Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Hi! I was recently accepted into a program that I didn't think I would be too fond of, but I ended up falling in love with the program! I am interviewing at my original top choice on the 13th, and I have been having a hard time deciding what school I would choose if I were to get in to this other program as well. I would love to hear what current students think. School A (the one I have already been accepted to) is a 1 hour commute, ( I can't afford to move or get an apartment, I am lucky enough to live with my boyfriend who pays the mortgage). This is the biggest downside to this school. I don't know how commuting an hour both ways, 5 days a week, will work with the course load. School B is a 30 minute commute. School A is also about $15,000 more expensive. The reason I justify price is that this program is 28 months, which is 4 months longer than school B (where I am interviewing on the 13th). I love that the clinical rotations are 5 weeks, instead of 4 at school B. There are also 2 elective clinical sites and school A, as opposed to only 1 at school B. They are both very new programs so they're pretty comparable when it comes to everything else that I've looked into!

 

So my questions are:

1. If you have a long commute to your PA program, do you regret it/how do you like it?

2. Will 1 additional week in each clinical site and 1 additional elective make a difference/ is it worth the $15,000 additional?

3. Will I get to the 24 month point at school A and wish that I went to school B so that I could be finished already?

Thank you so much for any input you all can provide!!

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Administrator

1. I hate commuting in general, but I would get clinical podcasts for any time I ended up driving, to try and make the most of every minute.  Some of my classmates were able to commute via mass transit, and would study on the train.

2. I found that in my six week rotations, it took at least 2-3 weeks to get known by the staff as "not an idiot" and that I got to do all the coolest things in weeks 5-6.

3. Maybe, because PA school is an intellectual marathon.  Having said that, I don't regret my experience at all and somewhat fondly wish, eight years on, that it might have been a bit longer.  But yeah, when you're in the middle of it? You absolutely want out.  Although, the end of the didactic year was a bigger/more monumental finish line than the end of clinicals. Clinicals were actually fun.

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

1.) I had to commute 40-60mins depending on traffic for didactic year. I did not mind it at all. I would put on Joe Rogan podcast and enjoy the ride. I did not do any medical podcasts because I've been listening to lectures all day and I also planned on studying later at home. On some days where I really needed to study for a pharm exam, I would stay on campus and study and drive home later at night. 

2.) I usually would get comfortable at about week 2-3 depending on the rotation, but our rotations were 5-6 weeks. 4 weeks can go by pretty quickly. At the same time our second half of our clinical year involved 3-4 week rotations due to Covid and did okay.

3.) Getting done quickly is nice. Gets you out looking for a job quicker but the downside to that it is a busier schedule compared to something spread over 28 months, but a lot of students have done it successfully already. 

In the end, whatever your choose you will figure out what you need to do and adapt. I had other students doing longer commutes than mine and they succeeded. I also had a close friend at another program who had to commute by train for 2hrs each way and made sure to study while on the train. 

Edited by JD2012
  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I am currently a first year commuting an hour and fifteen minutes to your “school B” (So I’m a little biased!) Our director is an amazing human being and I never in a million years could have hoped or wished for a more supportive director and faculty. Yes, the program is newer, but our director has a history of starting PA programs from the ground up so she knows what she’s doing. We have a small cohort, which I love! I am married, have three kids and horses to feed before and after school, and it’s been doable for me even when commuting (we’ve been online since March, but back on campus last week for skills/practicals). It is a ton of work, but I am grateful every day to be there, and proof it can be done! I wish you the very best of luck with your interview and decision!

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...
On 9/6/2020 at 12:30 PM, emrose4242 said:

Hi! I was recently accepted into a program that I didn't think I would be too fond of, but I ended up falling in love with the program! I am interviewing at my original top choice on the 13th, and I have been having a hard time deciding what school I would choose if I were to get in to this other program as well. I would love to hear what current students think. School A (the one I have already been accepted to) is a 1 hour commute, ( I can't afford to move or get an apartment, I am lucky enough to live with my boyfriend who pays the mortgage). This is the biggest downside to this school. I don't know how commuting an hour both ways, 5 days a week, will work with the course load. School B is a 30 minute commute. School A is also about $15,000 more expensive. The reason I justify price is that this program is 28 months, which is 4 months longer than school B (where I am interviewing on the 13th). I love that the clinical rotations are 5 weeks, instead of 4 at school B. There are also 2 elective clinical sites and school A, as opposed to only 1 at school B. They are both very new programs so they're pretty comparable when it comes to everything else that I've looked into!

