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  1. Not part of any admissions committee, but I am a first year PA student and I don't think there is any problem with doing a couple prerecs at another school! I did a ton of classes at a community college (my paramedic classes and pathophys) and did the rest at my 4 year college, and I don't think the programs I applied to cared too much! Do well in the classes and that's what they want to see above all else!
  2. Hi everyone! I'm a current first year PA student and I was wondering if anyone has any advice on anything related to classes, planning for the future, career advice? I really want to make the most out of my time as a student and I don't know which specialty I want to do or anything like that, so any advice is much appreciated! Also, any study advice would be awesome! I feel like I'm struggling with learning things as quickly as I need to and don't know how to speed up the pace! Thanks guys!
  3. Hey! It might seem like a big mistake in your head right now, but honestly there is no reason to beat yourself up for it! We all makes mistakes or say/do things we wish we hadn't in our interviews because it is extremely nerve wracking! I would just try to shake it off and send a follow up email to thank the program for the interview, and in that email just address whomever you send it to by the correct title! That way if they see that they will know that you know how you should be addressing them! Honestly though, we all make mistakes in our interviews and either way you just have to move on because I'm sure you won't give this a second thought five years from now when you're a PA!! PS In one of my interviews the interviewer asked me what my best attribute is and I said that I'm easy to talk to, which is FINE. BUT THEN I proceeded to tell the interviewer that I got the guy at the burger king drive thru to open up to me as an example haha! Best of luck to you, you got this!
  4. Hey! I can give it a read, feel free to message me!
  5. Hi! Not an expert, but had a similar situation when I was applying. I did just list them as in progress/planned and no one questioned it. I think they will understand that you are still getting the courses done!
  6. Hey! I hope you are well! Full disclosure, I'm in no way an expert on admissions and have never sat on any admissions committee but I did apply last cycle and am a current PA student! Shadowing: Getting shadowing hours was definitely hard during COVID, and I know several programs lifted their shadowing hours requirement (although since COVID has calmed down, definitely look at. the schools you will be applying to just to see if they have a certain shadowing hour requirement). One thing that I did was to do the virtual shadowing experiences from this group called "ClubMed" which is run by a group of college students. They normally do one virtual "live" shadowing opportunity every week, and it's definitely better than nothing! It isn't always PAs, but they've had several PAs already. I think if you follow this link you can sign up for their weekly newsletter. The other thing that I did was that I used my hospital email to email a bunch of random PAs that I found on my hospital website and asked if they would let me shadow them. Some said no because of COVID, some said it was fine because I already worked at the hospital. I'd say that's worth a shot if you have an hospital email or have a way of emailing PAs. https://theclubmed.weebly.com/services.html In terms of strengthening your application, I'd say the EMT is great! You definitely want to get as much direct patient care as you can, and some school won't accept volunteer hours. Definitely get that EMT cert, that is awesome!! In terms of using the EMT cert, I'd say your best move would be to try and work in a hospital in an ED. You can absolutely work on an ambulance, however, the connections you will make in the ED and the experience you will get will almost always be better than on the ambulance (unless you work in a busy area, but also you won't meet PA's on the ambulance so that's a draw back). If you can use your EMT to get you in the ED as a patient care technician that is awesome and will really help you gain knowledge, connections, and experience. Overall, the fact that you are thinking about this as a sophomore is GREAT! You are definitely thinking ahead! Also, some hospitals will train you as a tech in the ED or on a floor without any previous training, so if the hospital you are working in will train you as a tech before your EMT cert that wouldn't be a bad idea to look into. This way once you get the EMT cert you can maybe use that to increase pay, to move from a floor position to the ED, etc. If you need any more advice or have questions, don't hesitate to message me! I'm not an expert but I actually got a lot of my patient care as an EMT, so I have some experience in that area! Best of luck to you!
  7. I'm fairly sure it's all lower case because you aren't directly referencing a program! Also make sure when you use physician assistant in general for your personal statement you keep it lower case as well! That's something some people forget and can sometimes be tricky!
