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My husband and I are both PAs and my husband is starting the LECOM bridge program this summer. He's retiring from the Army and we're moving from NC to PA. I wanted to see if there's anyone out there who's done the program with family in tow and also get some information on living in Greensburg. Just DM if there's anyone out there that's already done or is in the program.

 

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I have not done this program, and know very little about it, but have a question that perhaps you can answer.

It looks like this is a 4 year curriculum to transition from PA-C to DO.

Medical school is a 4 year curriculum as well, and one could transition from PA-C to MD in the same timeframe.

 

Is there any advantage to this program, other than everyone in the program would be a PA-C?  I would think any PA would be at an advantage in other programs (medical school programs where they have far lesser clinical experience than seasoned PA's)?

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It's a 3 year PA to DO program and they integrate the PAs in with the 4 year med students so it's not just a class of PAs. Not exactly sure how they do the integration.

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I'm in the program at Erie.....so I have no input of knowledge of Greensburg/Seton Hill.  My class of APAPs (class of 2021) was the last class allowed to choose between Erie and Seton Hill campuses....now all APAPs attend the Seton Hill campus.

As for how APAPs are integrated:  They take the same classes in the didactic years.  At Erie, between year one and year two, we'd do 2 rotations...one family med rotation with a DO who practices OMM, then a Gerimed rotation at Millcreek Community Hospital.   My understanding now is that rotations between year 1 and 2 may have changed.  Due to COVID19, NO STUDENTS are allowed to do the Gerimed rotation due to the risk of infecting the elderly population.  LECOM has the regular students and, I assume the APAP class of 2022 doing an online Gerimed rotation).  I also believe the family med rotation no longer has to be with a DO who practices OMM....but don't quote me on that.  The regular students also won't start their clerkships this summer until July 1st, rather than the usual date of June 1st.  

The third year you do your core rotations (Peds, OBGYN, Surgery-1, Psych) by December, then on January 1st you become an official OMS-IV status student.  

Being accelerated (the first "A" in APAP) there are logistical challenges that must be met to be eligible to graduate on time.  That means taking USMLE and COMLEX Step/Level 1 exams in May/June, then as soon as you pass, scheduling Level 2 (and possibly Step 2) and Level 2 PE.  As all this is going on, you also need to be getting your audition rotations in and be applying to ERAS (Electronic Residency Application Service) so you can get interviews.  You will need to do your interviews (typically November-January) during your rotations.  Then hopefully, come match day in March, you match into the residency you wanted.

Things may be a bit different for you if you get into LECOM....COVID19 has jacked up a lot of things and I suspect that until a vaccine is widely available, things may not go back to normal, if they ever go back to "normal".  

best of luck

Edited by dfw6er
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Also a LECOM Erie APAP-er in my 3rd year.  Agree with everything above.  1st two years are basically the same as everyone else in your class.  You're treated as one of the pack.  The third year, the last year, is all basically core rotations with only one elective.  I did rotations between 1st and 2nd year and haven't heard that that was changing but I'm also on my way out the door! Any questions, let me know!

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1 hour ago, CVTSPA said:

Also a LECOM Erie APAP-er in my 3rd year.  Agree with everything above.  1st two years are basically the same as everyone else in your class.  You're treated as one of the pack.  The third year, the last year, is all basically core rotations with only one elective.  I did rotations between 1st and 2nd year and haven't heard that that was changing but I'm also on my way out the door! Any questions, let me know!

By the way, did you match into what you wanted?

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Yeah a wife and a 12 y/o son.  Wife works at one of the local hospitals in administration.  

To be honest, I spent A LOT of time studying, away from home due to distractions.  LECOM owns a coffee shop/cafe in Erie which is a nice place to study.  Also there's a separate campus in Erie for PBL learning tract students only which I often used on weekends because it was quiet and you could study and eat/drink in the cafeteria.  During really heavy study periods, I'd often study 10-14 hours per day on weekends.  On weekdays, we'd have classes in PBL 3x/week, OPP class on Wednesdays, OPP lab Thursday afternoons, then H&P class at least once a week and lab once a week.  Then there's always other stuff randomly thrown in as well.  If you and your wife feel you can handle the time away from family then I say go for it.  If you're at all hesitant, you should really think it through.  

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On 5/14/2020 at 3:28 PM, PASPIN said:

Thanks for the info!   Do either of you in the program have families?  Wondering what the school/family life balance is going to be like.  

