lipglossandlabcoats

Continued or provisional

20 posts in this topic

I've been accepted at a continued state program as well as a private provisional program ( brand new, would be first cohort). What are the risks/if any associated with choosing the provisional program?  

Once a program is granted that status, does it mean this program has allocated the funds/time/faculty to ensure that we graduate from an accredited program? Are we allowed to sit for the PANCE?  

What happens if the program loses accreditation during our time in the program? What happens if it loses accreditation after we graduate, does this affect job opportunities in the future? 

Would greatly appreciate any advice on this!  

Thank you!! :) 

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My understanding is once you start a program that is accredited you will be allowed to sit for the PANCE if you complete the program even if it loses accreditation half way through.  The only complication would be if the school completely pulled the plug on the program but I would imagine this is unlikely due to the inevitable fallout and lawsuits that would ensue.  

As for if a program closes up shop after you have graduated and become a PA...I don’t think anyone will ever care.  I’ve never had anyone ask about my program in a job interview even as a new grad.  They care if you’re certified and eligible for state licensure in my experience.

If I were looking Into a provisional program I’d look at what other programs they offer in the are of medicine.  Is it an MD/DO school with a good reputation? Do they have a PT/OT/NP/RN program and are those programs successful/respected?

one issue with a provisional program is the status could complicate the ability to get federally backed student loans.  A good friend of mine went to PT school that was new and the biggest issue was taking out private student loans at higher interest rates until they got everything set up so students could apply and get federally backed loans through the FAFSA.

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34 minutes ago, MCHAD said:

My understanding is once you start a program that is accredited you will be allowed to sit for the PANCE if you complete the program even if it loses accreditation half way through.  The only complication would be if the school completely pulled the plug on the program but I would imagine this is unlikely due to the inevitable fallout and lawsuits that would ensue.  

As for if a program closes up shop after you have graduated and become a PA...I don’t think anyone will ever care.  I’ve never had anyone ask about my program in a job interview even as a new grad.  They care if you’re certified and eligible for state licensure in my experience.

If I were looking Into a provisional program I’d look at what other programs they offer in the are of medicine.  Is it an MD/DO school with a good reputation? Do they have a PT/OT/NP/RN program and are those programs successful/respected?

one issue with a provisional program is the status could complicate the ability to get federally backed student loans.  A good friend of mine went to PT school that was new and the biggest issue was taking out private student loans at higher interest rates until they got everything set up so students could apply and get federally backed loans through the FAFSA.

Thank you so much for your response. 

The provisional program institution only offers one other healthcare related field which is nursing. Whereas, the continued program institution has a DMD and MD program associated with it, with a fairly good reputation. 

I just worry if choosing a provisional program has a slight risk factor. I feel like choosing a continued program is more secure, but I don't really know that to be true. 

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From a "legal" standpoint, going to a school that has provisional status allows you to finish the program and sit for your boards. If it fails to get full accreditation later (i.e., after you start), your class will still be allowed to graduate and take their boards. If you are the school's first class, chances are their next accreditation visit will come after your class graduates.

From a practical standpoint, especially if the program has yet to graduate a class, you have to be careful. I graduated in the third class of a program that had not yet graduated a class when I started. I had met most of the faculty, which was led by an experienced director with many years starting and running other PA programs. I talked with students from the classes ahead of me. I liked the program's strategy and faculty. I went there and was very pleased with my experience.

Other programs have been started by leaders who seem to have started programs elsewhere but do not seem to last long running them. (Kind of like home some entrepreneurs seem to start companies that eventually they are unable to run successfully) Programs with lots of faculty turnover. Programs that, in spite of having other medical programs on campus, don't really benefit all that much from that.

So, from a practical standpoint, while going to a new program will let you take your boards, you have to do some research to see if you feel the place is right for you. It just might be. Or not.

Good luck!

 

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Going off of what @UGoLong accurately wrote, the downside to a brand new program is you're a guinea pig and you have no idea how well they will prepare you for the PANCE. Look at the pass rates of the program you're accepted to and if they're above 90% then I'd opt for that one.

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1 hour ago, MedicinePower said:

Going off of what @UGoLong accurately wrote, the downside to a brand new program is you're a guinea pig and you have no idea how well they will prepare you for the PANCE. Look at the pass rates of the program you're accepted to and if they're above 90% then I'd opt for that one.

But don't all PA programs have to teach the same General information?  Wouldn't it be up to me to how well I perform on the PANCE?  

