Oh, the feeling when you receive the phone call that you’ve been accepted for PA school! Arguably, one of my most favorite memory. I remember I was in the checkout line at the grocery store to pick up a redbull. I was on my way from my house to the library to study for a biochemistry exam. I picked up the redbull, waited in the line and felt my phone vibrate in my pocket. It was an out of state number. I answered. On the other line was the director of admissions.Read More
The PA profession continues to gain traction and popularity in the recent years. In this previous article, I had noted that the number of PA jobs will increase by 39% between 2012-2022 (USBLS) due to the economics of healthcare in America. That being said, to provide for the demand in the future, the supply HAS to increased today. And that is being achieved by opening more PA programs throughout the country.
PAEA. THE NUMBER OF PA SCHOOLS INAUGURATED IN THE LAST DECADE HAS INCREASED AT A HISTORICAL RATE
With several new programs coming up every year comes the question, should you apply and attend a new PA program given that it has no history or a track record?
The answer is, it depends.
New programs aren’t drastically different, but their subtle differences in their inexperience can make a massive difference. First, let’s talk about the program itself. Given that they have no track record, creating a medical program from ground up is extremely difficult. And, even if the program is created to the best of the ability, there will be cracks. Most programs do have these cracks and over the years, they continue to fill those cracks and create a steady, strong program. However, this comes with experience, and due to lack of experience, new programs are susceptible to falls. If you’re paying top dollar to attend the school, you want to be confident that it has all the tools necessary for you to become a top clinician.
That being said, many of the new programs hire deans and department chairs from long standing programs. If this is the case, you can confidently progress.
The next variable to factor are the professors. Ultimately, most of your time will be spent with your professors in lectures, labs and around the campus. These people will give you the knowledge and the power you need to harness in order to succeed. It is imperative that the professors are knowledgeable and experienced themselves. In larger cities, it isn’t an issue as PAs are widely available. However, in smaller cities and towns where PAs aren’t as relevant, it can be tough to find clinical staff for a new program. This results in sub-par professors, who won’t provide the same level of teaching. Obviously, this isn’t the case everywhere, but a variable to keep in mind.
Lastly, accreditation. Accreditation is a process of external peer review. It is administered primarily by non-governmental, voluntary organizations that grant recognition to institutions or specialized programs of study that meet established qualifications and educational standards. The ARC-PA is a national PA agency that provides accreditation to PA programs nationally in order to maintain normative standards across the board for all PA programs. This is important because, you will not be able to become a certified PA if you do not graduate from ARC-PA accredited program. We will touch on accreditation in a future blog post.
If you have not been accepted to any programs, we’d strongly suggest to attend the new program, given that you’re aware of the risks.
As an anecdote, one of my friends was accepted and chose to attend a new PA program in Vermont. She went through the entire process from CASPA to interview to putting her deposit down to buying books, lab coats, supplies, and getting ready to attend classes. This PA program was opening its door for the first time to their students. Approximately 1 month prior to classes beginning, all students were informed that the program was being closed indefinitely. Yup, the program closed before it even held a class. This was due to financial strain and infrastructure gaps that the school had. This does not even account to what we mentioned previously in the article. Like I said, building a medical program from the ground up is challenging and there are far too many variables to be considered, some of which you have not even thought of, like infrastructure for example! My friend did not entertain other offers from PA school since she had already accepted this offer. She, unfortunately, had to wait till the next cycle to apply again. Thankfully, she did and all is well, but things could’ve spiraled out. Obviously, this is anecdotal and an outlier, but it’s a story that needed to be said to understand the complexities of a new program.
All new programs aren’t bad. They just lack experience. Experience comes with time, and personally, I’d rather invest my money in a program with a strong foundation. If a new program is your only option, that is fine! However, tread carefully!
If any questions, feel free to comment below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. For new content, continue to check on the blog or follow us @thehumeruspa on instagram!
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Last week, we posted a blog article on the most common PA school admissions questions. We have received ton of feedback on how to tackle some of these questions. So, this week, that is exactly what we will be doing.
It is important to note, that these answers are a blueprint for you. In the sense, try to build up and personalize them to your story, to your journey. As always, if you have questions, feel free to contact us.
As we’ve mentioned before, practicing your interviews again and again will make you a supreme candidate. You must do several mock interview to become confident in yourself. Below are top 20 questions asked in interviews. Use this as your guide in order to do self mock-interviews. We recommend typing out your answers and rehearsing them till they’re perfect. Good luck!Read More
Jazmine Kwong is currently a PA-S2 at Western University’s PA program. She has gone through the peaks and troughs of PA school applications, she has gone through trials and tribulations of the didactic year. Here are some of her tips on how to succeed!Read More
We have received quite a few emails and messages over interviews recently, mainly getting over the nervousness before a big interview. It’s understandable. All of you have poured time, sweat, energy, maybe some tears to get to this place, to get to this scenario. You have taken time away from your family, friends, taken detours in life to achieve the goal of becoming a PA. It takes hard work and tenacity to get here. We get it. But, the goal isn’t to get interviews, the goal is to be admitted. Admittedly, the stakes are high and it is absolutely understandable that you feel nervous to get over the last hurdle between you and your future as a medical provider. Let’s go over how to reduce the stress and anxiety, get you excited for the interviews, change your perspective and give you the tools to excel at interviews.Read More
After months of building up your application, weeks of perfecting your personal statement and endless days of awaiting responses from programs, you've been invited to an interview! Congratulations! You're one step closer to being accepted. You now have approximately 1 in 3 chances of being accepted after being invited to an interview. This is crunch time. One step closer to your dream. Are you ready to walk through the doors and demonstrate your best self?
An interview is just that. You are promoting yourself, selling yourself to the interviewer. These are the essential tips to make you 1 of the 3.
Tis the season of personal statements. We have read quite a few personal statements over the month and are quite marveled by the stories we've read and the experience people have gone through to get to this point. It is safe to say, that the future of this profession lies in great hands. There are number of good anecdotes, stories and overall substance in the statements, however, most have similar flaws, which is what prompted us to write this article. Today, we will tackle the most common mistakes made in personal statements.Read More
You’ve made it to the interviews. You arrive to the building dressed impeccably, prepared for the interview, sit at a table with several other candidates. You begin conversing with other candidates and find that the person sitting next to you has the exact same credentials as you, highly regarded recommendations, same GPA, same GRE scores. You doubt yourself whether you’re qualified enough.
You will find that most of your co-applicants are very similar in terms of applications. What sets you apart, however, are your qualities that cannot be articulated on paper. These are those 3 qualities that will set you apart from that candidate.Read More
In terms of applications, most applicants appear nearly similar on paper. They all have high GPAs, lengthy extracurricular activities, numerous patient care hours and solid recommendation letters. When schools are going over these applications, things begin to blur. This is where your essay comes in. You must stand out. These are the 10 ways to create a great personal statement, which will make you stand out.Read More