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  1. Hello all, I am looking for information from PAs with experience in the Air Guard or the AF Reserves. I would like to hear your opinions on the differences, time commitments, units, patient care, etc. Recruiters are recruiters, so anyone with recent first hand experience that could chime in would be appreciated. Thank you in advance.
  2. Hello, I have been considering the military after I graduate PA school because I have a significant amount of debt and I think it would be a great experience. Can someone explain the process of joining the National Guard as a PA with no previous military experience? Also, what is the commitment and role of a PA in the guard? Are there significant benefits for loan repayment? I would rather hear this first from someone who has been in this situation rather than a recruiter. Thanks!
  3. Dear current and future PAs, I'm stuck in a dilemma and I was hoping to get some advice on my situation. Sorry for long post. I am a current Army Reserve pursuing my dream to become a PA and I was accepted into South College - Nashville program for the class of 2022. As an Army Reserve, there is always a chance to be activated and deployed even when I am in the middle of the program. So I explained my situation to the Dean and asked how my case is going to be handled if I were to be deployed during the program. And these are the responses I received from him: Any mobilization or recall would most likely require you to have to withdraw from the program, as we do not offer deceleration. Mobilization or recall for any extended period of time would require you to restart the program from the beginning. Policies regarding refunds of tuition or fees after withdrawal are specified in the South College Student Handbook; I referred you to the Student handbook for that information. If withdrawal is needed, you would need to reapply to Program for reentry, meeting all requirements for admission that are in place at that time; reentry in a future class is not guaranteed. You should discuss this with your Company Commander to see if there is a possible exemption from being mobilized or recalled while you are in the PA Program. Frankly, I was little surprised because, in my knowledge, federal and state law protects school from kicking out students. Is there any reason the law does not apply to PA school? Moreover, I was little insulted that he asking me to request my Company to be exempted from being mobilized and not to serve my country. I thought Dean may be unfamiliar with the military law so I even responded back with my understanding of the law, but ever since then, he has been staying silent and ignoring me. what should I do? has anybody been in same situation?
  4. I found some old post about this topic but only a few people were involved and it was from quite a few years back. I thought I'd bring it up again for more clarification for all. Looking for suggestions on how to/ how you enter military experience into CASPA. What are your thoughts on dividing all of that up between medical and non-medical experience, training and schools, deployment vs. garrison, leadership roles, and awards? Did you add past certs that have since lapsed? Should it be broken down by each duty station or each title? Also, how did you quantify the number of hours and should it be one lump sum or divided up? Any thoughts would helpful.
  5. Hello all, First time posting here. I am currently a PA-S2 with an expected graduation date of July 2020. I’m unsure about my career after graduating from PA School, and was wondering about any benefits that may come with joining the military after I become certified. Any and all information regarding life/work in specific branches is greatly appreciated as I have no information on the topic as of now. Thank you!
  6. I am currently finishing up my didactic portion of PA school and considering the amount of loan debt I will have, I am considering enlisting into the airforce or navy after completing PA school in 12/2020. I was previously an Occupational Therapist though I am not sure if that will matter regarding pay etc. If anyone has advice regarding this process and details on loan repayment, I would greatly appreciate it.
  7. I just got my packed completed for the HSCP. Very excited and hoping to get selected. It took some time but it is finally done. My recruiter will be submitting the package on Monday. How many here are applying or are in the process of submitting their HSCP packet this year?
