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  1. I am done with didactic and is about start rotation soon. I think should feel excited to be done "the hard part" yet I'm filled with doubts and anxiety about moving forward. I originally came into this profession with the idea that I want to help patients understand diseases and empower them with knowledge to help themselves. Looking back now, I somehow feel like I've been passively heading toward this direction all my life because when people asked me what I wanted to do, I just said I want to do something medical related. Be it after school programs in high school or medical related jobs after college. There were times before PA school where I had doubts that this may not be right for me but then quickly brushed it off. When I do bring this up with family and others, I always get asked "what else do you want to do if not this" and I never had an answer because I wasn't actively looking at alternatives. Then I would get told that just do this if you don't know. I felt like I set this expectation for myself to set out to be a medical provider when I was way younger and now im feeling kinda stuck with having to follow through. Else i'd be a disappointment. I'd be lying if I didn't feel any familial pressure to stay the course. Then I got into PA school and it gave me a sort of adrenaline rush like "yeah! i got in, i can do it!". I thought it was gonna be simple and all I had to do was keep my head down and get through it. Yet throughout didactic there was always this tiny inner voice whispering to me "this feels wrong". I chalked it up to just being stressed out by the heavy workload and imposter syndrome and buried it. Sometimes when I do talk about it with my family I just get told to keep going because I've invested so much into this so at the very least just stick out the first year and see how it goes. Now that i've clawed my way through didactic, I feel completely burnt out. I took a month long break without doing anything PA school related. I spoke with friends who graduated already who tell me that clinicals would be completely different, similar to the countless other posts i read online. Looking ahead to clinicals I just don't even care much less feel excited and I know that won't help me make it through. Thinking back to when I decided to enroll in the first place vs now make me feel like I'm in a totally different person. I feel like the spark of interest for medicine that could have ignited a flame of passion just kinda fizzled out as time went on for me. I don't get interested in medical topics anymore. I don't feel motivated anymore and have trouble feeling empathy for anyone. I sure this is part of the burn out but can't shake the feeling that it's more than just that. I lay awake at night contemplating whether I've had enough and seen enough to say "I've gave it an honest attempt and now it's time to move on" or if actually being in clinicals will make a difference. When imagine winding up to grind through a 2nd year for clinicals, i get a sinking feeling in my stomach. When I imagine not being a PA, i think, "im ok with that". If I quit now, it would feel like be a huge financial and time wasted on this path and a lot of resistance from those around me. If I continue, it could possibly be an even bigger wager of time, money, and effort on a "maybe" I'll change my mind during clinicals. I think about this on a daily basis now. Anyone who have experience care to give some advice?
  2. Has anyone had any interview experience with schools asking applicants questions from subjects they took most recently to that date? Almost like a quiz or comprehension of the recent course? Wondering because I feel like I wouldn't be able to recall any academic material under that much pressure. TIA!
  3. Hi Everyone! I have a question that I HOPE someone on here has experienced and can help me out with an answer! As you know, many schools allow for one or two prereqs to be in progress when applying, but some require all to be completed prior to CASPA submission. My question is, if I put all my info into CASPA and say my course is in progress then submit to the programs that allow in progress submissions, can I then change that course to say completed or indicate that its not in progress any more and submit to the program that requires all to be completed once I'm done with the course? Or is there some way that they would know its completed, because the transcript submitted prior won't have that in progress course on there and I don't know if I need to request another transcript be sent to CASPA. Or, if one program has already been submitted and in the process of being verified then it voids all access to any of the academic materials that I would edit/add for other programs that have not yet been submitted. Would I need to contact the program and directly send them another copy of the transcript showing completion of the course? I know many programs say not to send them anything directly. I've contacted CASPA and they aren't answering my question to my satisfaction, but I'm sure one of you lovely people can. Thank you in advance!
  4. Hi! This fall I will commence my undergraduate studies at SUNY Cortland and I'm pretty concerned with being prepared for applying to PA programs, especially in regards to obtaining direct patient care hours. I was doing research and there are programs in which their accepted candidates average or will have even have more than 4,000 hours. This is quite the daunting task considering I plan to be a full-time student over the next four years. As of now, I plan on being involved in the campus EMS squad where I will receive training and will be required to serve a minimum of two 12-hour shifts per semester. However, I will aim to serve at least 1 of these shifts every week. Do these volunteer hours count as direct patient care hours? Additionally, the squad will pay for my EMT-B training throughout this upcoming year's spring semester if I agree to volunteer for them for the two semesters of my sophomore year. Thus, I will be able to at least volunteer as an EMT-B over the next few summers as well. Cortland Regional Medical Center is also a five-minute drive from the university, so I will most likely be able to shadow and volunteer here, but they are not a teaching hospital so they do not often have training experiences. So my overarching question is how am I supposed to get the hours I need by the fall of my senior year when application season begins? Will I most likely have to accumulate hours for another year after my undergrad? Furthermore, are there any other positions I can seek to display diversity within the hours I accumulate, and are there any other pieces of advice you can offer me as I begin to plan? Thanks for all the help!
