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  1. If you’re new to applying, there are many important factors that can go into a letter of recommendation (LOR) or reference. Read my blog posting here to learn more about who you should ask, what to include, and where to start. My blog is DoseOfPA.blogspot.com if you want to learn more about the PA profession or applying to PA programs.
  2. Hey, In December, I was put on the waitlist to my dream school. I spoke with admission office and asked if I needed to fill out the graduate school application and I was told no, "no need to spend your money on the fee unless you were accepted". Well, today I was browsing the website and it says, "Applicants who are waitlisted also need to complete the Graduate School application February-March in order to remain on the waiting list." So, in everyone opinion does February- March mean the 1st of March or the end of March? If it means the beginning do you think they will take me off the waiting list even though I was specify told not to do the application? I'm really stressing out!!=( I have worked so hard to get into PA school and really felt in my heart this was my year and for something like this to potentially mess up my chances has me very worried. Can y'all please give you your take on this situation? It would be greatly appreciated to help be get some clarity on the whole situation. Thank you!
  3. Can anyone give some advice if Pre-pa program is necessary for PA school? The University i got accepted to offers that program but money is short and i'm not sure whether i should do 2 years at a community college then finish at a 4 year, or put off PA for now and take an ems course and work as an EMT to acquire more money and be able to pay for university?
  4. Has anyone applying to start in jan 2015 heard anything back about receiving an interview?
  5. The University i want to attend offers a pre-PA program and i was wondering if it's in my interest to go ahead and go to the 4 year school or attend community college and become an EMT to earn extra money and save up!?
  6. Hello, I'm soon going to graduate from high school and i got accepted into a university that offers pre-physician assistant program and i'm not sure whether i should go ahead and go or save some money and go to a local community college and later transfer?? So i guess in shorter terms is a pre-physician program necessary to be accepted into a PA school? I should mention i plan to major in bio-health sciences.
  7. I was hoping you guys could give me an opinion on what specialty new PA Grads should start with? What specialties are more open to hiring new PA grads and will give a new grad a bit of training/guidance. I know some specialties may be too much for a new grad to handle at first until the new grad gets more experience. Night or day shift for new grad? Thanks for the feedback.
  8. I was wondering if anyone had advice about clinical rotation sites. My program, as do others, has something called a pod where you are located there the whole year or you can choose to be sent to sites at random but get more diversity in areas throughout New England. They both fulfill the requirements for all of the normal rotation areas such as surgery, primary, emergency... but I was wondering if one were better over the other from anyone with experience? Perks of a pod is that the people get to know you better and you learn the system once instead of 8 different times and can focus more on learning instead of being "new" constantly, but I am also worried about limiting myself and missing out on being sent to a major hospital or other teaching areas. Any advice would be so appreciated!!
  9. Hey guys, I have somewhat of a high quality problem: I've gotten into three schools of which I like Pacific U the most, mainly because of the didactic systems approach, the staff, and because the program starts in May. But here's the rub, I was offered an interview at Duke in Feb, so my question is, how much weight should I give to the ratings? Should I even spend the money going on the Duke interview if I really like the program at Pacific? Thanks in advance for the help!
  10. I haven't seen a sticky anywhere on this topic, so please feel free to simply re-direct me if there is a thread with this information already. I am really wanting the best financial advice (or advice otherwise) you guys can offer for someone just entering the work force. It is daunting to go from exceptionally poor to making substantial money in the blink of an eye. Some topics I am hoping you can give advice about or direct me to more knowledge include: Retirement Investment (stocks, bonds, mortgages, property, etc...) Life Insurance / Disability Insurance Money Management (money markets, lifestyle, taxes, etc...) Loan Repayment (managing, re-financing, etc...) Saving Hiring people to help manage (financial advisors, etc...) Anything else you might stop right now and think "Wow, I wish I would had known more about that or I wish I would have started doing that 5-10-15 years ago" I feel like this forum has a lot of tremendous advice and this would be great for a lot of us newbies here if someone wouldn't mind filling in what they might know about any of these topics. Thanks!
