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Found 22 results

  1. I'm currently a student majoring in Diagnostic Medical Sonography (DMS) and expecting a BS and graduating from an honors program in spring 2015. I'm planning on taking my ARDMS specialty exams in Echocardiography, Abdomen, and OB/GYN. I'm contemplating about transitioning from a BS in DMS to MS-PA and was wondering whether it would be a good idea and how I would go about my route. I'm not sure whether my courses for DMS (or if any courses from Allied Health program) would be considered towards my science GPA. The courses include multiple leveled courses in Abdominal Cross Section Sonography, Abdominal Sonography (1, 2, & 3) , Echocardiography (1, 2, & 3), OB/GYN(1, 2, & 3), Non-Invasive Vascular, Superficial Structures and Neurosonography, Sonographic Physics (1 & 2) along with 1,200+ hours during clinical rotation at non-invasive cardiology, pediatric echocardiography, OB/GYN/MFM, and general abdominal ultrasound clinical sites in the metropolitan area. I have not finished all my courses yet so my GPA could be lower or higher when I graduate, but I would like a opinion on the general overview. My science GPA (assuming they don't account for my DMS courses) is a meek 3.184 from Bio 1&2, Chem 1&2, A&P 1&2, and an Introductory to Physics course. I've taken organic chemistry, but withdrew from the class due to personal reasons. I plan to take microbiology since most PA schools require it. My non-science GPA (assuming they don't account for my DMS courses with my honors liberal courses Philosophy, Literature, History, Social Science, Psychology, Speech, math courses (Precalculus, and Calculus), and a statistics class) is a 3.37 Assuming the DMS courses count in my science GPA and not my non-science GPA, my science GPA would be 3.29. Assuming the DMS courses count in my non-science GPA, my non-science GPA would be 3.37. My overall GPA currently is a 3.35. I've done 1,200+ hours during my clinical rotations at hospitals and 800+ hours as a pharmacy technician at a retail pharmacy. I'm familiar with reading and performing echocardiograms, general abdomen and OB/GYN ultrasounds and reading CT scans, X-rays, and mammograms. I'm also familiar with drug names and purpose of them. I know that I have to receive my Bachelors prior to applying to the CASPA, but I would like to know any helpful advice prior to applying (I don't plan to apply soon, but it would be helpful to be completely prepared to submit my application) and opinion about whether it would be a good idea to transition from DMS to PA. Thanks a bunch!
  2. 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!
  3. 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!
  4. Put the Highlighter Down and Nobody Gets Hurt By Hannah Turner You’re sitting in class, pulling out your notebook and pencil when you see her. She’s sitting in the front row, right in the center of the classroom. It’s highlighter girl, and she has her game face on today. Her laptop is open and sits to her left, the lecture slides are printed out sitting directly in front of her, pens, pencils and erasers are ready to go on her right, and she has every color highlighter imaginable at her disposal. Class starts and highlighter girl stays true to her name, adding color to nearly every line of text on those printed slides, switching between markers rapidly as she goes. She seems like she really knows what she’s doing. You look down at your notes and can’t help but feel inferior, like you’re missing something. Weeks later, the class gets the first test back. When students are comparing scores you’re surprised to find that highlighter girl didn’t do very well… Maybe you weren’t missing something after all. One of the most important things you can learn in undergrad is how to streamline the note taking and studying processes to allow for maximum learning in a minimal amount of time - you have to learn how to be efficient . Everyone seems to have their own method, and many students tend to complicate the process with no real return on investment. Throughout my college career I have had to find ways to increase my studying and note taking efficiency to create more time for myself. Between upper level science coursework, extracurriculars, part-time and often even full-time work, more time is something that I desperately needed to be successful. Below are a few of the things I learned along the way that allowed me to maintain a 3.9 cumulative GPA and a 3.97 science GPA with a busy schedule in a science heavy major. Put Your Pack of Highlighters Down It’s easy to be enticed by underlining and highlighting the text on those lecture slides, but in reality you aren’t accomplishing much. The idea that these methods are useful in a note taking capacity comes from the Von Restorff Effect, which states that differentiating text by using color makes it stand out against other words on the page, aiding in memory recall. The problem here is that the information on a lecture slide has already been summarized and contains only the most salient, concise points, so you’re often tempted to highlight much of the text on the slide. If the majority of the text on a page is highlighted, you are defeating the purpose of highlighting entirely. Another issue with highlighting and underlining is that these methods are largely ineffective for actively processing information compared to other note taking methods. Writing out your notes forces you to condense and summarize information in your own words, allowing the learning process to begin. If you instead only pick up your highlighter and move it across the page, you’re accomplishing much less. Don’t take the bait! Actively take notes in lecture and put your highlighters away. Consider keeping one highlighter or pen out to make note of extremely important information, and resist the urge to colorize. Note Taking, the Better Way The better way to retain information is to actively take notes, and to take them by hand. Studies have shown that those who used laptops in class had a more shallow understanding of lecture material and performed more poorly on tests, especially with conceptual questions. This is even worse when students are multitasking with their laptops during lecture, creating a distraction for themselves. Although with a laptop students are able to take more notes, there is little processing involved in transcribing the material. Due to the time constraints associated with taking notes by hand, students are required to actively condense and summarize information throughout lecture while focusing on the most relevant pieces of information. This means that the learning starts from the moment the pen hits the paper, building a solid foundation for studying in the future. I believe that for nearly every undergraduate level course, note taking by hand is the superior method, as the speed at which the material is delivered tends to be fairly manageable. When considering graduate level coursework, I do feel that courses move at a more rigorous pace and typing can become a necessity. The moral of the story here is to use your best judgement and prioritize taking notes by hand whenever it is possible. The Next Step Taking notes is important, but this will only build the foundation for learning. What you do with your notes will determine how successful you are in your courses. My next article will address the most effective ways to study and provide tips for the best methods to utilize for different prerequisite courses.
