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zoopeda last won the day on April 6 2015

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  1. In my experience, every program is different and prioritizes different attributes. If I were you, I would call each program from which you got rejected and explain how you're still motivated but ask for advice on how each program thinks you ought to improve. You are planning a medical mission. Does your dream school value that? You are proud of your post-bac sGPA. Is that adequate for the school you want to attend? I think your plan above looks very strong. I also think schools take a second look at applicants who hang in there for a second cycle, admiring the dedication. And, finally, above all, I think that if your application is weak in one area, it really needs to be exceptionally strong in another area. I say this as a guy who graduated undergrad with a 2.99. I ended up with something like a 3.3 or 3.4 cGPA and 3.7 sGPA 10 years later. None of that is mind-blowingly impressive, but I did get a masters degree and practice Chinese medicine for a while. Suddenly interview offers are coming out of the woodwork with, what was ultimately, a lackluster GPA. It IS possible! But you have got to call the admissions director of each school, really connect with that person in a genuine way over time, and find out what your key schools are looking for. You mentioned Oregon. Definitely take a close look at Pacific Uni. I interviewed out there and was VERY impressed by their program (and that they, more than others, really seem to value grad trends over cumulative GPA). I ended up heading out east but would have been happy to attend PU. Good luck, and let us know how it goes. Stick with it. This lackluster undergrad finished PA school in May! It can be done!
  2. Your age is not an issue. I turned 36 today and am in my 2nd year of PA school. Getting your GPA up from a 2.7, on the other hand, is going to take significant time and effort. Don't be discouraged. I had an initial undergrad GPA of 3.0 and got accepted to 3 PA programs first time applying. That said, I got a Masters degree in between and scored near 4.0 on YEARS worth of science pre-reqs in between undergrad and PA application in order to have a solid recent GPA and much improved overall. There's always someone in most programs who gets in with a 3.0. Usually those candidates have tremendous other qualities (20,000 patient care hours or foreign MD program graduate etc). But it CAN be done if you have the time, energy, and aptitude to make it happen. Good luck!!
  3. Really? Our financial aid person told us otherwise. That would be a big deal...
  4. Agreed. It's the person who lives near poverty to work for a non-profit for 10 years who really gets screwed over in taxes come forgiveness time.
  5. Big thumbs up. Couldn't agree more. It's true. Relations between PCPs and CAM providers is very sour--on both sides. It's sad to see an ND slander a PCP, but the fact is, we make blunders in allopathic medicine every day. We can only work to better our own practices to better serve the patients that come to us. There's a reason some patients are fleeing to alternative medicine, and that's not how it should be. On the other hand, I do think the more we embrace the strengths of legitimate (i.e., licensed) NDs and other providers (DCs, LAcs, etc), the more we ultimately serve our patients in the long run. There are unprofessional jerks on the CAM side, just as there are on the allopathic side. But there are hard-working, competent, open-minded individuals on both sides as well. My ultimate goal for NDs, in general, is not for their model to take over medicine but for an open, respectful conversation to occur between CAM--allopathic--and patient.
  6. Dudes, what's with the smears? According to his acupuncturist and a full investigation by the CA board of med, the acupuncturist tried to convince him to seek conventional care until she was blue in the face. You can lead a horse to water... This is another very distracting post. You can't blame an LAc for Steve Jobs' death simply because he chose to visit an acupuncturist. He chose not to seek conventional care. There was no malpractice involved. Period. Not to mention, yet again, this example doesn't even pertain to naturopaths.
  7. To be clear, this person is not (and never was) a Naturopathic Doctor (N.D.). Not sure the point of this post, but I just wanted to clarify that, according to the article, he never graduated from an accredited ND school, never passed his national boards, never received a license from the state (since FL does not even license NDs), and apparently called himself "Dr" based on his PhD. Obviously, this guy's a fraud. This article has nothing to do with the above conversation.