  11. Hello everyone! I am only a freshman in college, but will be classified as a sophomore after this coming fall. NOVA in Ft. Myers is my number one choice for PA school, as it is not far from home and I am familiar with the area. I have a 3.0 GPA as of right now (I had rude awakening my first semester), but my spring classes are about to come to an end. I have shadowing opportunities lined up for this coming summer, and I plan on becoming a CNA by this fall. I was just wondering if any of you have any advice that could make or break my acceptance? How competitive is NOVA in Ft.Myers? I hope I am looking into this early enough so I can fulfill all of their requests. Thanks! :)
  12. Hi everyone! I am currently a Junior Pre-Physician Assistant student in a direct entry program beginning in Fall 2014. I have to make my schedule soon and was hoping to get some advice as to what classes are most beneficial. After this semester, I will have taken all the required science courses. I've taken a full year of Inorganic Chemistry and labs, a full year of Introductory Biology and labs, Genetics, Human Physiology, a combined course (specific for Pre-PA students) of Organic Chem/Biochem, and I am currently taking Microbiology and Human Anatomy and Physiology 1. Next semester, I will be taking Human A&P 2, however, I was hoping to add on one more science course to better prepare myself for the rigor of PA school. Do any of you have any recommendations? I was considering Biochemistry, Cell Biology, or Virology, but I am not sure what course is most beneficial. Do any of you know of what courses helped you the most before entering PA school? Thanks so much!!
  13. Hello all, I'm a first year PA student, but I'm thinking ahead to rotations/jobs. I'm curious: What reasons/motivations led you to choose the specialty (including primary care) in which you practice? I'm curious about all the factors that played into your decisions: prior experience, general interest in a certain aspect of physiology, a love for procedures and the hands on, economic motivations, job availability, etc. Anything that motivated I will appreciate your responses and value any advice that you have as I consider my future career path. Thanks! PS: I've never posted a new thread before, so let me take the opportunity to say hello to everyone. I've thoroughly enjoyed carefully perusing the forum and getting a feel for what matters to PAs. I feel like I have a better grasp of the issues facing the profession because of all of your discussions. I very much look forward to a career as a PA, and I'm excited to become a part of the effort to improve the profession.
  14. To anyone who wants to give their opinion, I'd love to hear thoughts about my narrative. And also if anyone thinks this narrative is a little TOO personal. I know it touches on several different things, maybe too many. Thanks in advance for any advice! :) Personal Narrative: The Path That Led Me to Physician Assistant Studies The first time I drove a car I was fourteen years old. I’d driven around the pastures and gravel roads around my isolated home a few times, but this was the real deal: making the 60-mile trip from home in rural Mississippi to the big city of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In retrospect I took it all pretty well in stride, with my dad riding along beside me, gently encouraging and guiding me through the drive. It would not be the last trip we made with me acting as the unlicensed chauffeur, but this never stood out to me as odd or unorthodox. My father’s health had played a central role in my life for nearly as long as I could remember, so when he needed a ride to his doctor’s appointment I took on that responsibility as naturally as any adult caregiver would. But that is not to say that I handled all aspects of his illness so easily. I’d long grown used to the daily insulin injections and finger pricking, and had learned to do it for him by the time I was 10. Managing his Type 1 diabetes was just as much a part of our routine as was playing, singing, and watching our favorite TV shows together. It was over the next several years, after he was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome, that the signs of his poor health became more visible and began to greatly affect my life. There were many ups and downs, and many things I found myself unable to process at that point in time. To be sure, it has been over seven years since my father passed away and it seems only very recently that I’ve begun to grasp just how much his life has influenced mine, in the most significant of ways. My last summer with my father was also the last summer I was a camper at Camp Bratton-Green, a wonderful, week-long summer camp I’d attended throughout my childhood. The following summer I returned to Bratton-Green, but as a camp counselor. The 12 girls assigned to my cabin, along with 100-plus other campers, were not what most would picture when imagining the typical summer camp-goer. They ranged in age from 35 to 72, with varying degrees of special needs. In the first five minutes, I felt myself questioning what I was getting into; those feelings quickly dissipated as I found myself captivated and amazed by each new person I met. I went fishing with Rachel, a 38-year-old who loved Garth Brooks, fancied herself a pool shark, and was born with an extra chromosome; I ate dinner with Ms. Christine, a 70-year-old who had resided in a group home for most of her life and liked to tuck each of us in every night. Each person’s story was even more unique, inspiring and humbling than the last. I left at the end of that week with a renewed appreciation for the