  5. Is a degree in a natural science like chemistry or biology more beneficial than a degree in something like psychology? Does one prepare you more for PA school than another? I was going to go to college for a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a minor in Personal Health. Obviously, my end goal is to become a PA. I’m currently in the process of becoming a surgical technician, and would like to be a surgical PA. When I look at actual PA programs curriculum (at least near me), they don’t seem to be heavily science-based in terms of like Organic Chemistry, Biology, etc other than the prerequisites to get accepted. Once you get accepted though, the context looks a lot less detailed on those things. Am I missing something? From my perspective, a psychology degree would be just as beneficial as biology. Am I wrong?
  6. Hello! I was wondering what chemistry grades people have received and whether they were able to get into PA school with them. I have currently an A in gen chem 1, a B- in genchem 2 and orgo 1, and a B in orgo 2. Should I retake any classes? Or will I be able to get into a PA school with these grades? (Just a note my overall science gpa is 3.5). Sorry for the annoying question, but any advice is greatly appreciated, thank you! -Maylily7
  7. Hello everyone, I was hoping someone could shed some light on my situation. I am currently a paramedic, and have over 10,000 HCE. I was working as a firefighter recruit in the academy and unfortunately got injured twice. I was forced to resign and started working as a paramedic again. I love medicine and I have been working on my undergrad for the past 1.5 years. Currently a senior and all of my prereqs are finished (sgpa 3.7). I have an upward trend in my GPA, which was initially terrible (had bad GPA about 8 years ago when I was going through family issues and wasn't focused in school). I also am starting a pre pa club at my university, and will have a couple hundred hours of Volunteer work. My question is, If I apply to schools that allow me to apply pending my undergrad degree, how does CASPA calculate my GPA, considering I am not completely done and there are some missing credits which could potentially raise my cGPA. Thanks !!
  8. Any members who have been part of a Pre-Physician Assistant Society student organization at the campus/university in the past either as a member or officer/board member? I am currently the vice-president of our society on campus, and I am looking for any advice or tips from other’s experience in the past. We have bi-weekly meetings and have guest speakers from PA programs, current PAs, PA students, info for members about CASPA, PCE/HCE and some events. It's very difficult to find any information about undergrad Pre-PA societies online, and I am always looking for new ideas to get future PA students more involved or find the best ways to cater to their needs while also growing out smaller student organization. Any advice, tips, or info would be so incredible and helpful! (We are always looking for PAs and PA students to come and speak to! Members also love hearing about applicant stats, so I try to use the forum to research this as much as possible.)
  9. Hi everybody, At my university, I have to take a human/mammalian physiology class as one of the requirements for a Molecular Cell Bio major. Without realizing that I had to take that class (because I was being stupid and not double checking), I enrolled myself into a regular Human Physiology class (for PA school) and am currently getting a C. I know for sure that I would eventually have to take the Human/Mammalian Physiology course that is required. 1. Would PA schools consider the Human/Mammalian Physiology course as a Physiology class? Or is it strictly suppose to be focused on human Physio only? 2. Let's say that I did better in the Human/Mammalian Physio course, would PA schools disregard the C that I had received in the prior course? Thank you so much! :)
  10. Current PA students, what upper level science courses would you recommend for undergraduate that will be most helpful for PA school?(Aside from A&P I,II, and Microbio which I've taken). I'm considering immunology? I'm also looking to see if my college offers Intro to Pharmacology...Any advice or input is appreciated
  11. Hey everyone! Thinking a liiiitle far in advance here. I'm currently beginning to apply for colleges and my top two right now are Notre Dame and Stony Brook. I'd love to go to ND because I'm from Long Island and have dreamed of getting away from here. But I've heard that Stony accepts undergrads from them into their PA program more frequently than those from other schools, especially from outside NY. Since I am a native Long Islander, do you think I'd still have that NY res hook and could get into SBU for PA just as easily if I went to ND? Or is my best bet to go to SBU for undergrad and then apply to their PA program and increase my chance of acceptance? Thanks for the help!