  8. If they are currently wrapping up interviews, that means they kept you under consideration for the last several months. Some people get rejected more quickly. Unless somehow you've been forgotten, I'd say it's a good sign that you didn't get a rejection letter. Now that interviews are winding down, I imagine letters will soon go out to the remaining applicants. It's a tough process--almost as tough as being in PA school! But that you were carefully considered means your application must have some strength. Keep your chin up, and prepare to apply again. Caryn and Chris are wonderful and will likely assist you should you decide to reapply. Best of luck on your road ahead.
  9. The undergrad GPA includes grades from any coursework taken as an undergrad--either before or after graduation (i.e. pre-reqs you might take years after graduation are still considered as a part of your undergrad GPA.) PSU definitely looks at cumulative & science GPAs as well as grade trends. Of all the schools I applied to, they seemed to spend the most time analyzing my entire application and getting to know me as an individual. But as far as stats go, check out the webpage. Minimums, averages, and ranges (all on the chart on this page) are all you need to compare with your profile. (Remember, these averages and ranges are for ACCEPTED, matriculated students to each class.) http://www.pennstatehershey.org/web/educationalaffairs/paprogram/prospectivestudents As far as minimums go, click the Admission Requirements tab to see: "For admissions consideration, an applicant should ordinarily have the following admission requirements: at least an overall undergraduate GPA of 3.0; at least a required science GPA of 3.0; health care experience of 500 hours (paid or volunteer); If you look at the range of accepted applicants, you will see that these are the bare minimum numbers needed for acceptance. Good luck!
  10. In other words, if you are admitted to a provisionally accredited graduate PA program, your class is guaranteed a chance to finish coursework/graduate and sit for the PANCE -- even if accreditation is revoked after matriculation. i.e., If ARC-PA were to revoke accreditation tomorrow, we first years would all still graduate, sit for the PANCE, and become PAs. That said, Penn State is already accredited with a medical school, which helps immensely. There are a million reasons why we won't be denied full accreditation next year (which Chris or Caryn could elaborate on). Bottom line, choose the program you KNOW is going to give you the best training, get that training, and become a licensed PA. Once you're accepted, you realize this issue matters very little in terms of your career goals. Good luck!
  11. These are really good points. Anatomy from a PhD and anatomy from a clinician (PA or MD) will be two different experiences. One will be academically focused, and the other with a clinical focus (with overlap, of course). I actually primarily take anatomy with a PA teacher who is amazing. (And we have certain modules with a PhD anatomist who is very much into lecturing at length on the anatomical minutia.) A big part of our primary clinical anatomy class includes imaging and clinical cases in addition to the cadaver dissection. It's really helpful if you know how you learn and know which focus you are looking for. Educational philosophy will also vary from program to program. This insight from Drexel indicates that 5% of each class will fail (and potentially repeat) anatomy. Other schools have a lower fail rate for anatomy. Are students at those schools learning less or becoming lower quality practitioners once they're licensed? Good question; I'm not sure I have the answer. I do know that anatomy plays a very small role in the PANCE exam, and appears almost exclusively as clinical application questions, surgical scenarios, ortho tests, etc. I also know it's very stressful to fail a class in PA school and potentially very very expensive. If we can assume both types of program put out comparable clinicians, I think the choice is a no-brainer. But others will certainly have a different take. Personally, given the insane acceptance rates into PA school, I like to think the application process IS the weed out process and that 99.9% of those who make it through all those hoops are clearly smart enough to learn medicine with the right teaching. If a student makes it into a competitive program, works his or her butt off, completes all assignments, is in regular contact with faculty and classmates, and still fails to learn the material well enough to pass the final exam, in my opinion, the school has failed that student. On the other hand, you will definitely meet those of another opinion who feel the pressure of a "weed out" course in PA school is an excellent motivator that gets students working harder and learning more. Ultimately, if you are in the fortunate position to make a choice, you should weigh all of these factors in the context of your learning style and strengths as a student who obviously has a proven track record of success. No one on this forum can make the decision for you, of course. We can only voice differing opinions that might help you think it through. Good luck. Given your options, you already have a very good chance of becoming a PA-C!!