 

So my questions are:

1. If you have a long commute to your PA program, do you regret it/how do you like it?

2. Will 1 additional week in each clinical site and 1 additional elective make a difference/ is it worth the $15,000 additional?

3. Will I get to the 24 month point at school A and wish that I went to school B so that I could be finished already?

Thank you so much for any input you all can provide!!

Did you make a decision? Im having the same debate. I don’t mind a commute but still a hard choice. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Similar Content

    • By Gilyprepa
      Hey everyone, there are still tickets available for those who are interested in the Loma Linda PA program. We have changed our event from zoom to being ON CAMPUS. There will be prizes raffled off. Due to some restrictions still being in place, the tickets that are being sold will only allow one person per ticket. More info on the flyer and event bright website. Thank you so much! Hope to see you there. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/llus-3rd-annual-pre-pa-conference-tickets-145958073527
      prePA conference final draft flyer On CAMPUS.pdf
    • By PAApplicant22
      Hi I’m a first time applicant and would anyone be interested in looking at my personal statement and seeing what needs to be revised? Here is the link down below 
      Personal Statement copy.docx
    • By vjaniceb
      Hi there, my name is Vanessa and I just graduated with my bachelor's in February. I am looking to pursue into a PA program but not quite sure where to start. I am currently studying for the GRE and have about 250 internship hours done at an ENT clinic with an audiologist. I'm not sure in what I am doing and need any guidance or suggestion in what to do. 
    • By surgblumm
      Sage Advice for New Graduates
       
      Robert M. Blumm, PA-C Emeritus, DFAAPA
       
       
       
