Last week I got my first official application decision of the cycle. Opening the email, I scanned the words frantically until I found the sentence I was fearing the most. It read, “I regret to inform you of the program’s decision not to pursue your application further.” These words translate much more simply to “rejection.”
For a moment I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I knew that I would be receiving rejections throughout the cycle, but had hoped and prayed it wouldn’t be from this school. Not only was this program one of my top choices, but it is also the only school in my home city. The realization that I would not have the opportunity to interview hit me like a ton of bricks. With GPAs well above the program’s average and my state residency giving me a leg up over other applicants, I felt that I would likely secure an interview. I was wrong.
After the news, I began to question my application strategy entirely. I chose to apply more intentionally to a handful of carefully selected programs landing on the lower side of things - 6. As the September 1st deadline for many programs was only a few days away I sent my GRE scores off to an additional school that I was going back and forth on, hoping that they would arrive on time. I was relieved to have everything complete with one other program, but I still questioned if 7 would be enough to land me an acceptance or even an interview.
At this point I was doubting myself, my personal statement, my clinical experiences… everything. I wondered if there were red flags in my application or if I said the wrong things in the answers to the supplemental questions. I tried to stay optimistic, but I was disappointed and feeling insecure. My first rejection was certainly humbling, planting seeds of doubt that were becoming overwhelming.
And then I saw it. I was eating my lunch and scanning my email when I suddenly read “Invitation to Interview” in the subject line of an email from my top choice. My heart started racing and my palms were sweating. After seeing the date provided, only 3.5 weeks away, I could barely focus enough to read about the interview details. I was ecstatic. Their initial email contained a typo and in a follow up email with a correction the admissions director revealed that I was the very first applicant to be offered an interview. I couldn’t believe it. This school was my reach, and I certainly wasn’t counting on being offered an interview, let alone the first one. I was over the moon.
Here I am now, in the midst of the cycle with one interview scheduled and one rejection. Things are still up in the air, but I feel that I am at least back in the game. The ups and downs of this roller coaster ride will continue, and I couldn't be happier. Thus far, this process has been unpredictable. Although I have heard this repeated many times here by those wiser than myself, this experience has definitely shown me that there is no such thing as a sure thing when applying to PA school. Don’t be so quick to count yourself in, but also don’t count yourself out.
I'm graduating PA school tomorrow and taking my PANCE in a week (wooooo!). I'm highly motivated to pursue a career in emergency medicine, particularly rural EM, and interviewed at multiple programs this summer. Unfortunately, I did not get into a program that felt like the right fit for my goals, so I've decided to reapply to more of the quality programs with open applications this fall. Most of these residencies don't start until late next spring or summer. Here's the issue: that would leave me with a minimum 7 month gap in employment, and up to 10 or 11 months, before starting a residency. That's terrifying! As far as I can tell, here are my only options, none feeling all that great:
1. Find a non-clinical job to fill the time/money gap. I have a job offer with an EMR implementation & consulting company that is OK with my timeline, but I fear I would lose so much knowledge if I'm not actually practicing what I've learned these last two years. Also, this might reflect poorly on my applications this fall.
2. Locum tenens work, ideally in urgent care or EM, but may have to do family med for a bit. I'm not really comfortable with this, as I've read on here that locums might be a pretty terrible idea for a new grad. The last thing I want to do is be in an unsafe environment, but somehow this feels like the better option.
3. Take an urgent care or EM job, not disclosing my plans to leave (who would hire me otherwise?). This feels dishonest and I'm least comfortable with this idea. I think it'd be terribly rude to leave any clinic/ED in such a short period when they've put in the effort to train a new grad. Am I off base with that? I could also work somewhere for a few years then reapply, but we all know how life goes; I'd rather do the hard work now before family/house payment/etc are deterrents.
I'm really stuck on this and hoping that the experienced crowd here could impart some wisdom in my process. I'd really appreciate any advice!
