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Teacher2PAC

Time off in between PA School and Residency

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I have been thinking about applying to a residency program after graduating for PA School. 

My expected graduation will occur in August 2020, and then I will be eligible to apply for residency. If I am accepted to a residency, the expected start date would be in March 2021, so I would have a few months off in between. 

I was wondering what some people have done in that "off" time. Is it worth getting a job and then resigning to do the residency? What would you suggest?

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I'd try to get a job in your field before hand if you are able.  Not only will it give you a nice headstart on loans, it will give you a good base of experience so that you can jump into the deep end in residency and really make the most of it.  That being said, what field are you going into?  A march start seems odd for a standard residency which typically will have a summer start.  

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8 hours ago, SERENITY NOW said:

I'd try to get a job in your field before hand if you are able.  Not only will it give you a nice headstart on loans, it will give you a good base of experience so that you can jump into the deep end in residency and really make the most of it.  That being said, what field are you going into?  A march start seems odd for a standard residency which typically will have a summer start.  

I am also looking into residencies/fellowships (in emergency medicine), and I have wondered the same thing about a gap between graduation and residency. My program graduates in December, so a start earlier in the year would be beneficial to minimize an awkward time gap. I had thought about getting a job before the residency begins, but waiting for state licencing and hospital credentialing (assuming I work in EM) would likely eat up a few months, meaning I may only be able to work 2-6 months before having to quit and start a residency, depending on the start date.  

The start dates for EM residencies are all over the board these days, ranging from February to October. While June/July start dates are not uncommon, there are a number of programs with early spring start dates; Mayo Clinic, Regions Hospital, & Johns Hopkins EMPA residencies all have March start dates (each also have a second start date later in the year), while Carilion Clinic and University of Iowa both start in February. (From: http://appap.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Program_Matrix-as-of-March-2018-4.pdf)

I understand it would be valuable to work some before beginning a residency, but do you think it's worth it to do so if you will only spend a couple months working? I just don't want to start a new position only to up and leave them hanging after training me for a few months. 

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If I were back in the shoes of residency applications I would strongly favor joining a residency program that puts you in with physician residency classes, which all start in July.  I know its competitive so I'd probably apply everywhere I'd be willing to live, but I'd definitely prefer the traditional ones.  

Its possible to fast track licensing and hospital onboarding in many states and you could graduate, finish pance, and be working within a period of a month or two.  I think having even 4-5 months of experience before going into a residency would be valuable - read the first few posts from my blog to get a sense of how overwhelming it was going from student with no responsibilities to managing main ED patients within the period of a month.  Not to mention the fact that truly sick patients are challenging for everyone, it was the million little things that you don't do as a student that all heap on you at once... hospital policies and procedures, EMR maneuvering, charting, interacting with consultants, etc... it was very overwhelming and even having a few months of normal job experience under your belt will help you sort out a lot of those things before jumping into the deep end of sick residency patients.   

Of course I agree it would be crappy for the place hiring you to only stay for 4-5 months, so because of that I would definitely be up front with them about your plan.  It would likely be tough to get a job in the first place making it a moot point, but it can't hurt to apply and if you do luck out with a job, I think it would help.   Might also be more realistic to reach out to the residency program you get accepted to and see if they have staff PAs/NPs working in their ED - you'd probably have a better chance having their group hiring you since they'll think you have a much higher chance of staying after residency.  Can't hurt to try!

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