Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Made it through my first semester!

Hello everyone! Last week I finished up my first semester of PA school. Now that I have had a few days to think about it, I am very surprised by how much my class and I have done in such a short amount of time (16 weeks). Here is a little summary:

  • 4 classes = 18 units
  • 15 exams
  • 10 quizzes
  • 2 papers
  • 2 Clinical Performance Exam
  • 1 presentation
  • countless hours of lecture and studying!
Overall it was not that bad. Yes there was lots of studying and stressful times, but I knew that going into this adventure!

I have to thank all our professors and lectures for doing a great job presenting us the material and helping us dive deeper into the world of medicine.

I also want to thank my amazing class!!! They have provided endless stress relieving moments and activities. The class above mine has been great as well, always providing us advice and willing to listen to us complain whenever possible. (Good luck on rotations class of 2014!)

Over the break I hope to put up posts on how I am using Evernote for just about everything in PA school. I will also post about other helpful resources.

If you have any questions feel free to comment of email me at aspiringpahelper@gmail.com

Friday, November 2, 2012

How are you preparing for your interview?

Sorry I have not posted in a while, I have been very busy, with about a test/paper every week. I have also been helping a couple Aspiring Pre-PAs.  For those of you in the application process right now, GOOD LUCK and keep working hard!!!

I would like to give some interview prep advice and because I am short on time it is going to be in bullet points:

  • Practice, practice, practice!!! Interviewing is a skill and to have a good skill you have got to practice
  • I did mock interviews with my Health Professions advisor in undergrad, if you have someone like this use them!!!! If not, prepare a batch of questions give it to someone who is going to be serious and that will give you constructive criticism. 
  • If you can videotape yourself!  If only for the reason to look back on it in 10 years and laugh!!
  • But what kinds of questions are they going ask?  
    • Lets use some common sense here! Why do you want to be a PA? Tell me about yourself? Why did you choose to apply to this school? What is the programs mission and goals? Do  you like the mission and goals do they fit you and do you fit them?
    • Do your homework!!! Check out books regarding the PA application process there are several out there! If you need suggestions email me(aspiringpahelper@gmail.com)
    • Also check out physicianassistantforum.com
  • Do you have a sharp looking suite gentlemen? Groomed?
  • Ladies business suite, appropriate skirt? No excess jewelry/makeup/perfume
  • Make sure you know where you are going, where you are going to park/get dropped off/ where you are going to stay the night before
    • if you are flying, take your suite on the plane!! (or wear it)
    • check the weather (Is hurricane Sandy going to be there as well, yes this does happen!!)
  • Consider the sacrifices (time, $, sleep, etc) they may ask you about these and how you are going to cope!
  • Ethical questions- be ready there are some classic ones out there. Remember that you are their for the patient and that will usually help you answer the question
  • Prepare questions for them. 
  • BREATH!!! 
  • BE YOURSELF!!!!!! That is probably the best advice I can give anyone. 

If you have any suggestions feel free to comment!!! If you have any questions for me, it would be a lot easier for me to respond to you if you email me at aspiringpahelper@gmail.com thank you!

(I apologize if there are typos, I am limited on time, and half my brain is focused on all the endocrine objectives I need to know my Monday)

Good luck!!! If you are not following me on twitter please follow here @AspiringPAhelp

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

First Test of PA school

Hello All,

So I apologize for not updating sooner, but PA school is high speed!  I can't believe we are already into our fourth week!  Our first semester keeps us very busy but everyone keeps telling us to make it through this semester and it will get better. (Thankfully!)

The first week was funny, lots of introducing of the course and getting into the lecture schedule. Which is basically M-F 9am-5pm with a 1hr lunch. That is a lot of siting and the teachers know this, so we get a little 5 min break about every hour.

The second week provided more lecture and more lecture and ...

The third week was a difficult one for me because our first test was looming and I was finding that my studying was not organized. I attribute this mostly to being new to the whole PA school thing juggling all the lectures, taking notes on an iPad, objectives, reading guides, 18 units, commuting school, my first USC football game etc. By Friday I have been able to put my nerves to calm and had figured what my approach was going to be.