I will be starting PA school in January and was looking for guidance about what path I should take to achieve my goals. If I could start over I might have chosen a different route to get to this point but I graduated with a Bachelors of Biology from Ohio State, went on to gain my patient care experience as a CNA, and applied for PA school. I really want to do something with babies so I am looking at Women's Health/OBGYN.
What is the best path to take to get a job working closely with delivery and babies? I know PA's are up and coming and at least in NC are not often hired in most fields working with infants. Finding a Neonatal PA job is like finding a needle in a haystack. Heck even a neonatal PA residency is few and far between. And I am considering labor and delivery but after working nights in the hospital, I like more of the clinic setting. Plus I have never shadowed in L&D so I am not sure what the job specifically entails from the provider standpoint. So that left me considering a Women's Health Clinic. I shadowed a PA in one of these clinics and I loved it but after some research it does not seem there is much opportunity in clinics for OBGYN PA's and most clinics prefer NP's.
So I wanted to ask some PAs who are currently out in the workforce and have wanted to work with newborns what their experience was like, how they found the position, and what they did to get there. What would be the best way to make myself competitive for an OBGYN PA provider position and what is the best way to find job openings in that field? Should I seek out an OBGYN residency after school or should I focus on real world job experience doing something that maybe doesn't interest me as much to gain work experience? Are there other possible careers I am forgetting about that will allow me to practice as a PA and work with infants/delivery?
I am also strongly considering pediatrics as another option which seems to be much more readily available to PAs but I have always been fascinated with the reproductive system so I appreciate the gynecological portion of women's health as much as I love obstetrics. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! I do not want to end up in the same position I did immediately after college where think about what I should have done differently if I could start over. I want to do it right the first time so I do not struggle to get into a field I love because I don't have a crucial experience in my toolbox.
Any help is greatly appreciated!
I’ve been having some discussions about doing a CCM residency at my institution after completing my residency. Everyone seems interested in me doing it. A few things would have to be altered such as my current residency would have to be extended 4 months (for a total of 22 months) to coincide with the start of the fellowship, which they also seem interest in doing. In exchange I would also get more elective time. I’d prefer this over doing locums so it would be a simple transition, but isn’t necessary. The CCM residency is a year long and pays about 7-10k more than I make now (which isn’t much lol), so in total I’ll have done just shy of 3 years post grad training. The talks are going that I would eventually split my time between CCM and EM like the docs with 6 shifts per month in the ED and 1 week per month in the unit. It would be more for management of the various ICU patients (rotate through Cvicu, micu, snicu, picu, and other areas) as I’ve already learned the majority of the procedures, though I would learn bronscopy and percutaneous trachs.
Pros: I think it would just be cool to be, I think, the first formally dual trained EM-CCM and truly fellowship trained PA.
it would be nice to have the variety of working CCM and EM.
I have more GI bill to use to supplement my income, which pay about 1900 per month.
it would help with my PSLF. The less I’m paid the less I pay them, and finding a non-profit to work for in EM with all the groups is hard.
maybe could led to some consultancy work establishing residencies elsewhere? Or maybe speaking/lecturing/podcasts for EMRAP?
another year putting off settling down, renting a so so house,
thoughts? Should I just go straight to work? Am I overinflating the pros?
I have committed to a PA school starting in January 2019. I was comfortable with my choice until the last few weeks I have been very concerned that I should reapply - even though it is 3 months into the application cycle- because the school I have accepted a position at is currently on probation status. The program did explain this at the interview, however now that I have had a few months to think about it I am growing nervous that I should wait and apply again to get into a fully accredited program. The program has hired consultants to improve on the issues that caused the accreditation problem. I am hoping it will be accredited, but truly it would not affect my class, rather the class after mine.
If I can get any feedback whether the specific program/school you attend affects where you get a job or how others look at your application I would truly truly appreciate it. I am not sure if my hesitancy is valid or not.