Safe to say that the first two years will consume the vast majority of your time.  I studied for 3-5 hours per week day (in addition to the class requirements mentioned above) and 8-12 hours per weekend day.  Overall, I took the first two years pretty seriously and would equate it to a 50-70 hour a week job depending on the week with very few days off.  Don't think I every took a full day completely free of academic activity off.  Being a PA helps but it's not a cake walk since there is increased emphasis on science stuff that was probably glossed over in PA school. 

Third year can be as difficult as you like since APAP students set up their own rotations but that may be changing.  Would not expect much free time to spend with spouse/kids during the three years.  Don't have a family but I definitely didn't have time to take a vacation or make special trips to do things.

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On 5/17/2020 at 2:33 PM, CVTSPA said:

 

since APAP students set up their own rotations but that may be changing. 

 

Please tell me this program isn't turning into the NP programs where students have to cold call preceptors and beg them to let them shadow patients.

 

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22 hours ago, TexasPA28 said:

 

Please tell me this program isn't turning into the NP programs where students have to cold call preceptors and beg them to let them shadow patients.

 

Believe it or not, this was actually a good thing.

I was able to rotate with my physician colleagues and mentors. Also, since all APAP are non-traditional, this ability allows us to rotate in hospitals or offices where our families are located. 

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On 5/26/2020 at 2:22 PM, TexasPA28 said:

 

Please tell me this program isn't turning into the NP programs where students have to cold call preceptors and beg them to let them shadow patients.

 

You can't just rotate anywhere.  They verify the demographics of the practice you rotate at.  Gen surgery can't be with a surgeon who only does outpatient surgery.  Peds can't be with a FP unless he has a requisite number of pediatrics in his practice, etc.  

Also you're not there to shadow like many/most NP students do.  you're there to see patients and present them to your attending, work on d/dx, formulate treatment plans, etc.

Then you have shelf exams at the conclusion of many rotations, also mandatory online modules to do as well during each rotation.  It's no walk in the park.

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I'm very interested in the LECOM program. Any advice/tips on how to prepare for MCAT? It's been a long time since undergrad for me. I'm taking an upper division bio class to brush up on biology, was thinking of taking a biochem class online. I also heard about some podcasts and am checking out Khan Academy. 

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I used the ExamKrackers book set. Highly recommend it.  I supplemented the books with Khan Academy videos especially for chem physics. I also used Anki, which is a flashcard program you can get on your computer. I would recommend setting aside 1-1.5 months for content review. Then another 1.5 of time for practice questions and practice exams. 

 

For practice questions I would recommend Uworld. They have a $180 package that has really good questions.

You need to buy all AAMC materials, Qpacks, SBs, and practice tests.

Princeton review has practice tests you can get for free if you just google an ISBN and register.

 

I would recommend around 8-10 practice tests. 

 

The MCAT podcast by Dr. Gray is useful.

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On 5/28/2020 at 10:07 PM, mari1982 said:

I'm very interested in the LECOM program. Any advice/tips on how to prepare for MCAT? It's been a long time since undergrad for me. I'm taking an upper division bio class to brush up on biology, was thinking of taking a biochem class online. I also heard about some podcasts and am checking out Khan Academy. 

I thought this program didn't require the MCAT.

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Khan academy plus kaplan books to get a base. Make anki cards or find a premade Mcat anki deck to continue throughout . Then tons and tons of practice questions. There’s free tests out there and the aamc has a lot of practice tests and question banks to buy. I struggled a lot with chem and physics and did just okay enough on the real deal but did very well with bio and psych to balance it all out. When you first start it seems massive, having been so far removed from those studies , but you scaffold up pretty quickly believe it or not. Common High yield themes ... practice questions. 

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30 minutes ago, FriarMedic said:

Khan academy plus kaplan books to get a base. Make anki cards or find a premade Mcat anki deck to continue throughout . Then tons and tons of practice questions. There’s free tests out there and the aamc has a lot of practice tests and question banks to buy. I struggled a lot with chem and physics and did just okay enough on the real deal but did very well with bio and psych to balance it all out. When you first start it seems massive, having been so far removed from those studies , but you scaffold up pretty quickly believe it or not. Common High yield themes ... practice questions. 

Yeah, I used an anki deck I found on Reddit (premed sub) and found it useful the further I got into my studies. 
 

if there is anything I think that is required to do well on the MCAT it’s the AAMC bundle. They have the truest practice tests and their questions are sufficient. I’m in the camp that questions are king the caveat is you have to have the content to back it up. 

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