Applicant Awareness & Enrichment Program AAEP. February Creating Diversity within Our Health Professions

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1 1 Applicant Awareness & Enrichment Program AAEP UT SOUTHWESTERN SCHOOL OF HEALTH PROFESSIONS Creating Diversity within Our Health Professions Diversity is always going to be an by issue [Article due Author] to the increasing differences in our population. With African Americans and Hispanics representing the majority of the Dallas population, it is imperative that their presence is visible in our health professions. This population needs health professions they relate to. However as you can imagine, there is an underrepresentation of these professionals in the field. The Applicant Awareness and Enrichment Program was created to promote diversity and increase the representation of African American and Hispanics within Physical Therapy (PT), Prosthetic/ Orthotics (PO), and Physician Assistant (PA) professions. Through this program we hope to raise awareness and increase the number of African Americans and Hispanics who apply to the UT Southwestern School of Health Profession s PT, PO, and PA programs. Each month we will explore these professions and highlight the successful Hispanics and African Americans within. February 2015 IN THIS ISSUE Making Impressions: Program Overviews UT Southwestern is ranked 8 th in the nation. This campus demonstrates a powerful blend of academic learning and hands-on clinical training. Page 2 Professional Profile: Meet Samone Chism, PA-C variety and versatility of the profession, is what s most rewarding about being a Physician Assistant Page 5 Preparing for a Medical Career. Working as a doctor is a truly exciting career. However, one of the most difficult parts of achieving it is getting into medical school. Page 8-9

2 2 Physical Therapy Role of a Physical Therapist: PTs are licensed health care professionals who specialize in rehabilitation, prevention and health maintenance. These professionals assist the injured by diagnosing and managing movement dysfunction, reducing pain and restoring mobility. PTs create personal relationships with their patients to enhance their physical and functional abilities by educating them on prevention and teaching them the proper management of their personal conditions. Physical therapy is a rewarding career that is offered in many settings, including schools, nursing homes, hospitals and clinics. 5 Qualities of an Excellent PT 1. Perpetual Students - Students seeking to learn more. 2. Critical Thinkers - PT s have the ability to examine the entire body and draw conclusion to restore it to optimal wellness. 3. Personal Experience - You have to be able to relate to your patients 4. Passion - Obvious enthusiasm about what you do. 5. Communication - Knowledge is power, only if you can effectively communicate it to your patient. AAEP Applicant Awareness & Enrichment Program DFW TX AHEC East 5323 Harry Hines Blvd. Dallas, TX After graduation candidates must pass a state-administered national exam. Other requirements for Physical Therapy practice vary from state to state. Educational Requirements A bachelor degree and the completion of the following courses are required with a C or better. Anatomy Physiology Biology I & II Chemistry I & II Math Physics I & II Psychology I & II Statistics Salaries (In Dallas Area) Bottom 10% $67,394 Median $79,412 Top 10% $91,604 cal-therapist-salary.html

3 3 Not only can you work with your hands, but you re able to share something with the patient, and to provide them with the device that s going to help them in their day-to-day lives. Nathan Sutti Educational Requirements A bachelor degree and the completion of the following courses are required with a C or better. Anatomy Physiology Biology Chemistry Math Psychology Statistics Physics SALARIES (IN DALLAS AREA) Bottom 10% $55,144 Median $74,449 Top 10% $93,712 Prosthetics/Orthotics Role of a Prosthetists/ Orthotist: Each Year thousands of people lose vital motor functions due to trauma and disease. When these limbs are lost, physicians prescribe prosthesis to take its place. Prosthetics are responsible for the creation and the fitting of these artificial limbs into their appropriate places. Prosthetic limbs help the patient function fully in daily activities. However, when injury and disease causes disability, orthotist design and fit orthoses that protect, strengthen and support existing extremities. These are usually seen on the back, neck, arms, and legs to increase stability. These braces help with the patients balance and allow them to move with ease. What makes a Good Candidate? Like any other career, this profession requires passion. A passion to make a difference every day, and a strong desire to improve the lives of others This is a hands-on profession that requires strong problem solving and interpersonal skills. S/PROSTHETIST-ORTHOTIST- SALARY.HTML

