I can point you in the right direction.
  5. Looks like its time for the quarterly update! Thanks for the questions guys. Post got too big so now it's split up.
  6. Updated, thanks! Sorry it's been so long between updates, sometimes residency kicks your butt ;).
  7. (Continued from above...) Did faculty or previous residents share how much of a pay bump completing the residency will provide as compared to a new grad starting salary? I have not done any official research into this area, although I'm considering doing a formal survey of grads from different programs at some point. The general feeling I've gained through talking with grads is that the residency is worth significant negotiating leverage. Meaning, depending on your preference, it could could translate as opportunities opening into competitive areas (e.g., Colorado), more pay, or other big contract perks. If you really want numbers, I'd say the residency is worth at least $20k more per year on a contract with all other factors being equal; more likely closer to $30k. But these are not hard numbers and I have no great evidence, so don't quote me. I'll freely share my own numbers after I sign a contract. Did you do any rotations in anesthesia for airway skills? I would say this is one deficient area with this program, depending your love for intubations. There is no anesthesia rotation in the curriculum. One of our PA residents really pushed for an anesthesiology rotation (as the MD/DOs do) as an elective but wasn't able to make it happen due to administration. I don't know specifics but I'll look into it and update when I can. I wanted to ask how are you still liking UIHC? Particularly your opinion of the off-service rotations. Do you have a hospitalist rotation with FM or IM? The off-service rotations in the current curriculum are EKG/ultrasound/radiology, burn, ortho trauma, surgical / neuro ICU, and general surgery trauma. I'm done with everything but SNICU currently. There are no FM or IM blocks... although I think I'm glad for that. I see the off-service rotations as learning opportunities in specific areas as they relate to emergency medicine, and I feel like IM/FM isn't specific or acute enough to be of huge benefit. Burn is short and sweet (currently 2 weeks); UIHC is a burn center, so you see a good amount of burns of varying thickness and TBSA and usually a few cases of necrotizing fasciitis. Ortho trauma is pretty tame (also 2 weeks), you work in clinics and see follow up appointments to bony trauma and also respond to ED ortho trauma when able and do some splinting. I thought it was good to know what to look for for ppl that present to ED with re-injury of a limb or problems with casts. Gen-surg trauma can be a great experience but it can also be a bear. Your primary responsibility (along with other interns and a senior) is to respond to trauma alerts in the ED, do rapid trauma assessments, assess C-spine, FAST exams, etc. This part is great experience. Your secondary responsibility is to round on trauma inpatients, develop plans, verify orders, respond to nurse's requests from the floor.... in short, inpatient medicine. Whether this part is your bag or not, is completely a personal preference. But it's not mine. These can be very long hours too. Over my 4 weeks of gen-surg trauma I averaged 75-80 hours a week, and was scrambling most of those hours. EKG/ultrasound/radiology is a tame month that's mostly self-directed. Show up to the ED, ultrasound whatever patients seem interesting. Self-study an online radiology course that's actually pretty well-designed. Then 12-day crash course in emergent EKG reading by a pretty well-respected cardiologist (who also overreads ED EKGs in daytime hours). I'll update with a SNICU rundown when I get through that block. What electives are you choosing? I chose the Wilderness Medicine elective, which was 4 weeks of didactic and practical survival skills training, plus a trip to Colorado to go rock-climbing, hiking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing (with LOTS of rescue scenarios thrown in). Later on this year I'll be doing a Toxicology elective and spending 2 weeks in Sioux City at the state poison control center. Also will be doing 2 weeks in advanced ultrasound techniques. Do they let the PA residents run codes, traumas, and pick up the level 1/critically ill patients, or are those patients eaten up by the senior residents? The policy of "your patient, your procedure" holds true for codes; that said, as a beginning intern (1st year) you'll probably have staff directing any codes. Once you get confidence in handling them, there's no issue with you directing the code (with staff observing). In no case does a code automatically go to a senior, although I would caution against jumping in over your head without backup nearby. Critically ill patients are all yours. Just be careful about taking on too many at once (learned the hard way). The one exception to all this is traumas; you can't be primary on a trauma until out of intern year, which for us means the last 6 months of residency. This is because they want you to go through the gen-surg trauma block before taking on traumas from the ED side of things, which I feel is reasonable. However, this doesn't mean you can't help out and learn; you just won't be head-of-bed or managing airway (although I did once as an intern when the senior was busy, don't tell anyone).
