Hey guys, wanted to start a thread with the hopes that some current UF students (1st or 2nd year) could provide some insight on why they chose the program over others, what they're enjoying most about the program, favorite things the program has to offer, the kind of support you're provided with, etc (things of that nature)
I would really appreciate it as I'm currently deciding which programs could fit best with me in this upcoming cycle! Thanks, hope to hear from some gators!!
Since social media is such a big part of the newer generations day to day life, I wanted to start a thread for helpful Instagram accounts to follow for our journey to becoming a PA! These range from current PA school applicants, PA students, and PA-Cs. Feel free to add to the list!!!!
Pre-PA Instagram Accounts:
@ thepathtopa @ thepaplatform @ chasinghealthgoals @ my.path.to.pa @ renatamarie_pre.pa @ la.petite.pa @ myparesource @ mypabox @ hannah.pa @ j_thefuturepa @ sparkles_and_scalpels_ @ medically.bri @ pa_tientcare @ taylormorgan.pa.s @ caasapa @ pas_kendall @ jadamarie.pa @ emilyb_pa
In my pre-pa club a member asked a question about surgery for PA’s. The question was “Is it true that in order to assist in surgery you need to do an extra year of schooling after your PA program? Do this require you to pay more for school? Is this included in your PA schooling years or would you need to reapply for that surgical year?”
I thought it was an excellent set of questions, which I would like more answers for.
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 am having a bit of a dilemma! I am currently a student at a small community college in Maine. I started in 2015 and got my Associate in Applied Science in Medical Assisting a year ago this past May. I became certified through the AAMA and started working right away. I worked as a float in rheumatology, neurology, family practice, and OMT specialty. All very beneficial to gaining the knowledge I now have. I initially got my MA degree so I could start taking classes towards my bachelors degree and I would also have a job that would get my patient contact hours that I needed to apply to the PA program. I then realized that school was expensive and got the idea I should apply to nursing school since my school already offered the program and it is very affordable ($92 a credit hour- I am able to pay out of pocket!). I just completed my first year of the nursing program and have one year left before getting my RN degree. I like nursing and think that it takes a very special person to be a nurse- it is not easy! When I decided to go for nursing I let go of the PA dream and figured that I could take baby steps and get my NP degree. First my ADN, then BSN, and then NP. I was offered a paid summer nursing intern position at our local hospital. I have been working as a Tech in ER and floating around shadowing different nursing positions. They do this to help recruitment and allow students to see what they might like when they graduate. Often they offer students a per diem Tech position while they finish their last year of nursing school. I have gotten to work side by side with PAs, NPs, MDs, DOs, through this program and my MA work. I now still feel very passionately that I want to become a PA. I like the training that PA's get versus NP's, I do not like online course work that most NP programs offer. My learning style is more lecture, take notes, study those notes! After talking with a recent NP grad I was a little upset to learn they only practiced 2 hours of suturing in her program (her FNP program was live, not online). From what I have heard NP's don't cover a lot of technical training that a PA does. Ideally I would like to work in an acute care setting such as the ER as a midlevel. This leads me to another point, PAs have so much mobility they can go wherever whenever they wish. They don't have to specialize in certain age groups or settings. If I went to be an NP I definitely feel I would have to go to become an Acute Care NP. Down the road if I ever decided I wanted to go into a different specialty I would have to take a post masters certification. I also like that PA's get more experience in different areas during clinical. NP's do have a lot of experience as you must hold a valid RN license and have been an RN for a couple years, but they don't the same clinical experience that a PA does. The nursing model is good, but I don't love nursing everything is theory theory theory. I like the medical model- what it causing the problem and treat it! I feel as a PA you can still be holistic and treat the person as whole like NP schools emphasize. A conversation about diet and exercise with you patient is not going to hurt. Many people have told me that since I am going to be a nurse I should just go the NP route and as great as that could be it doesn't sound right. My opinion is that becoming a nurse will look good as patient experience coupled with my MA and Tech experience. I don't feel like I have wasted time and that I am learning A LOT! My next step is to figure out how to get a bachelors degree for PA school. Most pre-PA programs grant graduates with a biology degree. This is where I am torn- do I get my BSN online in a year or so or do I get a different degree. The online BSN program gives me a lot of versatility in work schedule as a nurse and then I will have to take my bio 1+2, chem 1+2, Organic chem, stats, and a few other pre-reqs for the PA program I am looking at. Or should I try and use both of my associate degrees towards a bachelors and see what degree I can get that would include the pre-reqs, basically skipping the BSN. I feel as though getting a BSN would be a waste of time, but I don't know if my previous classes will count towards any bachelors other than that. I guess then that there is always the question of not getting into PA school, at least I would still be an RN. I could then figure out where to go from there. Any insight would be greatly appreciated! Thank you all. ?