  8. Hey! Saw this and thought I'd offer some advice, I'm definitely not an expert and have never been on an admissions committee, but I did struggle with my undergrad GPA, applied last cycle, and am currently in PA school! The only class I'd recommend you should maybe retake would be general chemistry II. I say this with a grain of salt because I also had a C in general chemistry II and retook it only to receive a C+, which really is not much of an improvement. With that being said, if you truly believe you'll be able to get at least a B or better by retaking (I'm talking sit in the front row, take the class solo to dedicate all your time to it, become BFF's with the professor) then don't waste your time. My real suggestion would be to take more science oriented classes!! Nursing or biologically based genetics (if you think you can do well), nutrition, neuroscience, physics 1 (challenging but doable if you take a light courseload), an EMT class, pathophysiology, medical terminology (this is a huge requirement for PA schools if you haven't taken it already). It seems you've gotten through most of the hard stuff, now it's time to boost that GPA with some more medically based classes! B's are okay, and I wouldn't waste your time retaking biology I since you did okay in biology II. Feel free to message me with any questions!
  9. First off, I'm really sorry to hear about your parents. I can't imagine what you're going through, and any normal person would absolutely struggle in a time as difficult as you are having. Totally agree with everything @stat1177 is saying! Every application and every cycle is a little different, but there are some general rules of thumb that I've seen in my previous experience. Higher GPA and sGPA will almost always get you more interviews and give you more acceptances but you shouldn't count yourself out if you've struggled and persisted. A little backstory, I applied last cycle (first try), and I applied to 29 schools, got interviews at 6, waitlisted by 5, and ultimately accepted to 1 (withdrew my waitlist spots from the others, so still a chance I could have gotten off more waitlists I guess). I had a D+ in calculus, a C in Chem 1 that I retook and got an A-, a C in biology 2 that I retook to get a B, and a C in Chemistry 2 that I retook and got a C+ (Not my smartest move). Most of my other science grades were A's or B's, but overall my science GPA was not strong. Not telling you this to influence your thought process one way or the other, but rather to just say that if you really want to be a physician assistant (you like helping others, you like science, you like problem solving) then you should keep persisting. Try to retake the C's if you truly believe you'll improve upon them. As I said, I retook chem 2 and only went from a C to C+, which didn't help show the admissions committee that I improved my study skills or understanding of the material. Be critical with yourself in terms of what's feasible to retake. I'd rather you try to either retake that C in anatomy OR take pathophysiology, which builds upon anatomy than retake chem and do just as bad (not saying this would happen, but it happened to me so that's my perspective). I took pathophys at a community college while not taking any other classes. I learned a ton, and had time to focus on the material which was great! Maybe try to retake genetics OR micro, to show that you can do well in upper level science, but don't waste time retaking every single class, especially because it seems as though you have extenuating circumstances. Lastly, I'd say to try and beef up your sGPA with some more medically inclined classes like nutrition or an EMT course. I did this and honestly it really helped the GPA and gave me some interesting insight into more niche parts of science and medicine. Work on building your application with shadowing and patient care! Also I'd say that in my experience, most of my interview invites came from programs that were started a long time ago or ones that were provisional. Most of the programs that started about 5-10 years ago seem to prefer candidates with a solid GPA and few C's, whereas really well established schools definitely seem to take into account strong patient care and extracurriculars! Best of luck to you during this exceptionally difficult time. Please reach out if I can help in any way! Don't give up, I didn't think I'd make it here and I'm really enjoying it!
