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About pastudentw

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    Advanced Member


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    Physician Assistant Student

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  1. Stay busy! Do things that will keep you motivated towards your goal. For me, my job at the hospital really kept me motivated so I worked my tail off. I'll second what was said above, don't get caught with your pants down with only a few months to prepare for your next cycle, if you don't get accepted this cycle. Maybe it will help the anxiety knowing you are already working on an improved application. I was also a second time applicant when I was accepted. I know it is cliche and all but I'm so glad I didn't get in my first cycle. Looking back now, I wouldn't have it any other way, although it felt like torture while I was receiving so many rejections.
  2. It really is best to look at each program you are wanting to apply to for how many hours of PCE is needed. A program may list 1,000 hrs as their minimum requirement but then their average accepted applicant may have 5,000 for example. It is very school dependent. While there are some schools that will list and accept students with very minimal PCE, I think that is doing a huge disservice to yourself and your future career. But that is just me, others may not see it that way. You could still just try to apply to schools that require and on average accept a student with minimal PCE. Shadowing a PA is also a component that needs to be improved. I'm also a bit curious about why you are making the switch, especially with no real shadowing (unless you had exposure at one of your volunteering positions?)
  3. As stated above, you need to get the paid PCE hours. Look into getting some kind of tech certification and start looking now for jobs that don't require a certification. Some positions that may not require a certification would be an MA, EKG/cardiac/tele tech, medical scribe, PT aid. It really just depends on the hospital/clinic that is hiring. I had some classmates who got hired on as patient transporters (or radiology aid-someone that helps transport pts down to xray etc.) in the hospital which wouldn't count as PCE but it could get you in the door of a good hospital system so that when you did get a certification or if another position pops up you might have a better chance at landing the job.
  4. If you physically interacted and laid your hands on a patient, then it is PCE. I was also an EKG tech. Every school I applied to accepted it as PCE. You just have to make sure you accurately describe your role in the CASPA section.
  5. I also had an error on my GPA calculations. I did my own transcript entry but had a chemistry class that wasn't calculated as a science course or as a chemistry course when it had the CHEM prefix on it. They fixed it after a phone call but something to keep in mind with your own application and timing your application. Plan on applying early and give an early deadline to the people writing your LORs. Ask them months in advance. They can write up a word doc now and upload/copy paste it easily when they get the CASPA invite.
  6. I'm not sure that I'm 100% correct on this so bear with me. Part of your PA school tuition will be from federal unsubsidized loans. These are not based on your credit history at all but mostly based on financial need and everyone basically takes out the max for those. Then there is the Grad PLUS loan. These ones have higher interest rates but they do a credit check for these ones. From what I understand, the credit check is mostly for investigating prior bankruptcies or major grievances. Obviously you will get the most correct answer by calling someone at financial aid to ask them about it. This answer could possibly be found on the website.
  7. On the note of LORs, I would also recommend getting your contacts informed about it early on. You can advise them to write it up at any time and save it as a word file. Then when they get the request email from CASPA, they can simply copy and paste their essay over. They should be advised to check for formatting/typos when they do the copy over. This will greatly speed up the process and won't delay your CASPA app. Another option is to give some main topics for the person writing the LOR to focus on. This might give them more focused points to write about rather than just hey can you write me a recommendation? You can also provide them with a CV/resume so they can have that to refer to when writing the letter. For example, I had applied to an xray tech program (which I didn't end up attending) but one doctor who wrote my letter spelled my name wrong and wrote "You guys would be crazy not to accept her!" as part of the recommendation. I was not thrilled but I learned a lot of what to do better for my PA school LORs.
  8. If a school specifically lists a minimum criteria for a GRE score that you do not meet (either percentile or raw score), then yes your application would not be considered for interview. Other than that, I believe it would be unlikely for a program to completely disregard an app based on just the GRE or really any one component of an application (as long as it meets the minimum requirements). It is all about the whole package that you bring.
  9. Gather information as you go. Keep track of phone numbers, emails and contacts of those you may be putting down on your CASPA application or those you may need to contact for your letters of recommendation.
  10. In general, I found that programs who accept applicants with higher amounts of patient care hours, tend to have longer expiration or do not have prereq expiration requirements since they know they are accepting a different applicant pool. That is just a general rule but as stated above, it takes some digging around through program websites. It would also never hurt to get in touch with admissions at your prospective programs and try to talk with them about this issue.
  11. I'm student but... Given the post partum history, rarely you can have postpartum preeclampsia for a while after delivery. Up to 6 weeks (more commonly within 48 hours) so this may not fit given the time frame, but since you are saying this is an out of the ordinary case, it could be considered. What was her BP? Urinalysis? Just a thought but maybe I'm way off.
  12. Pharmacology and pathophys. I'm glad I took immunology and lots of microbiology courses.
  13. You absolutely have a chance. The degree itself doesn't really matter. If anything this will make you stand out in a good way and it seems like your other requirements (prereqs and patient care hours etc.) are good based on the short bit that you shared. As long as you meet (and hopefully exceed) the requirements of the PA programs you are applying to, you will be fine. Good luck!
  14. My advice, is to just start writing. That is when things can really start to flow. Write for a while, then leave it and come back to what you wrote and review it. Do that a few times and then you can start to see where the essay is taking you to formulate a more grounded narrative. Another approach would be to outline a few main topics you want to hit on and start writing about those topics. Everything you write should be able to answer and relate to the CASPA prompt for your essay. Hope this helps!
  15. My recommendation is not to try to study. I was out of undergrad for a full year and it had been 5 years since I took anatomy and physiology and I didn't pick up a single book before starting. I would recommend you spend your time on things to basically have your life completely in order. Make sure car maintenance is done. Try to work as many hours as possible to pay off any extraneous payments or save money. Figure out your plan for health insurance while you will be a student. You get the idea... but just try to work on any thing that will take away your focus for school or that would cause added stress. Other than that, enjoy your time off!