Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Hey everyone, I recently noticed when researching MCPHS-Boston PA program online that there were some negative reviews coming from current and past PA students. However, these reviews were mostly from 2009-10 and I was wondering if anyone has any updated views and information about Boston's program. I saw on an online PA ranking page that MCPHS Boston had moved up the rankings a considerable amount and I was hoping that the program had made some improvements since 2009 and that there would be more hopeful reviews.

 

Also, does anyone know exactly what the timeline for the 30 month duration is? I read somewhere that the program does not go through the summers, and there is a month break for winter holidays... any truth to this?

 

Thanks so much for any input!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm a current 2nd year at MCPHS. Curriculum is as follows:

For every winter break you do get a month off. For the first summer after your first 2 semesters, you get 4 months off for summer. Some love it, others do not. I can assure you though, it is worth it in the long run because it will be the last summer break ever in your life. Great time to see family, friends, work, or travel before officially entering the "rest of your life schedule." After that, you will enter your 2 final semesters of didactic then get a week off before starting your clinical rotations for the next 11 months.

 

Personally, I heard negative things also when I applied here. However, I love the program and most of the professors. It has it's negatives, as all programs do. My only negatives about the program: The cost (One of the higher tuition costs) and the name (currently undergoing a debate for change in name). The PA students don't want to be recognized as a Pharmacy school.

 

Major positives of this program is the dedication to its students (constantly looking ways to better the program), the professor's experience, and the rotations (You do most of your rotations at prestigious hospitals along with other MD students and PA students from Harvard, Tufts, Northeastern, etc). Facilities are state of the art and professors are great.

 

And yes, the program has improved in the rankings a tremendous amount, and will only continue to go up. This year was our accreditation year and we qualified for the maximum accreditation (few schools surpass this achievement). All in all, I am happy with my choice of this program and I have learned a lot.

  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow that was such a great and informative review! I am glad you like the program and are happy with your decision. The cost of the program is something I have been weighing on my mind a lot, but it will be all worth it in the end if in return you get a quality education experience. Thanks for taking the time to respond, I have my interview in November and I look forward to maybe one day attending this program!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

PAtobe89: haha no problem! I just had an interview in Michigan and thats exactly what I asked another person who had already interviewed. I always feel more comfortable knowing exactly how something like that is scheduled, maybe just for mentally preparing!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does anyone know in what year the MCPHS Boston program was started? I can't seem to find this info anywhere on the website.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To answer my own question...if anyone else was curious...the program first begun in 1997 with the first class graduating in 2000.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To answer the question on how the interview is set up... It starts at 9 when everyone is brought upstairs to a large room. There is a introductory speech & powerpoint from a faculty member about the program and you can ask questions, etc. (1 hour). Then you sit in the back of the room while a real lecture takes place (1-2 hours). Afterwards, there is lunch provided and a student organization (P.A.S.S.) talks to you about what activities and events they have available for PA students to get involved in at MCPHS (45 min- hour). After lunch, the group is split into other smaller groups and some go on a tour of the campus, some meet with staff to go over any outstanding prerequisites or coursework questions, and the others go to interview. Then all the groups switch. The actual interview is three, 10 minute interviews with one individual (Faculty, or community PA, Alumni, etc). They all have scoring cards so its important to make an equally good impression at all 3. Each will try to get a feel for one aspect of you. For example, 1 person will usually focus on your personality and character, one will focus on the program and PA profession, etc. The interview, tour, and pre-requisite check is scheduled 12:45p and on. We got done at 3:30 the day I interviewed but it probably varies. It is a generally laid back day, the interviewers were very nice and I thought easy to talk to. No sense in worrying about it, its a good day!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh right, yes there is an essay! Nothing to worry about there, just want to make sure you actually wrote your personal statement yourself. There were 40 some people at my interview date.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

efhalsey-

 

can you tell me if they provide you with anything to write with? like a writing pad/pen or something throughout the day?i dont know if i want to bring my own or not. do you have time in between your interviews, or are they back to back? and did people bring their CV/resumes to the interview? Thank you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They give you a sheet of paper with the essay question on it, I would bring a pen just incase they don't have extras. There is very little time between interviews, you just move from one room to the next. I did not bring my resume or CV, i don't believe anyone else did either. The interviewers don't ask for anything like that and they have all your information in their files from CASPA.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It depends on your last name as to when you interview. I was pretty much last and because I had really good conversations with my interviewers on the 29th, I also left last around 5:00 pm. It must have went well because I just got my acceptance packet! Big envelope, look out for it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just received my acceptance for Fall 2013 start :) :) My only concern is the cost. If you don't mind answering, do you know if the average student receives financial aid? If so, how much? I would call the financial aid office, but they're closed until January 3rd, and my deposit is due the 31st!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Does anyone know if the program at Boston has a human cadaver lab?

