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I am currently a 1st year PA student at St Bonaventure. There are a lot of things I wish I was informed about as an interviewee before accepting my offer to attend this program. Here are a couple of things I think are important to know in order to make an informed decision about this school.

This program highly values professionalism. However, the faculty does not hold themselves to the same standard of professionalism that they hold their students to. For example, our didactic director once yelled and cussed at a student because he sighed during class. According to our faculty, it is acceptable for a professor to cuss out a student. Unfortunately, this is only one example of the many other similar instances where faculty professionalism has been an issue.

Some professors are frequently late to their own classes. There was one instance where a professor did not even show up to class. We ended up getting an email 30 minutes in saying that he intended to cancel class but did not let anyone know.

They are sticklers on being in the classroom during lecture. Multiple students have been reprimanded for leaving to go to the restroom during lecture. One student was once reprimanded for momentarily leaving the classroom because she had a coughing fit and did not want to disrupt the rest of the class.

Clinical rotations are highly unorganized. We were initially told that all rotations would be within a 2 hour radius of the school. We are now being told that we will have to travel 4+ hours for some clinical rotations.

Our pharmacology professor does not seem to understand the material he teaches. When students go to his office to review questions from exams, our professor has to look up the correct answer to each question because he does not know the material himself. This poses a major issue whenever students ask questions during lecture because he does not have enough knowledge to answer the questions.

These are just a few things that I think are important to be aware of before making the decision to spend 28 months and over $100,000 to attend this program. Hopefully hearing the specifics of this program will help you decide if it is right for you.

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Before we get any more reports on this:

we aren’t going to do anything about it. We aren’t the truth police. We aren’t private detectives. I used to spend hours looking into this stuff, but you know what, that’s your job. If you believe an internet post at face value, then we are doing the school a favor by allowing it to dissuade you from applying. 
 

for all the other people who are worried about how their school comes off, post your reply and offer a counter point. Reporting will do nothing. 

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As the program director for the St. Bonaventure University PA program, I feel the need to respond to this post.  Although the OP states they are a St. Bonaventure student, they anonymously present themselves as a member of the St. Bonaventure University PA student body.

I would like to address some specifics.  First, the OP states that we value professionalism.  This is correct.  All PA programs struggle with this aspect of learning the profession.  My guess is that this particular student had some behaviors that missed the mark with regard to professionalism and were coached regarding their mis-steps.  This post seems to be in retaliation to that.  However, I would like to point out that responding in an anonymous manner which avoids a face-to-face conversation is the ultimate unprofessional response to address a concern. 

Our faculty are only human.  However, when any of the faculty observe behaviors that are less then professional, even in each other, a conversation will occur.  We follow the adage of “praise in public, admonish in private.”  This holds true for both students and faculty.  If a lapse in professionalism occurs by anyone in the program, students should not be aware of any of these conversations unless they were a part of the occurrence.

We are “sticklers” for requiring students in the classroom during lecture.  Attendance in class and attention to the discussion/topic/lecture is expected.  Obviously, urgent personal needs may arise that require the use of restroom facilities.  However, several students getting up in the middle of the class is disruptive.  Leaving the classroom 20 minutes after the start of class right after lunch or leaving to get a beverage could probably wait until a break.  There are some long lectures where it may be necessary for someone to use the restroom, but as an adult, using the restroom before class starts is analogous to using the restroom before getting in the car. 

Clinical rotations in our program are no different than in any other program and are more fluctuant after dealing with the COVID pandemic.  Our goal is to keep students nearby. However, we are a rural program so the number of local rotation sites is somewhat limited.  Students who have been assigned rotations further away have either agreed to or requested them for their novel academic/medical experience or to be closer to home.

Our pharmacology professor is a physician.  He understands pharmacology better than any of the current students.  He will frequently and openly look up topics when answering questions to demonstrate methods used by professionals to find answers to medical questions.  A skill all competent medical professionals use in their daily practice.

All PA programs are intense.  Students in every program get stressed and frustrated.  Learning how to communicate those frustrations is part of learning professional behavior.  Faculty have high expectations because we want our students to be successful, not only during the program but also beyond graduation.  Students who do not learn professional behavior are usually the providers who are disciplined by licensing boards.  We do not want that for any student.

