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in a bit of a spontaneous thought process

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So, as many of you on this forum know, I haven't attended PA school just yet. I was, for personal reasons, limiting myself to just schools in NC. I was spending some time today talking with friends that I grew up with that have moved away and love the new place they are, and it got me thinking. I've never left NC. I've been places, sure. I've traveled and went on long trips, but I always enjoyed coming home. I've never been gone out of my state for more than weeks at a time. 

I got to talking with a really good friend, named Frank, that was in the same boy scout troop as me, way back when. I stopped at 17 to take care my dying father, otherwise, I would've probably become an eagle scout with him, and gotten to take the 50 mile trek around Philmont ranch. Anyway, we had always been close, and even his last time in town, we sat around a bonfire in the woods drinking and talking about life. Frank has taken a more unconventional route, and I've taken a more safe route, with attending college and then PA school. Frank is an auto-body/collision tech, and he travels for it. For the most part, though, he calls Colorado home. 

Frank is constantly telling me he would never move back home. He loves it our there, and he believe I should atleast give it a shot. I've never been that far out west. I've traveled only on the east coast, where I'm from. With all of this being said, I'm considering re-structuring my application to fit schools from different parts of the country. Even if I don't move there, atleast I'll have two yeas to experience life in that area. The one thing I am a little apprehensive about is the fact that if I did move back, I would have no connections in healthcare; all of my work and connections would have been where I was. 

I'm curious as to what those of you might say to me, having this opportunity. I'm not old but I'm not young. I'll be 27 next month, and so I don't plan on going crazy wherever I move. But, this seems like a chance to venture out and see things I might not have ever gotten to otherwise. I put this in the professional thread because y'all have been there and done it; a lot of y'all have most likely moved around. So I'm just wanting to see what y'all would say to someone that has called one city home their whole life, about venturing out with no bounds, to any program within the US.

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Plenty of my former classmates were from other states as well as previous graduates. We have a facebook page for alums who help each other out with connections throughout the country. If I were single, I would definitely welcome the opportunity to live in another state for a few years.

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That's comforting. I've been looking at others programs outside of NC, just to see what's out there. Now I need to figure out how to make a list of OOS schools around the country. This may take a while. Good thing I have some time ha. 

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I always tell folks that ask that you should apply to as many schools as you can afford that are in locations you wouldn't mind living.  I applied to 15, interviewed at 7, and was accepted at 6.  It was nice to have options.  Anecdotally I hear frequently about people that don't get in on the first application cycle they try for and they applied to 2 or 3 schools.  I think if for no other reason than increasing your chances at getting in you should look outside of NC. 

Im from Idaho and got into a program in my home state but chose to go to Nevada for PA school.  Because of that choice I got one of the best jobs Anybody could ask for as a new PA in rural Nevada. 

It didn't keep me from coming home though.  Just moved my family back to "Idahome" this week.  

You could also try for rotations in NC, a lot of folks from my class got job offers from rotation sites, including me. 

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I should research certain areas. I've heard a lot of places on the west coast can be nice. I've never been past the midwest, so I'm curious as to what it's like in some areas. Colorado seems so beautiful, and California seems to have good weather, and a lot to offer, in some areas. I don't think I'd want to live in LA; the traffic seems horrible. I just really need to look at each state and figure out where I'd like to live. I live on the NC/SC border, so all I've ever known is very humid and muggy summers, beautiful falls, mild winters (not much snow; more ice than anything), and horrible springs (for allergies). I do love it here, it's my home, but I want to see more. I could find amazing opportunities if I just get out of that shell. I'm going to do research and make a list. I think what I'm going to do is make it no more than 20 schools. I'll stop myself there, so I know I have a limit, give myself a decent chance at getting in, and a variety of programs and places to live. 

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My fam lives in Denver. Cost of living in CO is sky high. Real-estate is pretty un-affordable for most people. Not that much different than NY or San Fran, really. Jobs are also hard to get cause it's a hot spot for living so you're likely to take a pay cut if you can even get a job. 