       
      Congratulations! Many of you will be graduating from your PA & NP programs in the coming months. You are about to set out on a clinical career journey that could be as long as forty years. A few years ago, my wife and I planned a trip to Italy where we would visit all of the sights of Rome and Florence. Twelve days in Europe was a gift to ourselves - for me after many years of practice and for her, a lifetime of teaching Humanities to high school students. Our journey started six months before when she, as my task master, gave me several books earmarked with all of the relevant sights we were to experience. This homework was an invaluable crash-course on the art, architecture, poetry and history of all of the places we were to visit. Had she not crafted our course of study, I would have been like a child awakening on Christmas morning to twenty gifts which I could not open, let alone understand. 
      You have just completed an arduous course of study which has demanded a lot of sacrifice: study, financial cost, neglected friendships and delayed marriage plans. The initial goal was just to graduate; now you are required to take a certification examination to determine if all of your hard work was fruitful. When the large envelope arrives with your certification you are then ready to start. Correct? No! Now you will now need to make more decisions that determine your future. And these decisions are just as complex as your clinical training. Just like our trip to Italy, you will need to weigh many options and choices whose decisions will impact your success as a new PA or NP. My graduation present to you is this article which has the potential to better prepare you for your new journey as a professional clinician. It’s advice from me and my colleagues in business, administration and professional practice and will likely make your career journey safer and more satisfying. Like any advice, you can heed or disregard it – but hopefully, it will be a helpful component of your career blueprint for success.
      These suggestions come from a variety of sources such as well-known PAs, like EMEDPA, a senior moderator on PhysicianAssistantForum.com, many of your PA Colleagues, myself included, Personal Liability Experts such as those from the AAPA endorsed provider and years of observing the pains and rewards of those who have provided healthcare to our nation in their professional capacity.
      Ø  Your first job is about learning your clinical skills, not about money.
      Ø  If you can afford to do a residency in your field of choice, do it! see #1 above. 
      Ø  As a new grad you can have two of the following, three if you are lucky: location, specialty, salary. Choose wisely. 
      Ø  Read your contracts thoroughly before signing them. Look for hidden details, such as mention of a non-compete clause. [A non-compete clause is a legally binding contract whereby the employee agrees not to work with a rival company or start a similar trade or profession for a specified period of time after leaving his current employer.]
      Ø  Choose a favorite maxim and then try to live by it. Mine remains: “Tis far better to show what you know than to say what you know”. Equally important: “Say, rather than show, what you don’t know.”
      Ø  Join your professional organizations and support them so that you will be empowered to make changes that the first fifty years of PAs were unable to accomplish.
      Ø  Don't take the first job you are offered unless it's ideal. Don't settle for mediocrity, ever.
      Ø  Don't accept a position in a specialty that you detest just because “it’s a job”. You will be miserable in a job that you dislike and you will never achieve excellence.
      Ø  Don’t accept a position that does not offer CME and vacation time that is adequate for you and your family. Do not accept call without pay, weekends without pay and no more than two weekends monthly.
      Ø  Do not work in a critical care setting immediately out of school. Hospitalist, ICU, CCU, pediatrics are all specialties for experienced providers. Spend at least two years of non-critical care clinical work so that transitions to other specialties can be accomplished more effortlessly. 
      Ø  Don't work in a very narrow field right out of school unless it is your dream job and you never intend to leave the specialty. I know lots of folks stuck in jobs they hate who can't leave them. 
      Ø  If you are getting burned out, consider the following: work fewer hrs./mo., see fewer pts/shift, switch specialty, switch location. Find something new where you are appreciated. 
      Ø  An essential lesson that I learned which I discovered after working too hard for others. Your husband/wife/significant other and children should be your first priority, yourself your second, your practice third, and professional politics last. No one will ever care for you like your family. Jobs expire, positions fail to exist beyond their time limits and then you will be forgotten. You can never recoup the time you have lost working for others. I have served this profession as a leader for about thirty years. But I paid a price: my kids placed a photo of me at the dinner table at a certain time in our life. Sad commentary.
      Ø   Don't take a job where your clinical supervisor is an RN or office manager. We are not medical assistants.
      Ø  Don't refer to yourself as Dr Smith's PA. They don't own you. Say instead, “I'm John Doe, one of the PAs here." Or "I'm John Doe, I work with Dr Smith on the surgical service.” Words matter. Don't let yourself be treated like an assistant. Don't regularly take out trash, take your own vitals, room patients, etc. unless the docs in the group do so, too. I can see this in a small office, but there is no excuse for it elsewhere. 
      Well, we have covered many of the rules and suggestions but now let me conclude and write about the most important task on your new medical journey. Remember my trip to Italy which I spoke about earlier? Your excitement as you begin your career is comparable to the thrill and anticipation one feels as they set off to explore the Renaissance. But unforeseen events can destroy that cherished vacation: robbery, an injury to you, a crisis at home. So, as your journey begins, a critically important item to secure is a professional liability insurance policy, better known as a malpractice policy, and it is never more affordable than when you first graduate. The AAPA, your professional organization, has endorsed an excellent provider and secured special rates for you, the new PA. 
      Every PA should carry personal liability insurance for all time periods during which they have practiced. A malpractice suit can be brought against you at any time after seeing a patient (days, weeks, months or even years). And a malpractice suit can jeopardize your professional reputation and impact your credentials with the potential of losing your license by suspension or revocation. Your malpractice history is a matter of public record and your NPI number creates a profile of your lifetime practice. Your ability to secure employment will be decided partly upon this information. New graduates have a one-time opportunity for securing discounted insurance premiums for five years which offers comprehensive protection.  Congratulations on your graduation and best of luck!
    • By surgblumm
      Future Standards for PAs and NPs

      Bob Blumm, PA, DFAAPA, PA-C Emeritus

               Standards: it seems as if everyone is talking about them today. We are either creating standards, improving standards, setting new standards or raising standards. Ultimately, as decades pass, standards grow, and this seems appropriate considering the health care needs in the United States and our world standing in that sphere. Like most Americans, I had always assumed that we were naturally - Number One - but was disheartened to discover that my assumptions were grounded in my patriotism and not in evidence-based studies. Depending upon the source and the year, the US typically ranks in the top 20 or 30% and shockingly behind all other nation members of the G-10 (including many smaller countries). This surprising revelation gave me pause to reflect on our “standard of care.”

