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Interviews...A Few Tips!

During my PA school application season, I received 9 interview offers. I only chose to attend 4, and got in to every program I interviewed at. I think I can shed a little light on the interview process and share a few good tips that have proven to be very helpful to me!

1. Dress Formally.I know you have probably read a million different opinions on what is appropriate, but I always try to play it as safe as possible. As a woman, I wore a full pant suit with a nice collared blouse underneath. If you wear a suit with a skirt PLEASE be sure to wear nylons underneath! No bare legs ladies! Men, please also wear a full suit. I will say that there is a lot of black out there so perhaps a slightly different color will make you stand out. I wore a dark navy suit with a neutral blouse and black shoes. If you are at all hesitant about what you are wearing and think it may be too flashy, go conservative!  It is much better to be more formal than underdressed and this is not the time to feel uncomf…

Clinical Pearls (2nd year PA school update)

I am in my second clinical rotation. I am in my second rotation?! It is really hard to believe. It is amazing how fast PA school has flown by. I can't believe it will be less than a year before I am working as a PA. I only just started my rotations, but I can say that this is the best way to learn. Didactic year is helpful, but disease and medications stick so much better in your mind when you actually get to see the patients yourself.

But boy do you get pushed out of your comfort zone....right away. My first rotation was orthopedics and the very first day I was scrubbed into surgery assisting the case. The second day I was suturing hands by myself from Carpal tunnel releases in the OR.  The third day I was assisting total knee replacements. It was a little scary but it was SO COOL. I felt very blessed to have the opportunities I have had so far. I am sure I can speak more on clinical year once I have had more experience but here is what I have learned so far!

1. Say YES. Every tim…

Meeting Dr. Harvey Estes

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I had the unique opportunity to be apart of the 50th anniversary celebration at Duke University  (therefore the 50th anniversary of the PA profession) and meet one of the founding fathers of the profession, Dr. Harvey Estes.

It was such an honor to be in the presence of so many influential PAs and members of the very first PA classes at Duke. It only further instilled in me that this profession is one of the future. It is one that truly cares about the community it serves and is dedicated to extending health care to those who have no access to it. If you are not aware of the history of this profession, here is a quick overview of how it all began!

The first PA class graduated Duke University in 1967 with three former Navy medical corpsman. These talented and knowledgeable men returned from war, and this was an opportunity to put their skills to use back home. The profession was created by Dr. Eugene Stead, but the program at Duke was taken over by Dr. Harvey Estes in 1967. He was a h…

PA School Update!

Wow.

I have not written a post in a while...mainly because I started PA school and I honestly have not had time for anything else. It is a crazy whirlwind and I sometimes I feel like I can barely stay afloat. That being said, it is one of the most amazing and exciting experiences of my life. After only a month, it has pushed me in ways that I never thought possible. I can't wait for you all to experience it!

I know most of you are in the process of finishing up those supplementals and preparing for your interviews. Hang in there! Stick with it and give it all you got. It will pay off in the end.

If you are interested in what life in PA school is really like, here are a few things I have learned so far:

1. I Know Nothing. But really...I have so much to learn and can't imagine how I will ever be ready for clinicals in just a year. Also incredible is how much I have learned in the short amount of time I have been here. I always have to remind myself to put trust in my program. It…

Supplemental Application Tips!

Well hello there future PAs!

I realize that I have been away from my blog for more than a month, but I have an excuse I promise! I have been traveling and preparing my big move for PA school..in just two short weeks! Needless to say, I have had a lot on my mind but have been wanting to write this blog post for a while. Some of you are still working on your CASPA applications, but others have already moved onto the next phase...the supplemental applications. These are often overlooked, quickly filled out and sent in, however I believe they are an essential part to your overall application.

Not all programs require a supplemental application, and they vary greatly from program to program. Some are just a quick re-entry of information with maybe a short question or two, others are very lengthy requiring several well-written statements. They will take you several days and even weeks to complete so please plan accordingly!

Depending on what your supplemental applications look like, here ar…

A Day in the Life Post #2

For a bit of inspiration while you are all furiously filling out those applications, I excited to share with you this second "Day in the Life" post. Joelle Schlepp, PA-C was kind enough to allow me to share some of her experiences as a PA, and the process/experience of PA school itself. She is very special to me because she has been so available to answer my questions over the years. She currently works at the Los Angeles Christian Health Clinic, and attended PA school at Midwestern University in Downers Grove. Here are her answers to a few questions I had!
Me: How did your decision to apply to PA school come about?
Joelle: I actually decided to apply to PA school in June after my junior year of college. I had planned on being a Physical Therapist throughout undergrad, but I majored in Biology in case I changed my mind. I actually applied to both PT and PA school the summer before my senior year of college. Since I worked as a PT Aide for 3 summers during college, I had enough…

My Application Timeline

Hello future PAs!

First off, I apologize for not writing in a while! I have been busy with all the planning that comes with getting ready to start PA school in just 3 months! That is right....3 months from now I will finally be beginning the next phase in my journey to becoming a PA. I am excited, nervous, and honestly a bit overwhelmed with everything that is going on right now.  With that said, I am constantly reminded of how grateful I am for this opportunity.

I have been planning a lot more to come on this blog, so expect to see more helpful blog entries as you move into the thick of application season. I also plan to continue blogging while in school and will try to provide tips and updates as best as I can. However even if I take a break from posting, I am ALWAYS available for advice at: fortheloveofpa@gmail.com

Based off the questions I have been getting about my own personal application timeline, I decided that I would post a timeline of each step of the application process as…

HAPPY CASPA!! (PS it opens tomorrow April 23!!)

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The CASPA is the central application for applying to most Physician Assistant programs. Usually this application is utilized as your "primary" application and most schools send you a "secondary/supplemental" application after your CASPA submission. Some schools do not use the CASPA, but the majority do. CASPA is the first step of your application season and it is not an easy task. PLEASE plan ahead to be working on this for a while. It is not something you should be finishing in one day!

You can find more information at the CASPA website: https://caspa.liaisoncas.com/applicant-ux/#/login

Here are some great tips to remember when working on your CASPA application:
1. Log It. Months and even years before you plan to apply to PA programs, be sure to make notes and records of EVERYTHING. Write down dates/times/hours/key contacts of your shadowing experiences, volunteer hours, clinical experiences (paid or non-paid), possible letter of recommendation ideas and contacts, …