I have an open door policy and encourage students and faculty to avail themselves of the opportunity to have these discussions.  Sometimes they are difficult, sometimes they are uncomfortable, but usually, they result in a mutual understanding that benefits all parties.

Edited by kyoung1
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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello everyone! I'm also a PA student at Bonas. I thought I could provide some personal insight if you are someone that is considering applying/ admission. 

First off, congratulations to everyone who is interviewing and making progress! If you are on the "active list", you're not out of the game, but the process is competitive. Some of our strongest students here came off that list at one time, so don't count yourself out yet!

I consider myself incredibly lucky to be a part of the new program. I feel that I've grown tremendously as a healthcare professional since starting and have to credit it to my classmates, professors, staff, and resources that this school has made available to me. If you know nothing about St. Bonaventure University, know that while this PA program is new (in a building with over 17 million dollars in renovations to outfit it just for teaching health professions) the University as a whole has been around for a long time. 

We have some really cool resources in the building. For example: our physical diagnosis lab is awesome- and the class is led by a brilliant and experienced provider. She arranges for practical exams on real people from the community, making the experience a bit more "real" when compared to just practicing with our classmates. She is one of my favorite lecturers and always tells us how proud she is of us. We also have Anatomage tables in our anatomy lab. The professor who teaches this lab and class is incredibly smart yet relatable and overwhelmingly patient and kind. Our SIM lab also has a provider/instructor who I feel treats me like a fellow respected colleague, helping me to build confidence as an autonomous provider. Credit is due to our didactic director who never fails to acknowledge you by name and wish you a good morning. His sense of humor comes in handy sometimes too. 

Being immersed in a rural setting has changed some of my perspectives on medicine as well. For my personal career interests, this was the right fit for me. As current students, at least half of us will see you at interviews to talk and answer questions. If you need to know more about something, that's your "low stakes" opportunity to find some answers when the faculty aren't around! Overall, I feel that I am better off for my future as a PA due to the challenges that I've faced leading up to and while going to school here.  So keep working hard everyone, and you'll get where you want to be!

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On 7/20/2022 at 8:33 PM, ogbonapastudent24 said:

Hello everyone! I'm also a PA student at Bonas. I thought I could provide some personal insight if you are someone that is considering applying/ admission. 

First off, congratulations to everyone who is interviewing and making progress! If you are on the "active list", you're not out of the game, but the process is competitive. Some of our strongest students here came off that list at one time, so don't count yourself out yet!

I consider myself incredibly lucky to be a part of the new program. I feel that I've grown tremendously as a healthcare professional since starting and have to credit it to my classmates, professors, staff, and resources that this school has made available to me. If you know nothing about St. Bonaventure University, know that while this PA program is new (in a building with over 17 million dollars in renovations to outfit it just for teaching health professions) the University as a whole has been around for a long time. 

We have some really cool resources in the building. For example: our physical diagnosis lab is awesome- and the class is led by a brilliant and experienced provider. She arranges for practical exams on real people from the community, making the experience a bit more "real" when compared to just practicing with our classmates. She is one of my favorite lecturers and always tells us how proud she is of us. We also have Anatomage tables in our anatomy lab. The professor who teaches this lab and class is incredibly smart yet relatable and overwhelmingly patient and kind. Our SIM lab also has a provider/instructor who I feel treats me like a fellow respected colleague, helping me to build confidence as an autonomous provider. Credit is due to our didactic director who never fails to acknowledge you by name and wish you a good morning. His sense of humor comes in handy sometimes too. 

Being immersed in a rural setting has changed some of my perspectives on medicine as well. For my personal career interests, this was the right fit for me. As current students, at least half of us will see you at interviews to talk and answer questions. If you need to know more about something, that's your "low stakes" opportunity to find some answers when the faculty aren't around! Overall, I feel that I am better off for my future as a PA due to the challenges that I've faced leading up to and while going to school here.  So keep working hard everyone, and you'll get where you want to be!

Hello! Thank you so much for that insight. That makes me even more eager to possibly attend St. Bonaventure in the future. If you wouldn’t mind, could you give me an idea of what a typical day looks like for a student in your program? 

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