  5. I’m currently attending a quarterly-based credit college and get 3 credits in some of my crucial prerequisite classes. All the pre-pa programs I’ve looked at say something along the lines of “Organic Chemistry - 3 semester hours or 4 quarter hours” but my college only gives 3 quarter hours for a class like this. I have no idea what I’m supposed to do. If my college gives 3 hours when I need 4, how do I get that additional hour? So confused!
  6. Greetings, I am preparing for a few interviews I have in the near future and wanted to pose this question. All the literature I have found says that I should prepare for my interview, that is, read possible questions, practice my answers, know what I am going to say before I get into the room, etc etc.... and, this just struck me as...odd? So my question is this: Does prepare for your interview mean: Read all the practice questions I can, have an answer in mind, rehearse my answers, practice what I think I should say before hand etc. etc. Or does prepare for your interview mean: Look kid... you've had 4 hard years of school which you graduated with outstanding grades, you've worked hard in multiple settings and collected over 1000s of experience hours, you organically and honestly want to become a PA, all of these things have led me to this moment... so rely on my education, rely on my experience, and rely on my honest and organic drive to become an PA and simply answer the questions as truthfully and organically as possible... even if the answers are not the "right" answer? Or do the interviewers just want to hear the "right" answer, practiced, rehearsed, and articulated well? idk just to me the real world is never rehearsed or practiced... its live, in the moment, and crazy... and you have to just trust yourself and rely on your eduction to do the right thing in that exact moment... why should a PA interview be any different? Thanks in advance
  7. Sooooo I took Gen Chem I and II, plus both labs (8 credits worth) at a local community college. When entering them into CASPA, do the A's add into my Science GPA? Or is it a separate category? It'd be reallyyyy nice to have 8 more A's to boost my sciences. THANKS FOR ANY HELP <3 and yes, I will check with CASPA to be sure :)
  8. I have a recently expired DEA for NH, and am applying for jobs/possibly moving to MA. Do I need to apply for a federal DEA and then something with the state? Just confused about the process and I can't remember what I did last time when I finished school. I will call the agencies but thought I'd post here first. I already have my new state license for MA. Thank you!
  9. I'm in my senior year of high school and I will soon be applying to colleges/universities, but I have a lot of questions: I know (or at least I've been told, so correct me if I'm wrong) that if someone is planning to become a physician and go to medical school, that medical schools essentially view their undergrad years in a similar manner as colleges/universities view high school years. Is this the same for those on track to become a PA? To confirm, my question is: Does where I go for undergrad matter to physician assistant master's programs/PA schools as long as I have a good GPA? Is it better to enter a physician assistant program right out of high school, or does it not really matter too much? I ask this because I worry about competitiveness in the future when trying to find a job, and I want to be able to get a good job when I graduate and not be scared that I won't. So, the bottomline of what I'm asking is: What do employers specifically look for when selecting employees in this field and how could I make myself stand out? Financial aid is iffy for my family's financial situation because my dad makes 125K+ a year. However, due to the very high taxes, a high mortgage, and other expenses that my family has to pay, money is becoming more and more of a worry now that college applications are coming up fast. Additionally, I will be taking 5 AP exams in May ($470), there will be yearbook and senior picture fees to take care of, etc., and my family has only saved up a little over $10,000 dollars in my college fund. So do any of you know a way to save money in college and on physician assistant programs? This kind of adds onto #1 because if I can go to a less expensive undergrad to save money that would be really great. Other than GPA what are the requirements (or anything else that they look for but don't necessarily require) for applying to a physician assistant master's program after getting my bachelor's? Do you know of any specific schools that are good for this field? What should I major in? Those are really all the questions I can think of for now. Thank you to anybody that takes out the time to help me with this, because it really is a nerve-wracking time right now and I need to figure out my plans. Any other related information is gladly appreciated as well!!!
