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Cornell PA Program Pros and Cons


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I noticed this post is a little outdated from 2009 so I'll take it upon myself to update it and will address the points above.

 

Pros:

1. One of two surgical PA programs I believe.

2. Full cadaver dissection in a 5-6 student team per cadaver w/doctors who will give you all the support you'll ever need. Done in 6 weeks.

3. 15 months of rotations with 5 elective rotations.  Many programs have 2.

4. Short didactic of 10 months.  If it's gonna be painful might as well make it fast and painful.  

5. Most professors teach their material well.

6. The affiliations and resources you have here are mind-boggling.  

 

Now to address the Cons mentioned.

 

Cons:

1.The program is poorly administered and lacks sufficient staff to administer the program correctly. Some may say this, but I personally believe they get everything that needs to be done in a timely and reasonable manner.  

2.Very little student support.  This is not currently the case.  You will get plenty of support from the faculty and fellow students if you simply ask.  And even if you don't ask for it, they will be on your case.  Faculty genuinely wants you to learn and to improve the program and is open to your suggestions.  

3.Schedules are posted weekly, not by semester.  This changed.  You get a semester schedule in advance which may have small changes here and there, but nothing unreasonable or unexpected. 

4.Mandatory dress requirement: men must wear ties and women cannot wear open-toed shoes.  The PA profession is only 50 years old.  Sliced bread is older than the profession(87 years in case you're wondering).  Many people still do not know what a PA is including other MDs.  It's our job to represent the profession and dressing properly is part of that representation.  Also you will have to dress up anyways when you meet with patients so might as well get used to it.  We also dress better than the med students.

5.The program lacks teaching space and has to shuffle its students around at times. We have our own dedicated teaching space.   

6.Mandatory class attendance. You're paying $75k tuition.  What else would you rather do with your time, lunch specials and happy hour?  Actually, on some days you can go to mandatory class, AND have lunch specials AND happy hour in the same day!

7.Housing is not guaranteed. Everyone who wanted housing eventually got it though you may have to wait a few months, but most people will get it before classes start.

 

I'm open to questions about the program if I know the answer(PM me) but I will not answer what your chances are of getting into the program or read personal statements.  Just know that they will choose a diverse and balanced class, where everyone will have different strengths and weaknesses and different things to offer.

 

I agree with all of this! Great job, Moses.

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I noticed this post is a little outdated from 2009 so I'll take it upon myself to update it and will address the points above.   Pros: 1. One of two surgical PA programs I believe. 2. Full cadaver

I agree with all of this! Great job, Moses.

Hi everyone,

In your surgical rotations did you get to first assist? Was there early clinical exposure and problem or team based learning? Do you have any thoughts on taking OSCE 4 times, thesis, and board prep resources?

I am applying this cycle 2020-2021. Thank you for your insights so far!

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  • 2 weeks later...

@laurarahman Hi there! I am a 2nd year PA student at Weill Cornell and was in the middle of my surgery rotation before COVID-19 happened. I didn't get to first assist, but I did second assist. However, I only had 1.5 weeks there and I'm sure they would've let me first assist towards the end of the rotation. Yes, we did have clinical exposure pretty early, as early as the 2nd/3rd week of school. We have something called CEEs (clinical experience exposure, or something like that). You basically get to do a mini rotation or skills lab every Thursday morning and it's one of the major highlights of this program's clinical studies. As for the OSCE, I've took it twice so far. First time was nerve racking, but you get a hang of it. You get to look back at your videos after with feedback from professors who are grading you from behind the scenes. We are working on the thesis now, but the workload for it is manageable. Board prep resources, we have Rosh review (AMAZING), PACKRAT, and Duane Williams (author of PANCE Prep Pearls, another amazing resource) does a week-long board prep at the end. Let me know if you have anymore questions!

 

As for the first post, I'd thought I'd update it...

Pros:

1. One of two surgical PA programs I believe.

2. Full cadaver dissection in a 5-6 student team per cadaver w/doctors who will give you all the support you'll ever need. Done in 6 weeks.

3. 15 months of rotations with 5 elective rotations.  Many programs have 2.