Now after our first test, I don't feel like I failed and I learned a lot from it. The main thing is pharmacology and all the various names of drugs. I am working on figuring out a better system of how to get them in my head and organized. I am currently working with Evernote and a style that a fellow student showed me, which is working really well so far. If you have time I encourage you to check out the program (its free!!!) and see how it could help you as a student.

Just to give you a little perspective on the number of tests and amount of studying that goes on here is a break down of our next few test:

  • 4th week: Psych test on Monday (including intro to pharmacology and psych pharm)
  • 5th week: Basic Medical Sciences test  (The first of 4 this semester)(This class is like all of our pre-reqs in one semester)
    • Also a group paper and presentation 
    • Quizzes every wednesday
  • 6th week: Hematology Test w/ Pharm
    • Paper and quizzes
  • 7th week: just quizzes
  • 8th week: Dermatology Test
All of these test are on Mondays which kill your weekend but also means you get the weekend to study for the test.

The days and weeks are flying by, and the best advice I have is to take it one day at a time, and once you feel comfortable with that look at one week at a time and progress from there. Don't forget to exercise, eat smart and go outside once in a while.
Other helpful things:

  • Quizlet- lets you make flashcards and share them with others
  • Evernote- just check it out!
  • iPad- I am not saying you have to have one, but it makes somethings easier. Our class is the trial class with going paper less and it has not been to bad. 
  • If you commute- record lectures and listen to them on the drive
  • Be a reader if you are not already
  • Steady review of notes every day! It will save you in the long run
  • BE FLEXIBLE!!!!! Roll with the punches and enjoy the ride. 
If you have any questions feel free to ask! 

-Back to studying

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

PA School is Starting MONDAY!!!

Hello Everyone,

I would like to apologize for the long delay since my last post. I have been enjoying my fairly free summer before the craziness of PA school starts. So there will be a change in my subject content of my posts. I will be starting PA school Monday (Aug 27, 2012) and I will be focusing my posts and what life is like while I am in school. As you can imagine I will be very busy so I will do my best to post updates on how things are going.

So far, for PA school this week has consisted of various orientation activities. Lots of "house keepings" sorts of things but all necessary. One of the fun things we have got to do was have a picnic with our class and some of the students in the class ahead of us. We got to play some fun ice breaker games and got to meet class mates. It is all still a little surreal sitting in the classroom I felt like a guest in so long ago and now I know it will be my home for the next year!  The other weird thing is now I have initials after my name!  Chase Hungerford PA-S!!!!!

As I go along if you have questions please do not hesitate to comment or email me. I will do my best to get back to you.

I have to do some reading now, but I hope to be back to some more regular posting.
Good luck if you are heading back to school soon!!!

I almost forgot, the Pre-PA Conference was featured in the CAPA newsletter for the July/August 2012 issue. Thank you to all that made it a great event!!!!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Clinical/Hands On Patient Care Experience..What counts?

Many Pre-PAs are in college or are working outside of the health care field, wonder what kinds of jobs count as hands on patient care experience or clinical experience (it is termed differently by different programs).   Basically programs want to know if you can handle interacting with complete strangers, can you be professional, responsible and everything else that comes with holding a job.  So what kind of job should you have?  THERE IS NO PERFECT JOB! However there many different positions that people often hold to gain this IMPORTANT clinical experience.

A very nice and hardworking Pre-PA named Kasmian Campa on Facebook shared this link to Anne Arundel Community College's Physician Assistant Certificate Program. This link shows their view on various jobs that people hold to gain clinical experience.  Just as they say on the pdf, this is not all-inclusive and can change!  Here is the link: https://www.aacc.edu/physassist/file/Patient%20Contact%20Preference%202011.pdf

Many jobs require getting certifications (or other degrees) such as EMT, CNA, RN, something Tech, etc. You need to do your homework on the costs, the different ways to get certifications, how long they last, and is getting a job after you get certified going to be possible. For example:
    I have several friends that got there EMT certifications but only a few (like 1 or 2) actually went out and got jobs. Some looked and looked and had no luck and others didn't have the time work. If you get your certifications be ready to put it to work!  Don't just get it to get, then sit around not use it and have to re-certify when your actually ready to use it. YOUR TIME IS VALUABLE, USE IT WISELY!!!