  10. kaplan question bank for sale. almost 2 full weeks left. message me for more details
  11. Hello all. I have been digging around on this forum for a while and trying to avoid posting but with the application cycle coming up I have a question or two. My first question is should I apply this cycle? I am working on a Psych Degree with a cGPA: 3.96 sGPA: 3.9 GRE: Not Yet Worth Mentioning: I only have 4 prereqs left. Anatomy, Physio, Microbio, Biochem I had to withdraw my original first year due to illness and have only withdrawn from one class since then. This I feel should not be a factor after I explain but it could hurt me. I have ~4000 hours PCE as a nurse's aide. I have held the same job for going on four years. Volunteer experience - Hospital greeter 150hrs, Horse Therapy Handler ~100 hrs and rising Research Experience - A good bit and I am paid to mentor other students Shadowing - 8hrs ER ( This I can get up by application ) I have also shadowed a physician for 40 hours but probably won't include that LOR's - This is my problem. 1 from a Professor I research with 1 from my STNA Job (One of the head nurses) 1 from my other job or second professor I don't have a PA letter. I am shadowing but don't feel comfortable asking someone I have shadowed. In my job I work with a lot of nurses and very few PAs or Physicians I plan to only apply to schools that don't require a PA letter and only want a letter from a health care professional. If I apply this cycle I would only apply to two schools in the city closest to me. My husband is in the military and we were given a house, so I prefer not to uproot but we will next cycle if we have to. Is it worth only applying to two schools? Thank you.
  12. This is the ONE question that you are sure to be asked by every school. In fact, you will be asked this multiple times and by multiple interviewers. And they way you answer might determine whether or not you are accepted. It follows that there is NO excuse for being caught off guard. And you better have a darn good answer. So let’s tackle this question together. Please read more from my blog post on this topic and let me know your thoughts! http://pajourney.com/2015/01/07/why-do-you-want-to-become-a-physician-assistant/
  13. I am a student graduating in December and have begun the job search process. Many positions are available, but I'm finding they're either very rural, temp positions, float positions, or in a subspecialty that would be a poor fit for me after school. I am really interested in family practice or a surgical subspecialty. Today I applied for a job (my first time) that said they would consider new grads, but immediately received an email that I did not have enough experience. This is disheartening and I'm beginning to wonder if perhaps my expectations are too high. Granted, I have just begun the search and have plenty of time. I'm just curious about perspectives from everyone here. Please share as much as you feel comfortable, or PM me if you do not want this public. A few questions: How long did you search before finding positions you were interested in as a new grad? How many times had you been dismissed due to being new? Did you have to broaden your search and apply to positions that weren't necessarily ideal? Were you satisfied with your first position? If you could have a do-over from graduation, what would you have done differently. Thank you in advance. I will keep my chin up and keep applying.
  14. So the more I read this, the more I start to doubt myself. Did I answer the prompt? Describe an occasion from one of your hands-on patient care experiences which you felt was particularly eye-opening. What did you learn from your experience? How has it helped shape your interest in or knowledge of the profession of Physician Assistants? (Limit: 500 words or less) One Thanksgiving night, when our hospital census was low, I was floated down to the ED where they did not have a technician. I was anxious because I had never worked in the ED as a technician. After a few hours of getting to know my surroundings, a call came through about a woman that was found unresponsive in her bathroom. The team and I set up the trauma bay in preparation. Unfortunately, there was a loss of communication and we were unaware that the woman was nine months pregnant until EMS arrived. Heart pounding, I assisted the staff in hooking the patient up to the monitors while working around the paramedics performing CPR. Once the trauma team took over, I stepped aside and waited in case they needed anything. Although the team worked seamlessly for what seemed like hours, they determined the mother was unable to be revived. The pediatric trauma team had not yet arrived and we knew there was little time to deliver the infant. A man started preparing for a C-Section, calling on me for supplies and instructing others on what to do. Not long after he began to cut, the pediatric team arrived and was able to take over and successfully deliver the baby. I later found out that this man was a physician assistant that had worked in labor and delivery for seven years prior to working in the ED. This was an exhilarating learning experience for me. I learned that although I was nervous, I was able to work under pressure. Not only this, but I was able to quickly adapt to a new environment and efficiently work with an unfamiliar group. Most importantly, I learned that I enjoyed every second of it. This experience also shaped my interest and understanding of the PA profession. I saw the support this profession provides in a team. This PA both followed and led the group in the trauma bay, adjusting to the role that was most needed. I also saw the versatility PAs have in medicine. He, having a previous background in the delivery room, saved that baby’s life. Later, I saw this PA go back to caring for a patient that had come in for a sprained ankle. For me, this was most important. He gave each patient his undivided attention, no matter how relatively trivial their complaint. I was reluctant to go to the ED that night. Looking back, I am happy I went. This was definitely eye-opening; I learned a lot about myself. I also formed a deeper understanding and respect for the PA profession.