4. MSKCC and HSS (renowned hospitals) options for rotations

5. Short didactic of 11 months

5. Most professors teach their material well.

6. The affiliations and resources you have here are mind-boggling.  

7. Early clinical experience every Thursday morning, starting the 2nd/3rd week of school.

 

Now to address the Cons mentioned.

 

Cons:

1.The program is poorly administered and lacks sufficient staff to administer the program correctly. I agree with this, especially with how COVID-19 is being handled.Transparency is something we've complained about.

2.Very little student support.  This is dependent on who you talk to and which professor you're talking about. Some are very caring and responsive while others will straight up ignore emails for weeks.

3.Schedules are posted weekly, not by semester.  This changed.  You get a semester schedule in advance which may have small changes here and there, but nothing unreasonable or unexpected. However, day to day schedule varies, so I usually don't' check my schedule till the night before.

4.Mandatory dress requirement: men must wear ties and women cannot wear open-toed shoes.  The PA profession is only 50 years old.  Sliced bread is older than the profession(87 years in case you're wondering).  Many people still do not know what a PA is including other MDs.  It's our job to represent the profession and dressing properly is part of that representation.  Also you will have to dress up anyways when you meet with patients so might as well get used to it.  We also dress better than the med students....They are more strict in the beginning, but my class got away with nice, non ripped jeans after a couple months. Still expect professional dress for OSCEs, rotations, etc

5.The program lacks teaching space and has to shuffle its students around at times. We have our own dedicated teaching space. It is an AMAZING space and it's separate from the medical school (aka we have it all to ourselves) while still having access to everything at the medical school.

6.Mandatory class attendance. You're paying $75k tuition.  What else would you rather do with your time, lunch specials and happy hour?  Actually, on some days you can go to mandatory class, AND have lunch specials AND happy hour in the same day!

7.Housing is not guaranteed. Everyone who wanted housing eventually got it though you may have to wait a few months, but most people will get it before classes start. My problem with housing is that PA students are only given housing on Roosevelt Island (which is a luxury building, but costs more), not the ones in the city that are closer to school. 

 

 

 

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On 5/18/2020 at 10:51 AM, currentpastudent said:

@laurarahman Hi there! I am a 2nd year PA student at Weill Cornell and was in the middle of my surgery rotation before COVID-19 happened. I didn't get to first assist, but I did second assist. However, I only had 1.5 weeks there and I'm sure they would've let me first assist towards the end of the rotation. Yes, we did have clinical exposure pretty early, as early as the 2nd/3rd week of school. We have something called CEEs (clinical experience exposure, or something like that). You basically get to do a mini rotation or skills lab every Thursday morning and it's one of the major highlights of this program's clinical studies. As for the OSCE, I've took it twice so far. First time was nerve racking, but you get a hang of it. You get to look back at your videos after with feedback from professors who are grading you from behind the scenes. We are working on the thesis now, but the workload for it is manageable. Board prep resources, we have Rosh review (AMAZING), PACKRAT, and Duane Williams (author of PANCE Prep Pearls, another amazing resource) does a week-long board prep at the end. Let me know if you have anymore questions!

 

As for the first post, I'd thought I'd update it...

Pros:

1. One of two surgical PA programs I believe.

2. Full cadaver dissection in a 5-6 student team per cadaver w/doctors who will give you all the support you'll ever need. Done in 6 weeks.

3. 15 months of rotations with 5 elective rotations.  Many programs have 2.

4. MSKCC and HSS (renowned hospitals) options for rotations

5. Short didactic of 11 months

5. Most professors teach their material well.

6. The affiliations and resources you have here are mind-boggling.  

7. Early clinical experience every Thursday morning, starting the 2nd/3rd week of school.

 

Now to address the Cons mentioned.

 

Cons:

1.The program is poorly administered and lacks sufficient staff to administer the program correctly. I agree with this, especially with how COVID-19 is being handled.Transparency is something we've complained about.

2.Very little student support.  This is dependent on who you talk to and which professor you're talking about. Some are very caring and responsive while others will straight up ignore emails for weeks.

3.Schedules are posted weekly, not by semester.  This changed.  You get a semester schedule in advance which may have small changes here and there, but nothing unreasonable or unexpected. However, day to day schedule varies, so I usually don't' check my schedule till the night before.

