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  1. Did you know right away after Shadowing, PA was the right fit for you? 100%? Or did it take a few settings and time to find out where you envisioned your dream specialization. I knew (even before shadowing!) that PA was the right fit for me. I think that is something that you have to determine yourself. Ask yourself: why not MD? DO? RN/NP? PT? Some times ruling out why other specialties are not a good fit for you can clarify why PA may be the right path. And before, during, and even after PA school I don't have a "dream specialization." So I wouldn't worry too much about that. Is it realistic to think I could eventually become a PA and get away from more of the 9-5 office setting? Something more fast paced and maybe shift work? Hospitalist and ER positions can be fast paced and pretty well-paying. Surgery can also be more varied; a few days in clinic and a couple days OR to break up the monotony. I believe the area where the clinic was located (in the ghetto) and demographic sort of played into the experience, is that a tale tell sign I could be wrong for the profession? I would encourage you to be open minded about the demographic situation. You don't know what school you'll get into, what rotation locations they have set up, etc. And you may find yourself changing your mind after interacting with patients. You definitely need to get some patient care experience - medicine can be gross: vomit, blood, diarrhea, necrosis, bugs, things that ooze and smell. So the question will be do you not like patient care, or do you not like touching "sick" patients. If it's the former, you could do research or medical sales without needing the PA degree. If it's the later, maybe consider psych or another specialty.
  2. Hey! Are you still reading and critiquing personal statements? I'd love to have some feedback, Thanks.  

  3. Thanks for the input! And I do get what you're saying abt the baby thing. Although part of me also thinks listing accomplishments is really subjective. Who am I to say that what one person deems an accomplishment is not one by my standards. I guess it's all relative. How the person frames it. If you have a mother that says having children was b/c for years and years she has tried, with miscarriages and whatnot, and there was an emotional connection and passion-driven words, I would applaud that. Where as if I heard another person say, meh, I climbed mount everest, like it was no big deal, that's when I'd raise an eyebrow.
  4. I'm trying to organize my thoughts before my first interview next week. For the question that asks you to name an accomplishment, I'm having a hard time thinking of something super specific. How would listing that I quit smoking as an accomplisment sit with interviewers?
  5. Any thoughts on what to wear to the pre-interview reception? The dress say business casual, so I was wondering if it was more okay to wear something with more personality than the conservative garb for the actual interview day. Nothing inappropriate! No boobies or cooter hanging out! But if I wanted to wear my favorite dress (floral and modest) because it's fun and makes me happy and comfortable, would that be frowned upon?
  6. I would go with your gut. If adding something interrupts the flow of your piece, leave it out. Not to say you shouldn't try it - definitely try a draft with that other stuff in it because who knows, maybe with a little tweaking it the result goes even further than what you originally conceived. But if you give a good try and it's really just not working, don't force it.
