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LOR, Choosing a program, shadowing, and paying for school


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I'm trying to figure out just how you go about getting a good LOR from a doctor or PA if you dont work directly with them? I'm going to shadow a pa or doctor soon but its at a hospital that only allows you to do 3 sessions. Im looking to do volunteer work in the summer, maybe that will have me interact more with a PA or MD?

what type of shadowing is best, should I be looking to shadow more than 20ish hours?

and paying for school, im just curious if the schools work with you on financial aid etc

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Guest HanSolo

1) It can be tough. Private clinics can be easier to shadow at than big organizations. Do your best to try and develop a relationship with a PA during those shadowing sessions if possible. Maybe meet them outside of work for a coffee and talk about the job/career/school. Most PAs are proud of what they do and are willing to share with those who are interested in following in their footsteps. However, don't force it. No letter is better than a bad one.

2) Try to diversify your shadowing experiences across specialties and settings. At a minimum, try and see a primary care setting. Some schools have a minimum # of required hours.

3) Every school will work with you on financial aid. You'll likely be taking out federal loans and perhaps some private on top of that. 

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Try to find a PA that works in a private practice that will let you shadow! They are often more lenient, so you can shadow long term and build a connection with the PA before asking for a LOR!

HanSolo is right, try to shadow as much as possible and in many settings. I have seen some schools who value shadowing more than others, recommending up to 100 hours. Be sure to shadow in the areas you think you're interested in to be sure the role is a good fit!

All of the interviews I went to had a financial aid presentation with a financial aid rep that is able to answer any questions you may have throughout the process!

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