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About Chewbacca12

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    Physician Assistant Student

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  1. It is a long wait on the waitlist after interviewing early in September. I am just waiting to start to hear about movement on the waitlist. If there are any fellow waitlisters out there shoot out a post so we can know things are starting to move. I know they will not give us a rank until mid February, but after reading through previous year's posts I found some people being accepted off the waitlist in December and January.
  2. I am in the same boat. In fact it was not until January that I received my rejection last year despite applying early. Duke is one of the few programs I know of that offers specific feedback on applications, although its not available till March I believe. All I could discern from that conversation was that I was competitive but I guess not quite competitive enough to receive an interview. So there must be a stack of us on a desk labeled as "back-up" interviews in case the waitlist clears or gets too short.
  3. Most schools I applied to would let you have one outstanding pre-req (meaning you are still in that course) when you submit your CASPA, but usually all of them have to be complete by around the December before starting in the program (that time frame is for schools starting late summer/ fall so it will depend on where you are applying) But the schools I applied to only accepted updates on outstanding courses if an interview invite was offered or upon acceptance. So If you don't want your application to be considered without the final grade for the re-take, then don't submit CASPA before you are finished with it. Although with CASPA it is important to note that all your classes will be reported to the school through your official transcript. So they will still see that poor grade even after the retake, and that class will still be factored in to your GPA. The retake will be in addition to that class, and in the program-specific section of the CASPA you can select the retake as your pre-req.
  4. I can say from personal experience you can get into a program with a C in calc. In fact I got a D the first time I took it and only a C the second time. Just make sure your science is high or at least have an upward trend. (not to mention most upper-level science courses are far more interesting than calc...) I made it in with a low GPA (3.1), but I had to put in a lot of extra work, retaking required classes and taking new upper level science.
  5. As a pre-PA student who has worked as a CNA for 4 years I would also recommend becoming an MA. Don't get me wrong in that my experience has been invaluable, but where you work as a CNA plays a big role in how much you actually learn about medicine as well as how much you interact with Drs, PAs, etc. I worked in assisted living, skilled nursing and hospitals and the hospital is by far the better experience for pre-PA experience. The other locations have very little interaction with actual providers. (mostly LPNs and maybe a Dr once or twice a week) Working in surgical oncology at a large hospital has lead to great experiences, but I have always wished I had more training or could have greater responsibilities and perform more procedures. That is why I would say MA would be better, as it has more responsibilities and skills than a CNA. I would have become a MA if I had known it would take 4 years to get in to a program, but we all know what they say about hindsight...
  6. Financial Aid. That is what I am studying before starting school...
  7. In order to be competitive for interviews I have found PCE to be quite important. Even if a school does not require experience hours, if they publish that class averages you will undoubtedly see an average about 1000 hours. Most people apply to several schools (I applied to 13 my first year and 10 my second) so you will be competing against other applicants with 1000+ hours even at schools where experience is not required. I also recommend healthcare experience to anyone even thinking about pursuing nursing, NP, PA, even MD because I believe it is the best way to make sure it is the direction you want to take with your life. I think every healthcare career requiring a bachelors or higher of training should require a certain amount of healthcare experience. It is a large commitment of time and money, so you have to be sure it is what you want. PCE can also give you a great deal of talking points for interviews and essays.
  8. I agree that more PCE is always better. After being rejected from a school with over 3,500 hours of experience with the reason being that my PCE was not as competitive as the accepted students I learned that more is always better. And PCE was what the school mentioned over my 3.1 GPA. So I would look to find the best healthcare experience you can and get as many hours as you can. That is what makes it so tough for a recent college grad to get in to a program.
  9. I have a low overall GPA, around 3.1 and have been accepted during this application cycle. I think an upward trend in your grades is the best argument against having a low GPA. It certainly helped me as the first year I was rejected without interviews at all 13 schools I applied to. Although I have several years of PCE to help boost as well. Some schools I applied to said my first year's PCE was not as competitive (3500hrs) which was the main reason they did not interview me. (This was one of the toughest PA programs to get into though... so definitely not true for all programs) So I would say that if you have an upward trend in grades, then try to accumulate as many hours as you can. If you can afford to fill out the applications (since CASPA costs a good chunk) I would say don't talk yourself out of it.
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