  12. Hello, I am a pre-PA student in my junior year of my undergraduate studies. I chose Psychology as a major because I was initially attempting to get into an RN program, finished most of the PA school prerequisites in my first 2 years, and wanted to study something I found interesting and applicable to being a PA when I transferred to a University. As I am taking my time on the way to PA school and chiseling away at my required HCE I won't be applying for at least another 2 years. I have a lot of free time and find the lack of medicine, Anatomy, and physiology specific studies getting a bit boring. Would any PA students recommend any books that they used in PA school that I could begin reading and understanding? Of course I would be looking for books that I would actually understand as a pre-PA student without a mentor. Would " Bates' Guide to Physical Examination and History Taking, 10th Edition" or any other books like that be advantageous for me to start on in my free time? Any recommendations would be very much appreciated. Thank you very much.
  13. HI guys. FIrst, a little about myself. Single full time dad of 2 little ones. FT respiratory therapist with 5 years experience. Now, before my kids were born and before respriratory school had even begun, I knew my goal was to become a PA. My plan was to graduate as an RT, as I did, and gain experience and reapply for shcool for my bacheors. Being an RT is great, but being an RT and supporting 2 kids gets a bit difficult when your constantly streatching yourself between working night shifts and raising children. I had an understanding a long time ago that being a PA fulfilled some sort of home/work balance. Thats whats always intrigued me to the field. Good pay without all the extra OT hours to keep up to pace with lifes curveballs. And of course, I knew i wanted more patient interaction, more responsibility than that of an RT. Now, I am at a point where I am ready to go back to school in the very near future. My dilema is finding a proper undergrad. I am trying to find something that isnt a biology degree (because really, is PA school doesnt work out, WTH am i going to do with a biology degree??) . The only thing that may seem semi interesting to me is Healthcare admin. BUt even that doesnt sound all that appealing. Anywho, what was the path you took before getting into PA school?? I am trying to find my "blueprint" so to speak. Maybe yours could enlighten me. Thanks GUYS ! and BTW what a great forum this is....
  14. Hi! Could someone answer a question about PA school prerequisites? I'm an undergrad at the University of Florida, and I'm not sure whether to: 1) take organic chemistry 1 & 2 and then biochemistry 2) take "fundamentals of organic chemistry" and then "fundamentals of biochemistry" 3) just take organic chemistry 1 The "fundamentals" classes are not pre-med science classes, but I know most PA schools don't even require organic chemistry and biochemistry, and many only ask for "1 semester of organic chemistry or biochemistry". Does anyone know which of these options would be the best idea? I have registration tomorrow and I'm a bit desperate. Thank you!
  15. Hi! Could someone answer a question about PA school prerequisites? I'm an undergrad at the University of Florida, and I'm not sure whether to: 1) take organic chemistry 1 & 2 and then biochemistry 2) take "fundamentals of organic chemistry" and then "fundamentals of biochemistry" 3) just take organic chemistry 1 The "fundamentals" classes are not pre-med science classes, but I know most PA schools don't even require organic chemistry and biochemistry, and many only ask for "1 semester of organic chemistry or biochemistry". Does anyone know which of these options would be the best idea? I have registration tomorrow and I'm a bit desperate. Thank you!
  16. I am a 23 year old CNA currently getting my AS and Surgical Technology certification at community college. I am very excited to work in the OR and want to become a Surgical PA. However, with clinicals starting I have some concerns about what undergraduate path to take. (I am confident in my grades, I did very well in my science classes and my current gpa is a 3.4) Jefferson University has a partnership with my community college and because I will have satisfied more than 50% of my prerequisites at Community College I can get my BS and Cardiovascular Catheterization Technology Certification in one year. (12 months full-time) My questions are these: (finally) 1. Will it hurt my chances of getting into a good (Surgical) Physician Assistant program if I "rush" into this one year BS option? 2. Will taking the Surgical Tech & Cardio Cath Tech track help me get into a Surgical Physician Assistant program or would I have the same chance if I went to a higher ranking college for Biology? (I didn't know how to word that without it seeming offensive to Jefferson students. I really don't mean to offend.) For those of you who may recommend that I look into med school please know that I have my reasons for preferring a career as a Surgical PA but I am open to comments on the subject. I am most interested in working in the OR and am looking for the right path to lead me there. This site has been so incredibly helpful and any advice you guys have would be so greatly appreciated!