If you were wondering, I am a Physical Therapy Aide.  I work at an outpatient facility that also has a pool and provides aquatic therapy. I have been able to learn many things about medicine, rehabilitation, effective communication, and the patient provider relationship.  I want to point out that it is not just about getting the hours to put it on your CASPA application, it is about developing skills and gaining experiences. That is what is going to help you, not that you did 2,000 hours in a year (if that is even possible).

To sum it all up: First get a job (that can be the hardest part), go for quality! the quantity will come in good time.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Timeline of PA School Application Process

     As you dive into your research of PA schools, you will undoubtedly hear "APPLY EARYL!!!!" BUT, what does apply early mean?

    Overall the application process to PA school is roughly a YEAR long process. Let me say that again a YEAR LONG PROCESS. Let me break it down:

Mid April- CASPA opens up

Deadlines for CASPA applications range from September 1st (2012) to the end of January (2013).

Supplemental Applications- some schools give a specific date and some give a set time period. For example I applied to Stony Brook in NY and once we had access to the supplemental application we had 2 weeks from the time we accessed it.  So, do your homework! Make sure understand each schools' application process.  (I know this is frustrating, but right now that is the way it works. If others can figure it out, so can you!)  Some schools even have early submit deadlines. I know for my Duke application they had an early submit date.

Interview dates range widely depending on the school. My first one was in late October and I know of schools that will do interviews all the way up to March.  Again you have to know the process of each school you are applying to!

Hopefully it is now clear that the process takes a long time. (I based this off using CASPA, some school don't use CASPA so please keep this in mind. Learn each schools application process!)

I am going to use myself as an example for those of you that are in school and ready to apply.  (Are you ready?  Please think long and hard about this question!) I was in my 4th year at CSULB and I started my CASPA application on April 15ish while I was finishing that spring semester I worked on entering in all my college courses and extracurricular activities.  (I was also very involved on campus, and volunteering at 2 hospitals, so I still had things in progress).  Over that summer (Summer 2011) I was working on studying for the GRE and my personal statement. I was seeing an advisor just about every other day to go over my personal statement (I was and currently not the greatest writer).  The last 2 weeks of July and the first 2 weeks of August I went to Lima, Peru to study Spanish (More on this later). BUT before I went to Peru I submitted my CASPA application and had taken the GRE.  I submitted my application early July, I WOULD CONSIDER THIS SUBMITTING EARLY (this is my opinion so don't sue me if you don't agree, DO YOUR HOMEWORK!)  While in Peru I studied Spanish and worked on writing my supplemental applications. I believe I had to submit one application while I was in Peru, but the others I was able to review with my advisor when I arrived home.

So, why apply early?
    In general (but not always) the earlier you apply, the earlier you interview, the earlier you get in! :) Less stress! Demonstrates that you are on top of your game and want to be a PA bad!

**Please don't take this as then end all be all!!*** Some people submit there application later and still have great success (there are probably stellar applicants).  You have to look at yourself see what you have, see what you need, see how much time you have to get whatever it is you need done.

Applying to PA school is a self exploration project with the occasional gut check!  Get ready for a crazy, stressful, rewarding and fun time!

As always if you have questions don't hesitate to ask!  I appreciate the people that have emailed thus far with questions!  aspiringpahelper@gmail.com

Monday, May 7, 2012

Pre-PA Conference was a HUGE Success!!!!

I would like to thank everyone that was able to come to the Pre-PA conference. We have gotten a lot of positive feedback and some great suggestions of how to make it better.  I would also like to thank all the speakers, USC PA Program, CAPA, Touro University and Western U.  I know all the PA programs in CA get many applicants but taking the time to come out to the Pre-PA conference meant a lot to me and to the eighty one people that were able to come.

Many people have asked about the next conference and a small handful have asked about having one in Northern California. So far we are not sure when or where the next one is going to be. We have a lot of ideas that we are trying to explore and put together to back the next conference that much better.