people and things around me, and a fresh perspective on the future. Needless to say, I was drawn to return to Bratton-Green every summer thereafter for four years, and am certain I will return in the future. There are very few places to which I feel such a strong connection, and my time there played a chief role in the next steps I took towards a career. Choosing to study Psychology seemed only natural, and I was reaffirmed in this belief with each successive class, as I excelled and became more fascinated with the field. Things got more complicated when trying to determine how I would use this degree to create the life and career I wanted. My interest in the medical field was realized while in Human Anatomy class. As the material became more complex and in depth, I became more intrigued with the subject. I’d always felt the pull to work in the service of others, but this new education led me to refocus my goal away from a therapy-based career to one based on science and medicine. I was lucky enough to get a job as an Emergency Room Technician near my hometown after graduation from college, and my time spent there has made me realize my passion for medicine and social service to an even higher degree. The environment at my hospital is familiar in that it is a rural, community-based establishment to the likes of which I’ve been accustomed to since childhood. Yet it is also highly stimulating, as with each patient that comes through the door I have the opportunity to learn or do something new. More recently, I’ve also begun working as a scribe in a pediatric clinic, and I have discovered yet another vital entity of the medical field. From administering wound care and CPR to taking patient histories and interpreting test or lab results, my days are a perpetually changing cycle. But every day I am able to assist the doctor with some form of patient care, and it is a role in which I feel natural and comfortable. And in this role I strive to reflect the legacy of my father and the other special people I’ve met along the way, for it is to them I owe my current standing in life. I’ve been blessed to be able to constantly learn and evolve in a career that I love, and I can only hope to continue this on a higher level as a Physician Assistant.
  15. Does anyone in the ER do Back to work clearances in the ER. Also Does anyone usually write BDZ refill for patient with "their docs out of town"
  16. Hi, I have a BA degree (in psychology and minor in education) already from a UC. I transferred from a community college after 2 years and graduated from the UC. MY overall GPA is 3.3 and I believe my science GPA is 3.0. I still have to take anatomy and physiology and microbiology (at a community college since I have graduated) and GRE (or MCATS- not sure which one to take). I have volunteered at a hospital and for a few non profit organizations. I do not have research experience as of yet. Not yet shadowed a PA but am planning on. I want to see what your opinions are in regards to me getting into a PA program at either USC or Loma Linda University -- or any PA Programs in California. If any of you have good advice to me that can strengthen my application , That would be great too! Please help me as I am very determined to get in to PA school. Thank you!
  17. Hey all, I am starting PA school as a member of the first class of students at the University of Missouri -Kansas City in Spring 2014. I am moving "mid-life" from the legal field to healthcare, but do have experience in emergency medicine (EMT) and inpatient mental health through the military, so I'm not completely removed from healthcare. I am exceptionally nervous about starting school and am trying to keep an open mind on what sort of specialty I'd like to go into. Anyone who is in PA school currently, residency/fellowship, or just graduating, please throw out opinions on any of the following: * words of wisdom * advice on school/residencies/etc. * starting salaries you are seeing * up-and-coming specialties to take note of * irritations or issues you have found along the way * your view on autonomy (for instance, in Missouri they just passed legislation that PAs are allowed ~95% autonomy, up from ~66%) * just all-in-all discussing your experience on your path to being a PA. I know, that was a lot of requests... As an aside, please do not troll my post and make rude and unnecessary comments or nit-pick my choice of profession. You'd be surprised at how often I see people doing that on here, and it makes very little sense as to why. Thanks to everyone!
  18. Hello, I'm new to this forum and am desperately seeking advice. I've been debating between MD/DO or PA for practically my entire undergraduate career. (Will be an incoming 4th year next year). This summer, I decided to enroll in a prep course to take the MCAT in September, planning to go to medical school. But now, I realize that I have been questioning this "final" decision since the beginning of my MCAT studies. My question is that I don't know if I should still take my MCAT in September. I know I'm not studying as much as I can, and I feel like its partially due to being unmotivated. Maybe also due to the fact that I don't know if I want to go to med school anymore. I know PA schools don't really take the MCAT and take the GRE instead. Should I continue trying to motivate myself to study? (heavily due to the fact that I paid for the course and already registered for the test in Sept) Or.. Should I just give it all up and immediately begin studying for the GRE...? I guess personally, I'm leaning more towards PA than MD/DO. Any advice/input would be greatly appreciated! Sorry if my post was long.