4.Mandatory dress requirement: men must wear ties and women cannot wear open-toed shoes.  The PA profession is only 50 years old.  Sliced bread is older than the profession(87 years in case you're wondering).  Many people still do not know what a PA is including other MDs.  It's our job to represent the profession and dressing properly is part of that representation.  Also you will have to dress up anyways when you meet with patients so might as well get used to it.  We also dress better than the med students....They are more strict in the beginning, but my class got away with nice, non ripped jeans after a couple months. Still expect professional dress for OSCEs, rotations, etc

5.The program lacks teaching space and has to shuffle its students around at times. We have our own dedicated teaching space. It is an AMAZING space and it's separate from the medical school (aka we have it all to ourselves) while still having access to everything at the medical school.

6.Mandatory class attendance. You're paying $75k tuition.  What else would you rather do with your time, lunch specials and happy hour?  Actually, on some days you can go to mandatory class, AND have lunch specials AND happy hour in the same day!

7.Housing is not guaranteed. Everyone who wanted housing eventually got it though you may have to wait a few months, but most people will get it before classes start. My problem with housing is that PA students are only given housing on Roosevelt Island (which is a luxury building, but costs more), not the ones in the city that are closer to school. 

 

 

 

Thanks for all the super helpful information! I was wondering if you could talk more about the early clinical experiences. That is honestly super awesome. What do you do for "mini rotations" or skills labs? Did these things match the topics you were learning in the class?

Thanks in advance!

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13 hours ago, Abbslau said:

Thanks for all the super helpful information! I was wondering if you could talk more about the early clinical experiences. That is honestly super awesome. What do you do for "mini rotations" or skills labs? Did these things match the topics you were learning in the class?

Thanks in advance!

So the CEEs happen every Thursday morning, starting the 2nd or 3rd week of the first year. You rotate with classmates every week and every semester has its own specific CEE schedule in order to line it up with what we are learning in other classes. The rotations are the following: study day, practice groups, clinical skills, lab skills, H&P, and assigned clinical site.

Study day = you have Thursday morning off 🙂

Practice groups = practice physical exam skills, topic dependent on semester and week

Clinical skills = note writing, talking through cases, listing differential diagnoses...basically application of topics you learned in lectures to real life

Lab skills = surgical skills (gowning, sterile field etiquette, suturing etc), phlebotomy, IV placement, ABGs, tube placement, foley placement, splinting, wound care...there's a lot haha

H&P = aka history and physical. You meet up at the hospital that morning and you are assigned REAL patients. You get a history and physical exam on them and then write up your note

Assigned clinical site = show up at your assigned clinical site at the hospital (I had OB/GYN and cardiac ICU, but there are a lot of different ones you can get assigned to..medical and surgical)

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9 hours ago, currentpastudent said:

So the CEEs happen every Thursday morning, starting the 2nd or 3rd week of the first year. You rotate with classmates every week and every semester has its own specific CEE schedule in order to line it up with what we are learning in other classes. The rotations are the following: study day, practice groups, clinical skills, lab skills, H&P, and assigned clinical site.

Study day = you have Thursday morning off 🙂

Practice groups = practice physical exam skills, topic dependent on semester and week

Clinical skills = note writing, talking through cases, listing differential diagnoses...basically application of topics you learned in lectures to real life

Lab skills = surgical skills (gowning, sterile field etiquette, suturing etc), phlebotomy, IV placement, ABGs, tube placement, foley placement, splinting, wound care...there's a lot haha

H&P = aka history and physical. You meet up at the hospital that morning and you are assigned REAL patients. You get a history and physical exam on them and then write up your note

Assigned clinical site = show up at your assigned clinical site at the hospital (I had OB/GYN and cardiac ICU, but there are a lot of different ones you can get assigned to..medical and surgical)

Thanks so much for your experience in the program. I have been scouring the Cornell PA website for information about the program itself, but it's pretty hard to find. Thanks again 🙂