  8. I am a Biology/Pre-PA major Junior in college. I am in ROTC and participate in many extracurricular within ROTC, so I am ranked well. I am looking for advice on my chances for getting into PA school. I don't have many preferences for a PA school, my life dream has just always been to save lives within the medical field. At the time of applying for PA school I will have a 3.1-3.3 GPA, around 1000 hours as an ED medical scribe, and I worked as a pharmacy technician for a year. Most of my credibility outside of my GPA is ROTC which takes up a decent chunk of time which I am hoping will say something for my application. I have yet to take the GRE but plan on doing well since I will need the extra buff. I also attended basic camp and advanced camp if that helps my application at all. What are my chances for getting into PA school and is there any advice that I can be given for my future success in the medical field. Thank you. Very Respectfully, Nick
  9. Hey there. I attend the US Coast Guard Academy, and I am strongly considering becoming a Physicians Assistant either as a Coastie, or after I leave the military as a civilian. I have been looking at many PA grad schools, and the prerequisite courses and GPA requirements concern me... Will these schools understand how much more challenging the US service academies are academically compared to most undergrad degrees and forgive my comparatively lower GPA? - I've taken above 18 credits all 5 semesters I've been here, above 20 credits twice - The competing military demands (Room/uniform inspection, training etc) and physical demands (Varsity sports, fitness requirements) make it hard to excel in the classroom Will they understand that CGA only offers 8 majors so I did the best I could do match the prereq's but simply could not meet all of them? - I was required to take engineering/government/buisness courses as a prerequisite to graduate - I was required to take Coast Guard specific courses (Navigation 1-4, Maritime Law Enforcement, etc.) Will schools still admit me based on the high merit that goes with being a service academy grad, and a top 25 STEM school grad? Thanks!
  10. Hi! So post grad life has changed my career plans from being a Doctor to a PA and honestly it's such a liberating feeling of not having to deal with the MCAT and residency. On the other hand, I don't know what my next steps should be since I made this decision very recently. Is there a specific program in the military (AF/Navy/Reserves?) where I can enter as an officer (I have a bachelor's in psychology and minor in sociology), get experience working in the hospital (in the pediatric ward if possible), then apply to PA school using those accrued hours as direct patient contact? And the number of X years I have to do in order to be able to get out of the military to pursue PA training? I would apply to PA school except I'm short on my PA pre-reqs since I've been doing pre-med pre-reqs all of undergrad, plus I didn't really get out there to work in a paid position that involves direct patient contact....and I haven't taken the GRE to boot. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but will my PA schooling, housing, etc be paid only if I get into a PA program prior to starting? Or is that a whole different program entirely dedicated for med and dental students? I know there's a lot to unpack here but if anyone could help me on how I should go about this, I would really appreciate it. Thanks in advance!
  11. So, you have been accepted to HSCP. Yay! Congrats! Go celebrate (reasonably of course). Then what to do, Here is what I have been learning over the course of 3 months of not getting paid. I fixed most of the issues now, so hoping to start getting paid the next pay period. Step 1. Get your Military ID made, ASAP. Step 2. Set up mypay account. It's a pain, however once you have your military ID, do yourself a favor and invest in a CAC card reader. You will be able to set up you mypay yourself. Step 3. Update Bank info on mypay. Very Important. (For some reason PSD still hasn't gotten any info about my bank account even after 2nd submission of my paperwork). Step 4. Hope and pray PSD gets these info including your BAH and start paying you.