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43 minutes ago, boli said:

My fam lives in Denver. Cost of living in CO is sky high. Real-estate is pretty un-affordable for most people. Not that much different than NY or San Fran, really. Jobs are also hard to get cause it's a hot spot for living so you're likely to take a pay cut if you can even get a job. 

This is good insight! I was thinking about using a cost of living calculator and compare it to where I'm at now, to see what I can expect at certain areas. Thanks for that comment, boli. You always seem to be around to provide some feedback ha. I appreciate it!

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If you look at the distribution of students in a given PA class, you would find that there are people from all over. Their motivation as to where to go to school is also diverse.

In my class in southeastern Ohio, we had students from Alaska, Colorado, North Dakota,  Iowa, Missouri, Florida, West Virginia, and Michigan, as well as Ohio. Some eventually arranged to do clinical rotations back home, while others tried new places (one woman was interested in South Carolina and did rotations there, before deciding to work back home in West Virginia.) After graduation, some stayed in Ohio, many of the out-of-staters went back home, while other students moved to new places. A woman from North Dakota decided to move to Nebraska.

The point is that the decision of where you will work is not necessarily tied to where you went to school. Many students find jobs during clinical rotations, but many do not. Many single students end up getting married fairly soon after PA school, and that can influence where the new couple wants to live. Other graduates take jobs in far-away places for the excitement of a change. One of my classmates was raised in Ohio and moved to Florida for high school and college. He came back to Ohio for PA school (not too far from where his grandfather was living) and then moved to Grand Junction, Colorado after graduation.

The out-of-town students did well in our program. Our class bonded within a few weeks and lots of new friendships were made. Students with local support systems made use of them, while the out-of-towners made use of their phones, Skype, and visits. In my case, I moved to school and my wife and grown children stayed home. I went home on weekends when I could and my wife visited when I couldn't. 

The point is, traveling to a school is doable and the selection of a place to go to school does not rule in or rule out where you might like to work. For example, because you might like to consider working in New York City doesn't mean you have to struggle to live in that high-cost environment as a poor student and fight their traffic to class every day.

If you are free to go anywhere, then considering the new area as a place to live and work is reasonable, but don't let it paralyze you from making a decision based on the nature of the program, costs, and your relative desire to experience life in a new place.

Good luck!

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As someone who has moved many times, and loves it, I can set up shop anywhere and therefore didn't use location to limit my PA school choices.

However I will caution - not everyone is successful in a new location.  PA school is intense and time consuming.  Make sure you consider that.  Don't put yourself in the situation of adjusting to both the rigors of PA school and a new location if it might not be something you can handle.

I'm not saying don't do it; just to consider all angles.

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I flew across the Country to attend my interview...I always wanted to move elsewhere because I didn't have the chance to during undergrad. 

I'm still moving for a different program of study because now is my chance to. I've called one city home 16 years so it's time for a change. Also, I have no family member of friends where I am relocating. 

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So, I've updated my school list:

Duke
UNC
High Point 
ECU
ELON
North Greenville Univ.
EVMS
Stanford
USC
UC Davis
Oregon OHSU
UC Colorado
Univ. of Utah
Rocky Mountain Univ.
MEDEX
Univ New England

So, I still will apply to 5 of my state schools, but I've also included schools from other areas, such as California, Utah, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Maine, Virginia, and South Carolina. Feel like I've made a pretty good list! Feel free to chime in on what y'all think of my new list! I'd be happy to get into any of these schools. I researched a lot of schools, and I liked these the most, and they also fit my pre-reqs, as well. 


 

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On 8/11/2017 at 11:38 PM, MCHAD said:

I always tell folks that ask that you should apply to as many schools as you can afford that are in locations you wouldn't mind living.  I applied to 15, interviewed at 7, and was accepted at 6.  It was nice to have options.  Anecdotally I hear frequently about people that don't get in on the first application cycle they try for and they applied to 2 or 3 schools.  I think if for no other reason than increasing your chances at getting in you should look outside of NC. 