  10. Hello! I can't speak for all these programs, however I can speak for a couple! I applied last year during COVID, so I'm not if that messed with the timing for any schools. Arcadia typically starts interviews in August and goes until early November. Last year they didn't give much notice, they offered the interview invite but didn't specify a date, and then about a month later they sent an email telling you your interview was within the next couple of days! But they also have a fairly quick interview (about 15 minutes for the virtual one) so you wouldn't need to take a whole day off unless they are doing in person interviews. High point does interviews I believe from October to February (although they were delayed because of COVID). I know last year they had virtual and in person options and I'm not sure what the plan is for this year. Penn state interviews from September to February as far as I know, and they say they won't fill all their seats until February. West Virginia University held interviews super early last year, I remember people interviewing in July, August, and September, and then they were pretty much done (but they are also a January start so that makes sense). That's everything I know haha! Things may change this year, and I can definitely say it was a little difficult planning the interviews with work (I also worked 8-430 5 days a week). My biggest advice would be to ALWAYS take the earlier interview day even if it means having to work something out with your manager! Not sure how much it matters, but other people always told me it's better to interview as soon as possible, and I truly believe that! Good luck to you!!
  11. Hi! I have a couple thoughts for you that might help with this decision. I would say the job you get largely depends on a couple factors such as how many hours do you already have (if any), what medical experience do you have (if any), and is your GPA competitive for most programs (science and cumulative greater than 3.5). The reason I'm saying this is because if you have a very competitive GPA the patient care experience itself doesn't always matter as much, it's just more so that you GET some hours. If you're GPA could use a boost or you are able to take a class like an EMT class or CNA class I'd definitely suggest doing that. Many people in my program worked as EMT's, CNA's, PCTs, etc. and the experience they got from these positions was really good! The other nice thing about an EMT course is that most of them offer college credit that you can count in your CASPA GPA! EMT is also super flexible because you can work in an ambulance or work in a hospital ER. I used my EMT certification to land me a job as a medical assistant which also gave me pretty good experience (although if you don't have any experience the ER is a great place to start because you really get thrown into things)! The only downside to doing an EMT course is that it takes time, so you have to plan when to start it and know that you won't be accruing patient care hours during the class at all (which might be a problem depending on how many hours you are looking to get in a certain time frame). I think that the jobs I'd stay away from are anything relating to research, insurance, front office work in doctor's offices, phlebotomist. These positions are obviously still valuable in the medical field, but they aren't going to really impress an admissions committee if you don't have any other medical experiences. I hope this helps, feel free to message me with any questions!
  12. Absolutely agree with @ohiovolffemtp and @buttercakes! First off just want to say that as a sophomore in college it is the perfect time to be thinking about PCE and starting to get your hours. EMT is a great option and will open a lot of doors for you. I got my EMT and was able to use that on a lot of applications to apply for not only EMT related jobs but also medical assistant, patient care tech in the ED, and clinical research (clinical research is NOT PCE, just something I found interesting). Depending on where you are in the country, some places will train you on the job for things like nursing assistant or medical assistant, HOWEVER the best way to assure that you will qualify for the majority of quality PCE positions like medical assistant, certified nursing assistant, emergency room tech, etc. is to become an EMT. Personally, I agree with @buttercakes that after you get an EMT certification it will be more beneficial to find a position that is in the ER or on a hospital floor or even working out-patient as a medical assistant. Those are the positions where you will be working directly with physician assistants and other APP's, where as on an ambulance you will likely be working with other EMTs or, at best, paramedics (paramedics are extremely knowledgable and obviously are very useful parts of the healthcare system, however making connections with PAs and physicians is VERY valuable for the application process). I hope this was helpful, if you have any questions feel free to message me!
  13. Hey! I believe during the interview they said their site visit is in March and they will let everyone know in early April if they receive provisional accreditation, and their website seems to reflect this same timeline! Not sure if anyone else has any insight!
  14. Found out I was waitlisted from the 1/22 interview on Tuesday (2/16)! Good luck to everyone!
  15. Does anyone have any insight into whether they will be holding more interviews? I reached out the other week to admissions and they said they weren't sure because covid slowed everything down, however it is getting pretty late in the cycle! I wasn't sure if anyone has heard any more information on if interviews will be offered in March/April. Thanks!
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