  12. It's true that Chris took her admissions director and most senior faculty (i.e. nine credits of Clinical Medicine and 2 credits of anatomy every semester) with her to Penn State when she left DeSales. I would imagine being told your program was going to at least double in 2 years could have an impact on the way you run your program. Seems reasonable to think that could affect the decision to leave. Perhaps a question to ask her directly, if it comes to it.
  13. There's a whole thread on "Where did Chris go?" in the DeSales forum. Long story short, she left to start the Penn State program. I'm in my first year at Penn State and will be part of her second class to graduate. Chris is a FORCE anywhere she goes, and any program suffers to lose her and is psyched to have her. I'm not sure enough time has passed to see the long-term effect on the DeSales PANCE score, but I do know that DeSales also used to win the challenge bowl (basically medical trivia competition) every year--something they are no longer known for. I also know that Chris' real claim to fame is not only the highest consistent (i.e. 12-year 100%) PANCE pass rate in the country (at DeSales) but ALSO her consistent near-zero academic-attrition rate during that time. One very sneaky way some schools keep their attrition rates down is by asking students to withdraw--a move that mutually benefits the student's and school's records. (i.e., a school could be on the brink of "failing out" 10 students in a class of 50, ask them all to either repeat the year (thus keeping them in the program) or to withdraw (thus not reported as failing out). Fail-out rate remains zero, and the school doesn't risk their PANCE pass rates by putting their weakest students up to the test.) For this reason, you really can't trust the attrition rates a school puts in front of you on interview day. I have no idea is either of the two schools you're considering are guilty of these types of tactics, but I did learn about such games from Chris directly. She prides herself on hardly ever failing a student out yet maintaining 100% pass rates. I literally cancelled my Drexel interview because when I grilled them on the "how many students are forced into the 3-year track or fail out per year" they became very evasive and eventually refused to give me those numbers. Also, last I checked, their PA program was within the school of nursing, which seemed weird, professionally. Likewise, after my DeSales interview, I learned of several students in the last class who left suddenly or dropped to a slower track. I have not followed up with them, and perhaps they're back in their seats and completing the program. All I can say is at least apply to Penn State to see how all three schools compare. PSU is actively reviewing apps and interviewing through winter (late schedule for them). Call the admissions director to confirm this, and feel free to message me for details. They are three very different schools. One of them will call to you. Drexel is very well established with an impressive inner city rotation network. DeSales sits on a massive hospital network and foundation Chris built for them, as does Penn State at the Hershey Med Center. There are pros and cons to every school. Figure out what you want in a school and which schools offer that. Ask very specific questions of current students once you're accepted. You certainly are fortunate to have a choice; good luck!!
  14. Oh man, posted that over a year ago before I matched a school. How time flies. I've since taken a seat at Chris' new Penn State program; started in May. Happy to report we just won the state challenge bowl in Erie, PA. Final round score 100 to 20! Not to rub it in, but super exciting!!!
  15. Did these "naturopaths" graduate from an accredited ND program and go on to pass boards and attain licensure in the state in which they're practicing? If not, you might as well delete your comment. If so, two things are possible: 1) There's more to the story than what was presented here, or 2) One or both of these people are committing malpractice and will end up in court and/or losing a license should these diseases run the course you're implying they will (and, God-willing, no one will suffer or die as a result). An interesting coupe of anecdotes, for sure. Let us know how the reality of these two scenarios pan out. Maybe they are glaring examples of what's wrong with allowing NDs to practice, or maybe they are carefully-presented fodder for the obvious majority opinion on this thread. No sarcasm implied; I truly wonder which of these scenarios is most accurate... I do think, as one last point, that if we're going to hold NDs to a baseline standard of "Do No Harm," it better be the same standard as for other mainstream providers. You'd be hard pressed to find proof that NDs are killing as many (by %) of their patients due to error or negligence than are conventional mainstream providers.
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