Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Western U Preview Day

This past Saturday (March 5) I got a chance to see what Western University of Health Science's PA program is all about. Here is a break down of how the day went:
  • Registration, Resource Fair, and Breakfast food
  • Welcome presentation and video about the school and some of its history.  
    • We also heard John Tegezs a professor form the veterinary school talk about the schools Interprofessional curriculum, which brings students from all the various colleges together to discuss cases, and to learn from each other. (This is something I feel is very unique and is not seen in other PA programs)  
    • We also heard from the schools president Dr. Pumerantz, who gave us all a great reminder of humanism.
  • Everyone went to the respective breakout sessions. I of course went to the PA one. Now I am not going to tell you everything Roy Guizado MS, PA-C (chair of the Department of Physician Assistant Education) went over but I will give you some of the tips he gave us. You should have some kind of community service and something that shows consistency is very good. PREPARE for the interview: know the major organizations (CAPA, AAPA, PAEA) related to the profession and what they do.  Know why you want to be a PA.  Know what a PA does.  At Western they have a lot of people to interview, and you will not be able to spend all morning with the interviewers. So be prepared, be ready to go and dress appropriately!  You get points for dressing professionally so get all the points you can (it is something you have control over).  
  • We finished with being able to ask questions to first year PAs and then got a tour of the campus from the students. 

Hope you all find this somewhat helpful.
If you are interested in any of the programs Western U offers, I encourage you to go to one of there Preview days.  You can go here form more information:

Enjoy and keep working hard to achieve your goal!  

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Get Good Health Care Experience!

     Every PA school has their own unique requirements, and you should research each school individually! Yes this takes a lot time but its work it in the end!  It like the necessary growing pains you go through growing up.  By taking the time to research each school carefully you can gain a very good feeling of whether the school would be a good fit for you or not.
     Regardless of what school(s) you like each is going to require that you have some patient care experience whether they say it or not. (Think about it would apply to do something you know nothing about?) There are many ways to gain good quality experience, and you should always be out on the look for these experiences.  Some examples of good clinical experience are: volunteering in your local hospital, ask your own doctor if you can volunteer in their clinical, get a job as an emt, phlebotomist, er tech, physical therapy aide, anything that will get you in a good setting, and in contact with patients.   
Once you start working/volunteering, ask yourself (be critical) do you like what your doing? Do you want to me able to do more?  Can you handle the sight of blood, puke, poop, pee, people on their way out of life, and on their way in.  There are a lot of not so pretty pictures, but there is more opportunities to make a difference, then there are negative images.  

Here are some of things  I have done to gain hands on experience:
Worked as a physical therapy aide
Volunteer in the Clinical Care Extender Program (CCE)
Volunteer at LAC+USC in the department of Emergency Medicine
Volunteered, planned, and will be running a health fair (in the city of Bell), this is through the student group I am involved with at school (check out, and watch the video of our past health fair)

Get out there!  Challenge yourself! See what the real world is like!