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  1. Hello everyone, I have been following this forum for a little over a month now and have obtained some very insightful information! However, I have yet to find the answers to a few of my questions. I came across the military thread but felt like my post would be more appropriate for the Pre-PA section. A little background information before I begin asking my questions, I will be transitioning out of the military in may of this year, I have already been accepted to the number one school on my list for my undergrad in exercise science. I have obtained some college credits throughout my military career and have also taken two general courses at a local community college. I have yet to receive my transfer credit evaluation but I can guesstimate that I will have around 18-24 credits total. I will be utilizing my post 9-11 GI bill educational benefit for school, This benefit covers up to 36 months total. Would you recommend I pay out of pocket for a year or two of my undergrad in order to have PA school covered by my education benefit? Does being a veteran heighten the chances of being selected when it comes to applying to PA school? Although I am not actively involved in the medical field as a corpsman or field medic in the military, The physician on my base has said with the approval of my leadership, he will allow me to work on patients with him and will write a letter stating the different activities and procedures I performed while working under him. Now would this technically be considered Paid Direct patient care? And could I use this for hours in my application process? The school I am attending has a policy where if you have obtained your undergrad at the institution, you are guaranteed an interview for their PA program (As long as you meet the minimum requirements). Should I keep my eyes set on getting into this program once I'm finished with my undergrad or should I still take the initiative to apply to other schools as well? Thank you all for your time!
  2. Maverick87


    Hey all. Figured I'd post this since there are so many people messaging me and creating threads on the military HPSP (which appears to be no longer available to PAs). It appears that the VA is also creating an HPSP program that will be available to PAs and will begin to receive applications in January of 2016. Here's an excerpt from the VA website: In all honesty, I would say that this scholarship program is actually better than the military scholarship program for most people, especially if you have a family and are not prior enlisted, due to the lack of deployments and decreased obligation (minimum for this scholarship is 1 year, as opposed to the military, which is 3 years). Of course, it is the federal government so it may not come to fruition, but it's definitely an interesting concept.
  3. This last semester I wrote a thesis discussing the downward trend of veteran enrollment into PA schools (down to 4% of matriculants in the 2012 cycle), and some of the barriers faced by veterans getting into PA school. My professor had just completed a fellowship in DC working in Senator Blumenthal's office (who sits on the Senate Veteran Affairs committee). She liked my paper and presentation. So much so that I am slated to discuss my paper with Senator Blumenthal's staff in June. While this is a great opportunity, I don't believe in giving a presentation like this without offering solutions. I don't like just "bitching sessions". As such, I am asking for input from any fellow vets, current PAs, PA students and PA faculty that read this. What solutions can be implemented to help increase veteran matriculation into PA programs? Some things to consider: over 89% of PA schools now require a Bachelor's degree to get in, so veterans may expend all their GI Bill funds just to meet the prerequisites. There was a grant fund for expanding Primary Care for PA schools that gave extra points to programs that could show active recruitment/ mentoring of veterans. This grant, as of 2014, has been rolled into 5 other grant programs, and the veteran advantage portion has disappeared for future grant seekers. The "vet 2 PA" initiative from a few years ago has been silent. The veteran section of the PA focus from PAEA has been unchanged for almost two years now. The white house blog on veteran transition has been silent since 2013. This is a career that came from veterans; the PA school model is even based off a world war 2 medical school model. However, the age of applicants and the amount of experience they have is decreasing annually. What can be done to incentivize PA schools to increase veteran enrollment, and ensure veterans are competitive for that enrollment? Any thoughts would be greatly appreciative. This may be an opportunity to introduce change, and I don't want to let it pass without soliciting the opinions of others. Thanks.
  4. I am a non-degree seeking post-bacc pre-PA student. In May, I completed the last prerequisites for my wish list of PA programs. Their prereq's were not extensive, their lists ended with Organic Chemistry I. I scored an A in O-chem I, I'm particularly proud of that grade. Should I continue to take more science courses, such as Organic Chemistry II? What do PA programs look for specifically on transcripts of post-bacc students? I contacted the admissions departments of the programs. They both verbally stated in general terms any courses additional to the prereq's are not needed and don't necessarily make a candidate stand out. I'm having a really hard time believing this as I am surrounded daily by traditional pre-PA undergrads who are incessantly stressed about how many cross-leveled grad science courses they can score prior to applying. So....decision point: I'm nearly finished with my summer CNA certification program, and I'm registered to begin the next wave of science courses back at the university in the fall (O-chem II, Human Pathophysiology, Stat, etc). Should I drop these classes, save months of my GI bill, and begin a full-time HCE job? I have approximately 60 hours of shadowing, 100 hours of hospital volunteering (ER, OR/PACU, L&D), and 70 hours of volunteering at the local free clinic. I was offered a full-time CNA job in the medsurg unit of our local hospital. They are not flexible for students. I am applying to PA schools during next year's application cycle. Thank you for any constructive advice you can send my way!