  7. Undergrad Ed School: Bradley University (Major: Psychology, Minor: Studio Art) Cumulative Undergrad. GPA: 3.76 BCP Undergrad. GPA: 3.73 Post Bachelor GPA: 3.74 W's: 8 (that's kinda a lot. not great... I know) CASPA verification: 7/24 Age at application time : 29 1st GRE (7/5/14): 155V (67%), 146Q (25% LOL!), 5W (93%) = 301 2nd GRE (8/25/14): 157V, 151Q, 4W = 308 Health Care Experience (as submitted to CASPA): CNA/Unit Secretary in ICU: 200 CNA post-acute neurorehabilitation facility: 1200 CNA home healthcare: 200 Child life volunteer for children's hospital: 40 Hospice volunteer: 30 Women's center volunteer: 10 Shadowing Hours (as submitted to CASPA): Surgical MDs: 6 Family practice PA: 12 Pediatric PA: 14 Post-CASPA Submission HCE/Shadowing: Family practice DO and PA: 22 additional shadowing hours CNA/Unit Secretary: 450 additional working hours Research Activities/Community Service: Child neuropsychology lab undergrad research assistant - 1500 Volunteer at hospital resale shop - 100 Children's hospital volunteer - 40 Women's center volunteer - 400 Elementary school kid tutor - 30 Awards, Honors, Professional Memberships, etc. Magna Cum Laude Dean's List PsiChi Honors Society VP PsiChi/Psychology Club Dean's Scholarship Artwork published in university's literary journal Schools Applied: UTSW, Baylor, UNT, UTMB, Wake Forest, Methodist University, University of Wisconsin Application Submit Date: CASPA submitted July 24 Interview Invites: UTSW (Oct double session), UTMB (early Nov), UNT (mid Nov), Wake Forest (Jan 2015) Denied: UTSW (ugh. terrible interview. just terrible) Withdrew Application: will update Waitlisted: will update Accepted: UNT Attempts: First
  8. Also, don't add some disclaimer in the title of your thread or the 1st few lines of your PS post instructing ppl to "be gentle" or "please be nice" or whatever. Sheesh. If you're looking for someone to pat you on the back and say, "nice job, sweetie!" then ask your mama to read it. But when you post it on a public forum, you are clearly and willingly subjecting yourself to criticism. Don't chicken out and say please be nice. You're looking for feedback for a reason. Now is not the time to wuss out and shy away from criticism just because it's harsh.
  9. Hmmm... is there no free website that lists all PA programs by prerequisites????? It would be handy to be able to check of the prereqs that you meet, and the from there it'll show you which programs you qualify for...you know, like how there are websites where you can put in the ingredients you have on hand, and from there it'll spit out a few recipes.
  10. `Here's my stats: Graduated magna cum laude, Bradley University 2003, major psych, minor studio art. GPA/science GPA is solid. Guessing around 3.6 or so. Post-bacc at SIUC. Don't know what my official CASPA GPA is...but I think I've gotten more A's than B's. Have a smattering of W's on the transcript, but address it in my PS.... so it is what it is. Over 2500 HCE in home healthcare, post-acute rehab facility for people recovering from traumatic brain injuries, and ICU unit secretary/CNA. 40+ hrs shadowing a family practice PA and a pediatric PA 30+ hrs volunteer at children's hospital - playing with kiddos in the onc dept/ensuring their families have a positive experience in general 100+ hours volunteer at resale shop (all proceeds go to the children's hospital) 20 hours hospice volunteer 400 hours direct service volunteer - women's center that helps survivors of domestic/sexual abuse 30 hours tutoring elementary school kiddos 1500 hrs undergrad research assistant with a child neuropsych lab GRE: 155 verbal 67%, 146 quant 25% (me don't add so good), 5 analytical writing 93%. Other things: pretty confident that I have a bitchin' personal statement, will have decent LOR from 1 professor, 1 volunteer coordinator, 1 PA. Question: I want to apply this year...probably by the end of this week. Should I take the GRE again because my math score was so low???????
  11. Ugggh. I hate this post so much (yet I'm grateful for it). Now I have to rewrite my entire essay, cuz it's fraught with more don'ts that do's!!! BLAAAAAAAAAAARGH!
