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Choosing Between Schools

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Hi everyone! Right now I've been accepted into two programs and I'm trying to figure out which one I should attend. School A seems like they have more to offer program wise with the simulators and a full dissection along with other things like the international rotations (even though that's not super important to me). However, School B is 20 minutes from my house and I would not have to move nor would my significant other have to find a new job and move (as they want to come with me).

My question is, in your opinion (students, teachers, PAs, etc.) do you think that having access to high fidelity simulators and full dissection in the anatomy lab is worth moving to another part of the country? Obviously I believe it would be an added benefit, but does it really make that much of a difference in the end? 

Also, I think I might be interested in pursuing surgery, would going to a more well known program help me in getting a residency in the future or does it not really matter where I go? 

Feeling very grateful to even have to make this decision in the first place and I would really appreciate any advice or input anyone has to offer!! 

School A: 

-Ranked in the top 25 schools (not sure how much that matters)

-Emphasis on high fidelity simulators 

-Cadavers (with full dissection)

-7 hours away from home (I would have to uproot and move, this would affect my S/O as well) 

-Free Clinic, a few international opportunities

-well established, 99% PANCE first time rate 

 

School B: 

-simulators, but only used maybe 3-4 times during the didatic year (for lung sounds, etc.) and not high fidelity 

-cadavers (prosected)

-20 minutes from home (would not have to move and this would not affect my S/O)

-no free clinic, but other volunteer opportunities and no international rotations 

-established (same amount of time as school A), 95% first time rate

-not a very well known program (although don't neccessarily know how much that really matters) 

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School B appears to be the cheaper option. It also appears to cause the least amount of personal strain (not moving, easier on the SO). Your program will not help you on a residency application. Only grades will do that. 

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7 minutes ago, rfo1234 said:

Which school has a lower tuition? 

They are actually almost the same. 

School A: 85,000 tuition, but cost of living (estimated) brings it to about 103,000 -104,000. 

School B: 99,000 tuition, no added cost of living for the first year, but an estimated 2-5 thousand for clinical rotations and traveling (number from students currently in the program). 

 

So they honestly are about the same which makes it harder to choose in my opinion. 

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The two main factors you should be evaluating are the programs PANCE pass rates and the affordability. 
After you’ve assessed those two options then I would say to go with whichever school feels like the best fit for you. Rankings for PA school don’t exist and anyone who has ranked them does not have a true metric by which to rank, so don’t take that into account. As far as wanting to do surgery, once you are certified the opportunity to move forward with a job or a residency will be up to you and how well you market yourself. Not where you went to PA school (unless your PA program had a residency, maybe you’d have a small upper hand).

Edited by johncfl
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