Hello PA Forum,
I am new to the pre-PA path, and I am a bit overwhelmed by the things that need to get done over the next years. I am finishing up my freshman year and have decided that getting into PA school is my goal. After some research I have come to the understanding that I need to have prerequisite courses completed. However, I am very lost on where to start. Some schools require upper level this and lower level that. I dont want to waste any more time then I already have, given that I have been a CS major for my entire first year, so Im very worried about making the wrong choices for next semester. Here is a run down of the classes I've taken as a freshman CS student (I will switch out to another major). Keep in mind I have not taken introductory English courses because of AP college credit.
Bio 101, CPSC 120, POSC 100, Pre-Calculus
Geology 101, CPSC 121, Calculus I, HCOM 100
What should I take this summer or in the fall? I would greatly appreciate some guidance. Registration is in a few weeks and I do not have too much time to make a decision on my fall classes. I was thinking of taking a more challenging course over the summer so I could focus on it by itself, and maybe take psychology next semester, but I feel like im missing something like chemistry or anatomy.
Hello! I hope someone can help!! I am so confused in regards to if a medical assistant is considered PCE or HCE for CASPA. I've been an MA for 3 years, this past year I've been working in an Urgent Care. However, the two years prior is what I'm worried about. I do feel it's considered PCE based on what I did/level of responsibility, but the way CASPA describes it is freaking me out a bit. This might be a long post but I hope even just 1 person can give me some insight!!
"Patient Care Experience
Experiences in which you are directly responsible for a patient's care. For example, prescribing medication, performing procedures, directing a course of treatment, designing a treatment regimen, actively working on patients as a nurse, paramedic, EMT, CNA, phlebotomist, physical therapist, dental hygienist, etc.
Both paid and unpaid work in a health or health-related field where you are not directly responsible for a patient's care, but may still have patient interaction; for example, filling prescriptions, performing clerical work, delivering patient food, cleaning patients and/or their rooms, administering food or medication, taking vitals or other record keeping information, working as a scribe, CNA (depending on job description), medical assistant, etc."
I've been a Medical Assistant since 2018, right when I graduated I got a job through my MA externship to work in a GI/Colorectal surgery clinic inside a local hospital. The office had 4 GI Drs, 3 colorectal surgeons, 1 hepatologist & had 2 PAs/1 NP (one for each field). I worked with 3-4 other medical assistants and we did everything. We roomed patients (some days seeing 90-100 patients), covered for surgical schedulers if needed, covered for the front desk if needed. On top of doing out our own job! We were assigned physicians we would personally work with to delegate where patient calls/messages would go. For the first year, I was the MA for 1 gastroenterologist. The second year, I was promoted to working with the colorectal surgery team. I then worked with 3 surgeons (with 1 other MA), 1 was the chief of colorectal surgery for the hospital - I became one of his personal scribes who would go in while seeing patients and do his note/visit summaries, we would see around 20-30 patients when he was in clinic.
Day to day duties consisted of prioritizing/answering messages/calls from patients in a timely manner, either helping them if we can ourselves or passing on the message to the appropriate physician where we would call the patient with their response. We would prescribe medications based on what the provider wanted, meaning: they would tell us what to prescribe and we would propose the orders for them so they didn't have to. Assisting in in-office procedures. It's important to add that I did too have a handful of administrative duties like scanning in medical records, refill requests, scheduling appointments, prior authorizations through insurance companies. (Even these I would think should be considered PCE based on the responsibility factor).
Long story short, I did A LOT of work that I feel is considered Patient Care Experience, regardless of it's considered administrative or clinical. Meaning, I felt that I was directly responsible for the care of patients, under the supervision of the physicians. If I did call back to explain a treatment plan (made by the physician), then the patient would never get called. If I didn't call to schedule their surgery and make sure they have everything they need to prepare for a colonoscopy or colon resection, it would be my fault.
In August of 2020 I transferred to an Urgent Care as I begun my prerequisite PA courses that needed to be on campus (or so I thought bc of COVID). Anyways, I am getting (official) back office MA experience now. However, I am terrified that my 2 years (4,000 hrs+) of GI/Colorectal surgery experience will be deemed as Healthcare experience rather than Patient care experience, which I feel would hurt my chances of getting into PA school. Even the thought of dividing it half and half between PCE & HCE doesn't make me happy, but I rather do that then consider all this time HCE.
I'm sorry for this long post, maybe I'm being ridiculous and overthinking this - but if anyone can share their insight or personal experience that would be highly appreciated!!
Thank you ❤️
Hello Pre-PA Community!
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So I recently found a job that would work well with my schedule as a CNA covid tester. It entails testing patients and going through screening questions with patients then reporting results to the supervisor. I am a little worried because I don’t really want to go for the job if it isn’t considered PCE. Has anyone have any info on whether or not this is PCE or HCE?
Hi, thank you to every one who dropped by to help! Below are the science courses I took in order, with grades:
general biology I (C- first time, A second time), general biology II (B-)
**general chemistry I (C+), general chemistry II (C) --- both with labs
general physiology (B)
organic chem I (B-), organic chem II (B-)
human anatomy (A)
Planning on taking: immunology, human physiology, developmental biology, medical terminology OR primate anatomy
I'm currently a second term senior at a university, and I graduate Spring 2021. Many people advise students to not retake basic courses and focus on upper level courses, but there are also many people who suggest to retake any basic course with C grades to show PA schools that the first grades I received do not define my capability.
Any opinion on whether I should spend extra time to retake general chemistry I and II ? If I should retake them, then should I enroll in the labs again or that won't be necessary since I already took them the first time I took the courses?
Thank you again for your time!