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Questions for any incoming students or applicants

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Hey everyone, 

 

I am a second year PA student at LSUHSC Shreveport about to graduate. I know that CASPA just opened up recently, and I just wanted to reach out and offer any help or to answer any questions to those of you who may have been accepted already or are applying this new cycle. I know that during the application process and before I started school I was a nervous wreck, so I hope I can ease some of your worries and make things a little easier for you. Just let me know and I will try to answer any questions and help as best I can. 

 

MA

 

 

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Maymon, I'm not applying there, but I wanted to say thanks for reaching out to applicants to assuage their fears. Good on you and I hope others follow suit.  Best of luck in your studies.

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Yeah sure Newbie

 

I am a resident of LA and graduated from LSU with a 3.5 cumulative gpa in Biological Sciences. I am not certain what my science GPA was, but I'd guess it was about a 3.2-3.3. When I took the GRE I scored a 148 in Math and a 155 in Verbal with a 4.5 in writing. 

 

I would say that the most important factor they look at is your cumulative GPA with stress on how you did on more difficult science classes. I took classes like biochemistry, virology, immunology, parisitology, and vertebrate physiology which I think they liked. I can't say that those classes particularly helped in PA school, but it provided a good science base for me. They also want to know you have a strong work ethic and have the ability to keep up with your classes. 

 

PA school is a very, very long sprint. It doesn't stop. We like to say that every week of first year was like finals week in undergraduate. You can get through it and it can definitely be done. 

 

Do you have any other questions I could help you with?

If you have any questions specific to to the program I'd be happy to answer those as well!

 

MA

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I'm nervous because I'm a Texas resident. And I know they only accept 10 percent from out of state about how many people are in your class and how many are from out of state? Also should I apply after this summer semester? Or after the spring grades are posted?

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I had a few out of state students from Texas and Mississippi in my class, but yes they do take LA residents as priority. There were 38 students accepted to my class. 

 

I would say apply as early as you can. You can always update your application as you complete classes and get grades in from spring semester.

 

MA

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Hey Rpent4,

 

I think your GRE and writing scores are right on point. Your scores are about average, but i think your high GPA, high science GPA and extensive HCE strongly make up for it. I don't think you have anything to worry about. Judging from your academics alone I would say you are a very strong applicant for this program. 

 

As far as my experience, it has been a very long road, but enjoyable for the most part. I think the education from this program is the best in the state. Things are changing and the program is in more of a transition phase right now. Our program director just left, but we have a new interim program director as of now. We also have a new staff member as of this month. We currently have 4 PA-C staff members and 1 program administrator per about 40 students in each class.

 

I moved to Shreveport from Baton Rouge, so moving up here was a big change for me being that I didn't know anyone really. You will make great friends with your classmates though. By the end, they feel like your brothers and sisters. The city itself is nice, but I just don't like being 4 hours away from home. 

 

As far as the curriculum goes, I will break it down pretty well:

 

Summer 1 you take Anatomy (with cadaver lab), physiology, Patient Evaluation and PA professions. 

 

Fall 1 you take Clinical Medicine 1, Pathology, an introduction to pharmacology (this is new, was not like this for me), Neuroanatomy (they might have changed this as well), Clinical diagnostics (you learn about different labs, tests, and imaging), and Physical Diagnosis. This is a pretty tough and full semester. During this semester you also do 2 Standardized Patients where you practice physical exam skills and are recorded on video for a grade. You take a final summative exam that covers everything you learned so far at the end of this semester before your 1 month winter break. 

 

Spring 1 you take Clinical Medicine 2, Pharmacology, and Clinical Practice Issues. I found this semester to be the hardest. You essentially have a test every single week with each test consisting anywhere from 20-30, sometimes 40, powerpoint presentations. Not to mention any other materials you may be responsible for. This semester you are also responsible for 4 different Standardized patients each having a different problem. You have to enter the room like a regular patient encounter and listen to the problem, do physical exam, come up with a differential diagnosis, and treat accordingly while on camera followed by proper documentation. Lastly, you have a final summative exam at the end where you are tested on everything you've learned in the past year. You have to pass before moving on to clinical rotations.

 

Summer 2 - Spring 2 is clinical rotations. You have 12 different rotations ranging from core specialties like pediatrics, ER, OB/GYN, surgery, Family Medicine, and Internal medicine. You also get 3 electives. I did electives in Acute care, Neurology, and Cardiothoracic Surgery. They have a ton of electives to pick from, its all based on what you are interested in. All of your rotations have the potential to be in any part of Louisiana, but you tell the faculty where you have adequate housing and they try their best to accommodate you. Most everyone does OB/GYN in Monroe though. Also, at the end of each of your rotations, except for electives, you take a rotation exam on the rotation you just completed. You have to pass these exams to continue moving on in the program. During these clinical rotation months you are also responsible for writing your masters thesis (6-8 page paper) that is spread out over a year on a topic of your choosing. The program does a really good job of making the paper minimally stressful and easy to complete. You finish your last spring with one final standardized patient and one final summative exam (I have my final summative this coming Friday, yikes). 

 

Summer 3 is your preceptorship. You get to pick a specialty that you like best and could see yourself working in one day. I picked ER for mine and will be working June and July. There are no more tests at this point and you can use your summer to study for your board exam, the PANCE, which you will take after graduation. 

 

You graduate at the beginning of August and then take your boards when you feel ready!

 

 

I would say that the average age of students in my class when we started was about 26. 

As far as sleep during the week, I would say this varies for each individual. You are in class, specifically spring, from 8am to 5pm and i would typically go home and study from about 7pm to 1 or 2am. I was averaging about 4-5 hours of sleep a night on regular week nights. On nights before tests there were plenty of times where I might just get an hour or even no sleep before the test and thats with being diligent about studying most days. Not to say that there weren't days I took breaks or weekends where I didn't study, because there were. 

 

I hope this answers a lot of your questions. Please ask more if you have anything you can think of, I don't mind at all.

 

Mark

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Mrs. Arrington13,

 

When I applied I think applications had to be submitted before October 1st if I remember correctly. I submitted fairly close to that date, probably mid-late september. I Interviewed January 4 of that year and was accepted March 4 of that same year. We started class Mid May. 

 

MA

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Maymon1,

 

What type of things would one list under the achievements section of CASPA? Any suggestions or explanation of this section would be great! Thanks!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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