Monday, April 9, 2012

Choosing the right Physician Assistant school

I just wrote a guest post for one of my favorite physician assistant students sites, mypatraining.com, on choosing the best physician assistant program for your needs, so it seems a good time to let everyone know which physician assistant school I have chosen.

Daemen College in Amherst, NY
Daemen College

I will be attending Daemen College's physician assistant program starting this fall.  This seems like a good fit for me.

Their reputation in Western New York is excellent.  Physician assistants I have shadowed with and their supervising MDs have had only good things to say about Daemen and their graduates.  I have attended several WNYPAA meetings and events, met current students and faculty who all seemed like people I would enjoy working and learning with.

Non-traditional student

I am a non-traditional student with a diverse background in healthcare, education and business.  (Some schools seemed to look at my extensive and varied background as an advantage and some as a disadvantage.) 
As such, I really worked hard at my application process for a few reasons:

  1. Firstly, because it was so incredibly important to me that I get into PA school.
  2. I felt that I needed to level the playing field for myself.
  3. But I found that the more I worked at it, the more I explored, read, researched and networked with people, the more I learned and became a better candidate.
Finding a voice and a mentor:

On my path to PA school, I decided to leave nothing to chance.  I made every possible effort to make sure I would be favorably received as a candidate.
I became an avid reader of JAAPA, a student member of AAPA, as well as my state and local PA organizations, attended meetings and generally soaked up everything PA.

Along the way, I found a mentor, new friends and a voice for myself.  I learned the value of Twitter.  And I even learned some interviewing lessons--see my post on interviewing while sick to follow some of my recent travails.

So, in a way, I am saying good bye to that stage of my process and getting ready to open the door to my new stage -- starting physician assistant school in the fall at Daemen College.  Can't wait!

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