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Current/former students: What do you love about GWU?

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I am really conflicted and would desperately appreciate some insight!
I am so excited and grateful to say I recently received an invitation to attend PA school here at GWU. This program has been a top choice for me for a long time. However when it actually came to interview day, I was just not feeling it as much as I thought I would. I heard a lot of great things about connections and name recognition... but not much else.
Meanwhile I also recently received an invitation to attend another program. It's not as well-known as GWU, but I felt a great vibe on interview day - the kind of feeling I was hoping to get at GWU. A few notes: It offers a few things that GWU does not have, like international opportunities (which I am really interested in) and a cadaver lab. (Side note: I know cadaver labs apparently don't make a huge difference with regard to anatomical knowledge outcomes, but I was kind of looking forward to the hands-on learning breaking up the textbook/lecture routine.) The faculty seemed really responsive to student feedback, e.g. incorporating an "exam week" where you exclusively attend lecture for one module on one week, then exclusively take exams on that module the following week - that way, you don't have to worry about the test for one class while sitting in lecture for another class. In general, the students seemed much happier. Also, minor detail, the classrooms had windows - I noticed the main classrooms in GWU were windowless? Did I notice wrong?
The thing is while my heart was clearly with that program, it does not make logistical sense. With GWU I would have a nonexistent commute. With that program I would have to drive for about an hr every day and my husband would have to drive upwards of an hr to get to work. I drive 2hrs round trip regularly now for work now but I feel like it would be draining with having to study after. Maybe I can adapt, but also I don't want to put my husband through that.
I know GWU is a fantastic school. But I want to hear a personal perspective from those of you that have attended school here. Please please tell me why you love GWU and help me make a decision! 
Edited by anonymouse
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Hey there! I'm not sure if anyone responded to your question privately, but here's my two cents if it helps. 

The professors at our program are super accomplished people. For example, Dr. Howard Straker is going to be the new president of PAEA; Dr. Lisa Alexander was the previous president of PAEA, and also helped to get a PA-type profession (called Clinical Officers) started in Rwanda; Dr. Tamara Ritsema helped to get the PA profession started in in the UK; Dr. Reamer Bushardt is the editor-in-chief of JAAPA... and probably others that I don't even know about.

Washington DC is a great place to be. There's tons of restaurants, bars and history/culture to see. Plus it's a great place for PA/patient advocacy, which is something the program emphasizes. Meeting with lawmakers is as easy as a 15-20 minute walk from campus. Additionally, the AAPA headquarters are located right outside in Alexandria, Virginia. So if you're interested in leadership or advocacy, DC is fantastic. 

We're a shorter program compared to others. I think the average length is 27-28 months, but we're 24. So that's less money on tuition and rent, and more time earning a salary. 

Students have a chance to volunteer in a free clinic if that's something that you're interested in. 

That's all i can think of for now (trying to study for an upcoming exam so my brain is mush), but if you have any questions please feel free to reach out!

Edited by HamsterDance
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Also! No dress code for class. You can show up in sweatpants if you want and no one will care. 

Lectures are recorded. So if that's something that helps you study, it's pretty clutch. 

Class size is 60 people. So we're not the biggest program, but also not the smallest. With that being said, we're super diverse in terms of race/ethnicity, home states, ages, PCE experience...etc. 

A lot of the class is from the DMV area, but we've also got plenty of people from the northeast, west coast, and midwest.

I'd say the average age is 25-26, but we've got some folks as young as 23, and others in their early 40s. Some even have spouses/fiances and kids.

The diversity of PCE really comes in handy because we emphasize collaboration. On the first day of orientation Dr. Wright made it very clear that the competition is over. We're all in the same program, working toward the same goal, and it's important that we rely on each other to achieve that. We've got EMTs/Paramedics who are pros at reading EKGs so they offer to help out when someone may be struggling. We've got a sonographer with a lot of ultrasound experience so he has volunteered his own time to lead sessions to teach us those. We have folks with master's degrees in Anatomy, Physiology and Biochem so they're great when it comes time to study for those exams... and the list goes on!

Edited by HamsterDance
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