  12. Good Evening All, I have been contemplating this for some time. LECOM has developed a 3 yr PA-->DO program. The pass rates and scores have been above the national average and the matches look pretty good. I am getting out of the Army soon. Ive been in for 8 yrs (only part as a PA) and will be 29-30 at the time of matriculation. The question: I am eligible for 36 months of Post-911 GI bill that will cover about 80-90% of the cost of school plus living expense (about 1300$ monthly) as well as books. This is a veteran right and requires no additional service. My loans after school would be roughly 25K or less (dependent on savings). I have no debt now. I might be eligible for a grant that would cover the rest and essentially get a free doctorate. I never worked in the civilian world as a PA and have been 99% autonomous since day 1 out of school. I deployed within a couple months of arriving to my first PA assignment. I was in a role 1 hours away from the nearest provider. I have only worked an odd mixture of primary care with emergency medicine. Hard to explain this odd niche we fill. Fellow Army PAs can attest. Will I be un-happy as a PA in the civ world? If you were in my shoes, what would you do? I have all the pre-req for the school and got a 4.0 in PA school. I was a human bio major with all the med-school pre-reqs. All I would have to do is submit a packet to the medical school and hopefully get accepted. No MCAT, no classes. The only specialities I would be interested in is E-Med, Anesthesiology or possibly internal medicine with the possibility to do a fellowship later on in critical care or infectious disease. These seem to be a mid-competitive specialty and should be pretty easy to match to. It seems like as a PA working E-Med, you will be doing the same work for a 1/3rd the pay and always having someone trying to critique your work. Also, I wouldnt mind working in academia when Im older and participating in case studies and research with some of the techniques, drugs and procedures I have seen and done by working alongside dozens of different NATO nations. I feel as a PA, my ideas may just get snuffed out. What kind of salary and benefits could one expect with 6yrs experience? Looking for E-Med, Traum Surg, Neruosurg. What will my scope of practice and daily hours look like? If PAs work significant less hours of work, I would be okay with the pay difference. Im assuming most work 40-50 alongside the docs. Thank you all for your time. I appreciate all responses. I enjoy what I do now and absolutely love medicine. I just dont want to roll around to 40 years old and look back at all those years and wished I would have just sucked it up for 3 years.
  13. I will be attending bootcamp for the Navy in October 2018. I have a bachelors degree in sports medicine and will be going in as an E-3 for HM. I plan on attending C school for surgical technician so I can gain more experience before applying to PA school. I would like to know what is the minimum amount of time I am most likely to serve before I can be promoted to an E-5 and apply to IPAP or a civilian PA program. And does anyone have any tips on how I can expedite my journey to becoming a PA (perhaps, should I choose a different C-school)? Any info helps. Thanks!
  14. Optimal team practice (OTP) is a big deal these days. It has been since last May when AAPA made it the official policy. There is a reticence to accept OTP at the state level. I was in a recent discussion with a fellow PA (and board member of PAs for Tomorrow) who is a military retiree. As we discussed the benefits of OTP, we both expressed concern that it wasn't already the "norm." We discussed OTP and the military and realized that those of us in military medicine have practiced OTP for quite some time. Take a quick look at the four pillars of OTP Emphasize PAs’ commitment to team practice; Authorize PAs to practice without an agreement with a specific physician—enabling practice-level decisions about collaboration; Create separate majority-PA boards to regulate PAs, or give that authority to healing arts or medical boards that have as members both PAs and physicians who practice with PAs; and Authorize PAs to be directly reimbursed by all public and private insurers. All members of military healthcare, whether PAs, Nurses, NPs, or technicians are committed to team practice. Even as a "personal service contractor" I practice under the same Air Force Instructions (in particular AFI 44-119) as active duty and civil service PAs. The AFI reads, "PAs are health professionals whose practice is centered on patient care and disease prevention and may include clinical teaching, patient education, research, and administrative activities. PAs are certified to practice independently and collaboratively in providing primary healthcare.(emphasis mine)." The military does not include boards to regulate PAs. At least with the AF, the credentials committee members are intimately familiar with PAs, and when a PA is up for privileges, a PA sits on the committee. In a former life, I actually chaired the committee as a PA and deputy chief of the medical staff. Reimbursement is not an issue for military providers. All of us eventually leave the military. Most continue to practice as a PA. Outside of the military, we come under a different set of rules and laws--and a change in HOW we practice. If you know where your retirement location will be, consider having the best practice opportunity available to you--work with your future (or current) state to make OTP a reality.
