Hello everyone! I’m a first time applicant applying to mainly PA programs in New York. If anyone has any info on New York schools (shooting for long island schools- stony brook, touro, hofstra,) with similar stats, please let me know. With CASPA opening around the corner, I’m getting a little anxious. I plan on applying as early as possible, mid-may latest.
Major- B.S. in Bioscience, graduated 12/20
GRE- not required for any programs I will be applying to
PCE~ 3000 hours as a medical assistant at endocrinology private practice since 2018
Research- 30 hours, summer internship, Bioinformatics research overseen by a Stanford PhD on the genomic architecture of wrinkle associated genes
Volunteering- 25 hours, food bank
100 hours clerical work at a hospital
100 hours volunteer counselor at a child care after school program
Shadowing- 40 hours in internal medicine, 30 hours in OBGYN, 30 hours in Emergency Medicine
LORs- 2 from PAs shadowed, 1 from a MD supervisor where I work, 1 from a biology professor
Extras- AAPA member, no real leadership on application, wasn’t active with any extracurriculars on campus
Hello! I hope someone can help!! I am so confused in regards to if a medical assistant is considered PCE or HCE for CASPA. I've been an MA for 3 years, this past year I've been working in an Urgent Care. However, the two years prior is what I'm worried about. I do feel it's considered PCE based on what I did/level of responsibility, but the way CASPA describes it is freaking me out a bit. This might be a long post but I hope even just 1 person can give me some insight!!
"Patient Care Experience
Experiences in which you are directly responsible for a patient's care. For example, prescribing medication, performing procedures, directing a course of treatment, designing a treatment regimen, actively working on patients as a nurse, paramedic, EMT, CNA, phlebotomist, physical therapist, dental hygienist, etc.
Both paid and unpaid work in a health or health-related field where you are not directly responsible for a patient's care, but may still have patient interaction; for example, filling prescriptions, performing clerical work, delivering patient food, cleaning patients and/or their rooms, administering food or medication, taking vitals or other record keeping information, working as a scribe, CNA (depending on job description), medical assistant, etc."
I've been a Medical Assistant since 2018, right when I graduated I got a job through my MA externship to work in a GI/Colorectal surgery clinic inside a local hospital. The office had 4 GI Drs, 3 colorectal surgeons, 1 hepatologist & had 2 PAs/1 NP (one for each field). I worked with 3-4 other medical assistants and we did everything. We roomed patients (some days seeing 90-100 patients), covered for surgical schedulers if needed, covered for the front desk if needed. On top of doing out our own job! We were assigned physicians we would personally work with to delegate where patient calls/messages would go. For the first year, I was the MA for 1 gastroenterologist. The second year, I was promoted to working with the colorectal surgery team. I then worked with 3 surgeons (with 1 other MA), 1 was the chief of colorectal surgery for the hospital - I became one of his personal scribes who would go in while seeing patients and do his note/visit summaries, we would see around 20-30 patients when he was in clinic.
Day to day duties consisted of prioritizing/answering messages/calls from patients in a timely manner, either helping them if we can ourselves or passing on the message to the appropriate physician where we would call the patient with their response. We would prescribe medications based on what the provider wanted, meaning: they would tell us what to prescribe and we would propose the orders for them so they didn't have to. Assisting in in-office procedures. It's important to add that I did too have a handful of administrative duties like scanning in medical records, refill requests, scheduling appointments, prior authorizations through insurance companies. (Even these I would think should be considered PCE based on the responsibility factor).
Long story short, I did A LOT of work that I feel is considered Patient Care Experience, regardless of it's considered administrative or clinical. Meaning, I felt that I was directly responsible for the care of patients, under the supervision of the physicians. If I did call back to explain a treatment plan (made by the physician), then the patient would never get called. If I didn't call to schedule their surgery and make sure they have everything they need to prepare for a colonoscopy or colon resection, it would be my fault.
In August of 2020 I transferred to an Urgent Care as I begun my prerequisite PA courses that needed to be on campus (or so I thought bc of COVID). Anyways, I am getting (official) back office MA experience now. However, I am terrified that my 2 years (4,000 hrs+) of GI/Colorectal surgery experience will be deemed as Healthcare experience rather than Patient care experience, which I feel would hurt my chances of getting into PA school. Even the thought of dividing it half and half between PCE & HCE doesn't make me happy, but I rather do that then consider all this time HCE.
I'm sorry for this long post, maybe I'm being ridiculous and overthinking this - but if anyone can share their insight or personal experience that would be highly appreciated!!
Thank you ❤️
What’s In A Name?