If you are interested in attending the next conference please click here (please note this does not mean you will be guaranteed a ticket to the next conference):  https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dEo4aHl2ZXBUblZCTkJ2NzZ5YlRyMHc6MQ

After going through the feedback that people have left us and some of the questions I have gotten since the conference I will try and tailor some of my next post to those areas. They include:

  • Understanding the timeline of the application cycle
  • Time management as a busy Pre-PA student
  • What counts as clinical experience
  • Life as a PA-S (while I plan on blogging through PA school, for now I will point you to other PA-S blogs)
  • And more
If you have any other topics you would like me to discuss please do not hesitate to ask/suggest.

Also here are some pictures from the first Pre-PA Conference: https://plus.google.com/photos/115469624588418624555/albums/5734439366285186401?authkey=CMO3qN3z7bbwew


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Who do you know? Networking for the Pre-PA

     I have talked to several Pre-PA students via Facebook and at my current university CSULB (Go Beach!). I usually feel like I want to tell them everything I know about the profession, researching PA programs, etc... but I soon realize dump the truck load of information I have learned over the past few years (and that I am still learning) would probably not be the best thing for their young Pre-PA minds.  There are 3 main things I try to impress upon Pre-PA students: Network, do your research and APPLY EARLY. I will be doing a post on each of these topics, with the first being about networking (obviously you have figure this out if you read the tittle).
     Some people can network and mingle quite easily while the rest of us struggle with trying to decide what we are going to ask, talk about, our appearance, and a myriad of other things that often times don't really impact our networking capabilities. Through my continued involvement with MAPS (a student group at CSULB), I feel I have been able to go from the "struggling networker" (ok a shy person) to a "professional networker" (well most of the time,  or that is what I would like to think). Here are my tips on how to improve your networking skills:

  • First impressions are very important and these can happen at any time and any place. So before you leave the house check the mirror. Did you comb your hair? Brush your teeth? Do do not have to dress like a professional (unless of course your daily activities call for this) but taking a little extra time and money to make sure you are looking you best can pay off when you bump into a PA in the market, at school or where ever. For guys looking to improve their dress I recommend checking out: http://artofmanliness.com/2011/09/22/style-tips-for-college-men/ . For the ladies I don't have a resource, sorry I am not up to date on women's fashion, and you have far to many variability in the types of things you can wear and there are not enough equations to solve for all these different variables.

  • Get involved! If you are still in college, you should be involved with a Pre-PA club (notice I did not say Pre-Health Club, if your school does not have a Pre-PA club make one! And if you simple can't join the Pre-Health Club). Often times these groups have speaker that are either PAs or from PA schools. This is a perfect opportunity to introduce yourself, give a firm hand shake and let them know you are interested in becoming a PA and/or their PA program. (In addition you will hopefully, catch their attention with your mature style, and upright posture and positive welcoming body language). You can also network at PA schools information sessions/open houses. Go to Pre-PA conferences. VOLUNTEER!

  • Make your own business card! This is what mine looked liked:

(I have a little sticky covering up my address)

  • Take a risk, email, introduce yourself. If you are really shy start with becoming more active in social media and with time force yourself to talk to others. Find your niche and share ideas this will usually snowball into good things!

  • FOLLOW UP!!! This is key!  If you got some one's contact information use it and email them. Let them know that is was nice to meet them. If you have questions ASK!!!! (I see this all the time, I meet some Pre-PA students talk to them for a while give them my contact info and then never hear from them again. It is frustrating!) Unless the person is astronomically busy, they will most likely respond to you.  If a person has helped you significantly in your journey to become a PA, keep them updated on how you are doing in your pursuit of your goal.

  • A "new" form of networking- social media.... Most people have a Facebook, LinkedIn account or Twitter account or something of the sort. Make sure what you present is tasteful appropriate and positive.  If you have to ask your self whether something is appropriate you should probably just not post it.

Know the right people can help you in so many ways! So get out there and start networking. Collect that contact information store in a useful convenient place and most of all USE IT!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

University of Southern California (USC)- PA Program Interview

I had a lot of fun interviewing at USC because the students and staff were very friendly, encouraging and welcoming! My interview day went like this:

I arrived early, and checked-in and was given a folder with information about the program, USC and the interview day (including who you were interviewing with). (Hint: also in the packet was a list of current faculty and some of their biographical information. I found it very helpful to read up about the faculty member that I was going to be interviewing with.) We got to mingle with other interviewees and the first year PA students that were helping that day. After mingling we were all taken in to one of the classrooms where we got to get to do an icebreaker. I think the icebreaker really helped get me and the rest of the interviews relaxed and feel like we were peers and not competition. After the icebreaker, we were given a presentation on the program, and introduced to USC alumni that would be helping with the interview process.