  8. Hey all, As there seems to be a lot of growing interest in EM PA residencies across the country, I just thought I'd start this to (hopefully) offer answers to any burning questions you guys have about EM residency in general or at Iowa in particular. Ask away! I'll edit this initial post to include all Q&A to make it easier on the reader. Who I am: Year-1 EM PA resident at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (UIHC); Graduated from South University - Tampa C/O 2015; formerly trained as EMT, paramedic. ***Obligatory disclaimer: I do not represent UIHC, nor the EM PA residency program there, nor any other part of the institution of the University of Iowa in any other capacity than as a resident learner and medical provider in the Emergency Treatment Center. All answers are based on my current knowledge, personal opinion, and/or cited references.*** Why did you choose this particular program? There's lots to love about the residency experience here: PAs are on equal footing with medical residents, the "your patient, your procedure" policy, high availability of attending faculty during your shifts, the well-organized administration, variety of electives (and option to create your own)... there's much more. However, far and away the thing that impressed me the most was the amazing faculty. It was apparent from my interview day onward... Easygoing, personable, humble, reasonable people; only ever as serious as they need to be; will often go out of their way to drop some knowledge on you. They inspire respect not out of fear or intimidation, but by their scope of knowledge and willingness to teach. Large egos are not in fashion here. Everyone is known by their first name or nickname. Since I've started, I realized this mentality has trickled down to the R2s and R3s as well; everyone is willing to help out. Other than that, moving to a small Midwest town has always been on my bucket list for some reason. Iowa City is a great little town too; full of great culture for its size, but small enough that I walk/bike to work every day. I probably couldn't have picked a better time either, with Hawkeyes having had a blowout season and the Iowa Caususes soon, I feel like I'm getting the quintessential Midwest experience. Do you feel you get enough slit lamps, chest tubes, intubations, ect. without having several off service rotations? I know procedures is the big question; personally I feel like I'm off to an adequate start after 3 blocks in the ED, and just now starting to get confidence in picking up patients that need these procedures. Also keep in mind this is (mostly rural) Iowa, and you're not going to see GSWs or similar trauma every night like you would in Baltimore or Philadelphia, although a good amount of MVCs. That said, each resident's mileage will vary; if you're procedure-hungry, you could probably expect to increase your numbers up to about 30% over mine (total guesstimate). So here's some numbers, keeping in mind this is a new PA grad, with 12 weeks in the ED so far, where I was the Primary on the procedure: 4 LPs, 4 paracenteses, 1 chest tube, 1 US-guided central line (fem), 0 intubations, 4 dental blocks, countless peripheral nerve blocks... and i haven't logged slit lamps but i'd say probably 5-6; I could have been doing many more slitlamps if I wanted. There's a dedicated ophtho room with slit-lamp setup here, and if you want to pick up all the ophtho patients for a night I don't think anyone would fight you for it. One thing definitely worth mentioning that often gets overlooked, we have 2 or 3 portable ultrasounds for bedside studies available 24/7, with linear, curvilinear, and cardiac probes attached. If you ever want to play around with ultrasound it's there. We use it all the time for peripheral IVs on tough sticks, checking for abscess/pockets, FAST exams... even some fancy nerve blocks. As cool as it is to poke prod and cut a patient, sometimes I feel that as a PA, the highest-yield learning during this residency won't be the procedures but my proficiency with ultrasound. But again, your mileage may vary. How is housing near the hospital? Housing nearby to the hospital is great, from what I hear. I actually live on the other side of the river in downtown Iowa City (which wouldn't be my first choice for a family) but there are many available houses for rent in the University Heights area that I think would work well for a family (and it's closer to the hospital too). Are they pretty bias about picking Iowa grass or would a person with FM/military medicine experience be given a good shot? I think any great candidate is given a good shot. That being said, Iowa has a fantastic PA program, and most of the residency applicants are graduates from there, so if you look at the numbers it may appear that they're heavily favored. However, I didn't graduate from there and I got in, and I didn't have to beg. Two of the three initial acceptance offers given for the latest class were to out-of-state candidates, one of those being a military-trained PA. So I would say everything considered, there's not a perceptible selection bias. What's your biggest dislike of the program? Honestly, I can't think of anything I dislike that would be particular to this program; I feel that any dislikes would be common to most if not all programs. I really tried to come up with something and I've started writing several different things here but erased them, because they didn't seem like they were real problems. Mostly just annoyances, ones likely to be encountered anywhere, and largely an issue that is outside the program's or ED's control. But if you want to know the ups and downs of something in particular I can try to help. Do you think that NOT