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About CGM717

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    Physician Assistant

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  1. 'Harder' is a relative term. Do programs give special preference to first time applicants? Generally, no. As a second cycle applicant, will you need to complete extra supplement essays and/or address how your application has improved overall in your CASPA? Generally, yes.
  2. Depends on the program. I took CASPer in June for the four programs where I applied that required it. You can compare the program's cut off date to receive the CASPer against the calendar on CASPer's website: https://takecasper.com/dates-times/. Be aware that they estimate it takes 3- 4 weeks from when you take the test to when your score is completed and distributed to programs.
  3. Late April, as it does every year.
  4. The best bet, regardless of gender, is a neutral suit (black, blue, grey), with a conservative shirt and/or blouse. If you wish, you can wear a tie. If you want to wear heels, they should be a closed toe, low heel. I am female, and at my interviews, I wore a matching black pants suit with a blouse. One smart piece of advice I took from a YouTube video was to wear a shirt/blouse with the school colors.
  5. Fellow New Yorker here, I applied to Mauculay exactly a decade ago.This was in 2009, when the financial crisis was at its peak, and everyone & their mother was scrambling for a spot. My two cents: if you are accepted at Mauculay, you should absolutely go, hands down. If I could turn back the clock, and give my HS self this advice, I would. The benefits of graduating debt free cannot be overstated, and it is one of the top three honors programs in the nation. Additionally, it gives you more time to explore your options, and you can always go to a more well established/prestigious PA program if you want to, upon graduation. I have personally interacted with students from a local direct entry program in my current job, and they are consistently the least prepared/knowledgeable students we receive (including PA, MD, DO, Pharm, PT/OT, Dental, etc). We actually had to fail the one student in her rotation, because it was very clear she was not prepared for the rigor of being a healthcare provider. Best of luck!
  6. I’ll jump in for some encouragement- I worked full time during my post bacc and took classes a la carte. Tons of people do it and manage to apply/receive an acceptance every cycle. There’s no need to quit your job and do an expensive post bacc program! I’d recommend doing your research on nights and weekend classes at local universities if you work a 9-5 (like I do).If you have weekdays free, you’re in an even better position to do it. Good luck!
  7. Same! Best of luck, hope it gives someone else a chance to shine.
  8. Has anyone gotten the email from Castle Branch for the background check or vaccinations yet?
  9. I'd mention it in an interview. Seems like a pretty out of the blue thing to email schools about though. I doubt it would be the one tipping point in your application that would secure you an interview. Definitely add it if you are applying next cycle.
  10. Just my two cents: this doesn't seem worth it. $1600 is a pretty penny! In my experience applying this year, my GRE score was on the lower side (302), and it did not seem to matter much in my admissions decisions. If your cGPA and sGPA are high, and you have quality PCE/HCE, I think that anything over 300 will get you in the door. If you want to pay for something, there are tons of free/lower cost online prep options. I used Magoosh- can't remember the exact price but it certainly wasn't over $1000.
  11. I am starting in the summer as well. My program said in the acceptance materials that we needed a laptop, but I'm considering a 2-in-1 so I can write on it as a tablet during class. Has anyone used one of these or have any advice on the best one to buy? Looking at the HP and Dell. Thanks!
  12. I agree with BLM and Diggy's comments. Getting in as a first cycle applicant can be quite challenging (although it can be done, I did it this year), especially if you have pieces of your application that are holding you back (i.e. lower GPA, low amount of PCE/low quality PCE, etc). Based on what you've described, you are an average applicant. However, with most competitive schools receiving well over 1600 applications, you need to do something else to set yourself apart. Based on the schools you are considering, you are shooting for the moon. As BLM mentioned, you will need to work hard to have your application stand out. And to your point about nursing- nursing is one of the most versatile, lucrative, and overall high quality careers of any field, IMO. There is so much upward mobility in nursing- NP, management, research, foreign service, doctoral opportunities, etc. And that's coming from a future PA! Best of luck!
  13. Your GPA is probably the biggest thing. As I'm sure you know, schools with "hard" GPA cut offs would not consider your sGPA competitive. Your experience is solid, your GRE score is above what is expected, and you also have volunteering, which many applicants mistakenly don't include when they apply. It may be useful to look into schools that only look at the last X (30-60-90) number of credits. It would be helpful to get a lot more shadowing hours as well-48 is on the lower end. You didn't mention your LORs- hopefully you have one from a practicing PA. If not, that will help you next cycle. I think your strategy to apply more broadly is a good idea. Good luck!
  14. Received an interview invite today for November 21st in Salt Lake. I declined, as I have already been accepted to my first choice. I hope it gives someone on the alternate list a chance to shine!
  15. My advice is: be patient. Every school has a different process in how they send out interview invites and rejections. Some schools where I applied send out rejections as they send out interview invites. Others wait until everyone in the class is selected to send out rejections. Do you know if the schools where you applied use rolling admission? If not, that means the adcoms are likely sorting through 1600+ applications all at once, and that will take some time. I know it is tough, but it's the hardest part, and there are tons of applicants in your position. Good luck!
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