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  1. Check with each school before you put in the hours to see if they will accept home health care. Some schools will only accept it if the hours are as a CNA (as opposed to a PCA), and some will not accept home health care hours at all.
  2. Hey there. I'm only getting ready to start PA school this fall. So I have way less experience than you do in this area! But I just joined the AAPA recently, and I remembered seeing something on their site about contract negotiation, sample contracts, etc. They even have a person you can contact for individual help. Here's a copy/paste from the site: For individualized contract negotiation assistance and career advocacy, contact Jennifer Anne Hohman, AAPA’s director of professional advocacy: jhohman@aapa.org. And here's a link that has details on the services they offer: http://www.aapa.org/your_pa_career/interviewing_and_contracts.aspx I (obviously) haven't yet taken advantage of these services. Maybe there are people out there who have who can speak to how effective it is. Anyway, I thought I would at least mention this, in case it will help you. I hope you get the job you want with a good salary and benefits! Congratulations on being done with school. :-)
  3. I think there are a couple folks on this forum who are operating a clinic of their own. I'm not sure of the details, because I merely glanced at that particular thread; I have no desire to be my own boss! I believe there is a sticky thread...and that it is a pain clinic. (?? Someone correct me here if I'm off-base.) If being in charge of your schedule is appealing and med school is not, I don't think being a PA has to be out of the question. There is a PA in our town who has his own office with no doc on site. Granted, the doc's name is on the marquee....but it is the PA whose name is in large letters. The SP lives in a different city and supervises remotely. Who knows how long it took for the relationship to reach the point that the doc was okay for the PA to work alone, though. Maybe someone else out there is in a situation like this one and can comment....
  4. I got several hundred hours of HCE as a CNA working 2nd shift in an assisted living facility. It was hard work, because it was SUPPOSED to be an assisted living facility, but a lot of the residents really should have been in nursing homes. That means they were less mobile than the requirements to be in assisted living, but we didn't have the necessary lifts, etc., to help move them. I quit that job as soon as I got the hours I needed to round out my application, because -- even if your body mechanics are solid -- lifting people who weigh twice what you do does not do wonders for your back. I woke up a couple mornings and could barely move because of the previous night's work moving people. I don't know where you are hoping to be accepted, so I can't say whether the quantity or type of HCE will be suitable for your school. I can say that, while not much of what I did as a CNA was useful as far as how it prepared me to be a PA, what it DID do is show my school that I don't mind getting my hands dirty (...literally, albeit while gloved) and that I'm not gonna be grossed out by bodily fluids (helpful to figure out BEFORE PA school). AND it did the most important thing, which is get me into my top-choice PA school. From what I understand from recent students, you learn all you need to know for PA school while you are actually IN PA school. And as far as other training after graduation, recent grads say that they learned the most pertinent information for their current job within the first 12 to 24 months.
  5. TarheelGirl, I haven't checked this thread in awhile until just now. I hope this info will still be useful. At this point, I cannot remember all the questions I was asked. I remember a few: "Why PA school instead of med school?" "Why MU instead of your alma mater?" (I went to Duke for undergrad, and they have a PA school.) "Strengths/weaknesses?" While there are some questions that will be the same for all applicants, I would assume a good deal of questions are applicant-specific. So you may get some/all/none of these questions. Regardless of the questions you are asked, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of being genuine, making eye contact, smiling, answering concisely (they will ask you for more information if they want elaboration), and being professional. I applied for last year's class as well and did not get accepted. I BOMBED the interview....You talk about wanting to shrivel up and die in a corner somewhere...Ugh. Pretty much whatever you could do wrong, I did it. I experienced some serious self-loathing after that interview. In addition to doing poorly with eye contact and not smiling enough (or at all, because I was terrified at the interview), I responded to some questions with "canned" answers instead of answers that belonged to me. I also rambled in some responses, because I let my nervousness take over. Finally, I answered one question with a subject that was close -- too close -- to my heart and lost my composure. I believe any school interviewing you needs to know you are able to be professional, and if you cross the line and are unable to maintain composure....not good. I hope some of this information is useful to you and any other applicant applying to MU.
  6. I apologize in advance if I posted this in the wrong category. I wasn't sure exactly where this thread might belong. I'm getting ready to start PA school this fall, and my husband and I currently have no children. Without having the first baby, I can't tell you whether we'll even have the second....let alone the third or fourth. Having said that, he is from a large family and would like several children. So I'm willing to at least entertain (and laugh at the insanity of) the possibility of having more than one or two kids. Stranger things have happened... But with all the changes swirling around healthcare coverage due to the Affordable Care Act, what does this mean when it comes to health insurance premiums -- specifically, premiums PAs pay for their families? I've done a lot of research online, and it's difficult to nail down a figure, especially since a lot of data is by state rather than by profession. I wondered if coming on here might enable me to get a better idea. I want to go into family practice once school is over, but I don't know if that salary will realistically enable me to singlehandedly pay for health insurance for 3 or 4 kids, plus my husband, for a period of several years (it would make no sense for him to work while all the kids are daycare/preschool age -- we would save more money if he stayed home with the kids until they enter school). Not sure if it matters for the questions I am about to ask, but I will be practicing in NC. Current PAs...What are benefits like for those of you who have children? Is it standard for there to only be a cost for the premium of the first two dependents, for example, with no charge for any additional dependents? Or is there a per-dependent premium cost regardless of the number of dependents? I know employee-sponsored coverage for entire families is all but extinct now, unfortunately. I am trying to get an idea of what to expect so we can figure out whether we should even consider the possibility of a large family or if it is a pipe dream because of how much health insurance would cost.
