Mercer definitely looks at your application as a whole, so if you have things that you are concerned about, I'm sure that your great GRE and pt care hours will balance it out. I don't know everyone's application GPAs in my class, but I can tell you we had some second career applicants in our class as well. Mercer is definitely not an "all about grades" program. Even within the class we're not allowed to talk about grades so the atmosphere is pretty different from med schools. If you are within the requirements, then I feel like you have an equal chance as anyone else.
I was honestly forced by my parents to apply to Mercer. I wanted to move far away and they convinced me to apply to one Ga program at least. Mercer isn't really known amongst applicants for their PA program (I still don't know why) but It wasn't until I went on my interview that I realized how different they were (in a good way). Mercer was my 5th and last interview and honestly my most favorite interview. I felt so welcomed by the staff and the students and the atmosphere was very different than other programs I had visited. Everyone seemed very relaxed and excited to get to know you. The way the students talked about the professors was a plus as well. I've always gravitated toward small, family-type atmospheres for anything in my life. It was how I picked my college, my travel volleyball teams, my previous jobs and my church. It meant a lot to me to find a school that would see me as more than a student and I can definitely say Mercer does that. By the time I left the interview, it was my top choice and I didn't care if I had gotten into any other school.... I wanted to go to Mercer. Luckily, I got in and I can definitely say that it was the right decision for me. You can just tell that the professors are there for YOU! They have an open door policy and are willing to talk to you about class or life. I've had a lot of family things going on in the past few months and my professors are just so accommodating. A few of them have even been constantly checking up on me as well. The other day I sat in my professor's office and asked her to go over 100 slides of X-rays because I just wasn't seeing the abnormalities and she was so patient with me. Basically I love Mercer because they truly care about you and they are for you. The professors do their best to make your PA school experience as stress free as possible.
All of this to say, if you get a feels right vibe then go for it! I got it at Mercer ONLY. Every other school was fine but Mercer was definitely different. One important thing that applicants forget is that when they go on the interview, they are interviewing the school as well. This is the next 2 -3 years of your life! You want to make sure that wherever you are is going to take care of you during that time.
Yes there is a cadaver lab. However we don't do the dissections. The PT students dissect for us and we go in after them. Yes, you get your hands in the body and pull out organs by yourself. No, you're not cutting. There are probably 3-5 students per body and we also have open lab. During open lab you could be in there by yourself so that helps. I thought I wouldn't like not cutting the cadavers but after having anatomy, I realize now that cutting is the tedious part that takes away from the actual learning. Since the cutting was all done for us, we got right to finding the structures, which I liked. Also I honestly don't know how anyone would have time to dissect. I know other programs do it but when you have classes on top of that it would be hard to not be stressed. I'm definitely biased but I feel like Mercer's approach allows me to learn a lot and not be as stressed.
I love living in Atlanta. There is something to do ALL THE TIME. This can be good and bad. If you have FOMO (fear of missing out), it might be a little anxiety inducing since something is going on everyday haha but when you get accepted, you will have a social chair that will be responsible for organizing hangouts for the class. It helps you think you're not missing out on too much!
Feel free to ask me anything ! Hope this helped.