  15. The situation: Hey folks, I am just a few months out from graduation and I feel like I am about to make a big career decision that will shape the next stage of my life. I want to practice in EM and my intention one year ago was to go to a residency program after graduation. I have been accepted into one program and have interviews at two others already which is very exciting. At the same time I have been in contact with a recruiter and the Army is looking very good at the moment with the training opportunities they can provide (EM residency in Texas, TCCC courses etc.) Finally, after hanging out with residents on clinical rotations for the past year I am feeling envious of where they are and thinking about going back to full on med school. Some Possible options: 1. EM PA residency- I don't know if this needs to be justified on this form. There are obvious trade offs that come with this, but significant rewards. Upon graduation from such a program I would likely seek employment in MT, ID or AK in a small rural trauma center, ski and hunt elk extensively. 2. Army-> PA residency down the road- Understanding the deployment implications and intrinsic sacrifices, the training opportunities here are particularly unique. It is something that I have always been interested in, and my background before PA school had some parallels to the culture of the Army. ( I also see guard/ reserve as a way to blend this in and still keep some options open.) The AD route also opens up GI bill funding to pay for med school too. 3. Lucrative urgent care to save for med school- I have been offered an urgent care job for $130 k/yr for working 15 shifts per month with a doc whom I respect very much. This would build up the bank in a big way for a future med school option, and get me experience as a PA, while still giving me some experience as a PA in EM if I choose to not pursue med school. I could also take some of that extra income and put it towards extra training like POCUS courses, ATLS, or even paramedic certification. The goal: To be a bad mo fo. To have opportunities practicing an extensive scope of EM in many different settings not limited to overseas, rural, remote settings, and high acuity trauma centers. Any thoughts would be appreciated, though I am thankful to this forum for allowing me to think out loud. -E
  16. FYI for my prior service colleagues: I’m in the process of finalizing, but it appears you can use 100% Institution of Higher Learning GI Bill benefits (not the “apprenticeship” 80% and tapering pay) during residency. I’m choosing to use the Montgomery GI Bill since it gives more money than the BAH of post 9/11 for my area, and with no tuition it’s all money in my pocket. Really going to help make up for that income loss. Note: HPSP and those who direct commission with loan repayment cannot use the Montogomery GI Bill, only HSCP recipients who paid in. Another reason HSCP is better, in my opinion.
  17. Hello i don't post often but i wanted to ask civilians how your day works, Me: Just about to graduate. knows will be in family health, knows requirements of schedual My immediate future: Pass the pance, start my first job. Schedule: -First patient at 0730. Last morning pt at 1105. Last afternoon pt 1530. total pt 18/day. -I have one tech, likely a high school grad with some training but not used well. He will get vitals and do med rec but nothing else really. See first morning patient ~5-10 mins late. we often behind out of the gate -minimal charting in room, ordering labs/meds/imaging -stay until 1800 charting -must see 90 patients a week + military reindeer games Qualms: -0600-1800 to scrub clinic list read and chart x 5 days a week sometimes charting on weekends = 60 hours a week -stuck in family for 4 years Questions: Do you have more patients? Do you have better support? Does your doc respect you? Do nurses pretty much own the command structure of your hospital? How much in words or paragraphs do you chart in HPI? In A/P? Are you happy with your EMR? If so what is it? Do you get paid hourly or salary? Do you get paid for charting? Do you get over time? typical, is the grass greener? Thanks for your valuable time.
  18. Hello All, I am curious on people's opinions here especially from those who have done this before. I am currently AD military and am set to get out in two years. I will most likely be able to complete my bachelor degree within that timeframe, however I am only able to take one class at a time, and the education I have been receiving from the base education center (albeit from an accredited university) is lacking. Should I just finish out my degree while still active and apply for PA school, or should I take one or two full time semesters after I get out to better prepare/refresh myself on the more important topics (at the time I get out, it will be 4 years after I completed A&P). Any and all input is appreciated.
  19. xTrymanx

    Navy PA FAQ

    Hi, I know I want to go into the medical field and being a PA has always been enticing to me. But it just lacked that adventure I was looking for! So then I thought about joining the navy as one and I have a few questions on it since I've heard recruiters aren't always honest. If I join the navy as a PA will I... be on a boat? See combat? Should I earn my degree before or while being in the navy? If I get my degree or finish it in the navy will my degree transfer to the real world? Is it a rewarding experience?
