Podcast Episode 014–

Question and Answer#2: New Grad Questions!

Got Questions?

Episode 014–New Grad Questions (and one starting school) Submitted by YOU

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Everyone Has Questions!  New Grad Q&A and a stellar question about starting school…

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THANKS for the questions–Great questions all!

Salary vs. RVUs: 2:28

Some of my classmates have worked out compensation using RVUs, but all the jobs I’ve interviewed for discuss Salary. What’s the difference between RVUs and plain Salary? -Sally

  • RVU: Relative Value Units
  • Medicare uses it as a reimbursement figure
  • It’s a way to track and reward productivity (they’re collecting RVUs for the physicians anyway)
  • RVU is an RVU, regardless of who provides it (PA vs. MD).
  • The REIMBURSEMENT TO THE PRACTICE for that RVU might change if it cannot be billed under Incident To criteria.





7:55 I’ve interviewed for a few jobs, but none of them pay what I want. How do I get the most money out of my first job? -Seth

  • Don’t go after $$$–it will never be enough. Many jobs are highly paid because: hours, quality of location, or personnel.
  • First job: get experience, prove you’re valuable (quick learner, teachable) refine bedside manner, procedural skills, and build knowledge base.
  • Find what you LIKE, be willing to accept a little lower salary with a review after a year (with specific adjustments—percentage of base, dollar amount, etc)


11:28 Hi Chris; I’m about to accept a job, but my (potentially) new employer didn’t offer me a contract—is that weird? -Katie

  • Many places only give you an offer letter; get as much in writing as possible: salary, cme, vacation time, terms of employment (start date, amount of notice given).
  • Sometimes contracts can be quite restrictive

13:59 Should I go to residency? -Brian

Pros: additional training, more competitive applicant to competitive jobs, open eyes to working at the top of your license

Cons: Potential employers could feel you’re “pigeon-holed” in that area, no additional legal autonomy than masters or doctorates, Similar training as you’d get on the job, sometimes “overqualified” depending on where you go.


From Stephen at PA Life: https://www.paschoolfinder.com/cat/postgraduate-pa-residency-program/

Robens–Starting School:

Hey Chris, Love the podcast. I am starting PA school in a few days now. I would love if you could provide some useful nuggets on pitfalls to avoid during school and some advice on how to not just survive, but flourish the next two years.

Three main “themes” to follow (in my opinion) during PA school:

  1. Don’t just study for the test. I was guilty of this in undergrad and PA school, but it usually works ok in undergrad, not so much in PA school. Remember you’re in a professional training program teaching you all the practical information needed to be a PA. If you only study the “most commons” and memorize lists, you’ll do fine on the test but will struggle some on rotations. Study to understand the information—from physical exam techniques to clinical medicine, pathophysiology, etc…seek to understand the disease process. A lot of people study until they know the material and can identify the correct answer on a test; others study it until they can explain it to a non-medical person in terms they can understand. Be the latter of the two.
  2. PLAN AHEAD. Don’t cram the night before the test because you were making a presentation for the week prior. Make a big master calendar and seek to start studying days before the tests. A little studying every day for tests with time for projects woven in between will keep things even.
  3. Don’t forget to have a life. Yes, it’s harder than college because information is coming faster and in higher volume, but it’s also much more practical so it doesn’t seem as daunting (eventually). What a lot of people do is get overwhelmed by the volume of information and they forget to walk away from it sometimes. Don’t be afraid to make some dedicated time to close the books and enjoy life a little. You’ll actually retain more information if your time has some balance to it; if you’re nose deep in a book at all times you’ll get fried quick.

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Ok, ok…that’s all!  Thanks for coming by…I appreciate it!






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