  7. I have a friend who started PA school in the Fall of 2012. I will start in late August of 2013. She said it's really cost-effective (and a lot more portable, as you said, kds423!) to get an iPad and do ebooks. Is there really a point to having a physical copy of the textbooks? Also, have you found it to be substantially less expensive?
  8. Which Cecil's? I'm also trying to learn some stuff before school next year. I just looked up Cecil's on Amazon, and here are the 3 options that come up first and look the most relevant: 1) http://www.amazon.com/Andreoli-Carpenters-Cecil-Essentials-Medicine/dp/1416061096/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1352911415&sr=1-1&keywords=Cecil%27s 2) http://www.amazon.com/Goldmans-Medicine-Expert-Consult-Premium/dp/1437727883/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1352911415&sr=1-2&keywords=Cecil%27s 3) http://www.amazon.com/Cecil-Medicine-Expert-Consult-Online/dp/1416028056/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1352911415&sr=1-3&keywords=Cecil%27s Note: Thank you to all the experienced PAs and PA students who answer questions from those of us who don't yet know much (comparatively). I hope I will be able to help someone on this thread at some point when I am in or finish school.
  9. That has got to be nerve-wracking. I don't know that I'd be okay with not having other options (one big "plus" for me as to why I went the PA route!); I like having an out if I get buyer's remorse :-) When the Match rolls around, I hope you get your top pick and love it!! And kudos to you for all your hard work...my hat's off to you for sure.
  10. Primadonna -- I am almost completely committed to going the primary care route after having talked with several others. Not to diss specialties, but I really identify with what you (and many others) have said about a strong foundation being formed in primary care. I feel like it will provide the greatest exposure to the widest variety of patients and illnesses so that I'll have a good knowledge base. I want to be the best practitioner I can be, and from what I gather those first few years out of school are going to be key. I was just really worried about applying for something and then having a priceless opportunity come up that I'd have to turn down. Even if I've got my mind made up to do primary care, there's something nice about being able to make the decision yourself, as opposed to having it made for you, you know? Thank you for your feedback....
  11. Yay! I screamed out loud when I got the "accept" email. I hope you were similarly excited. I'm so happy for you!
  12. Thank you very much for that information. I "think" primary care is the route I want to go but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't open to other paths; I don't want to be close-minded and miss out on the area of medicine that is my true calling. I was so worried about even applying for it without being 100% sure it's what I want to do. What you said makes me feel better about applying for the grant with my mind not being completely made about where I'll end up. As for NHSC, I have been looking at that, too. However, I am completely set on staying in the Fayetteville area (parents are here -- very close to them) and a little concerned whether there will be an approved site within a reasonable commute distance from home. Thank you again so much for your response. I hope school is going well for you, and I am thrilled to get to be a part of the program next year! The proof: I've already been thinking about what to name our cadaver!! :-)
  13. Oh, and I forgot to say something important: I will be staying in Fayetteville (branching out no more than a 45min drive) once I graduate.
  14. I received a response in 9 days. Heather, as for the interview itself...I don't know how to describe it other than to say the faculty members and students were incredibly kind and helpful. I have heard and read about a lot of programs that are out to "get" you in interviews. I didn't get that feeling at Methodist. Certainly, I was nervous, but that goes without saying. The interviewers didn't try to make things worse. From what I was asked, I think they are just trying to make sure you're aware of the nature of being a physician assistant, and they're trying to make sure you're prepared for the rigor of the program. Best wishes to you....let me know how things turn out!
  15. Hello! I would love some advice from practicing PAs on how to handle this situation: I was just accepted into my first-choice school (Methodist University in Fayetteville, NC near Ft. Bragg) and will start next Fall. In case it matters: I'm a 31-year-old female. I already owe about $26K for courses I took to complete prereqs. The PA program tuition + fees, supplies, etc. will run about $70K. By the time 6.8% interest kicks in, I figure I'll owe about $110K once school is over. My husband and I are both incredibly frugal, and even if I have to pay for school 100% using loans, we have a plan in which the loans would be paid off in 6 years. BUT..... There is a grant program that was awarded to Methodist in which they select 6 students to receive $44K ($22k for 2 years). The caveat is that each recipient must promise to work 5 years in primary care (family med, peds, or IM). My father-in-law is a primary care physician in Illinois and is a huge inspiration to me. I think I would enjoy primary care. BUT...I am also hugely interested in cardiology, and the ER seems appealing as well. And who knows? Once clinicals start, I may change my mind again. What I'd like to know is if it's worth it to commit myself to primary care before school even starts to get such generous financial assistance. I'm looking at the difference in owing $35K (if I'm one of the lucky 6 to receive the grant) vs. $110K (without the grant). I may be putting the cart before the horse a little bit here, because I don't even know that I would be one of the 6 to get the grant funds. I thought it would be good, though, to hear what people have to say before I submit an application when the time comes. I've done research on this forum about salaries in different specialties and different regions within the U.S., but there are so many variables here (picking a specialty before school starts, committing to said specialty for 5 yrs, salaries, loan payments, etc.). I decided I should just post something and hope for responses. I keep going back and forth on what to do. I am crossing my fingers that your experiences will highlight some factors I haven't considered that will help me make up my mind whether I should apply for the grant. Thank you very much for your time!
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