After the introductions we were split into three groups. My group got to talk with a panel of students first. This was a very helpful, because they gave true insight into how the program was and how AWESOME it is. It was basically a Q and A, but very relaxed. Next our group went to the interview, where we each interviewed with a current student and a faculty member/alumni. In my interview they did a great job with the questions. I got nothing out of the ordinary, and I felt it went really well. (I felt at home!) After our interviews our group got to speak with an alumni panel. Talking to them was great because you get some insight into what life after PA school is like, and it looks exciting! (In, my eyes anyway)

After the three sections, all of the interviewees, interviewers, students and alumni got to have lunch together. On our interview day Dr. Lohenry the director was not able to come until later, so he spoke to all of us for a short while during lunch. Dr. Lohenry is a great guy and you should meet him if you get a chance. (Frankly there are a lot of people (not just at USC) I would like to introduce to all the pre-PA people I know, but I can't. That is why getting out there and networking as much as possible and meeting the right people can be key, to your success in become a better PA!)

If you have questions feel free to leave them!  Remember I want you to be a better PA not just a PA applicant.

Go Trojans!

(Image from : gridsec.usc.edu)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Other Useful Websites!

On the links page I have started to compile a list of links to website I have found helpful or useful. Check it out!

Monday, February 20, 2012

University of New England-PA Program Interview

Your first PA school can be very nerve raking! And the best thing to do is breath; you have made it this far! Try and stay relaxed be professional and smile! 
For me I could not have asked for a better first PA school interview experience!  My first interview was at the University of New England (UNE) in Portland, Maine.  UNE has two campuses one in Biddeford and the other in Portland.  The campus in Portland provides a home for the College of Pharmacy as well as the Westbrook College of Health Professions (this includes the graduate studies program for physician assistant).
            While the campus is not very big (smaller then my public high school here in Southern California) it is one of the prettiest I have ever been too! I have been to Portland, Maine several times to visit family but I had always missed the famed fall of New England. For this trip I lucked out with the perfect timing! (See pictures below) Also to see pictures of the campus check out: http://www.une.edu/admissions/tour/pc/index.cfm

To help you feel comfortable and relaxed UNE holds a Q&A session on the Friday night prior to your Saturday interview.  Since I was staying with my cousin I brought her to the Q&A and we both enjoyed meeting some of the current first year students and fellow interviewees.  There was about 10-12 first year students that introduced themselves and told us a little bit about their experiences of applying to PA school and any interview advice.  Then the interviewees and who ever they brought were allowed to ask questions. I found this night very helpful in calming my nerves and for getting a sense of what the students are like in the program.   
 Saturday or Interview Day starts early (7:30am) so if you are traveling from the west coast be sure to get a good night’s sleep! On interview day it was fairly straight forward, there was some Welcoming and opening remarks and then a presentation by Mr. George Bottomley the Program Director about the program. Then we were split into groups and some went off to their interviews and others went on a tour of the campus. You also had to write a short essay, which serves as a writing sample. I know this sounds scary but it is not! It was a straightforward question and the realized the pressure you might feel. The said the writing sample was not a make or break factor in their decision process.
             The interview itself is with an instructor and UNE Alumni and lasts about 20 minutes. All the questions I was asked were very straightforward and things I had expected from my practice and research regarding interviews. In the end I was very happy with my responses (and I guess they were too)! (I practiced a lot and I will have another post about practicing for interviews later!)  After the interview day interviewees could have lunch in the cafeteria for free along with some of the first year students that had helped out at the interview.  I thought this was really fun because you got to see that the students worked hard but were still able to have fun!

