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About PA2020Candidate

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  1. I'd actually recommend retaking biochem and trying to get an A. Going from a D to a C does still says a lot about your understanding of the material but getting the A shows that your knowledge has definitely improved...even if you took it for the third time. Not saying you need to retake a C but going from a D to a C is not just about passing. Also you may think you know the material more than the C grade would suggest but I guarantee you that you would not be able to convince an adcom until you got the A. Forget about Orgo. You passed it now move on. I would focus on the biochem and then upper level science courses like cell and molecular bio. How's your A&P?
  2. There's plenty. I asked the same question and my GPA is much worse and I'm still staying positive. Just make sure to call each school. I learned a lot of things about individual programs by calling the school.
  3. There are exceptions to that though. If the rest of your application is much better than the "cohort's" you could get in with lesser than the average GPA of the whole group.
  4. I feel that anyone getting to the interview stage should easily be able to answer "Why do you want to be a PA?"
  5. Why do you need to take genetics? I don't think any school requires it. I would stay away from all those for-profit schools. If you actually want to learn genetics, just use Khan Academy or better find a way to take it at least at a community college. I would only take one of those online or for-profit courses if you absolutely needed the credit to move forward.
  6. I'll throw in my .02 on this. I'm just a pre-pa person but I worked in the ED with PA's for about five years so I observed a lot and this is one of those scenarios that I was actually surprised to observe. I once overheard a plastic surgeon tell an ED PA "Put your attending on the phone, I don't talk to PA's." This guy has a real reputation for being a douchebag so I wasn't surprised it was him on the other end. The PA was younger and she was visibly upset about the situation and was crying and trying to laugh it off at the same time. That's one PA's experience. There are three other PA's that worked in the same Fast Track area who were not working that day and if they had taken that call, they would have ripped that plastic surgeon a new one. And I promise you, that plastic surgeon would actually respect those PA's who stood up to him a lot more after an encounter like that. The plastic surgeon was pushing the envelope so to speak and this one PA let him do that. Some people are tougher than others and there's nothing wrong with that but you must adapt to deal with people like this. It's hard to do it in a snap like that but you have to learn how to do it. The point I'm trying to say is that once you let someone walk over you, they will continue to walk over you and walk over you some more. You have to be firm and be in command of your role at all times. You're the PA, you have been hired for that position, and you have a job to perform; you're not volunteering your services there. It does not matter if some attending or another staff member feels otherwise just because your title is that of a PA and they may or may not understand that title or your role as you feel they should. Who cares what they think, what pull do they have regarding your job and the profession itself? This particular PA, did not stand up to that plastic surgeon and I think she will forever be walked over by that plastic surgeon because of that one encounter. I want to add that when I left the department I heard that particular PA got another job at a Derm group. Good opportunity for her but part of me says she went Derm because she really didn't like the ED environment. Another quick story that ties into this one... I was shadowing a bunch of third year MD students once upon a time when I was a pre-med trying to test out the waters of med school. We were in a conference room with a few surgery attendings and everybody was talking about this one particular "person" who was assisting the surgeon we were observing that day. I actually didn't know this "person's" role and I thought they were just another MD but apparently they are an MD back in their home country and they couldn't get licensed or whatever in this country so they were working in the capacity of a surgical PA while not actually being a trained PA. I personally thought this person was actually very mean. He always looked unhappy and he was rude to the students and I didn't think he had the greatest bedside manner but that's besides the point. I also observed him botch a catheter placement into the groin because he didn't do it under US guidance, which I later found out he wasn't trained to do because he didn't learn it that way in his country, but again that is besides the point here. I remember during that meeting, the student's were asking if he was a PA and one of the surgeon's said he was not a PA. There was another female attending in the discussion and she said "He's DEFINITELY not a PA, his knowledge base is so much more advanced." Those are the discussions that go on behind the scenes when the attendings and even medical students are alone and you're not there. I guarantee you that female attending probably left that conference room and at some point during the rest of the day she smiled at another PA and said "Hi, how are you today?" while secretly judging their "knowledge base." The point of that story is that this female physician had her mind made up about PA's already for whatever reason. This fake PA guy or whatever you want to call him clearly exceeded her expectations in some capacity and that is why she apparently thought of him or maybe his knowledge base more "highly" I presume. So knowing that's how some attendings might see you for no reason other than your job title, why give them that opinion? Work to the best of your abilities so that they see you as a person and not under the umbrella of a profession that they may or may not understand completely. I have witnessed the medical hierarchy even in my observational capacity. I don't think that will change because I have seen a lot more doctors with ego issues than I have with doctors who are down to earth and will have a beer with you. When you sign up for this path, I really hope people realize that the hierarchy is a real thing and you have to develop thick skin the lower down you are. I still say reputation wins in the end. So focus more on that.
  7. Talk about a childhood fantasy but then talk about how you grew up and your skills and experiences led you to the PA profession.
  8. I meant if you only have chemistry, orgo, and A&P. I don't think micro, cell bio, genetics, or biochem are prerequisites for all schools but if you have them I think that is always a good thing. I'm currently going to be starting a post-bacc and I have those listed as courses that I will take. Not just to make my application a little more competitive but those are classes that you will see in PA school anyway.
  9. Well, I think you answered your own question there. Your stats are clearly different today compared to your first two cycles. I would imagine the lack of clinical hours is what didn't get you an interview the first two rounds so now that you have those I can't see how the outcome would be the same. The GPA looks fine unless you have the bare minimum prerequisites.
  10. Can a PA be employed as the primary healthcare provider in the occupational medicine department at a hospital? Can you make a career out of that?
  11. No, it's easy to assume that when you do poorly at one institution that the institution has a picture of you posted in the admissions department with the heading "Do Not Admit" but that is all in your imagination. The school could care less about your prior performance if you have demonstrated that you have since moved on and done better for yourself. I wouldn't even bring it up, I would just let your new performance speak for itself. I failed out of a school when I was younger and that school gladly took me back after some time away but I decided to go elsewhere. School's don't have an agenda against you unless you were dismissed for disciplinary reasons or things like that.
  12. Thanks, That is great news to hear. That's useful information to know that everyone is essentially equal at the time of interview which means the interview is very important. I need to to more research on the academic forgiveness. I just found out my graduating school has academic forgiveness after 10 years but I didn't need it for any classes that I took there. The other school is being a real pain but I'm going to appeal one more time. This time I can show them I already have a degree. No plans on quitting any time soon and I will find a way to make it work!
  13. Thanks, I checked out Pacific University in Oregon and it has a 3.0 minimum but it says the entering class has a 3.8 average. I always find that discouraging because how many of those 3.0 minimums really stand a chance in the process. But at least that school looks at the last 45 hours.
  14. The CASPA overall GPA will never reach 3.0 unless I spend the next decade in school padding my transcript. The science GPA will exceed 3.0. So I guess my real worry is that I will never have a CASPA 3.0 cumulative unless this other school wants to give me an incomplete or withdrawal. Which schools don't have a minimum? All I found were schools that advertise a minimum CASPA but then go on to say you can still apply if you have lower stats but explain why. I will be finishing up one year in a post-bacc and most of that post-bacc will be upper level science work since I only have three outstanding prerequisites. I'm hoping that can be a positive aspect but I hope some committee member can take more than a glancing look at my app. I guess my negativity comes from talking to schools who say CASPA or bust.
  15. Thanks, Wow, USC has under a 3.0 requirement? I would have never guessed. I'll check them out.
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