4 4 Physician Assistant Role of a Physician Assistant: Physician assistants are health care professionals licensed to practice medicine under a physician s supervision. As part of their comprehensive responsibilities, PAs take medical histories, conduct physical exams, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret tests, counsel on preventive health care, develop and implement treatment plans, assist in surgery, and prescribe medications. Within the physician PA relationship, physician assistants exercise autonomy in medical decision-making and provide a broad range of diagnostic and therapeutic services. A PA's practice may also include education, research, and administrative services. Goals within the Physician Assistant Department at UTSW: Exceed the U.S. national average first time pass rate on the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE) Provide student clinical education opportunities in diverse settings within medically underserved communities Demonstrate faculty excellence in all areas of academic scholarship (IN DALLAS AREA) Educational Requirements A bachelor degree and the completion of the following courses with a «c» or better required. Anatomy Physiology Microbiology General Chemistry Organic Chemistry College Algebra Psychology Genetics Salaries (in Dallas Area) Bottom 10% $78,962 Median $94,041 Top 10% $111,716 Assistant-Medical-salary.html

5 5 Professional Profile: Meet Samone Chism, PA-C Why did you choose this profession? for growth and advancement are endless. Samone knew she wanted a career in healthcare were the possibilities were numerous. Following the suggestion of her college guidance counselor she researched the roles of a Physician assistant. I asked Samone the following questions to better understand her personal journey as a PA. What are your job duties? I have recently transitioned into academia as an assistant professor and academic coordinator in the Department of Physician Assistant Studies at UT Southwestern Medical Center. My job description includes lecturer, student advisor and managing/overseeing the didactic curriculum. I continue to work as a clinician one day per week in an outpatient diabetic clinic I knew I wanted a career in healthcare and the possibilities were numerous. Following the suggestion of my college guidance counselor, I researched the roles of a physician assistant (PA). After learning the various specialties of practice available, opportunities to assist in surgery, expanding job market, autonomous direct patient care and competitive salary, I was intrigued. Then, learning a Masters in Physician Assistant Studies could be obtained in months, I was convinced What was your education path to this profession? While completing my Bachelor s degree in Health Policy, I worked as a phlebotomist to accumulate patient contact hours. I then transitioned directly into PA school What do you find most rewarding about your profession? When asked what is most rewarding about a career as a PA, I say the variety and versatility of the profession. The role of a PA can range from practicing autonomously in a rural clinic setting, to subspecialty team member at a level one medical center, to researcher/professor. Opportunities What advice would you give someone hoping to pursue this profession in the future? Research the profession and requirements for PA school early and maintain high academic standings while continuing to be a wellrounded member of the community. * PA-C indicates that Samone is certified. To maintain that "C" after "PA", a physician assistant must log 100 hours of continuing medical education every two years and take the recertification exam every six years

6 6 Get Me To Professional School: An Application Checklist Take the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) Begin completing primary and secondary application online. Submit as soon as possible Submit 3 letters of recommendation Submit GRE Scores Send Transcripts Pay application fee Prepare for Interview More Helpful Tips: 1. Identify people who inspire out and find out what makes them tick- what can you learn from them? 2. Learn to value networking- your fellow classmates may be eventual colleagues 3. Work in teams- learn to collaborate with your classmates 4. Get organizedprioritize, take initiative and budget wisely 5. Go into professional school with high expectations for yourself

7 7 Important Deadlines: APPLICANT AWARENESS & ENRICHMENT PROGRAM: AAEP Physician Assistant GRE scores are due by September 1 Application thru CASPA due September 1 Transcripts showing pre-requisites are due February 1 Prosthetics/ Orthotics OPCAS July 15 December 31 Physical Therapy 5323 Harry Hines Blvd. Dallas, Tx PTCAS July 1 November 1

