Guest Post: 8 Essential Tips For PrePAs by Melody Reyes (@stethoscopesandyoga)

Guest Post:  8 Essential Tips For PrePAs by Melody Reyes (@stethoscopesandyoga)

Hello! I’m Melody, an Urgent Care and Family Medicine PA. I applied to one school during the CASPA cycle & got accepted on my first try. This was a bit of luck and a whole LOT of hard work. In this blog, I recap 9 essential tips for PrePAs. This is by no means an all-inclusive list and as always take as much or as little as you need! A special thank you to Aakash & Rachel for letting me write this for their blog.

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How To Stop Comparing Yourself To Others

How To Stop Comparing Yourself To Others

It was the first semester of PA school, I was struggling and all my friends were killing it. I just didn’t get it. Why was I struggling? No matter how much I studied, I would barely meet my targets. Sure, now that I look back at it, it’s clear. I did not know how to study! That was something that I could fix easily, however what wasn’t easy was the constant comparisons I used to make in my head. “I studied 14 hours, he only studied 3 hours and he got an A?? Life is unfair”. Have you had this thought before?

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Best Articles of 2018

Best Articles of 2018

Hey guys, as the year winds down, we want to thank everybody for joining this journey. It has certainly been a rewarding one for us and we hope that we have brought you quality content that has enhanced your application and increased your chances of acceptance. That is our ultimate goal. So, today we want to review 2018 and present you guys with the top 3 blog articles of 2018. Enjoy.

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4 New Year's Resolution for Every Pre-PA

4 New Year's Resolution for Every Pre-PA

Happy New Year!! New Year, New Me! Everyone is making New Years resolutions, “I’ll go to the gym four times a week!” “I will pack my lunch every day!” “More salads, less junk food!” We’ve heard it all. At the end of the day - err, rather at the end of the year, it depends on you on which goals you stick to. If you aspire to attend PA school (which I assume is why you are reading this), then you know it’s no easy task and you must stick to your goals in order to achieve that dream. Here are a few New Year’s resolutions that will help you get to your goals.

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Which Extracurricular Activities Do I Need For PA School?

Which Extracurricular Activities Do I Need For PA School?

Happy Holidays everyone and congratulations on completing the fall semester!! Wind down and enjoy time with your families but remember, this winter break can be very productive! Along with stellar grades and a sky high GRE score, PA schools also look for and require applicants to put time out on the field. With a full course load, it can get tough to gather experience. That is exactly why this winter break is perfect! Four straight weeks of no studying, no 7am classes and no roommate to keep you up when all you want to do is sleep in. Take advantage of that and use the time to gather all your extracurriculars.

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5 Simple Ways To Reduce Your Tuition Burden

5 Simple Ways To Reduce Your Tuition Burden

After last week’s post, I received quite a few emails and DMs (some with anxiety) regarding elaborating on the loan situations. Sorry guys, I did not mean to scare you, but unfortunately, the huge burden of loans are VERY real and like any problem, they must be tackled head on, which is why we’ll dedicate next few blogs on school finances. The best way of doing this is if I go through how to pay for tuition initially and then we can focus on how to pay back the said loans after graduating. 

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This is how much PA school ACTUALLY costs.

This is how much PA school ACTUALLY costs.

This is a topic not many speak about as money is quite a taboo in our culture. Now, some of us are very lucky to come from affluent families, but most of us will have to tackle this hurdle ourselves. So, I think this is something that needs to be spoken about openly so everyone benefits from each others opinions. 

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I Was Rejected From PA School, Now What?

I Was Rejected From PA School, Now What?

Understandably, this is one of the worst feelings you will have. After working so hard, for so long, you’ve been denied your dream. Just like after a breakup, take the time to recover. Give yourself permission to decompress. Take a few days to reflect on your journey, on yourself. It’s okay to sulk! Understand a no isn’t a no forever. Many successful PAs are either waitlisted or turned away from PA programs their first attempts.  So once you're done moping, it’s time to start working to get that post breakup bod back and climb that metaphorical mountain again!

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You're accepted to PA school, now what?!

You're accepted to PA school, now what?!

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.

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Should You Attend A Brand New PA Program

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.

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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 thehumeruspa@gmail.com. For new content, continue to check on the blog or follow us @thehumeruspa on instagram!

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