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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!!

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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.

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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
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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!

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  • 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. 

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