Robert M. Blumm, PA, DFAAPA, PA-C Emeritus
The title of this article is an echo of Shakespeare, but let me assure you that today’s theme is not about Romeo and Juliet. The title question put forth has a very significant meaning to all people regardless of nationality, culture, ethnicity, or religion. A person’s name - any person - is the greatest connection to their identity and their individuality. Its importance cannot be underestimated if we are speaking of a profession, a practice, a company, a corporation, or of an individual itself. Think of names such as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac, Michael Jackson, or presidents such as Lincoln, Roosevelt, and Washington. Their names speak immediately to their contributions and historical significance to our society. Over the last twenty-five years, we have been either delighted with the name of our profession or have despised it for its misinterpretation by patients, administrators, and physicians. PAs are very opinionated, and, regardless of what we call ourselves, we will never reach a consensus.
We have agonized over the issue of our name. Perhaps we should, rather, have joined the group that will legislatively assist us in finding a compromise that makes us all satisfied, if not happy. AAPA commissioned a marketing/branding national group to investigate this issue and their input was based on speaking to all of the stakeholders in the medical profession as well as the general public and the name chosen was Medical Care Practitioner. They asked America and America voted but nothing will be official until the next meeting of the AAPA. I mourn the loss of associates but realize that it was not the best description of what we do as professionals.
A PA-Student, Mr. Scott Burns, commented on Ten Arguments for MCP and had this to say: “More PAs want to be called physician associates right now. That's a fair point, but PAs already know what we do, the purpose of a professional title isn't meant for those in the field, it's meant for those outside of the field to understand what that profession is. Patients, physicians, and employers all thought Medical Care Practitioners made more sense and made them more likely to recommend us. We have to put our patients, lawmakers, and employers ahead of our personal preferences to have the most effective title to move forward as a profession.”
This young man will probably be a leader in the PA profession in the next ten years because he is a thoughtful and patient person who has the power of reason and not the emotional baggage that some of us have after being PAs for ten, twenty, and thirty years or more.
So, returning to our question: “What’s in a name?” We spent months deliberating on this as we named our children. I received an email from the Golden Doodles Facebook member begging for input on naming a new puppy! What’s in a name when you are choosing your medical malpractice insurance or making the decision to purchase personal insurance coverage? Astute PAs and NPs will need to observe malpractice weather conditions. Who is being included or excluded from legal action and are they dependent or independent practitioners? What is their experience, their training, their certifications, and their malpractice history with NPI? When concerned with treating COVID 19 patients, have they been trained in this through past experience, or are they being “floated” to the area that is most needy without prior exposure to the care and treatment of this special patient? Do these patients deserve more than hospitals are presently providing? Do we have PPE? Are we bringing this virus home to our families and friends? Are we reporting to duty when we are sick or not fully recovered because it is expected of us? Do we have an obligation to the patient to give the newest treatment modalities? If questioned by an attorney on malpractice litigation two or three years from now, would we look ill-prepared? Do we have a quality, comprehensive policy that will be able to defend us based on years of healthcare experience and previous cases litigated?
Who is the best in the malpractice landscape? IMHO is a company with the highest A.M. Best rating which can easily be found online. It is a company that can underwrite coverage in all fifty states and has a long history of protecting its valued customers. It is a company that does not “cherry-pick” their clients by profession or time in the field and has no restrictions on their specialty. Did you know that some of the “new” companies do not cover every specialty? Did you know that some of these companies will not cover a surgical PA in NY? You need a company that does not look for the most profitable practitioners or the practitioner with the lowest risk. You also need to be aware of the types of policies that they provide and why one might be preferable to another for your situation.
I write every article with the same focus and purpose; I try to discuss new issues or talk about a treatment that we need to be familiar with - and then consider its liability potential and risk exposure for PAs. Then, naturally, the very real need for malpractice protection. I’m being upfront about this because I am concerned about the careers and financial safety of all PA and NP providers. This is not a gimmick that I am paid to do, but a call or concern for all of us who are or have been on the frontlines of medical care.
Hi! First I want to say I’m new to this forum but from looking at many posts I really enjoy how friendly everyone is
I wanted to see other’s opinions about PCE as an Ophthalmic Assistant (COA). I believe this does qualify at many school for PCE, but I was wondering if, because a COA is all about optometry, does it make any less valuable? I have the option of doing an MA program or this COA program, but I’m more interested in the COA (and it’s cheaper). Of course I do want to be as competitive as possible, so does being an MA working in many specialities and around general general medicine more valuable to PA programs than a COA who is only around optometrists/ophthalmologists?