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Hello everyone,


After a stressful interview cycle, I am fortunate enough to be accepted to both MEDEX Seattle and Rush Chicago. I'm trying to decide which program to attend.
I live in Seattle, my parents/friends can be my support system. In my clinical year, I can move back home to save on rent money when I move to my rotation sites. I love traveling and meeting new people. Attending PA program in Chicago will be such an adventure. Also, Rush's class size is significantly smaller MEDEX's (30 vs 50). My background is in EM and I'm planning to practice in EM after graduation. Due to the higher number of trauma centers around the Chicago area, maybe I have more job opportunities in Chicago?


I am looking for a program with a support system and a family feeling among colleagues and faculties. Please let me know if you have any insight or advice.      

 

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I was in a similar situation with a different school and I chose MEDEX. Finances and family support were my primary considerations in making this choice. At the end of the day, I don't think it matters where your degree is from as long as the program is reputable, which both are. MEDEX has excellent clinical rotations. The academic stuff aside, I realized that the extra 22K for school likely wouldn't pay off with the other program, even though it offered great rotations and some really cutting edge opportunities MEDEX lacked. Finances are a huge burden and consideration, especially given the current job PA market. The other point is family support. Have you ever lived in a new town where you know no-one? I know it sounds romantic, but I have done so many times and it's hard. I would rather grab a beer with a buddy to unpack the week on a Friday night than sit alone in a new "cool" town. Just my two cents..

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Thank you for replying to my post. I appreciate an alumni's input. My biggest concern for attending MEDEX is the lack of choice in clinical specialties. Since I want to work in EM, spending four months in FM won't be very beneficial for my education. Also, MEDEX has fewer elective rotations than Rush. I'm not sure the extra 22k is worth it for the extra clinical experience?  Will those experiences make me a better clinician? 
I understand the fear and loneliness when moving to a new city. I'm a first-generation immigrant. Moving to US at the age of 14 was hard, but I adapted and integrated. Grabbing a cold one with my buddies from undergrad sounds awesome tho  

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11 hours ago, henryjjj said:

Since I want to work in EM, spending four months in FM won't be very beneficial for my education. 

This is presumptuous thinking that won't benefit you in the future.

As an applicant who has experience in EM, I'd think you would recognize how the specialty is treated as primary care by many patients. There is a lot of crossover, re: physical exam, forming a DDx, treatment options, referral to specialists, etc. that you'll do in an FM setting that will be required from an EM midlevel. In some ways, you'll get greater exposure in FM to the bread-and-butter that EM visits encompass.

The generally agreed upon order for choosing one school over another is: 1. PANCE pass rates 2. Tuition costs 3. Ancillary concerns

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Thank you for pointing it out. I agree, this kind of thinking will not benefit my growth as a clinician. Since there are many crossovers in different specialties, I will try to obtain as many experiences as I can in every rotation.


Both programs have an excellent reputation and a similar PANCE passing rate. After discussing this matter with multiple practitioners, many of them pointed out the value of personal growth. Moving and adapting to a brand new culture will lead to change and change leads to growth. MEDEX does have lower tuition costs, but being uncomfortable in Chicago will promote my confidence as a person/provider. Maybe I'm just being naive and idealistic? 

    

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Pick the one that will result in the least amount of stress outside of the academics.  This idea of bolstering personal growth by increasing stressors seems a little ridiculous to me, but I'm a little old and bitter.  Any idea what the COL is in Chicago? What kind of loans you'll need?

MEDEX has it's issues like any program, but you can't argue with their clinical rotations.  There's a reason physicians rotate through just about every specialty and don't just focus on a single field during training.  EM is all about disposition and immediate management of conditions.  If you don't know what those conditions are because you never rotated somewhere that treated them then you're outta luck. 

And like it or not, the vast majority of EM is more FM than it is fast paced saving lives.  The day-to-day procedures you do in FM (suturing, splinting, casting, toenail removal, foreign body removal) are very similar to what you'll perform in the ED.

Never underestimate the complexity of FM.  I've worked ICU since graduation and remain holding those folks in awe in regards to the amount of knowledge they have to have. 

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Don't know anything about Rush, but as a medex preceptor I can confirm that their students are able to get good EM rotations, trauma surgery, ICU, cardiology, etc. My main complaint about medex is the lack of core ob and peds rotations(unless electives), not the extra FP. 

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n=1 but I briefly worked at one of the trauma centers in Chicago (Rush doesn't have their own trauma center). They didn't have PA students but they did have med students. The med students, from what I saw, basically brought the patients to CT and observed in the OR. They did very little hands on patient care. There were too many residents for the students to get much first hand experience. Again, this is just one of the level 1s, but I wouldn't be surprised if there was much variability among the centers.

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