Do you know what classes students took in advance?
Pathophys, assessment, social policy (N540), pharm (N508), research. there's an "acute care" class & a pain class (required for anesthesia)... those two are the only ones i'm not sure on. but, i think the others will keep you occupied!!
Do you believe the program was priced at value?
very difficult to answer. i could have gone to any other CRNA school, paid less, and still graduated and passed boards. once you've graduated, NO ONE cares where you went to school. that being said, i had some really good clinical experiences that made me very prepared in my practice. hard to say if they were better than anyone else's because i have nothing to compare them with. i can say that i felt very prepared (but still scared ********) the first couple of months as a CRNA. my current employer seems to think i was prepared.
that being said, was it worth 90K?!? Looking at my monthly student loan payments now, I'd say maybe not. i have friends who paid less tuition and are/were still prepared when they graduated. UPENN is a good school, but it's all about the Ivy League name... and it shows in everything they do...
do i think it's a good school? absolutely. i had some fantastic clinical experiences (i'm a clinical learner, so that was SUPER important to me). i was taught by people who wrote the textbooks. could i get a similar/cheaper education elsewhere? probably.... but without the "big names." weigh the pros/cons for yourself. if you're a clinical learner like me, it just might be worth the experience.
Were you originally from the PA area, and if not, did you find relocating difficult? What area did you live in and were rent prices reasonable?
I'm originally from UT, moved to PA for school only. Moved back west the day after graduation. I found that I have west-coast mentality. A little more relaxed and friendly out here.
Of course it was difficult to relocate that far. I had one trip to PA to find an apt and got stood up by the real estate agent. Welcome to the world of great customer service (can you sense the sarcasm?) I found something online that I didn't lay eyes on until I got there with my uhaul full of stuff. It wasn't great, but the rent was cheap (relatively speaking), so I stayed for 2 years (besides, I didn't want to move again, so I sucked it up!) I lived on the border of University City and West Philly (don't go much farther west than 44th)... 6 blocks from UPENN. Rent prices varied. Studio apt in my bldg for appx $400/month, my one bedroom was $825. The closer to center city you got, the more $$$ you paid. You can find something in any price range... just depends on what amenities you can live with/without.
Did you find the program generally organized?
LOL. Yeah. We got syllabi at the beginning of each semester, but it tended to change... as with anything. Speakers rescheduled, etc. It felt like organized chaos. I think it was just overwhelming. I'm glad I did a 24-month program, but something I discovered at the time: it's really a 27-month program without the breaks!!
Lastly, as far as review packets & syllabi... You don't really want the syllabi. It's just a "calendar of events". Read this. Turn in this paper on this day. Etc...
Yes, I have review material. Once I'm an "official" member, I can send it to you. However, all the info you seek is in the "M&M" book I referenced earlier... Clinical Anesthesiology/Morgan, Mikhail, & Murray.