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I will be starting my PA program in August (2015) and finishing up in August (2017). I know I have some time but I was hoping I could get some advice and direction on what I should do in the next couple of years so that I'm a desirable candidate for residency programs when the time comes.

 

I've reviewed a number of the residency webpages and for the most part they list the basic requirements: graduate or be in 2nd year of ARC-PA accredited program, MS degree, >3.4 GPA, eligible to sit or have passed PANCE, personal statement essay, etc..

 

Beyond the above is there anything I can do to give myself an edge when it comes to applying/competing for these limited spots.

 

Obviously achieving just the basic requirements will be challenging enough and I fully intend to focus on being successful in my initial program first-and-foremost.....Not putting the cart before the horse, just want to make sure once I have the horse I can get the cart.

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I think that the biggest thing programs look for is an interest level in that particular specialty and being humble yet eager to learn. Other than getting good grades and maybe doing an extra rotation in your field of interest, there is not a ton you need to worry about doing during school. Try to build good relationships with some of your favorite preceptors as you will need strong recommendation letters down the road. If you have a master's thesis or a capstone project, I would recommend doing it in something pertinent to your specialty, too. You sound extremely motivated and have a clear goal in mind. Just let that attitude shine through in your interviews, and I think you'll do just fine.

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I think that the biggest thing programs look for is an interest level in that particular specialty and being humble yet eager to learn. Other than getting good grades and maybe doing an extra rotation in your field of interest, there is not a ton you need to worry about doing during school. Try to build good relationships with some of your favorite preceptors as you will need strong recommendation letters down the road. If you have a master's thesis or a capstone project, I would recommend doing it in something pertinent to your specialty, too. You sound extremely motivated and have a clear goal in mind. Just let that attitude shine through in your interviews, and I think you'll do just fine.

 

Echoing this.  The spots are limited, but so is the pool of motivated, qualified applicants.  If you have a clear goal in mind throughout PA school, you're chances are pretty good.  However, I say that considering the current residency landscape; a lot can change in two years, especially as the pool of PAs creeps towards saturation.

 

If you're extremely motivated and have a particular program in mind, I would look into doing the appropriate rotation with them (or an elective) if your PA school allows this during clinical year.  I think someone who shows that level of interest and maintains it through graduation would have excellent chances of being accepted.

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Adding onto the above question; how hard is it to find a residency where the timing matches up with your graduation date?  My program ends in December 2017, and it seems like most of the residencies start summer/ fall.  

 

Take a look at the following: http://appap.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Program_Matrix_052015_4_-.pdf

 

There's a wealth of information in that table.  While not every single program is listed, I feel like all the most reputable/enduring ones are, and it can kinda give you an idea of what's out there.

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what do you/or most people do during the time off between residency start date and graduation? For example - graduate in March and residency start date is in Sep/Oct etc.

 

Do you just review material & relax?

Apply to programs that start closer to your graduation date.

 

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Apply to programs that start closer to your graduation date.

 

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except then there's only like at the most 3 within said specialty that are within good time span. It just limits the opportunity which kinda sucks

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This is the same issue I'm running into; every residency I'm interested in has a summer start date. Though I don't graduate until Dec 2017 it's almost inevitable that I'll have to work outside of my area of desired practice while I apply for the summer start date. That being said, there may well be more quality programs that open up with spring start dates in the next 2 years. Fingers crossed.

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This is a widespread issue I found as well.  I was fortunate enough to have a March graduation date, which I felt gave me an advantage as there were many candidates that didn't apply due to timing.  I advise anyone going into PA school that's dead set on a residency to consider the graduation date of the program along with everything else.

 

The reasoning I've heard most often is that they want to start you somewhat alongside the MD residents.

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Adding onto the above question; how hard is it to find a residency where the timing matches up with your graduation date?  My program ends in December 2017, and it seems like most of the residencies start summer/ fall.  

My program ends in December and I am applying to several that start in early spring as well as a couple that start later in the year. Sure, I would love to start soon after graduation, but I think it's better to cast a big net if you are sold on doing a residency. I've planned on trying to do one in EM from day one, so applying to several is a no-brainer for me. Being willing to move wherever needed to get that residency training is important as well. 

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My program ends in December and I am applying to several that start in early spring as well as a couple that start later in the year. Sure, I would love to start soon after graduation, but I think it's better to cast a big net if you are sold on doing a residency. I've planned on trying to do one in EM from day one, so applying to several is a no-brainer for me. Being willing to move wherever needed to get that residency training is important as well. 

 

What are you planning on doing during the time between graduation and start of residency?  

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What are you planning on doing during the time between graduation and start of residency?  

 

FYI, you are still looking at 3-4 months from time of graduation until you are credentialed and ready to go    You figure- graduation and then 2-3 weeks for PANCE prep and to take the test.  1-2 weeks to hear back regarding PANCE, state licensing and then hospital credentialing (at least in my state) is at least a 2 month process.  So, with  DEC graduation date you realistically wont be ready to go until March or April.  A few extra months of waiting for around for a summer summer start date will fly by.

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What are you planning on doing during the time between graduation and start of residency?  

 

I am thinking along the lines as Simplify noted above. The process itself will take up a chunk of that time if not all of it. The fellowships that start in the fall, like around Oct. or Nov., are the ones that might require a December graduate to figure out something. But like everything else in life, you cross that bridge when you get to it. 

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My pa program finished in dec. my residency started in July which I got the acceptance in early April. I worked at an urgent care with an ED doc between April to July. I did luck out with that job. I was being upfront that it would be a short term job. Downside with the huge gap between PANCE and residency was forgetting some of the more acute stuff I had to play catchup on reviewing e.g. I had no idea what people were referring to with sbp for GI topic

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