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About MarkMass

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    Physician Assistant Student

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  1. I got rejected. But all is good. Went to another program and am graduating in 3 weeks. It's all about spreading out your applications and finding a program that fits your personality. Good luck!
  2. I'm about to graduate in early December with my boards scheduled to follow 10 days later. I anticipate being able to work by early January. I'm looking for advice from recent grads on job hunting, especially out of state. I've applied to a few jobs in the state I hope to return to (Massachusetts). All jobs that I have found route through a hospital website where I feel my resume and info just goes into an HR abyss. Aside from job fairs, any advice on how to get past this annoying system? Graduating with massive debt and then having to wait to find a job and deal with credentialing & privileges process seems like a dangerously long time compared to getting the ball rolling now. I also realize that I am looking for a specialty and am not applying to jobs screaming "new grads apply here - Will train you," but any advice will be appreciated.
  3. Hi all, As a current student, I understand the anxiety of waiting. We are currently in finals and the older class is in clinicals. The faculty is very busy and understand that you all want to know. Point of fact, acceptance calls for you are about a month earlier than last year’s. Try to be patient. I know it’s next to impossible but it’s important. If you inquire about waitlist or rejection status you will most likely get a response saying that info is not available right now.
  4. Congrats to those who heard. For those who didn’t, don’t lose faith. Not everyone accepts and they pull people off of the waitlist. Several of my classmates were notified later so seats DO open.
  5. Yes, there is. In my experience, any program that offers a seat will require a down payment within a defined timeframe. It typically ranges from $500-$1000. I do not known what the current one is for this program. Regardless, it’s applied to your 1st trimester tuition.
  6. Also remember that interviews change as programs grow. My biggest advice to anyone for any interview is to be yourself. Seriously. The faculty is great and if you interview you'll see that. Good luck to everyone.
  7. Interview was pretty standard. Group activity, panel interview, one on one with the director, general mingling at breakfast, and some current students there to chat with. It may change a bit since this will be the 3rd year. Notification was after all interviews were conducted. I want to say early to mid January. One of the faculty will call you.
  8. I think your story and motivations are great. I worked in cardiology before leaving for school and I know how difficult caring for heart failure can be. Not a lot of people have this experience to drive them to care for others so that is important in your personal statement. As far as the statement itself, you may want to revise it a bit. It seems somewhat fragmented and you have a fair amount of run-on sentences or sentences with a few too many points at once. For example, "I took an EMT course, gaining a lot of experience, as I am now a full-time EMT." You can simplify this by just saying you are a full time EMT and go on to talk about the type of work you do or how it drove you to want more.. All in all, concentrate on fluidity. Maybe outline first and make sure your essay flows from an intro to a body to a conclusion. You can state the importance of your fathers illness, which led to serving others (EMT), which led to PA. CASPA restricts characters so eliminate and superfluous info and you don't have to describe what PA's do...They know. Also, don't concentrate on talking about medicine too much. You're not applying to medical school or nursing school or anything else. You're applying to PA school. Show that you know a PA's role and how they fit into the healthcare system/medical model. Lastly, general grammar. Try not to abbreviate excessively, use a ton of commas (just make new sentences), and type out numbers (ninety instead of 90).
  9. I'm also someone who had sub-par undergrad grades and had to do a lot of work in post-bac to build my academic resume. I can tell you that it does pay off eventually. It is annoying that schools care about 0.1 on a GPA. I was rejected from a school because one GPA was 0.06 below. They do it because they have so many applicants that they have to narrow it down. My advice would be to take another class or two to break the 3.0 barrier. Once I did, I went from 0 to 4 interviews. The rest of your resume will carry you in that regard. Keep working, volunteering, and growing your application. Schools want to see persistence. My advice for schools would be to concentrate on newer or developing programs and ones with a holistic approach to applications. They will see what you have to offer and what your circumstances were that led to your GPA issues. Schools that are well established, like Northeastern, won't give you the time of day unless you have a great GPA or have some crazy heritage.