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  • 1 month later...
@laurarahman Hi there! I am a 2nd year PA student at Weill Cornell and was in the middle of my surgery rotation before COVID-19 happened. I didn't get to first assist, but I did second assist. However, I only had 1.5 weeks there and I'm sure they would've let me first assist towards the end of the rotation. Yes, we did have clinical exposure pretty early, as early as the 2nd/3rd week of school. We have something called CEEs (clinical experience exposure, or something like that). You basically get to do a mini rotation or skills lab every Thursday morning and it's one of the major highlights of this program's clinical studies. As for the OSCE, I've took it twice so far. First time was nerve racking, but you get a hang of it. You get to look back at your videos after with feedback from professors who are grading you from behind the scenes. We are working on the thesis now, but the workload for it is manageable. Board prep resources, we have Rosh review (AMAZING), PACKRAT, and Duane Williams (author of PANCE Prep Pearls, another amazing resource) does a week-long board prep at the end. Let me know if you have anymore questions!
 
As for the first post, I'd thought I'd update it...
Pros:

1. One of two surgical PA programs I believe.

2. Full cadaver dissection in a 5-6 student team per cadaver w/doctors who will give you all the support you'll ever need. Done in 6 weeks.

3. 15 months of rotations with 5 elective rotations.  Many programs have 2.

4. MSKCC and HSS (renowned hospitals) options for rotations

5. Short didactic of 11 months

5. Most professors teach their material well.

6. The affiliations and resources you have here are mind-boggling.  

7. Early clinical experience every Thursday morning, starting the 2nd/3rd week of school.

 

Now to address the Cons mentioned.

 

Cons:

1.The program is poorly administered and lacks sufficient staff to administer the program correctly. I agree with this, especially with how COVID-19 is being handled.Transparency is something we've complained about.

2.Very little student support.  This is dependent on who you talk to and which professor you're talking about. Some are very caring and responsive while others will straight up ignore emails for weeks.

3.Schedules are posted weekly, not by semester.  This changed.  You get a semester schedule in advance which may have small changes here and there, but nothing unreasonable or unexpected. However, day to day schedule varies, so I usually don't' check my schedule till the night before.

4.Mandatory dress requirement: men must wear ties and women cannot wear open-toed shoes.  The PA profession is only 50 years old.  Sliced bread is older than the profession(87 years in case you're wondering).  Many people still do not know what a PA is including other MDs.  It's our job to represent the profession and dressing properly is part of that representation.  Also you will have to dress up anyways when you meet with patients so might as well get used to it.  We also dress better than the med students....They are more strict in the beginning, but my class got away with nice, non ripped jeans after a couple months. Still expect professional dress for OSCEs, rotations, etc

5.The program lacks teaching space and has to shuffle its students around at times. We have our own dedicated teaching space. It is an AMAZING space and it's separate from the medical school (aka we have it all to ourselves) while still having access to everything at the medical school.

6.Mandatory class attendance. You're paying $75k tuition.  What else would you rather do with your time, lunch specials and happy hour?  Actually, on some days you can go to mandatory class, AND have lunch specials AND happy hour in the same day!

7.Housing is not guaranteed. Everyone who wanted housing eventually got it though you may have to wait a few months, but most people will get it before classes start. My problem with housing is that PA students are only given housing on Roosevelt Island (which is a luxury building, but costs more), not the ones in the city that are closer to school. 

 

 
 

Hi there! I was accepted back in July (yay!) and I’ve been trying to more or less get an idea of where I’ll be living; do you mind sharing how much money we are granted from loans for living per month? Thank you!


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On 10/18/2020 at 8:57 PM, natdiaz said:


Hi there! I was accepted back in July (yay!) and I’ve been trying to more or less get an idea of where I’ll be living; do you mind sharing how much money we are granted from loans for living per month? Thank you!


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Hi! Congrats on getting in! Financial aid allots $1500/month for rental, but they consider it on a case by case basis. For the first year, I wanted to live alone, so they worked with me for a $1800/month budget. COVID is actually driving rent prices down in NYC, so your class can take advantage of that. Try to stay by the 6 train bc that’s primarily how you’ll get to most of your classes. Q as well to get to the medical campus - library, anatomy, some classes. Feel free to DM me if you have any other questions:)

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