  17. Greetings Everyone, My name is Chris and I am brand spankin' new to this forum and I had a very early question regarding the idealization of specialties and the actuality of specialties once PA school is nearing its end. Right now, I am finishing my Junior year of undergraduate school. Based on GPA, relations, involvement, etc. I have the opportunity to produce a potentially competitive application for PA school. With that in mind, I have a few specialties I am interested in (neurology, research, psychiatry, and vascular surgery). The part I am most confused about is what qualifications allow one PA vs. another to be able to specialize? I constitute specializing as serving as a PA in a specific field of medicine outside of clinics and general medicine. Do things such as where you attended PA school, come into play? I understand this may be a very naive sounding question, but I am trying to get the gist of the process in order to prepare myself accordingly. Any advice on this matter is welcome, particularly from those who are on the other side of the PA fence and who currently specialize in a specific field. -Chris
  18. So long story short, I've experienced a rough transition from high school to undergraduate. My first year marks were not the best and my second year marks were average (biochem, genetics). Needless to say, the bottom of my transcript is nothing to boast about. Come third year, I get my life together and start popping out consistent 4.0s left, right, and center all the way through 4th year as well (human anatomy, human physiology, etc). So my issue is undoing my first two years. I am now graduated and have a lousy 3.0 overall GPA, with a 3.9-4.0 in my last two years. With this in mind, I realize there are masters programs out there which only look at the last two years. Obviously with my transcript, this is the difference between night and day. Are there PA schools out there worth going to which perform admissions in a similar manner? If not, how can I right my wrongs? I am currently in the phase of shadowing and receiving HCE hours before I apply, and have extensive volunteer, and leadership experience under my belt.Time and debt of going back to school for 2 more years would be overwhelming! Thanks for the input!
  19. Hi there, I am starting college this fall and am having some questions about my major. As of right now I am majoring in Human Development and Family Studies and minoring in Biology. The minor in Biology will fulfill my pre req cources for PA school. My question is how will my major affect (positively or negatively) getting into PA school? Thanks!
  20. I am following a pre-PA track right now and I have recently just finished my first year of undergrad. I originally was planning to volunteer at a hospital, but I realized when it was too late that it does not offer the hands-on patient care experience that I desired. I'm still going to volunteer at the hopsital, but I would really like to gain this experience starting this summer. I cannot do any HCE at a hospital since I am not certified in anything. To gain such an experience, should i try to get certified as an EMT or CNA? If so, which do you think is the best road to take to get the best experience? Are there any other ways of gaining HCE besides being certified as an EMT or CNA? I would really like to get myself involved in hands on patient care experience since i haven't been really exposed to it. My only concern about being certified as an EMT / CNA during my undergrad years is the possibility of not being able to find a job with that certification. That would pretty much mean I wasted my ~1k to get certified.
  21. I am currently a Freshman in college pursuing a Public Health Sciences major. I have looked into the PA programs in California and I am sure that I want to pursue a career as a PA. However, I still have some questions and I was hoping for someone to help me create a "plan of action" for the rest of my undergrad years all the way through applying to a PA program. Some general questions I have: -When is the best time to apply to a PA program? Should I plan to attend right after my undergrad graduation, or is it better to wait some time after I graduate and then apply? -How competitive are PA programs in California? Is the minimum GPA listed in the general requirements enough? -What if I am struggling in some courses as an undergrad? Is it impossible to get back on track and continue pursuing a career as a PA? -How do I fullfil the work related hour requirements as an undergrad?' -The Stanford PA program is accelerated. Will this program be more competitive to get into? If you can help with any of my concerns I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks!
  22. Hi everyone. I am a high school senior who is stressing about where I want to go to school, as well as figure out what I want to do for the rest of my life. The idea that the decisions I make these next few months could be life altering one's scare me. Crazy right? I am currently an intern at a local hospital. When people ask me what I do, I like to say, "I'm a CNA......under supervision." So yes, I clean up poop. My internship is great being that I get to rotate through various departments of the hospital. All throughout high school, my career goals have constantly changed. It's been a roller coaster. When I got into my internship, I knew the medical field was for me, but now what? As bad as this sounds, I wanted to be a doctor for the title and sadly, the money. So, I applied to all of my universities as a Biology/Pre-med student with the hopes I do well in my prerequisites and get past the 4%-8% admission rates to medical school. But, the doctors at my hospital, granted this only a few, are not very social. The nurses on the other hand are friendly and more people oriented in my opinion. So, after being accepted as a pre-med student, I changed my major to pre-nursing to ultimately get my BSN. I respect nurses but I hope to further my education and go to PA school. So, what do I do? If I understand this correctly, would this be the correct route? First, get my BSN and work as an RN gaining clinical experience. Second, apply to a post-baccalaureate program and fulfill the prerequisites for PA school. Lastly, apply/get accepted to an accredited PA program. Is this correct? I am so sorry if this topic has already come up. Words cannot describe how passionate I am about the healthcare field I don't want to mess it up! Hope you all have a good day!
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