Im from Idaho and got into a program in my home state but chose to go to Nevada for PA school.  Because of that choice I got one of the best jobs Anybody could ask for as a new PA in rural Nevada. 

It didn't keep me from coming home though.  Just moved my family back to "Idahome" this week.  

You could also try for rotations in NC, a lot of folks from my class got job offers from rotation sites, including me. 

I am interviewing and have interviewed at schools in NC and West Virginia (From MN) and will tell you that NC rotations are not an option unless you are in school in NC. Also I do believe the program I interviewed with saying you can't do out of state rotations if going to a school in NC.

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On 8/14/2017 at 2:53 PM, TheLastStone said:

So, I've updated my school list:

Duke
UNC
High Point 
ECU
ELON
North Greenville Univ.
EVMS
Stanford
USC
UC Davis
Oregon OHSU
UC Colorado
Univ. of Utah
Rocky Mountain Univ.
MEDEX
Univ New England

So, I still will apply to 5 of my state schools, but I've also included schools from other areas, such as California, Utah, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Maine, Virginia, and South Carolina. Feel like I've made a pretty good list! Feel free to chime in on what y'all think of my new list! I'd be happy to get into any of these schools. I researched a lot of schools, and I liked these the most, and they also fit my pre-reqs, as well. 


 

Why is Campbell not on your list? NC school, program director worked for the Duke program. Go check it out This will be my second interview for them. I can say with EVMS volunteer volunteer volunteer. Also do not I repeat DO NOT have a C in your last 40 for that program. You need your pre-req GPA for them to be above their 3.75 threshold (Yes your cGPA can be lower). Also check out UCPAP (University of Charleston)  in West Virginia. I was really impressed with their program.

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On 8/14/2017 at 2:53 PM, TheLastStone said:

So, I've updated my school list:

Duke
UNC
High Point 
ECU
ELON
North Greenville Univ.
EVMS
Stanford
USC
UC Davis
Oregon OHSU
UC Colorado
Univ. of Utah
Rocky Mountain Univ.
MEDEX
Univ New England

So, I still will apply to 5 of my state schools, but I've also included schools from other areas, such as California, Utah, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Maine, Virginia, and South Carolina. Feel like I've made a pretty good list! Feel free to chime in on what y'all think of my new list! I'd be happy to get into any of these schools. I researched a lot of schools, and I liked these the most, and they also fit my pre-reqs, as well. 


 

Just an FYI, the CASPA fees alone (not counting supplemental fees) to apply to this number of schools would be $942. You can expect probably another 5-700 in supplemental fees. Also, it's well accepted that applying to more schools increases chance of acceptance but there is a diminishing return point. I'm not you, but I would consider paring this list down slightly. 16 schools is a lot to apply to on your first cycle. Also, make sure you know what you're getting into with UC Colorado. Their program is 3 years long and a dual CHA/PA program meaning that you spend approx an extra year getting a certification in pediatrics. This dissuaded me from applying to UC Colorado. 

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Just an FYI, the CASPA fees alone (not counting supplemental fees) to apply to this number of schools would be $942. You can expect probably another 5-700 in supplemental fees. Also, it's well accepted that applying to more schools increases chance of acceptance but there is a diminishing return point. I'm not you, but I would consider paring this list down slightly. 16 schools is a lot to apply to on your first cycle. Also, make sure you know what you're getting into with UC Colorado. Their program is 3 years long and a dual CHA/PA program meaning that you spend approx an extra year getting a certification in pediatrics. This dissuaded me from applying to UC Colorado. 

I thought the dual was just an option like MPH programs. I will have to look more into that now. I may like that, though. It may make me more appealing to employers as well? Not sure. I'll do more research on the CHA, though. Thanks

 

I thought most people applied to between 12-15, so I thought I was doing a rather safe thing, but I remember reading a post somewhere about the limit where your chances stay the same while losing money. I'll have to try and find that number, and I'll work on limiting some of them.