  19. Hi everyone, This is going to be a bit long, so please bear with me. I am currently an undergraduate student going for a B.S. in Psychobiology. After completing two years of undergrad, I have earned an incredibly low 2.7 cumulative gpa. My science gpa is shamefully a lot lower; admittedly, I barely passed most of my science pre-req classes with Cs. These first two years have been a complete mess and there are no excuses. I had no goals, there was no motivation in school and, in effect, I didn't take my courses seriously. I knew that my attitude would bite me in the end, but for some reason I had this mindset that I would figure it all out later. I know, it was very naive of me to think like that. In the last quarter of my second year, I failed my Physics course, and I am retaking it again this summer. I guess it was in this moment where I realized that I needed to get my act together. After completing my second year and getting some time off from school, I did a little researching and found that the path of being a Physician Assistant seems more and more appealing to me. I am ready to buckle down and take college more seriously this time around. I know that I am an unappealing candidate for PA school at the moment. I would like some advice on how to turn this mess around. Unfortunately, I have completed almost all of my science pre-reqs (except Physics, anatomy, physiology) and will soon tackle my upper division courses, which are purely psychology courses (yeah, it's a bit weird, and kind of hard to grasp how my major integrates the two disciplines together). Where should I go from here? What should I do after undergrad? Should I go back to community college and retake my science courses in where I received Cs in to earn a better GPA (mind you, I received Cs in the bulk of my science courses)? I heard that PA schools average out both your retaken courses and your original grade.And what should I do to make myself more of an outstanding applicant since my GPA is currently non-competitive? As for extra-cirricular activities, I am currently involved in a few things, but they don't really pertain to the medical field. I am involved in research in a Psychology lab where we perform computer based experiments on participants that deal with cognitive memory. I am thinking of transferring to a more science based lab, however, or be involved in something where I can hopefully tie into what I'm doing in the future. I am a volunteer at a hospital that is right next to my university. But essentially, I just talk to patients in the waiting room and ask if they are in need of assistance in finding potential resources that they are in need/interested in (such as dental or health insurance, finding programs if they are a low-income family, etc.). The program hosts this volunteering program also offers a quarter long physician shadowing program, though, so I think I am going to apply to that this upcoming year. I also am working as an assistant to a surgery coordinator in the hospital, but it's mainly just clerical work. And lastly, I am in two youth empowerment organizations on campus, one of which I tutor/mentor high school students and another in which I am a camp counselor for kids who come from underprivileged areas in LA. Please, any solid advice would be appreciated, on where to go from here, what I can do to be more involved in the medical field, anything. Even a little reassurance is appreciated! I think I'm just going through an identity crisis right now and I've realized I made a huge mistake. I regret not taking my classes more seriously. I've thought about it and I really do enjoy helping others. I feel like the medical field reflects my caring personality in wanting to make a difference. And after learning more about the PA career, it just had some great trade offs for a field that is so demanding. Thanks for your time.
  20. Hi everyone! So I am in a unique situation that makes getting HCE quite difficult. Currently I am pursuing a bachelor's degree in Biochemistry from a a very small school that has a required co-op in order to graduate. Due to this required co-op I move every 3 months between school and work. My co-op job is actually in a chemistry lab doing organic synthesis work in research and development. Due to this hectic schedule, the 11 weeks I am at school I am swamped with schoolwork since I typically take a 20 credit class load. On the other hand during work term I work from 8-5 everyday and then at least once a week make the half-hour trip to go shadow some PAs in the ER at a local hospital. Due to this co-op schedule, my undergraduate program is a 4.5 year program instead of 4, however, by the time I graduate I will have 2 years of real work experience. Since my program is a 4.5 year program, I will be graduating in December of 2014 and I really would prefer to start PA school in 2015 instead of having to take off over a year from school. I was wondering if anybody had any advice on what avenues I could pursue to help procure some HCE hours that would fit into my crazy schedule. Also I would like some advice on how to improve my chances of getting into PA school. Posted below is my GPA along with other information: Science GPA: ~3.25 (I go to a school that only offers sciences and engineering. That being said I also was taking organic chemistry along with my physics classes and not being able to eat due to some weird stomach condition that took over a year for doctors to diagnose.) Cumulative GPA: ~3.39 (I plan on bringing this up quite a bit since I still have 3 more school terms left, and these classes are also more biology based which I excel at. The reason my GPA is so low is due to organic chemistry ©, physics ©, and calculus (1-3) classes©.) Extra Information Vice-President of Pre-Med Club for the past two years GEO (Greener Engineering Organization) During my work terms I shadow PAs in the ER Aquaneers (Scuba Diving Club) Job Shadow Gastroenterologist Hands on Job Shadow Hospital County Morgue Research and Development Chemist (Co-op Job, Since June 2011) President of Gamma Sigma Epsilon Chemistry Honor Society Department Volunteer ( I give tours to potential students of our labs during our school open houses, and tell potential students and parents about the program and the co-op program) Doctor for a Day Volunteer I know its not very much and I would really appreciate any suggestions on how to strengthen my application. I was debating between medical school and PA school but after talking to many people and hours of research, I found that PA school is the right decision for me and the type of personality that I have. Thank you for taking the time to read my ridiculously long post! Again any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. :)
  21. Dear Bay Area PAs, I'd love to shadow you more than anything. It can even be a one-time non-committal thing. I'll seriously be grateful for any opportunity. And I swear I'll be as quiet and un-intrusive as a shadow, but perhaps not quite as ominous and foreboding. Thanks for taking the time to read this!