8 8 Preparing for a Medical Career Working as a doctor is a truly exciting career. However, one of the most difficult parts of achieving it is getting into medical school. The application process can be challenging, exciting, invigorating, and, at times, frustrating. The more you know about the process, the better off you will be. Here are a few of the key areas you need to be aware of in order to make yourself a competitive candidate. One of the most important parts of being a competitive professional school applicant is passion. Passion means being able to answer the following question without any hesitation: Why do you want to go to medical school? Passion A career in medicine is a challenging journey. The hard work involved means you have to want to be a medical professional more than anything else at this point in your life. You must be willing to sacrifice other things in order to achieve this goal. Free time and time with family are often pushed aside in order to be totally dedicated to your education and to the profession that will be a part of you for the rest of your days. You must be highly motivated, have a heart for serving others, and be driven to succeed in this demanding vocation. Compassion and competition don t always go hand-in-hand, but you must have both of these characteristics if you are going to do well in medicine. If you don t have this kind of passion and driving force, you may want to consider an alternative career. Medicine is a long, hard road, but one that has tremendous benefits worth fighting for. After answering the why question above, you must also consider current medical school acceptance rates the competition is fierce. Although there is a shortage of doctors projected for the future, in ,665 of the 42,742 applications submitted to medical schools in the United States and Canada were admitted, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. That s about 43% of all applicants. Do your homework Before applying to medical or health professional school, you need to do some background work and field research. It is a good idea to talk with health care professionals and familiarize yourself the medical education process. Meeting and learning from those in med school and in practice will be invaluable to you. Current students can outline for you the challenges of medical school, while working professionals can give you a realistic picture of what happens when launching this type of career. Doing ample research about the medical profession and the application process is also particularly essential to your success. Perhaps the best source of information is the Association of American Medical Colleges ( This organization is designed to provide the most up-to-date info on medical schools in the United States and Canada. Reviewing the AAMC website and communicating with this organization will provide you with valuable information on medical schools, the application process, the different specializations in medicine, alternative careers in health care, and much more. Academic requirements and the MCAT Medical schools are, of course, looking for focused and motivated students who excel academically. A very high GPA is a standard expectation for potential students, but it is not the only consideration for medical school acceptance committees. Basic science and math courses are customary requirements, but medical schools are also looking for students who have a strong grasp of the humanities and social sciences, even a liberal arts background. That s because medical schools want well-rounded individuals. Thus, choosing a major that fits your personality and your areas of strength is a very good idea. You don t have to major in the basic sciences as long as you take the necessary med school pre-requisite courses; most medical schools require at least one year each of biology,

9 9 physics, and English, and two years of chemistry (including organic chemistry). Some medical schools may have additional expectations, so it is very important that you double-check requirements at the institutions where you plan to apply. In addition to science courses, you should take several math courses (preferably calculus-based), and be aware that admission officials look at overall transcripts to assess each individual s academic ability. Typically, admission committees want to see a pattern of consistency or improvement over time, so if you had one semester where your grades weren t as strong as you would have liked, you still have a chance to gain admittance if your academic performance shows consistency and improvement. A well-rounded academic and extracurricular profile will improve your chances of gaining admission to medical school. These institutions receive thousands of applications each year for a limited number of seats, so setting yourself apart academically is hugely significant in your potential for success. You should also become familiar with the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). This exam is designed to assess your skills in biological and physical sciences, as well as your ability to read, write, and interpret information. Preparing for the MCAT can involve a tremendous amount of time and money, so start doing your MCAT homework in the early stages of your search for medical schools. You are usually allowed to take the MCAT up to three times in one calendar year, and the test is offered regularly from January through September. A good MCAT score is an important piece of the puzzle to gaining acceptance to medical school. Volunteering Gaining experience in a health care setting is extremely important before you even begin the application process. This will allow you to get a better picture of the profession, and it demonstrates to medical schools that you have experience in the professional setting. Medical schools are in the business of training future doctors, so they want to know that you have prepared before arriving on campus. Volunteering in a local physician s office or at a clinic can prove to be very important for your future success. You may find that volunteering also helps narrow your focus on the area of medicine in which you may want to specialize. Spending time in a health care setting also allows you to see the realities of day-to-day medical practice in action. There are many things about being a doctor that can t be taught in medical school, so the more time you have in the clinical setting the better. Other health care options A very important step in this process is recognizing the other health care career options available for you. For example, dentistry, epidemiology, health care administration, occupational therapy, optometry, pharmacy, physical therapy, physician assistant, public health, speech pathology, and veterinary medicine are all excellent careers that should be explored and considered by anyone interested in health care. You already learned that more than 50% of medical school applicants are not admitted, and preparing for that reality is a necessary part of the process. Allied health careers provide excellent opportunities for motivated and driven students to succeed and become an integral part of the health care team. As medicine continues to specialize, these specific kinds of careers are going to become more and more important in the delivery of high-quality health care. Applying to medical school requires attention to detail, patience, perseverance, and assertiveness. Good luck as you pursue this path!

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