      What does the word “standard” connote to the average PA, NP, or patient in terms of academic achievement? It might be interpreted as an entry-level bachelor’s or master’s degree - or perhaps even a doctoral degree. Many of these advanced levels could never have been imagined in the past but are now very much a part of the 2021 working world for PAs and NPs. How quickly times change with more and more clinicians earning doctorate degrees – spurring insurance companies and administrators to establish yet even newer benchmarks based on this academic proliferation.  If we as a profession do not set our own standards, someone else or another profession will surely try to do it for us. If ever we needed cohesive leadership, it is now! Maybe you are the person who can lead us into the future?

      What do I personally think of standards? I believe that standards are a very positive modifier of our practice protocols and approaches to medicine. I see the patient as the ultimate winner when a profession has high standards. Standards lead to increased study and competence. Standards are set and maintained by academia, education secured at conferences, and CME provided by associations. They are enhanced by experience and certified by procedural attestation such as those through residency rotations. There will, in the near future, be a mandated procedural attestation required within all institutions of medical care. When looking at medical specialties, we note that either a residency or a specialized track of education and experience defines what an institution requires for an NP or a PA to be hired.

      Most of the specialty areas need highly experienced, highly motivated, and extremely well-educated PAs and NPs and are willing to provide a mini residency. Some of these specialties require additional education, CME, preceptorship, and a specialized curriculum in addition to an advanced degree. I will repeat a sentence that I wrote ten years ago: “The time is quickly coming upon us that will no longer place on a resume ‘PA seeking a hospitalist role, ---- willing to learn, seeking physician willing to teach.’” That time became a reality more than five years ago. Physicians are engaged in their own fight for survival, focused on issues which affect their profession, leaving little time for the altruism of the past when they sought to be the “teacher” to a nonphysician. The economy, new health care laws, insurance mandated reimbursements, malpractice issues, and the huge financial debt incurred while becoming doctors have caused them to protect their own turf and areas of responsibility.

      What will possibly be the standard for the PA in the next few decades? PAs will be a graduate of a doctoral program, be highly intelligent, and have the interest to further their education by means of residencies of various lengths to best prepare for the arduous task of caring for an additional 31 million patients in a decade with decreasing numbers of physicians. The PA will be a team member that possesses a team attitude and team spirit as the care of patients will be delivered by highly trained team members.  Personally, I see this as a positive move and will be comforted as a patient to realize that all of the medical personnel with whom I have a relationship share a unified approach and attitude that will enhance my treatment, wellness and outcome. I think that the nursing profession will continue to grow in this same direction as they are recognized experts in so many specialties today.

      This shared approach to patient care will require many signatures and notes on the EMR which can become tricky for many clinicians. With a team approach, opportunities for medical error will require heightened vigilance. And when errors occur - who is responsible - the institution, or the clinician? It is and has always been the clinician, and these errors are often due to the exhaustion felt by providers: reading every note, reviewing every test, and reconciling every new medication order. Prior to my own retirement, I began to feel the exhaustion of doing the detective work and realized that I was becoming a relic. As malpractice exposures rise, so too the need for a personal malpractice policy. Younger clinicians are much better suited to the demands of this ever-increasing administrative multi-tasking than those of us from an earlier vintage. This new era makes a malpractice instrument essential, now more than ever. Be careful and refrain from choosing based on cost alone, without fully understanding the policy terms and the provider’s history in the healthcare market. “New” companies with new perks come and go and may not exist in a few years, when you might need them. Make your own educated decision to prevent hardships in the future.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Welcome to the Physician Assistant Forum! This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn More