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prepizzlea

Which Should I Choose: Top 10 Program (w/ move) or Top 50 Program (w/o move)?

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Help!! I am torn between two schools. The foundation of what I am questioning is: "Is there a distinguishable difference in the training a PA-S gets at a top 10 program vs. a top 50 program?"

Program A:

-I am a NYC resident and the school is nearby. Boyfriend lives with me in NYC. Would not have to move, find a new apt, etc

-Top 50 program

-program is about 15 years old

-No SIM lab; paid actors for patient experiences during didactic

-pro-sected cadaver lab at another medical school (would travel there on train)

-75% of lectures taught my schools professors

-8 full time professors on staff

-about 100k tuition 

-about 80 students in cohort; most students out of state

->90% PANCE 1st timer pass rate

-student i talked to during interview was stressed and lacked personal skills

 

Program B:

-would have to move to Philly; boyfriend would stay in NYC and Id move solo

-Top 10 program

-program is about 40 years old

-state of the art Sim Lab

-pro-sected cadaver lab provided by the program

-almost 100% of lectures taught by faculty

-17 full time professors on staff

-about 100 K tuition 

-about 70 students in cohort; most students out of state

->90% PANCE 1st timer pass rate

-students were laid back, personable, well rounded individuals during tour

 

Does anyone have any input? Any other factors about the schools I should look into before deciding?

 

*Sidenote* I am very thankful to be in this situation (I realize it is a good one!). I am very appreciative of any insight given for this life changing decision I am about to make.

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10 minutes ago, prepizzlea said:

Help!! I am torn between two schools. The foundation of what I am questioning is: "Is there a distinguishable difference in the training a PA-S gets at a top 10 program vs. a top 50 program?"

Program A:

-I am a NYC resident and the school is nearby. Boyfriend lives with me in NYC. Would not have to move, find a new apt, etc

-Top 50 program

-program is about 15 years old

-No SIM lab; paid actors for patient experiences during didactic

-pro-sected cadaver lab at another medical school (would travel there on train)

-75% of lectures taught my schools professors

-8 full time professors on staff

-about 100k tuition 

-about 80 students in cohort; most students out of state

->90% PANCE 1st timer pass rate

-student i talked to during interview was stressed and lacked personal skills

 

Program B:

-would have to move to Philly; boyfriend would stay in NYC and Id move solo

-Top 10 program

-program is about 40 years old

-state of the art Sim Lab

-pro-sected cadaver lab provided by the program

-almost 100% of lectures taught by faculty

-17 full time professors on staff

-about 100 K tuition 

-about 70 students in cohort; most students out of state

->90% PANCE 1st timer pass rate

-students were laid back, personable, well rounded individuals during tour

 

Does anyone have any input? Any other factors about the schools I should look into before deciding?

 

*Sidenote* I am very thankful to be in this situation (I realize it is a good one!). I am very appreciative of any insight given for this life changing decision I am about to make.

I am in this same exact position! I agree with you that it is an awesome problem to have, but am also wanting insight as it is such a big decision!!

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Everyone all together now, say it with me, "school rankings don't matter".

They are arbitrary and if you look into the 'rankings' you'll see there is no objective body scoring these.

What you SHOULD consider, in addition to what you already listed, is quality of clinical rotations and cost of living.  Those in addition to tuition (equal) and PANCE pass rates (equal) would be my big factors.  Throw in WHERE you want to practice after school.  Support system if that's important to you.

Frankly my program didn't have a SIM lab and I'm no worse off for it.  Unless you want to go into surgery, I didn't find prosected cadavers to be an issue.  WHO teaches....who are the other 25%?  If my lectures weren't by PA program faculty they were by professors of the institution (think pharmacy, anatomy, etc) or local MD/PAs practicing in the area. Only rarely were those poor lecturers - certainly not enough for that to be a deciding factor personally.

As a side note, you're going to find awkward/lacking personal skills students in pretty much any program.  Also in medicine.  And life.  Again, not something I would weigh heavily (or at all).

At the end of the day, though, it's whatever YOU deem important.

Edited by MT2PA
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On 11/6/2019 at 9:55 AM, prepizzlea said:

I was in this position as well. I got into a great school in Philadelphia and then got into a random school in Tampa. I went to the school in Tampa with no sim lab, nothing fancy, just great PAs teaching others how to become great as well. I am now 5 months from graduation and doing my clinicals in the Philly area. I am rotating alongside PAs from schools in Philly and we are ALL going to be great. There seems to be no difference on schools, just differences in the students. The advice I had gotten was go where they get you to pass the PANCE. At the end of the day, you are going to have so much training during clincals and once you get a job. The important part is making it through the program. Programs are tough so the most important is being where you think you will be the most successful. For me, it was removing myself from my home and being immersed in my studies. Living with your bf will help because he can do dishes, help you cook, do your laundry... things that seem impossible to fit in when you are in PA school. Good luck and congrats on getting in! If you do decide Philly, I am renting my house out in the city so hmu if you need housing!

 

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Go for quality of life and which location will best allow you to be successful in PA school. It's a tough road and doing it with someone by your side may make all the difference. Rankings do matter *some*, especially if you are applying to residency/fellowship. But this would be top 20 compared to a 150+ school. Top 50 should not make a difference, imo. I'm at top 20 and we have a good mix of faculty/non-faculty teaching. Faculty usually is not very clinically active, so to have non-faculty practicing MD's, PA's, PhD's I found to be a good thing. As a trained foot/ankle surgeon, I would not worry about prosected vs non at all. Honestly, doing a dissection for anatomy is nothing like doing surgery, so don't worry about it. I actually prefer prosected - more time to really study the anatomy instead of carving through layers of fat to see what you are looking for. PANCE pass rate - wouldn't get too hung up on that - it is up to the student to pass and put the study time in and all ARC programs are delivering the same content. SIM lab, yes, it's a very nice add-on, but in no way necessary. The paid actors helped me learn the most, tbh. The most important factors, imho, is access to faculty, the 'vibe' you get at the school, where you feel you will have the most success, and financial. 

Congrats - whatever decision you make will be the right one!!

Edited by Pilot2D.P.M.

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Seems like either school will get you to the PANCE well-prepared. 

Paid actors for practicals is awesome, I really enjoyed surrogates for some of my practicals versus when a student is your partner/patient. 

State of the art SIM labs don't do anything except making potential applicants excited. Human patients on your rotations will teach you a zillion times more than any mannequin will. Also, mannequins can be a bit awkward because you have to pretend they are real when doing sim labs.  

IMO - not having to move and having your boyfriend as a support system will be WAYYYYYY more useful to you in order to get through PA school than saying the school you attended was in the top 10. 

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