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  • mandrew1
    mandrew1
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    Competitive Applicant Stats

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    What are my chances?

     

    A frequently asked question on the PA Forum (physicianassistantforum.com) is, “What are my chances…” The applicant will usually post their GPA, GRE scores, medical experience, volunteer work, etc, and throw it out to the Forum for feedback.

     

    I think the real question being asked should be, “Am I a competitive applicant based on my statistics?” I say this because nobody can possibly tell you what your chances of getting accepted to PA school are without reading your essay and assessing your interview skills.

     

    However, for those of you who would like to know where your academic scores and health care experience compare to 2015 first-year accepted students, I am including some statistics taken from the 2015 Annual report on Physician Assistant Educational Programs in the United States. The report can be found on the Physician Assistant Education Association’s (PAEA) website at paeaonline.org.

     

    FIRST-YEAR CLASS: GRADE POINT AVERAGES

     

    GPA CATEGORY

    M

    SD

    Mdn

    n(P)

    Overall Undergraduate

    3.52

    0.14

    3.52

    176

    Undergraduate Science

    3.47

    0.16

    3.49

    163

    CASPA Biology, Chemistry, Physics (BCP)

    3.42

    0.17

    3.45

    84

    Undergraduate non-science

    3.54

    0.20

    3.59

    88

     

     

    FIRST-YEAR CLASS: GRE SCORES

     

    GRE SCORES

    M

    SD

    Mdn

    n(P)

    Verbal Reasoning

    152.2

    5.32

    153

    59

    Quantitative Reasoning

    152

    3.68

    152

    55

    Analytical Writing

    3.9

    0.28

    4.0

    50

     

     

    NOTE: Mean (M) is the average of data values, standard deviation (SD) is the amount of deviation from a set of data values, median (Mdn) is the midpoint of data values (half above and half below), and n(P) is the number of PA programs participating.

     

    AVERAGE HEALTH-CARE EXPERIENCE HOURS OF MATRICULATING STUDENTS

     

    Health-Care Experience

    M

    SD

    Mdn

    n(P)

    Patient contact experience

    3,100

    3,006

    2,325

    89

    Other health-care experience

    1,014

    943

    713

    30

    Other work experience

    2,001

    1.771

    1,500

    21

    Community service

    425

    480

    270

    32

    Shadowing

    144

    204

    88

    45

     

     

    MEDICAL EXPERIENCE STATISTICS FOR PA APPLICANTS

     

    Worked in health-care before applying to PA school

    79%

    Worked less than one year or not at all in a health-care field

    27%

    Worked more than nine years in a health-care field

    10%

    Worked less than one year or not at all in a health-care field with direct patient contact

    35%

    Previously worked as a medical assistant

    17%

    Previously worked as an EMT/Paramedic

    9%

    Worked as a phlebotomist

    9%

    Worked as an emergency room technician

    8%

    Worked in medical re caption/records

    7%

    Worked as a nurse

    8%

    Worked as an athletic trainer

    6%

    Reported “other” as previous health care experience

    45%

     

    NOTE: Respondents were permitted to indicate multiple previous health-care fields, thus the sum of all fields exceeds 100 percent.

     

    AGE RELATED STATISTICS

     

    First Year Class: Age

    M

    SD

    Mdn

    n(P)

    Age of first-year PA student

    26.1

    2.51

    26

    170

    Age of youngest first-year PA student

    21.4

    1.23

    21.0

    168

    Age of oldest first-year PA student

    44.1

    7.57

    44.0

    168

     

     

    Since these numbers are from actual, first-year students, you now have an idea of what (stats) make up a competitive applicant.

     

    For some of you who may be discouraged by these numbers, remember that half of the students are above the median (Mdn) and half are below the median numbers.

     

    I think a great essay can make for a compelling case as to why you should receive an interview, even if your stats are less than optimal. Additionally, if you make it to the interview, it will be up to you do your homework and present yourself as a likeable, credible, and trustworthy person in order to score high and get an acceptance letter.

     

    If you have any further questions, please feel free to email me at andyrodican@gmail.com, and/or visit my website at andrewrodican.com.

     

    Regards,

     

     

    Andrew J. Rodican, PA-C

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