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Is this normal? My program is a hot mess

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Creating this topic under a throwaway. 


My fellow students and I are really concerned with the lack of support from our program. I am in a small program (class size 25) in a rural area (east coast). We are in our clinical year and I'm wondering if our experience is normal. Our clinical coordinator seems super unorganized. We are finding out about our next rotation sites very late, sometimes the day before. Several of my classmates started their last rotation late (days to weeks) because they didn't have placement at all. One of those rotations was two hours away and this student had to move, find housing etc. with two days notice. They were still required to complete all 192 hours despite being placed late. I know our program director has received numerous complaints about our coordinator, but will reply to emails with "I didn't know this was happening", and then takes no action to improve the situation. 

We were just informed that we may all have to complete more "away" rotations due to lack of placement options in the area, but the school isn't offering any additional help with finding housing, or transportation/housing costs. We are responsible for all of this. Our clinical coordinator requested contact information for any preceptors we had lined up at home, or in other locations due to the lack of rotations here, but then doesn't follow up with those preceptors or locations. Emails go unanswered unless the director is 'cced. 

We also have a small group of students (6) who want to attend the AAPA conference, but the school isn't offering any sort of financial assistance. I've heard about other programs paying for entry fees and hotel, and sometimes travel as well. None of this is covered for us. 

Of note: I attend a fairly expensive private university. the PA program is well known throughout the community and very involved. We attend a lot of community events, and overall bring a lot of positive publicity to this school. We've also had 4 faculty resign in the last 6 months, they state various reasons but I wonder if something more systemic is going on. I've really tried to give our staff the benefit of the doubt but really feel like we are getting the short end of the stick. There are more examples of extremely unprofessional behavior among the staff, especially our director of didactic education, but it's not really relevant to this situation, other than the fact that the dysfunction extends way beyond what I am describing here. 

Anyone else have these problems? Is this unprofessional and ridiculous or I do need to adjust my expectations?

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Legit complaint. My program had and have its stuff together, even in the beginning and throughout of COVID. However, they are part of a major university, been around for years, and has an extensive hospital system. We don't rely on far away/outside rotations because we have our own. This is the issue generally with programs who lack academic medical school/hospital partnerships. This is the trend with new programs as they generally have 0-to-weak clinical connections.

Edited by TeddyRucpin
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In all honesty, almost any of your assumptions could be true. Unfortunately they all fall under the heading of "so what?"

You're in your clinical year and aren't going to switch to another program. I would recommend you just grit your teeth and do whatever you have to do to finish, graduate, and pass your boards. Spending time on all the ways your present school could be better will only sap your energy and get you nowhere.


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