:: eye of the storm ::

About Me

A 27-year-old PA student who wants to visit all seven continents, write a book, work at a pediatric clinic in Africa, and basically meet as many of the world's challenges as possible.

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current mood:
current mood

Life List

(already accomplished)

Become a PA

Visit all 7 continents

Take a SwimTrek trip

Bike through Western Europe

Raft the Grand Canyon

Improve my Spanish proficiency

Go on safari in Africa

Trace my roots at Ellis Island

Vacation in Hawaii

Work on a hospital ship in a Third World country

Celebrate New Year's in Times Square

Visit all 50 states (29 to go: AK, AZ, AR, CA, CO, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, MI, MN, MO, MT, NE, NV, NM, ND, OK, OR, RI, SD, TX, UT, VT, WA, WV, WI, WY)

See the ruins at Pompeii

Swim in Capri's Blue Grotto

Tour Mt. Vesuvius

Throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain

Tour the Colosseum

Visit the D-Day beaches

See the Mona Lisa

Visit the palace at Versailles

See the Acropolis and Parthenon

See the Egyptian pyramids

Hike the Inca Trail

Walk El Camino Santiago

Take an Alaskan cruise

View the Taj Mahal at sunrise

Hike Table Mountain in South Africa

Climb through the Amazon canopy

Walk at least part of the Great Wall of China

Get laser hair removal

Learn to surf, ski, and snowboard

Learn to drive a stick-shift

Learn to play the piano

Go on a tropical cruise

Ride horseback on the beach

Ride in a hot air balloon

Get tickets to the Olympics

Go to adult Space Camp

Witness a shuttle launch from up close

Build a full-sized snowman

Sew a quilt out of my old race T-shirts

Update and continue my Life Scrapbook

Become the oldest person to ever do the River Run

Live to be a happy, healthy 100 years old - at least!

(unlikely dreams)

dinsdag 18 augustus 2009

I've been using the factors that are most important to me and drawing up a "PA Program Comparison Chart" in Numbers (the new Excel-like program that I got with this new computer), just to try to get all the details down on paper in one spot rather than scattered throughout five different websites. Too bad I can't paste the (nice, neat, beautiful) chart onto the blog, but in plain English, here's what I've come up with so far. Please weigh in (in the comments section), because I really need some outside opinions!

DUKE: Perks include the school's great reputation, the fact that it's located here where I already live, the option to do an international rotation, the fact that they have a club swim team, and the dress code of "smart casual" (meaning presentable, but not overly dressy). The only real drawback is that I wouldn't be allowed to use my shiny new Mac. Tuition would be around 57k, and the cost of living is moderate.

PACIFIC: I love the fact that it's a small private school with a lot of focus on its place in the international community; my linguistic skills would be highly valued and I'd be able to do a rotation practically anywhere, from Kenya to Australia to Mexico. We'd be on the brand-new Health Professions campus (accessible within a few minutes by *train* from Portland), I'd be able to use my Mac, and the tuition rate is actually the second-lowest of all my options, only around 54k. Drawbacks include the lack of a club swim team, the required "professional" daily dress code, and the fact that the school is in Oregon (...though that's actually kind of exciting, too).

MEDICAL U: This is the most expensive school, with tuition of 74k, a very high cost of living, and a rotten parking situation. There's also no swim team. On the plus side, the beach is ten minutes away, Macs are allowed (even encouraged -- their entire library uses the Mac platform), rotations abroad are available, and there is no dress code (hello, flip-flops!). It's also a large, fun city, right in between Raleigh and Jacksonville, with lots of options for L to get a job.

UNIV OF FL: The tuition would be ridiculous as an out-of-stater (75k) but the cost of living is relatively low, and this is a town I'm familiar with and like a lot. They do have a club swim team (as I know from personal experience!), Macs are permitted, they use full cadavers in their dissections (which almost no schools do), and the dress code is royal blue scrubs. No international rotations, though (which is a bit surprising, considering the strength of their study-abroad department).

ECU: This is far and away the cheapest option, with tuition of only 18k and a low cost of living. I'd most likely be living in a fantastic apartment complex right across the street from the health sciences building, so the two mainstays of my weekday would be within a football field of one another. I'd be able to use my Mac, and there is a club swim team. The downside is that this school is quite limited with regard to what it can offer -- all rotations are in the state of NC (so don't even think about trying to go abroad) and there isn't even a choose-your-own-elective included in the rotation list, as there is at almost every other school. It's a solid program, and I admit that it's kind of 'pulling' me, but the only real reason to choose it over the others in this list would be the cost... and I haven't yet decided how important a factor that is to me.

At the moment, having only visited Duke, MUSC, and ECU, I can't say exactly what my preferred ranking is. It depends on the gut feeling I get from the remaining two schools and whether or not any of the five offer me money. Though I gotta say, UF is really impressing me so far with its degree of communication, clarity, and preparedness for the interview (which is in two weeks!). I haven't heard a darn thing from Pacific or Duke since I submitted my application two months ago.

As far as easy decision-making, worst-case scenarios would include all five schools accepting me but nobody giving me any money, or some sort of in-between, like Duke accepting me with no aid and ECU and UF both offering me full rides (I don't think that's a common occurrence in PA school, but if it's going to happen, those would be the schools for it). That would make for a really, really hard decision.

Any other opinions, comments, ideas? Please leave comments -- I really need some input.

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