  12. This is copied from paadmissions "Ask a PA Admissions Director." I found it hiding in the bowels of that forum (page 81), and I figured placing it here would make it very handy for those perusing personal statements and seeking advice. Posted 20 May 2014 - 02:46 PM Hi guys! I've put together some hints for writing a good personal statement below. These hints were gathered from several medical school websites and from our own experience with our program. Hope this helps! The personal statement is required as a part of any application to PA school. Many applicants make writing a personal statement a daunting task, but it does not have to be. Below are helpful hints and topics to avoid that can help you write a good personal statement. Topic: Why you want to be a PA? Personal Statement Helpful Hints: · Engage the reader and create interest. · Get to the point. There is a character limit for personal statements. One page is usually all it takes to make your point. · Avoid using flowery language and/or big words throughout your statement. · Make sure the statement is structured in a logical order and flows nicely so it is easy to read. · Do not restate your resume. · Incorporate how your healthcare experience and non-healthcare experience (academics, volunteer, and leadership positions) prepared you for PA school. · Be insightful and analytical about your understanding of the role of the PA. Use your clinical experiences to draw this conclusion. · Call out the elephant in the room. If you had a “hiccup” in your academic career, you should BRIEFLY address it (i.e. death in the family, immaturity factor, poor study habits), state what you did to overcome it, and what you have done to sustain an upward trend in your academic performance. · If you have a strong desire to enter a certain field of medicine, explain why. For example, if you want to go into primary care, what have you done to prepare yourself for this field (i.e. clinical experience opportunities, skill sets, are you from a disadvantaged background, etc.), and the challenges PAs face, if any in the particular field. · Have more than one person review your statement. An advisor, career services representative, or a writing center are good resources to utilize. · Avoid contractions. · Avoid acronyms that the common person would not know (this is especially true for military applicants). Qualities to Portray · Maturity · Reflectiveness · Honesty and integrity · Clarity of thought · Passion · Individuality · Positivity · Logic · Distinctiveness · Commitment · Ability to relate to diverse people · Insight into the chosen health profession · Compassion and empathy · Genuineness and sincerity · Leadership · Insightfulness · A realistic perspective · Lessons learned · Self-awareness Themes to Avoid · Clichés: Avoid starting a statement with a famous quote or with cliché’ filler statements like: “I want to be a PA because I like science and I want to help people...” “Ever since I was five I played with my mom/dad’s doctor’s kit..” “I loved to play the game Operation as a child and that sparked my desire to be a PA...” “As I watched my beloved family member pass away, I knew then I wanted to be a PA...” · Restating your resume’: We have already read the majority of your application up to this point, so do not retell your life story again. · Story Time: Limit your personal stories about a patient or incident in the clinic to ONE no more than TWO. The statement should focus more the topics mentioned above. · The “epiphany into medicine”: Your pursuit of the PA profession should be based on your adult experiences up until this point, NOT an instantaneous realization. · Manifest Destiny: You have not always known you want to be a PA and the fact that someone tells you “you’ll make a great PA one day” does not justify why you should be a PA. · Grandiosity: Claiming that you plan to eliminate all the healthcare problems in an area is not realistic and shows a grave lack of understanding of the profession. · The “humble brag”: Of course you’re special, but claiming “you probably do not see many applicants like me” is not only arrogant, but is likely untrue. We’ve seen it all! · Remember your audience: Remember people do have other biases and views that may not agree with yours so avoid controversial topics and statements that could offend someone. Also, remember the admissions committee can be made up of all types of members of the healthcare team. Avoid statements like “I want to be a PA because PAs spend more time with their patients in comparison to physicians.” These types of situations are not always true and you do not want to stereotype an entire profession when you’ve only been around .00000001% of them. · “I am a victim”: Victims are never attractive applicants and any difficulties along the way should be dispassionately addressed. These explanations should be brief and also address what you have done to overcome the situation and what you learned from it. · Excuses: Never, ever blame anyone else for difficulties in your life or academic career. Topsy's 2 cents: Show, don't tell. Don't tell me you're great at multitasking. Show me! Describe it instead: "Despite having to care for my ailing mother at home, work the graveyard shift at the hospital, and help victims of abuse at the women's shelter, I still managed to keep my by grades by merely studying instead of sleeping." What makes the PA profession personally meaningful to you. Do not reiterate catch phrases like autonomy, flexibility, and all those other words that you can find on countless websites/blogs. Do mention personal things you've seen! Like the time you shadowed a PA talking to a family who was strapped for cash, and the PA was sensitive and attentive enough to notice the dilemma and was kind enough to provide their family with ample samples. Again, show, don't tell. Overall, a great personal state can be achieved by getting the reader think - yes. I want to meet the person who wrote this.
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