  5. After many twists and turns in my life, I understand now why I want to be a physicians assistant. Many years ago while going to college majoring in animation, I began to feel that the road I was on wasn’t the right one. While studying I began working at a nursing home and made the realization that, in working with my patients, I wanted to be able to do more. I wanted to be able to help others in a more profound way, which left a lasting memory in their hearts. After leaving college abruptly, I joined the Navy in the pursuit of a more developed career in medicine. After graduating from navy boot camp and hospital corps school, I continued my education with the Marine Corps. I requested to be sent to Field Medical Service School to learn emergency procedures so I could be an asset in a war zone. One year later, deployed in the middle of Iraq, I had the honor of working with some of the finest people in the world. My doctor, the hospital’s commanding officer, had taken me under his guidance and began to teach me the finer points of patient and emergency care. After being deployed for 5 months, tragedy struck and I found one of my friends had been severely injured in an attack and now he was on my emergency table. We tried for what felt like hours to keep him alive, but losing him was one of the hardest things to watch. The problem was that watching was the only thing I could do. I swore from that point forward that I wanted to be the one that was helping, not the bystander watching on unable to do more. Another event in my time in Iraq was one involving a young corporal who was wounded in action. He was severely shaken after the event and it seemed that even being in the care of his brethren he could not seem to calm down. There were no drugs, no comforting words that could help this young man to understand he was going to live. After stabilizing him and awaiting his transport to a higher form of care I asked him “what will help you, we are all here for you?” and to my surprise the only thing that he wanted was his favorite song to listen to. I’ll never forget that sometimes when medicine isn’t capable of helping sometimes it is just the comfort from home that helps to ease the mind. After going to get my music for him he calmed down, he began to understand he was okay. Upon returning from deployment I requested to attend surgical technologist school. After graduation I began working in Urology for 3 very wonderful doctors. One day in the operating room my doctor said to me, “Branson, what do you plan to do with the rest of your life?” and I didn’t honestly know. I told him how much I love my work as a tech, but there was still more I wanted to do. He responded back to me “there is someone you need to meet” and after surgery he took me to meet a PA that worked for Ortho. She immediately caught my attention. Her story led her down a road that was not unlike my own, and she told me about the PA program. She told me of all that she was capable of doing for her patients. As a PA she could intervene with patient care, help in the diagnosis of problems and follow her patients through the process of intervention and recovery. In that moment, I found the answer to my doctor’s question. As a PA I would have the ability to help, be involved more profoundly in my patient’s lives, and be able to leave a lasting memory for them.
  6. How many Veterans out there have or plan on applying to PA school this cycle (2011/2012)?
  7. We're trying to get an idea as to how many veterans in general are applying to PA school this cycle. Please take a second and go to this thread to vote! http://www.physicianassistantforum.com/forums/showthread.php/33183-Poll-For-All-Veterans! Thanks for your time!
  8. Like most veteran benefits (GI Bill, VA loans, Health care) information about health care coverage from the VA is very vague and typically you're stuck gathering all the details yourself. I served 6 yrs from 2001-2007 and just last week found out that the VA will provide you coverage for 5 years AFTER you were discharged (and 180 days of dental coverage). For those of us that exited the military without any OBVIOUS health issues (or issues we failed to recognize or admit at the time) you can get FREE treatment from the VA for medical issues related to your service. The KICKER to this whole deal is that once you are in the VA system, you are pretty much eligible for treatment for any other ailments with co-pays that are around $15-20. I went in and spoke with a case worker and she explained that if I was to get in a car accident, and let's say I fx'd my leg, that all I would need to do at the hospital (non VA) is have them call the VA BEFORE I received treatment and the VA would reimburse the non VA medical facility. To get this started you can either fill out the online application at this link: http://www.va.gov/healtheligibility/ The processing of an online application can typically take up to 6 weeks or more. I found out that if you actually go to your local regional VA and fill out a paper application and bring your DD214 with you the processing time is cut down to days or even hours. If you are unsure whether you qualify for health benefits fill out this online questionaire: http://www.va.gov/healtheligibility/Library/tools/Quick_Eligibility_Check/index.asp At that point they will schedule you an Intake Appointment. After this you can seek treatment at VA satellite clinics, which will be more convenient for most of us since the regional VA offices may be quite a drive. Once you have your intake appointment, you can (if desired) speak to someone about VA disability compensation at your regional VA. This can be done in the same day (and remember not everyone will qualify for this so YMMV). My best piece of advice for anyone who recently was discharged or are about to get discharged is get the ball rolling ASAP. I got out almost 4 years ago and JUST got signed up for this benefit so I am receiving about a year of benefits. I know that certain issues (such as PTSD) in combat units are not something most people would admit, but it took me 7 years from getting back from my first (of 2) combat deployments to seek assistance. The complexity and vagueness of the VA system didn't help the matter either. Remember that you are not alone and that the military sucked you dry when you were in, so get all you can when you get out (that is without abusing the system)! Good luck to all you veterans on your path to the PA field! ****If anyone has any corrections or would like to add anything pls feel free. I am trying to relay my personal experience with the VA, so small details may slightly differ for others***
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