Hi PAs as Pre-PAs: I am fortunate enough to say that I have a choice of PA programs to choose from- Emory and Duke. I have visited both schools during the interview, and both are impressive. I’ll be moving with my husband, who will need to find a job wherever we end up, and it seems like Atlanta may have more opportunities for jobs in his field (landscape architecture). I’m thrilled but a bit stumped as to which to choose. I’d sincerely appreciate some insight from those that are familiar with the programs. What would be on your pro and con list? Thank you!
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Hello Everyone! Thank you for taking the time to read my post. I’m new to the PA Forum, but I desperately need some advice! I am fortunate enough to have been accepted to the dual PA/MPH (Master’s of Public Health) program at Yale and the PA program (MPH is pending) at Emory. However, I’m having a very difficult time deciding between the two so if you have any advice, have gone to either school, or have even been in this position before, I’d love to hear what you have to say!
Brief summary: My goal is to be a PA, but my interests are currently in infectious disease and the prevention of such, education of underserved populations, the effects of a booming population on healthcare, and global health. I am extremely interested in working for the CDC or WHO and love international medicine. Eventually, I may get into health policy. I love travel, have lived in a sunny, dry state with lots of things to do outdoors, and enjoy smart, successful, but REAL people.
Here are my impressions of the schools (please correct me if I'm mistaken!) Yale (New Haven, CT): THE GOOD • The prestigious name – it’s not everything, but it certainly gives me a sense of pride, make my family proud, and it could unlock a lot of doors for me in my future. • Yale has a “Master’s of Public Health: Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases” program that has a large laboratory component – this is exactly what I want. I love being in the lab and this is my exact interest in public health. • Medical Spanish – Yale offers its students this class as a supplemental learning experience for PAs. Awesome, as I used to be fluent in Spanish and would love to travel internationally. • Global Health Concentration – this is a great bonus and would help me expand my global experience/education. • Amenities – Yale boasts great museums and coffee shops that are sprinkled through New Haven, it’s also a plus that you can walk around the entire town in a matter of hours. • Downs Fellowship – this funds a 6 week international work/research experience over the summer. If I play my cards right, this could count for my thesis and summer practicum. • Networking – it’s Yale, correct me if I’m mistaken by assuming that I would meet some of the best and brightest people in their fields. • Clinical rotations seem limited – I don’t believe you have a say in anywhere you go and I didn’t get the impression that the school affiliations were too wide-spread. I don’t want to do all of my rotations at the same hospital. They do, however, offer an international rotation, which is super cool.
THE NOT SO GOOD • Safety – I’ve heard that the area has a decent amount of crime and, being a petite female, this is a big concern on mine. • Campus – while the undergraduate campus is beautiful, the medical campus seems removed and a bit undesirable. To be fair, it was snowing the day that I went for my interview, so I probably didn’t get to see as much as I could’ve. • The atmosphere – the few people I met there (like less than 10) didn’t seem very happy to be there. In fact, I got the feeling that many of them where there for the name. That’s fine and all, but I like to have a supportive community of REAL people who are smart but also care about things other than school. • Cost – It’s about $15,000 more expensive than Emory. • Weather – I hear it’s gloomy and cold up there. I’m not sure how humid it gets though. I have lived my entire life in a sunny, dry place and NEED sunshine. • There aren’t a lot of volunteer/student involvement opportunities there (besides the Free Clinic).
Emory (Atlanta, Georgia): THE GOOD: • Close proximity to the CDC – As someone who would really love to work for the CDC, the fact that the CDC Headquarters is on Emory campus is HUGE. Not only would it allow me internship and networking opportunities, but many of my public health classes would be taught by CDC employees. • Farm Worker’s Project – A two week medical trip where students and faculty bring medical care to Southern farm workers. I did a trip to Ecuador like this a few years back and loved it. So rewarding. • The enclosed campus – while the campus itself is open to the public, when you are on campus, you are ON CAMPUS. The buildings are beautiful and the area feel clean and welcoming. • The people – the people I met seemed genuinely happy to be there and were more easy-going. • Opportunities – While Emory is not in downtown Atlanta (another plus), the area boasts great clinical rotations, restaurants, and social activities. • Great hospital affiliations – this makes for great rotation opportunities. THE NOT SO GOOD: • Humidity – I’m not a fan. But it might be just as humid in Connecticut? • It’s not as widely known – Again, the name isn’t the biggest deal, but it certainly makes things easier! • No concentration in infectious disease – I would be going for Global Epidemiology, but would have to use electives (I would probably only have time for 3 or so?) that are based on infectious diseases to make my “concentration”. This is a huge negative for me.
Technically, they still haven’t accepted me (although, I’m not too concerned). Yale was willing to expedite review of the public health portion of my application so that I knew whether or not I was accepted to both programs within ONE WEEK. I submitted my public health application to Emory nearly 3 months ago now (and have also known that I was accepted to the PA program for 3 months as well). The Emory lag just makes me feel a bit like they don’t care.
**These are just a few of the things that I have considered. I actually looked at 77 total characteristics of each, but the schools ended up being very similar in the end. If I am wrong about ANYTHING I have said above, PLEASE let me know! These are just the impressions I have gotten and would love to hear the opinions of real students or teachers!