  22. Hi, My name is Amy. I am applying for the UF PA program beginning in 2014. I have been a registered dietitian for the past 2 years working full time in a hospital. By the time the program begins I will have 3+ years experience. They talk in the prior experience section about direst hands on touching. I do not take vitals or draw blood but am constantly in patients rooms, assessing them and do have contact specially regarding assessing muscle integrity. Will this be enough? All input appreciated:;)):
  23. I want to become a PA more than anything else and am willing to do all it takes until it becomes a reality. I have applied for my first time this year and unfortunately did not get accepted nor interviewed. I was optimistic when I submitted my application as everyone should be however, I was no necessarily surprised when I was not accepted. I am aware my application is in need of improvements before reapplying however I want to be sure this is what the schools I'm applying to want from me before I go ahead and do what i think they'd want from me. This is the draft of the email I plan to send out. PLEASEE comment and critique, I'm not too sure if it sounds okay. Dear ABCD, I am writing to you today to ask for a reevaluation and insight on how I can improve my overall application to your Physician Assistant program when I reapply. When I submitted my application I had a 2.93 science GPA and an 2.74 overall GPA. I had over 500 hours of healthcare experience along with two certifications as a Phlebotomy and an EKG Technician. I understand the application process is extremely competitive and am aware that there are areas to be improved upon. Would retaking science courses or completing a MS program be preferred to boost my GPA? I have also since the time of my application started my new job as a Nutrition Clerk at a hospital where I communicate with the patients and other healthcare professionals to ensure accuracy with diet orders, nourishment, supplements, and tube feedings. While there is some patient care experience within my job, I would like to know if additional shadowing or more hours utilizing my certifications would be suggested? Despite being deferred my first time applying to your school, ABCD remains my first choice and I am determined to do everything necessary to make myself a more competitive applicant in my next application. Thank you for your time.
  24. Hi, I know these forums are filled with PAs, and college students but I really can't find one for high school students. Sorry if this is the wrong site (i'll be happy if you were to direct me to the proper site) to be using but i have some few questions for an aspiring PA whose still a junior. What steps did you take to become a PA student/PA? Is getting a bachelors then enrolling in a PA program the only option? Do I have to do the pre-reqs at the university level, or can i do them at a community college then transfer? What classes did you enroll in? What was your major(s) and minor(s)? Any "advisable" classes to take outside of the sciences e.g. higher math classes, foreign languages? Just looking for some advice... Thank You, Mark V.
  25. I am currently a second-semester freshman with a science major. I am planning on applying to PA school but I have a lot of questions. MY GPA isn't up to standards at all currently and I am struggling with science courses but I am determined to make up for this first year. With that being said, I'm wondering if anyone has tips to help me get on the right track for applying for PA school even if I don't have a 4.0 at the end of college. I've looked into a few schools and took note of their prerequisites so I'm not missing out on something important but I'm stressing already. Pretty much I'm looking for advice about different schools to look into, tips on getting a better GPA (maybe my study skills are not right?), and suggestions about clubs and volunteer/shadowing opportunities that would look great on my application. I'm going to poke around on other threads to see if I can find any of this information but if you have anything to contribute at all, it would be very much appreciated
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