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13 minutes ago, lipglossandlabcoats said:

But don't all PA programs have to teach the same General information?  Wouldn't it be up to me to how well I perform on the PANCE?  

They all must follow the PANCE Road Map and other ARC-PA criteria but that doesn't mean they are doing a good job teaching or preparing you for the exam. I've heard of programs where they focus so heavily on the pathophys but barely touch on the clinical medicine aspects of things. I'm naturally weary of new programs opening as you don't know if their instructors have any experience actually teaching or know how to convey information. Therefore I'd opt for the more experienced program with a high PANCE pass rate vs the new program where you can't make such an informed decision.

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And then, there's the second year. Clinical sites are hard to come by...established programs have established relationships and have had an opportunity to prune the less than ideal preceptors from their list. Brand new programs might be taking whatever they can get. I wouldn't want to be the first student on every single rotation.

Between this and the fact that the state school probably has lower tuition, the choice kinda seems like a no-brainer.  

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I guess it just seems neat being a part of an inaugural class. Do programs have to secure clinical sites before the program even starts or is all that subject to change?

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3 hours ago, lipglossandlabcoats said:

I guess it just seems neat being a part of an inaugural class. Do programs have to secure clinical sites before the program even starts or is all that subject to change?

Established programs have a difficult time securing rotations in my experience...

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10 hours ago, MCHAD said:

Established programs have a difficult time securing rotations in my experience...

Do you think there is definitely a risk with securing clinical rotations for brand new programs? I just figured this would all be contracted and agreed upon so there wouldn't be any difficulties with securing these sites. 

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5 minutes ago, lipglossandlabcoats said:

Do you think there is definitely a risk with securing clinical rotations for brand new programs? I just figured this would all be contracted and agreed upon so there wouldn't be any difficulties with securing these sites. 

Have you tried calling them to find out if they have secured their rotation sites?  If they have, I have no doubt that they would share that information with you as a potential student.  

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I'd save the headache and take the established site providing it has a good community reputation.

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23 minutes ago, MaryFred said:

Have you tried calling them to find out if they have secured their rotation sites?  If they have, I have no doubt that they would share that information with you as a potential student.  

Yeah I was gonna call/email the school in a few!  Hopefully it's good news!  

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6 minutes ago, Jdabrowski said:

I'd save the headache and take the established site providing it has a good community reputation.

As far as local reputation it is fairly good.  The institution itself is decent but the PA program ranks pretty low.  I just wonder if it's worth taking the risk for the new program.  

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2 hours ago, lipglossandlabcoats said:

As far as local reputation it is fairly good.  The institution itself is decent but the PA program ranks pretty low.  I just wonder if it's worth taking the risk for the new program.  

I personally wouldn't risk it. I had the chance to be in a new program but did not feel it was worth the anxiety of being a guinea pig when you are the first for everything. I chose the school that has above average PANCE rates because it is safer to me.

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3 hours ago, lipglossandlabcoats said:

Do you think there is definitely a risk with securing clinical rotations for brand new programs? I just figured this would all be contracted and agreed upon so there wouldn't be any difficulties with securing these sites. 

Absolutely there is a definite risk.  In programs that have been around for years there is difficulty in getting rotations for every student.  I’ve mentioned before in other threads that I had classmates get sent to an adult daycare to play bingo with Alzheimer’s patients for rotations 

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To get provisional accreditation, there is a requirement for a prospective PA program to line up adequate sites. Of course, this is done at least a year (and probably more) before the first students get placed and things can always change.

Getting clinical sites is an issue for most programs. As more programs start in the same geographic area, there is more competition for sites. This will be true to a degree with whatever program you attend. Even for established programs, building and maintaining a broad set of clinical sites is an ongoing effort.

Let's say that a large local hospital system has had a long relationship with a university and helps train its medical residents. Later, the university adds a PA program and the hospital system decides to extend its relationship and give these new PA students preference in clinical rotations. That means that other PA programs in the general area who formerly used the hospital system will have to adjust and find replacement rotations for its students. 

As far as PANCE passing rates, yes all programs teach the same material, but that does not guarantee similar results! Kind of like all cars pass the same federal safety standards, but their rides and amenities can differ wildly. All programs are supposed to post their test passing rates so you can investigate.

Picking a school is like picking anything else you spend money on. Doing some research can make a big difference in your decision.

Good luck!

 

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