These pictures are of the Fall Foliage in the cemetery next door to the Portland campus. I actually have family here and it is a very old and beautiful cemetery. Many people walk/job on the windy roads during the day time. 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Shadowing a Physician Assistant

In my quest to get into PA school I heard many fellow Pre-PAs talk about not being able to find a PA to shadow.  I know this can be one of the most difficult parts of the Pre-PA process but it is far from impossible. Here are a couple ideas of ways to find a PA to shadow:

  • PAshadowonline.com is a simple to use website that is a great place to start. I have actually met the creator of this website and he is a great guy! Basically you sign up, find your state and then you can see what PAs have signed up in your area.  Some of the PAs don't put there availability up on the calendar so you should click on their name that is in "yellow" and send them an email. Remember be professional and to the point! (Side note: if your email is the same one you made in seventh grade and is something like kutieXX17XX91@xxxx.com you should really think about creating a more professional email account. Something you feel confident given to a potential future employer would be a good place to start.) Be sure to "like" pashadowonling.com!
  •  Your states PA group!  I would explore the groups website to see if there are any resources available. Next I would actually call the office!  For some reason when I tell this to other Pre-PAs they look at me like I am crazy but it seem very logical to me. These groups are there to help PAs that means you will probably either end up talking to an actual PA or to someone one deals with PAs all day. Be polite and respectful and it won't hurt to leave your name and professional email so they can get back to you if they do not know a PA off the top of their head. 
  • Call your doctor! Or you PA!  I think this is a resource people often over look, or they don't have a Dr. or PA which is a bigger separate problem.  Call their office and ask if they have know any PAs that you might be able to contact.  I would make sure your Dr. knows you are looking to shadow a PA, but try to get the PAs contact information so you can contact the PA yourself and "name drop" your doctor.  
  • Volunteer! Get out there and start volunteering in hospitals or clinics and let people know that you want to be a PA and are looking to shadow one.  This may seem like a lot of work and it IS!!!! But, the networking and connections you make can be invaluable, believe me! 
So lets say you have landed a date to shadow a PA, CONGRATULATIONS!!!!
But what are you going to wear? What are you going to talk about? Do you have questions for them? Do you know where you are going to meet?    These are important questions that you need to be ready for!

So to help you out I HIGHLY RECOMMEND you read Protocols for Shadowing by Mr. Rosen PA-C. Mr. Rosen PA-C is a Director at Large within the California Academy of Physician Assistant (CAPA) Board and is also the Public Relations Chair.

If you have any questions or you feel I missed something please share in the comments section!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Pre-Physician Assistant Conference

I have been working hard with a PA here in Long Beach, and other Pre-PA, PA-S and PA-C to put on a Pre-PA conference.  It is the first of its kind that I know of and I am very happy to announce it on here!

The Physician Assistant Profession- A vital piece to complete the puzzle of health care reform.
The United States Department of Health predicts a physician shortage over the next decade. In order to help improve the quality and continuity of care for patients, the role of a Physician Assistant is anticipated to be the cornerstone for the future of health care.

The Physician Assistant profession is considered to be one of the fastest growing professions in the United States. The 2009 census reports that 72, 433 individuals are eligible to practice as PAs. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that the number of PA jobs will increase by 27 percent between 2006 and 2016. The BLS also predicts the total number of jobs in the country will grow by 10 percent over this 10-year period.
Money magazine ranked The PA profession #2 in their 2010 issue of “Best Jobs in America.”
"Physician Assistant Studies" Ranked #1 in 2011 Forbes "Best master's degree for jobs."
Join us for this one day conference which will inform, educate, prepare and inspire you towards a future of becoming a Physician Assistant.
Registration of $20 gets you:   
        A day of informative talks from great speakers.  Boxed Lunch
        Program fair-Providing time to talk with PA program representatives
        Breakout sessions giving a greater understanding of various topics
        Copy of “My Journey into PA school Workbook” ebook
        A chance to win great prizes at our end of the day raffle
 Mark April 21st on your calendars.  Check in starts at 8:30 and we will begin the first talk at 9:00 am
Sign up to see how a $20 dollar investment now can lead to big rewards in your future.
Seats are limited and will sell out. Sign up now to reserve your space.
Attendess should dress in business casual attire.
Event location is:
USC's Keck School of Medicine (PA Campus)
Building A11, Room 11150
1000 S Fremont Ave, Alhambra, CA 91803
Parking: Enter the parking lot through Orange Street. It will be the 2nd drive way on your right hand side. Parking is Free.  
(This is not at the main USC Campus or at the Health Science Campus. Please Google maps the above address to ensure you are going to the right place!)