  20. I am a GVSU student and will be done with my BS in Health Science with a focus on preventativie care and a minor in psychology in about a year! I'm hopping to graduate with a 3.5 ish (I had a 3.6 for 90+ credits and my GPA dropped to 0 when transferred) I'm SUPER worried about getting into GVSU's PA Program and am looking into joining the Navy with the hopes of getting into IPAP I will have all my pre reqs done for IPAP most likely even before I join the Navy? I'm 24 year old, female, with a husband and child and am ok with getting deployed and/or moving around! I'm also an NREMT-B - Questions... -possible officer programs for a BS degree holder - possibility of navy corpsman getting accepted to ipap - how long will it take for a corpsman to get into ipap -is ipap program accredited
  21. Hi guys, I'm hoping there may be some UNE applicants/students who can help me out. I'm an army medic, just leaving service, with a good bit of HCE and a burning desire to go the PA route. However, I have yet to start my bachelors at UNE. I've been told to go for any major that interests me, and complete prereqs on the side, but UNE's pre-PA track has me concerned. Do you think that majoring in something besides pre-PA, at a school with a pre-PA program, will greatly reduce my chances of being accepted to their PA program? I imagine that they have some quota of pre-PA students that they accept, all official policies aside, and worry that I may be at a distinct disadvantage in this case. Though PA school has been the dream for a long time, I don't really like the idea of a pre-PA bachelors. Would I be better off attending a different university for my bachelors, and then applying for UNE's PA program? Thanks and apologies if this has been hopelessly confusing.
  22. Would anyone who has paid for PA school on an Air Force scholarship be able to talk a bit about their experience with that? I have only been accepted at one school so far, which will leave me graduating with about ~160K of debt. If this ends up being the only school I'm accepted to I'm still going to attend. I know it isn't smart to get into this much debt on a PA salary, but I don't want to wait around another year and go through another application cycle. Specific Questions: How long before starting PA school must one start the application process for this scholarship? Does the 3 year service commitment start immediately upon me passing the PANCE or must I do some kind of boot camp/training beforehand that won't count towards the 3 years? Do I have any control over where I am stationed? At all? Do they cover any school with an accredited masters PA program? How competitive is it to get this scholarship? I'd appreciate any information you can offer! If anyone as taken a different military scholarship to pay for PA school (navy, army, etc) I'd be interested in hearing about that too!
  23. While winding down the pre-op area of outpatient surgery, a worried mother and father unexpectedly arrived with their young son from the emergency room. While eating cashews, the young boy, John, began choking and aspirated a piece of the nuts. He was unsuccessfully trying to cough it up and needed surgery to remove it. John was uncomfortable but not as nervous as his parents. As we prepared the young boy, the surgeon introduced his team including a physician assistant. As a patient care technician interested in a career as a PA, it excited me that PAs could play such a significant part of the surgical team. To everyone’s relief, the nut was retrieved safely from John’s lungs, preventing any further complications or infection. This example of teamwork between PAs and doctors in the surgical setting further enhanced my resolve to become a PA. Admittedly, this level of commitment was not present during my first semesters of college and my grades suffered. I needed to make a change. I refocused my efforts and with the help of my family, invaluable study partners, and excellent teachers, graduated with honors. My college career taught me a great deal in self-discipline and accountability. Throughout my husband’s frequent deployments with the military, we both learned about adaptability and self-reliance. Much like a PA collaborates with their physician, my husband and I communicated with each other to help maintain the household and discipline of our daughters. Now, as a civilian family, we see ourselves as lifelong learners, each on our own path of building healthcare experiences. As a re-applicant, I have focused on building my skills on all fronts. As a volunteer at a free neighborhood medical clinic, I have joined others to provide much needed medical care for the surrounding community. It has become such a personal joy to see my fellow volunteers, translators, and patients every week. Each clinic may run smoothly or be a night filled with challenges but no matter the circumstances, I always leave with a cheerful heart. One evening, a provider asked me to draw blood from a patient named Elena. Phlebotomy is an art that is learned with time and practice and two pairs of eyes are always better than one so I asked a nurse to help me find a vein to draw her blood. I