  10. I'm new to Stamford myself so I am still learning about it. It is relatively expensive. Being a city that's growing and transitioning, there are a lot of new and old housing options. You can easily find a place to live but apartments seem to run anywhere from $1800-2800 a month for a one bed. There are a ton of new buildings with pools, gyms, etc. Depending on your situation(pets, willingness to have a roommate) it can vary a bit. Parking is a work in progress. There is no on-site parking at the hospital/program building. They are looking for new options for garages or you can find garages with monthly rates nearby on your own. If you commute in via train there is a free shuttle from stamford train station to the hospital. Again, depending on your situation, you can find apartments within walking or biking distance. Traffic on 95 is a nightmare so driving can be hell but there are commutable towns nearby. Norwalk/South Norwalk(sono) is becoming a popular area as well. A bunch of classmates worked with a realtor who found a group rate at a local building. Overall point: there are a lot of apartments but it's not cheap to live here. You can save money and live farther away but you may spend 1-2 hours commuting each way. Personally, I would rather have that time to study or do personal things but to each is own.
  11. Some schools don't mind CC credits but prefer you take them at a university. They understand the difficulties with work and school timing but they also receive 1-2,000 applications (or more) every cycle so they won't bend for one person. If you have your heart set on certain programs, maybe reach out to them or setup a meeting and see how they feel about CC courses. I found a post-bac near me that offered evening courses but I still had to tweak my schedule and eventually drop to 36 hours at work. I also took a few classes at a different university for convenience so it doesn't necessarily have to be all at one program. The added benefit of retaking classes is new teachers. You can ask one of them for an LOR and it will be current! That's what I did. Also make sure you get a PA or two to write one. Don't let us tell you exactly what to take. We would feel guilty if you felt like time and money was wasted. Contact programs. Personally, I only retook pre-reqs and didn't bother with courses like exercise physiology or nutrition. Those, to me, were my next step if I didn't get into a program.
  12. Glad to see a forum started for the program. I am an accepted student waiting to start in August. When I was going through the process last year it was very helpful to have current students available to field questions so I would like to do the same for you all. My interview offer came in late September and I was given two options for the first and second weeks in November to interview. I'm not sure if it will be the same this year. The program is in Stamford, not the main campus in Fairfield. The facility is brand new and state of the art and is across from the brand new Stamford Hospital. Good luck to everyone and feel free to send questions.
  13. I was in your exact shoes a few years ago. I had sub par grades from my undergrad, applied to several PA schools, and was rejected from all of them. After working for a few years (and getting personal life stuff in order) I went back to school in a post-bac program. I worked full time, took night classes, and over about two years I completed over 40 credit hours of classes: Bio, chem, orgo, stats, A&P, etc. I pulled straight A's and brought my science GPA up 0.6 points and my overall slightly less. My GPA's were still lower than the ones you listed. Long life story short, I ended up being offered 4 interviews, attended 3, and was accepted by all 3. I consider myself very lucky and am not bragging. The advantage I had was 9 years of work experience to help carry me. I say this because you should not get down or think you wont get in. PA schools want to see dedication and working to improve your grades. We are all human and not all of us know what we want to do when we're 19 and make mistakes. It's about what you do after that and persistence to get what you want. My advice is to retake classes (if you want or have the means), keep working and volunteering, and keep applying. You will get there.
  14. Realistically, the challenging part will be to get hands on patient care hours prior to submitting your application. It will be helpful for panels to see that you are getting patient care hours, have great grades, and are working hard to get into PA school. Dietetics may be an advantage for you because there are a lot of applicants with exercise science, Bio, chem, and AT backgrounds. I would also recommend shadowing a few PA's in different settings. A letter of recommendation from a PA is key and you should try to spend more than half a day shadowing one before asking them for a letter. Consider this... PA schools accept 3-5% of applicants and most students have over a year of experience in a healthcare setting. Look at demographics and you'll see that they are usually ethnically diverse and female dominated. The key to PA school is persistence. You may not get get in on the first try since you still have a lot to do, but programs love to see hard work and those who don't give up. I tell you this just to be realistic, hopefully it does not come off as pessimistic. Good luck with everything.
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