During lunch you will have the opportunity to network with representatives from different PA schools. So far we have SCCO, and Touro confirmed, stay tuned for more details! 

Organized by the: Coalition for the Advancement of the Physician Assistant Profession (CAPAP) 

Questions: become.a.pa@gmail.com 

Pre-PA talk at Cal State Fullerton's Student Health Profession Association (SHPA)

Today I got to speak with Cal State Fullerton's Student Health Profession Association and had a great time! I always enjoy talking about the PA profession and I hope I helped some people understand the application process a little better. Here are my slides from my presentation below:

If you have any questions please feel free to email or message me.

Thanks for the sweet mug!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

USC PA Program Information Session

On Tuesday March 8 (2011) a few fellow pre-PAs and myself attended the USC's PA Program Information Session. This is the third one I have been too, and it is interesting to see the changes the program has made over time. I really liked this information session because you get to sit in the same class room that you will hopefully be sitting in for a year as PA-S (PA student).

It was a fairly straight forward session. There were introductions (where you get to meet your competition! ;)) then Ms. Tramel goes through a power point which they give you a printed version.  She gives great tips that you should hear so GO to an information session!  You will also get an opportunity to ask any questions you may have which I believe is one of the best parts of any information sessions.

The opportunity to ask questions is often an applicants first opportunity to make a  GOOD first impression! That means when you attend these types of information sessions or preview day, be ready to set your best foot forward! Did you comb your hair? How did you dress? Like a future PA? Were you respectful? (even in the restroom?, yes you can make a strong first impression in the restroom!)

If you have questions about how to make a strong first impression at a information session or preview day or any opportunity to interact with people from a potential PA program, please comment or send me an email. aspiringpahelper@gmail.com

Keep reaching for your dream!

USC Information Sessions

USC PA Program Website

 (USC PA Class of 2014)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Ways to Pay for PA school

This is a list of websites/resources where you can learn about different ways to pay for PA school.  If you come up with any please post a comment.

You current schools financial aide office or if you are not in school contact the financial aide offices at the schools you are applying:  these places are a great place to start you search! This is their job, feel free to ask them questions, get the help you need and deserve!

Free Application for Federal Student Aide (FAFSA): I am sure every financial aide office will tell you to put in an application and hopefully you have already heard of this great resource! http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/   (Apply early!!!!)

National Health Services Corps:
Scholarship Programhttp://nhsc.hrsa.gov/scholarship/   (Sweat Deal- this is probably the best deal if you can get it!)
Loan Repayment Programhttp://nhsc.hrsa.gov/loanrepayment/  (If you plan on working in an underserved area, (which hopefully you are) this is a great opportunity)
Student/Resident Experiences and Rotations in Community Health (SEARCH) this program is state based. Please see website if your state is involved in this program. Also be sure to check with your PA program to see if they would allow you to do this type of rotation. http://nhsc.hrsa.gov/scholarships/educationaltrainingopportunities/

California Academy of Physician Assistants(CAPA):  offers three scholarships, but you must be a member to apply for the scholarships (and if you are applying to PA school in CA you should already know what this group is, and hopefully have some contact with the): http://www.capanet.org/students/scholarships/

American Academy of Physician Assistants: has many resources for PA students and Pre-PA.  If you are applying you should know about this very important organization. Here is a link to information about scholarships: http://www.aapa.org/your_pa_career/pa_students/resources/item.aspx?id=913#SCHOLARSHIPS_AND_TRAINEE_SHIPS
You should also explore the website: http://www.aapa.org/ 

For those of you that are in CA there is the Health Professions Education Foundation it has both scholarship and loan repayment programs. At this time it looks like the website has not been updated since 2011, but I would keep checking back because we all know PA school is not cheap! http://www.oshpd.ca.gov/HPEF/Schlrshp.html

If you have any other suggestions please share in the comment section!