remember Elena’s graciousness as we attempted and failed to get blood from her. Four venipunctures later, we finally got the blood we needed. Afterwards, Elena was not irritated about the situation or the time it took, but instead thankful for our services. Not only did we feel extremely humbled by her reaction but proud to serve a community of people that showed such faith in our ability to serve them. As with any great healthcare provider, I desire to have strong relationships with my patients, building rapport with them over time so their health improves. Our job is to listen to our patients and work with them to achieve common health goals. Mary, a family practice PA I shadowed, taught me not only how to effectively listen to patients and their concerns, but how to better communicate so they feel comfortable with our proposed care plan. She knew some of her patients so well, we could review their history before their appointments without even looking at their health record. When Mary walked in the exam room, her patients would burst out in excitement about her pregnancy and ask her all about it. Mary’s empathetic nature and great ability to listen to her patients resulted in excellent care, whether it was for our pediatric patient with a fever and cough or our patient that needed to go to the emergency room for appendicitis. She also helped me better understand the juxtaposition of autonomy while collaborating with a supervising physician. Mary saw many patients on her own during the day, but if a patient presented with complicated symptoms, she could brainstorm with her doctor to come up with the best plan of action. The more time I spend shadowing, the more I feel that a career as a PA is best suited for me and my abilities to communicate, listen, show compassion, and attention to detail. As a patient care technician in an emergency department I continuously use the opportunity to collaborate with my coworkers and strengthen my clinical decision making. When a critical patient comes in, it is paramount that the doctors, nurses, and techs all pull together for the most beneficial outcome. We put a strong focus on teamwork so there is no delay in our patient’s care. Paul, a patient complaining of dizziness and diaphoresis recently came in to triage. He had no complaints of chest pain but after completing the EKG, we saw what appeared to be a STEMI. After the doctor confirmed the ST elevation, we quickly brought the patient back to prepare him for the cath lab. A controlled chaos surrounded Paul as I helped to undress him and place him in a gown. A nurse entered the room to place IVs and the doctor also came in to explain to Paul that he was having another heart attack. A pharmacist stood by with vital medications to be administered. As the cath lab confirmed their readiness, another tech went to hold the elevator. When a patient such as Paul comes through our doors, time is of great importance. I greatly enjoy being a part of the healthcare team that makes such a difference in someone’s life. After learning about the physician assistant profession in college, my desire to pursue this career has continued to grow. From my various healthcare experiences, I decided that my skills as a confident, compassionate, hard-working, problem-solving team player best suit me to the PA career. The lifestyle, job mobility, and satisfaction are also important aspects of this field that I believe match well with my family.
  24. While training with my unit for an upcoming deployment, I was sent to the Combat Lifesaver Course (CLS) and certified as an additional duty during the. Basically the bridge between buddy-aid and the medics who arrive after help is called. How do I quantify this for CASPA experience entry?? My primary job was quite different, I was a convoy commander during the deployment. Each convoy had to contain at least 1 CLS qualified soldier in the case of IED/enemy contact. So, I was in "standby" status on every convoy. Any suggestions on how to add up that type of hours..? Fortunately, the only time I had to employ these skills was to eval soldiers suspected of heat exhaustion. Thanks!
  25. Hey guys, Prior Service Army medic (68W) looking into the HSCP for the fiscal year of 2017. I was in the Army from 2007-2011, 2 tours to Iraq, and honorably discharged. I recently got accepted to a PA program and I would definitely like to go back into the military. I looked into the Army but apparently they don't offer anything like the Navy does. I've met with a recruiter and he explained the process, going through a background check (SF 86), going to MEPS for medical, conducting phone and personal interview, references, personal statement.. etc... My question would be toward those who had prior service in the military (particularly as medics) how was your experience through this process? Was you military service counted favorably such as deployments? training? Awards? What kind of questions are asked in these interviews? I'm trying to get a big picture of everything and try to see what my chances are in being commissioned. Any feedback is greatly appreciated.
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