being from an EM background hinders someone's chances? Hinders vs a candidate that has an EM background? I have to say yes; at a minimum, an EM background shows a proven interest and ability to handle the particular stresses that come with EM. I wouldn't let that stop me from applying though; I would just go wild on my EM rotations in PA school and do as much as possible there, and make sure to mention it during the interview. What's the hour work week look like - Any time for picking up additional shifts for supplemental income? During your ED blocks (which are the vast majority) you have about 45 hours (5 shifts x 9 hours) of scheduled work hours. However, amount of shifts can vary from week to week. Shift times also vary, from morning to day to overnight. Scheduling for the most part always puts your next shift equal or later in the day than your last, which is helpful. Also, it's rare to always have all documentation done before your shift ends. I'd say I work at least 1 additional hour per shift, often several hours if it's been a rough day. I finish my documentation before shift ends maybe 10% of the time. I will say I'm not the fastest documenter, but in general I would probably my numbers are a safe estimate. UIHC doesn't allow PA residents to pick up ad-hoc shifts as regularly employed PAs, at least last time I checked. I believe working at an outside facility is possible with permission, but don't quote me on that. How's the whole interview process, structure, day like? Similar to PA school. Morning presentations by faculty and administration, a tour of the ED, the resident's lounge and offices. Four or five 10-minute interviews by current faculty, then lunch. I will say one big difference between PA school and residency interviews is it's much more of a two-way interview, with them selling the program to you and you selling yourself as a candidate. I imagine PA school is so competitive that those adcoms don't see the need to do that. Did you apply w/o PANCE scores (or contingent on completing it correct?) Correct. I applied without having taken the PANCE, and even got my offer before I had my scores back. I'm not sure if having scores in-hand (or exceptional scores) is a factor in the selection process, but I'm anecdotal proof that they aren't required. But of course my acceptance was ultimately dependent on passing. (Continued below....)
  9. I defer to your superior experience with Hopkins :D
  10. I can't say I know first-hand, but I interviewed there and was able to talk to the current residents at JH. It was a good-looking program, the ER is recently renovated, and the staff are highly respected/credentialed, and all very much care about academics as well as patient care. However, it's important to note that you will not be at the main JH campus, you'll be at the Bayview campus across town. This means that any major trauma will most likely go to the main campus and you'll never see it. The only thing they mentioned that DOES consistently come to Bayview is burns. So take that for what it's worth. It wasn't my top pick. However, some people may like it more just based on reputation and location. I don't think PA school attended makes an appreciable difference, unless you apply to a program that favors their own students (which shouldn't happen and honestly I haven't really seen). PA school GPA, personal statement, and letters would definitely count for more in my opinion. I absolutely would lot let your choice of program deter you from applying to a particular residency. As far as how hard they are to get into right now, I wouldn't say overly difficult. I'm not sure how many applicants there are total, but programs generally interview 3 to 5 times as many candidates as residency spots. This may seem like not great odds, but remember that candidates often apply to multiple programs, and there's always the possibility they'll change their mind and take a job instead. It gets to be a pretty small group that goes around interviewing to different programs. I ran into the same people at multiple interviews.
  11. Check out this thread, same topic: http://www.physicianassistantforum.com/forums/showthread.php/37174-Please-Help Also see my response there, as I've been accepted to a school for Jan 2013 and I also have had 2 run-ins with the law. If you don't have time to read that, I'll just say this: Everything else about your application will have to be stellar, or else you probably shouldn't waste your time. Even if it is, you'll get rejected from some schools without an interview, just because of your record. Also, don't listen to the above poster. Obviously someone who hasn't made mistakes (good for them), so they don't think it's worth it for a PA program to trust that someone has changed. People can change, and I'm glad we live in a world where if you show that you've made corrections, you can be treated like everyone else.
  12. The school I got in to accepted online certificates for medical terminology (no credit hours). If your school explicitly states that they accept that, you may want to do what I did and get yours from ExpertRating.com. http://www.expertrating.com/certifications/Medical-Terminology-Certification/Medical-Terminology-Certification.asp The quality of the "course" is abysmal, and it was almost certainly created by someone for whom English was not their first language. BUT, after perusing the first lesson, I just skipped to the final exam and got an 80%, passing is a 50%. Questions on the exam are of poor quality also, but hey, $80 and 1 hour after signing up I had an med term online certification. Got my paper certificate in 2 weeks. My school found it satisfactory.
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