  15. tafy24

    CASPA - name change

    I will be applying through CASPA in this next cycle, and I want to get my application in as early as possible. However, I'm getting married in August and will be changing my last name. My address will also change at that time. Should I wait to submit my application until those rather important changes have been made, or should I submit it earlier, when I have all of my information entered?
  16. Hey everyone, I thought it would be useful to start a thread of questions to practice for PA school interviews. I have made a very thorough list of questions and published it on my blog PAJourney.com Check out the link below. I hope you find it useful! Also, please feel free to publish your own questions on this thread. Practice makes perfect! http://pajourney.com/2015/01/29/interview-questions-to-practice/
  17. One of the most important things you can accomplish in your personal statement is to demonstrate that you know the specific roles of a PA and why you want to become one. I recently wrote a blog entry on this topic that you should check out! Garunteed to help you write your personal statement. http://pajourney.com/2015/01/07/why-do-you-want-to-become-a-physician-assistant/
  18. Hey everyone, I have a question about transferring credits from two different schools. I'm applying for PA School at the moment and when I first went to school I didn't do so hot. My GPA was a 3.0 but I have like 6 withdrawals and 4 C's. I stopped going to school, worked for two years aka got my life together and then went back to school. Now I'm graduating with a 3.8. Would it be considered academic dishonesty if I didn't submit the first school's transcripts? I don't need any of those credits, do I have to submit the credits? All types of feed back would be helpful, thank you!
  19. I am currently in college, and I am considering studying to become a Registered Dietitian. However, my NUMBER ONE goal is to become a PA. Becoming an RD wouldn't be a short path--I'd graduate with the degree, complete an 8-month internship, and THEN begin paid work. If I continue to pursue this path and then work for a year or two as an RD, will this count as health care experience or will I just be wasting my time? Thanks!
  20. I have been thinking about this a bit since reading RC's post on PA's educating PA's. Where are we in terms of developing future leaders? IMHO, very far behind the nursing and physician establishment. Our profession has done a great job in developing clinicians that can practice medicine efficiently and cost effectively. We are valued members of our health care teams. But in essence, to me, as I look back over the last 26yrs of my career and squint into the next decade of my career, I ponder what does that really mean? This will sound a bit jaded, especially to newer PA's but esssentially, the majority of us are "grunts". We work the front lines, handling whatever comes our way, loading/unloading the trucks(typically better and faster than those around us), come back to work the next day and do it all again. Yes, we educate ourselves, our patients, colleauges, students, residents, etc. We may even sit on committees, be a "chief" PA in our hospital(those positions are few/far between) work at the state level with our PA association or on a national level BUT: where is the actual leadership development taking place in our profession??? Where is the opportunity to learn about becoming a leader and then having the opportunity to become said leader? At every hospital I have worked, there has been leadership development for nursing. There is a track that nurses can get on and make their way up the ladder to even higher level positions. At my current facility, all nursing management positions go to "leadership" education days. Many of our upper level management personnel are nurses that do not have advanced degrees but made their way up the ranks in the early days and now are VP level. Where is the equivalent experience for PA's? Our physicians in leadership positions, such has division heads/chiefs of departments, also get leadership development with assigned readings, meetings with the leadership development personnel in HR. A very cursory google search on nursing leadership and you can discover: http://www.aone.org/education/ENLI.shtml http://www.qhrlearninginstitute.com/events/event_details.asp?id=214890 http://www.cnlassociation.org/what-is-a-CNL At the annual EAST(Eastern Association Surgical Trauma) they have a 3 YEAR program for Trauma/Acute Care Surgeons so that they may develop leadership ability. I feel that we get a tremendous amount of recognition about what a vital role we are to have in the upcoming years, particularly with all the changes taking place in a new health care world but it begs the question: what is that role? To be present and keep loading and unloading the trucks even faster, more efficiently and for less $$ than others? Where is our seat at the table? Our chance to impact policy? If not on a national level at least in our own little fishbowls: our clinics, hospitals, networks. I feel the paucity of attention we have given to this aspect of professional developement, in years to come, may be a real hindrance to giving PA's an opportunity to advance outside the clinical realm.
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