 

Thanks, as always, boli! Ha

 

 

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4 minutes ago, TheLastStone said:


I thought the dual was just an option like MPH programs. I will have to look more into that now. I may like that, though. It may make me more appealing to employers as well? Not sure. I'll do more research on the CHA, though. Thanks

I thought most people applied to between 12-15, so I thought I was doing a rather safe thing, but I remember reading a post somewhere about the limit where your chances stay the same while losing money. I'll have to try and find that number, and I'll work on limiting some of them.

Thanks, as always, boil! Ha


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I think the number of schools you apply to should mainly depend on your PCE hours and GPA in two years.

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Are you applying next cycle? Make sure you keep your grades up and everything.. schools that were not as competitive before are getting really picky now due to the high number of applicants. One school specifically said they received double the amount of applications from last year and they generally accepted people on the lower end of stats.

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Why is Campbell not on your list? NC school, program director worked for the Duke program. Go check it out This will be my second interview for them. I can say with EVMS volunteer volunteer volunteer. Also do not I repeat DO NOT have a C in your last 40 for that program. You need your pre-req GPA for them to be above their 3.75 threshold (Yes your cGPA can be lower). Also check out UCPAP (University of Charleston)  in West Virginia. I was really impressed with their program.

I think I looked at campbell and I don't have some of the pre-reqs complete. The schools im applying to don't require biochem or orgo. My school is known for having a bad Chem dept, and with a 3.4 already, having it go to a 3.5 if I got As in those classes (which no one has been able to do) doesn't seem like a smart thing for me to try and risk, if I don't do well and my GPA drops. I'll look at CU again, though.

Also, what would you consider a lot, regarding volunteering?


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Aim for 500+ hours of volunteering. In anything. Not just medical stuff. They like to see a well rounded application. I do believe you only need 1 semester of Ochem so maybe take it during the summer at a different school or ask your advisor if you can cross register anywhere. People get into programs with a 3.1 cumulative GPA, it all depends on what you are bringing to the table.

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Aim for 500+ hours of volunteering. In anything. Not just medical stuff. They like to see a well rounded application. I do believe you only need 1 semester of Ochem so maybe take it during the summer at a different school or ask your advisor if you can cross register anywhere. People get into programs with a 3.1 cumulative GPA, it all depends on what you are bringing to the table.

I'm researching my chemistry department a little harder, as my local CC isn't the best route. The only tough part is if I take it over the summer, it's only 5 weeks long. So I'll have to reschedule my classes to try and get it in the spring and possibly, push an easier class into the summer or previous fall semester.


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Just remember your vision and where you want to be in X amount of years. Do what you can when you can to get to your end goal which is acceptance into a program. It will help during the tough times to pull you through.

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Are you applying next cycle? Make sure you keep your grades up and everything.. schools that were not as competitive before are getting really picky now due to the high number of applicants. One school specifically said they received double the amount of applications from last year and they generally accepted people on the lower end of stats.

I was hoping to apply next cycle, as my school just dropped the orgo requirements from my BA bio degree. I'm learning that might not benefit me, though, as I may need to use it in PA school or as a PA. I was looking at programs that didn't require orgo or biochem. Now I've have deliberating to do


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25 minutes ago, TheLastStone said:


I was hoping to apply next cycle, as my school just dropped the orgo requirements from my BA bio degree. I'm learning that might not benefit me, though, as I may need to use it in PA school or as a PA. I was looking at programs that didn't require orgo or biochem. Now I've have deliberating to do


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I know most schools now allow biochem instead of orgo.. but you might need to take orgo 1 + 2 to be able to take biochem..

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1 hour ago, TheLastStone said:


I was hoping to apply next cycle, as my school just dropped the orgo requirements from my BA bio degree. I'm learning that might not benefit me, though, as I may need to use it in PA school or as a PA. I was looking at programs that didn't require orgo or biochem. Now I've have deliberating to do


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Biochem is helpful for PA school, in my experience organic chemistry isn't helpful...and I have a minor in chemistry and took both of that means anything

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