 

Yes they do! Anatomy lab is actually at Harvard Medical School, which is right across the street. I believe the MCPHS PA students use the same cadavers the HMS dental and med students use.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Third year here,

Yes, you do have a cadaver lab.  It's actually in Harvard Medical School right across the street.  Same professors, laboratories, equipment, and experience as the Harvard Medical Students.

Quoting the professor who taught the course, she stated, "I love teaching the PA students over the Medical Students because they much more eager to learn and we tend to go in more depth with the PA students."

 

The professor was fantastic, she even said that our tests tend to be harder than the Med students, this is from her on the first day of the course.

 

Pass Rate for last year's class was 99% for the PANCE, one of the top in the country.  The program continues to excel and improve.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyone know the program's attrition rate/if they help struggling students or just boot them out of the program??

 

All 3 year programs have pretty good attrition rates (in terms of students) because they are usually less challenging than traditional 2 year programs.  With that said "attrition rates" in most cases for ARC-PA programs have little significance.  People can drop out of programs for a variety of reasons and these are counted towards attrition rates.  As for struggling students I was told they have tutoring for students who have trouble but I wouldn't worry too much about it since the curriculum is more spread out over time. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

skoelewyn

Did you happen to find any info about financial aid? I'm curious if the school provides most or all of the loans we will need, or if we need to find our own supplemental loans? Does anyone know when we will find out how much the school/FAFSA will be helping us with? Oh, and the aid given, will it include money for expenses such as rent/food or will it strictly be tuition based?

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ceosborn, I went to MCPHS Boston.  The one unfortunate thing about the program is that it is expensive.  I graduated in 2011, and at that time there were not any large scholarships for PA students.  It is a very solid program, and the location is a great place to study medicine.  That being said, the financial aid department is pretty good at what they do.  They will provide adequate amounts of loan money for tuition and living expenses.  This involves taking out Unsub/Subsidized Stafford loans, as well as Direct Graduate PLUS loans.  The good news about all of these loans, is that when you are done you can consolidate them into one big direct consolidation loan (along with any other eligible federal loans you have from undergrad or other grad school).  You can then go into an income based repayment, or income contingent repayment, and if you work for a non-profit, charity, government entity etc., you can possible qualify for 10 your forgiveness under the public service loan forgiveness program.  I say all this to let you know that if you really want to go to MCPHS, you can indeed go.  It just may be a bigger chunk of change in comparison to other PA programs.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wanderso17- thank you so much for your input, I am very excited to get started at MCPHS. I am glad to learn they do their best to assist us. Good luck to you in your career.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Wanderso17

 

Are you currently doing the 10 year IBR plan?  If so, how do you go about it?  I've been wanting to set this up.  In my last rotation, looking for non-profit hospitals as employers to get involved with this.

 

Are there forms to fill out to be considered?  Or do you just tell SallieMae that your doing the IBR 10 year plan because you work at so-and-so place and it's non-profit?

 

Hope you are enjoying the PA profession.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Gillum003

 

Hi Gillum003,

 

basically what you want to do is consolidate your loans through the united states department of education.  You can go through myfedloan.org  The only reason I use this website, is because this is where my consolidated loans were transferred when I signed up for public service loan forgiveness.  So, you will consolidate your loans, get under the IBR plan, and then when that is solidified, you fill out a form in order to certify that you are working for a PSLF qualifying employer.  Once you fill this out, both you and your HR department, the loan service will verify it, and then that will put you on the path to making your 120 payments.  Nothing else happens until you complete those 120 payments.  During the 120 payments, you have a certain amount of months that you can defer your loan payment (due to various things, including financial hardship, unexpected financial problem etc.)  They are usually really great about processing these deferments when you need them.  The first applicants for PSLF will be in 2017 (the program didn't start until 2007).  Right now, in President Obama's 2015 budget, he is requesting that PSLF be maxed out at like 55-60,000.00 worth of forgiveness.  He feels that this is important, so that universities won't use PSLF as an excuse to raise tuition rates, and then just have students borrow money, expecting to have high loan debts forgiven.  This has terrified many of us already in the PSLF program.  Many of us have student loan debts that would rival most mortgages.  That being said, this is just in his budget proposal, and it does not mean that it will necessarily be passed.  The PSLF is a part of a law, and it would literally take an act of congress to change it.  So, hopefully, for the time being, the program will remain intact, as it is.  All of this being said, one of the scary things about your student loans being in IBR and PSLF, is that a 250k dollar student loan debt will drastically grow over the course of those 10 years (120 payments) to like 800,000.00+ due to ineterest.  Under IBR, and subsequently PSLF, you never really pay down your debt.  So, that being said, when the government finally forgives it, the loan can be many many many 100's of thousands of dollars higher than your initial loan amount.  The good thing about PSLF, right now it is the one forgiveness plan that doesn't make you pay taxes on the forgiven amount.  Imagine having your loans forgiven and then having to pay taxes on that 800,000.00 dollars etc.      

  • Upvote 2

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.


×
×
  • 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