Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

What do you wish you knew before choosing your PA program?

Recommended Posts

To all of the current PA students/graduates out there: What do you wish you considered more when deciding on a PA program? Do you have any regrets choosing your specific PA program and why? For instance, do you wish you focused more on the style of their didactic curriculum, their clinicals, etc? 

I would love to hear your thoughts! I think most applicants don't realize the importance of a certain factor until they finally attend a program. I would love to hear advice about what you wish you knew or considered before choosing the right PA program for you! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I loved my program. It let me create a focus in emergency medicine and trauma surgery through selection of my rotations. I absolutely hated the city the programs was in. That being said, I would still attend this program due to the quality of the education I received there. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking back, I would’ve definitely reconsidered moving across the country and leaving the family I eventually lost for my program. Rather, hold out another year, keep working my comfortable job, and seek admission near my hometown for easier employment later on. That being said, I’m glad I got it out of the way when I did. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I liked my program overall.  I wish I had gone to a cheaper program.  Still paying off student loans.  However, their tuition has gone up $20K + since I graduated.  So, I guess it was a steal at the time.  Went to a small, 18 cohort, program.  Liked being in a small program.  Also, loved they gave us 8 weeks of electives that we could break up however we wanted.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, DizzyJ said:

I liked my program overall.  I wish I had gone to a cheaper program.  Still paying off student loans.  However, their tuition has gone up $20K + since I graduated.  So, I guess it was a steal at the time.  Went to a small, 18 cohort, program.  Liked being in a small program.  Also, loved they gave us 8 weeks of electives that we could break up however we wanted.  

How much debt did you have and how long has it been since you graduated if you don't mind me asking? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wish I had considered several things more:

  • How the program helps towards getting a student toward the final goal: a job as a PA.  There are really only 2 things that matter:
    • PANCE pass rate (1st or 2nd time - not as much as the 1st time pass rate they beat their chest about).  Frankly, almost all programs are pretty good, e.g. 95%+
    • Availability of rotations: as the contacts  you develop are very helpful in the job search, sources of informal opinions of the student as a candidate.  This is hard for a prospective applicant to measure.  You can get a handle on what rotations are available, where they are located, etc.
  • How well the program prepares you for the learning curve in your 1st job.  This is not the same as preparing you to pass PANCE.  Again, hard to measure.  The best data will come from talking to recent graduates.

On a practical basis: getting your license and 1st job is what really matters.  That's where you will really learn your trade.  Pick the least costly way to get there.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, eluch15 said:

How much debt did you have and how long has it been since you graduated if you don't mind me asking? 

$80K.  My program was about $65K and then extra was living expenses.  I graduated 13 years ago.  I wish I had dumped all my money into them the first several years, but at least I paid extra every month.  Will probably have it paid off in about a year.   

Share this post


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.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Similar Content

    • By eluch15
      Hello everyone! So I have the privilege of being accepted to two PA schools! But now I am having a hard time choosing a school. I was initially accepted to Thomas Jefferson- East Falls (which is in Philly) two months ago. I was recently pulled off the waitlist at Charleston Southern University ( in SC). The Philly school is one hour away from me and would be closer to my family and friends, but living down south was a dream of mine for awhile now and I think decreasing distractions would be good for me. I made extensive pros and cons lists for each school. I am leaning towards the Charleston school, because of the smaller faculty to student ratio and I love the culture of the program, but am not sure if this would be a big mistake since it is provisional accreditation status while the TJU one has been accredited continued status since 1995. The Charleston one is also 24 months long and starts in January, while the Philly one is 25 months long and starts in July, so I would finish 7 months earlier if I go to CSU. TJU offers ten five week clinical rotations including two family medicine rotations, one elective, and one surgical elective. CSU offers nine 5 week rotations including two electives. Both offer rotations within the 60 mile radius. The living expensive and tuition are about equal. 
      Would it be foolish for me to choose the provisional school over the continuedly accredited school? If I would decide to move back to PA, would it be a lot harder for me to find a job if I go to CSU, or does it not matter what PA school you attend as long as you pass your PANCE? 
      I have to decide by tomorrow morning, so I would appreciate any advice or insight you can give me!! 
    • By emrose4242
      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!!
    • By dazedandconfuzed
      Hello!
      I hope everyone is doing well and hearing some good news! I have a bit of a pickle and need genuine, kind, and thoughtful input as to how to choose a program. I have been accepted into two programs, but need to make a decision soon. I have talked to several PAs, family members, and mentors all of whom are insightful, but I still can't choose. I several pros and cons for both schools, but some similarities include that they're both 27 month programs, located out of state from where I currently live, theoretically the same tuition, and I genuinely liked the faculty I met at both places (people keep telling me to go with which one I felt better at but I truly don't know).
      Program A:  ~30 students, 94-100% PANCE pass rate (throughout the last 3 recorded years); is a top 110 PA school per U.S. News, is not a part of a medical school curriculum, however has been graduating PAs for the last ~20 years. I would be an hour flight away from my parents, but have friends a two hour drive away from campus. Travel expenses would be less for this school as rotations are within the metropolitan/surrounding rural areas. Slight con: I've already had to put down the deposit. 
      Program B: ~20 students, 97-98% PANCE pass rate (throughout the last 2 years - there are different campus locations), is a top 15 PA school per U.S. News, is associated with a medical school, however the location I have been offered acceptance to is separate from the main campus. This location is brand new and barely built up, however a lot can change in the next few months and I always wanted to go to this university and be a part of this program. I would be further from my parents, but also have extended family and friends an hour flight away. Travel expenses would likely be greater for this school as there is only one community hospital nearby, however may present more career related opportunities in the future due to large university network.
      Any insight as to how to go about choosing a school or any sincere and helpful comments are much appreciated. I am grateful to even be accepted to one program to begin with, but I feel a huge weight having to make this decision. Thank you all and enjoy your evening!
    • By PursuingPA
      Hi guys first time really using a forum, so hopefully I am doing this correctly. Anyways, I just finished my junior year of college and will be applying to PA school come next April, and while I already have a few schools in mind, I am wondering about how important it is to go to school in the state or area you want to work in? This may seem silly, but as someone who stayed local for college I am really looking forward to leaving home for PA school. Should I be looking into rules and regulations of PAs in different states in order to go to school in a state I wish to practice in? Or should I just focus on schools and programs that I am really interested in and worry about applying to jobs later?  Thanks in advance!
×
×
  • 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