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    Physician Assistant Student

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  1. Read the course catalog description. I would take whichever one is designed for bio majors as this will be viewed more favorably by many programs
  2. I would recommend asking questions that help you understand the specific strengths, weaknesses, and culture of the program from an insiders perspective. Building rapport and showing interest in your interviewers is important, but I would not spend too much time on personal questions such as their specialty or background, especially if the interview is short. You're there to select a program, so make sure you get the information that you need to make that choice. Remember that it is a two way interview. Ask questions that you really want to know the answer to, and that will be helpful in choosing a school, not just what you think they want to hear. Also, don't be afraid to tactfully ask some difficult questions. In my opinion, the interview is a poor time to ask things such as how an applicant can stand out. If you don't know that going into your interview, you're already not standing out (not in a positive way, anyhow). And I wouldn't ask what qualities they are looking for. All programs are looking for essentially the same things, so you will likely not get helpful information. Plus, if you got an interview, you already know what they were looking for (you!). Now is your chance to sell yourself in person and seal the deal.
  3. The survey should be sent to all PAs and PA students with an AAPA account. You do not have to be a paid member to receive/complete the survey.
  4. Current UCD student here. Just FYI, as of this year the dual track is no longer an option. FNP students still take most of the same classes as the PA students and, according to the FNP program director, get a more thorough medical education because of that. However, we have been told that no one will have the dual track option going forward.
  5. I'm sure you know this, but both your cGPA and sGPA are pretty low. It is not at all impossible for you to get in, but your GPA will be a major obstacle. I would suggest retaking A&P, and getting As which should put your cGPA over 3.0 (a common cutoff). After that the rest of your app will have to carry your GPA. Your last 50 credit GPA is good and you have a decent number of PCE hours. Your personal statement, LORs, the quality of your PCE and how you are able to articulate it, GRE, and the content of your recent coursework will determine whether or not you get a shot. So to put it simply, I would start by retaking A&P and putting together the very best app you can before you start thinking about a masters. Good luck.
  6. I had a similar question; I was asked by one interviewer what other schools I had interviewed at. I simply answered the question. Don't sweat it. It is no secret that most applicants apply to at least a handful of schools, they will be expecting this. As for where you want to go, I agree there is no need to rank the schools you applied to. I would suggest describing the type of program that you want to attend, and highlighting the ways that the school you are interviewing at fits with your vision of what type of program you want to attend.
  7. Double check with the specific programs you want to apply to. Most programs that I have seen do not prefer 4 year over cc, but there are some that do. Also double check that the specific courses themselves will meet requirements (some schools will specify that it must not be an intro course, must require certain pre-reqs, must include certain topics, etc.). As long as your programs will accept the courses, you are good to go. Many students take accelerated courses and are not hindered by it. If you are able to pull it off and do well in them, taking difficult classes in an accelerated format may help you show that you are ready for the heavy course-load of PA school.
  8. As long as your transcripts have been received by CASPA you'll be fine. Applications need to be complete, but do not need to be verified. I applied last year before the deadline but was not verified until later in July and they still processed my application just fine.
  9. That's UC Davis. It is a combined program where the PAs and NPs take many of their didactic courses together, but the PAs complete about twice as many clinical hours, which is why it is longer. In reality there is not much of a dual track. You have to be an RN for for their NP program. RNs used to have the option of a duel degree there, but now they can only grant 65(?) PA degrees, and their classes are full except for the occasional drop out. So there may be a very small handful of RNs that could choose to also get their PA, but it is not an option for most, and there is no option for non-nurses to get both degrees.
  10. I would recommend getting ready to reapply immediately. There is only a few months left before CASPA opens back up and if you do not get in this cycle, programs are going to want to see improvement. It sounds like you know what to work on for your specific case, but you are already late getting started to improve your application. Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.
  11. This^ Most of the scribes that I have seen accepted, or even interviewing, had strong academic backgrounds (bio major >3.5 gpa, etc.). Given your gpa I would think adding a couple thousand hours of hands on pce would be your best shot, in addition to taking more science classes to bolster the gpa. EMT is probably seen as the highest quality pce that can be gotten into quickly (1 semester, or some accelerated courses are even shorter).
  12. Ws are not calculated into your caspa gpa, however WFs are calculated as Fs. If they were just Ws, I don't think it will kill your chances. Being that this was at least a few years ago and having academic and professional success since then will certainly help your case. Be prepared to talk about it and explain what happened and why, what you learned from it and why your better for it etc. I had a W in Bio 1 as a freshman, and it came up in 1/3 of my interviews. It may be good to address in your personal statement, but I would keep it brief and professional, focusing on how you grew through the situation and why you are better prepared to succeed now.
  13. I also opted not to use an academic reference and it worked out just fine for me. I graduated with my bachelors in 2012 and I felt that was too long ago to be relevant for references. Then I took many of my prerequisites in an accelerated format, online, or at a community college and I did not feel that any of the professors knew me well enough to write a good reference, simply due to the format that I took the courses in. I did get all As in my prerequisites, so I felt that my performance spoke for itself and in my case an academic reference wasn't as necessary as professional references. I would recommend you evaluate your your grades and academic performance. If you feel it speaks for itself as I did, you may not need the academic reference. If your grades are average, it may be helpful to have one. You can ask the programs if they will accept the CE teacher. If they won't accept that and you feel you need one, I would try to take another science course in person (preferably upper division) to try to get an academic reference.
  14. I agree that it is a double standard. Personally, I split my hours because several of the schools that I applied to specifically stated to. I did find it annoying that ems is the only healthcare experience I ever saw with that stipulation. I would guess that was written by people that think ems spends most of their day sitting in a recliner at a station, rather than running call to call in a SSM system as is often the case.
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