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:

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:

  • 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 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"!
  •  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) 


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!