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UGoLong

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UGoLong last won the day on July 25

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    Physician Assistant

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  1. I honestly have clothes that are at least 51! You've got 7 more years to be as old as I was when I started PA school. I admire your attitude today; I hope it takes you far.
  2. Your grades make you a marginal candidate at some programs since many view your academic performance in the past as the best predictor in how you would do in a PA program. Since programs have to report on the website what percent of their students make it through, they really don't want to take too many risks. You might want to look into programs that emphasize academics in the last "n" credits (such as the last 60), rather than the overall. That way you can get additional credits (if you need them) to meet their goals. I don't know which schools look at the last "n" credits, but a search on this forum may be a help. As far as getting a masters, I would suggest that the expense would only be worth it if the masters would open the door to something you'd like to do in case you don't become a PA. Best wishes.
  3. The initial basic EMT class fills in most of the details about the prehospital environment. Not sure if they still have it but I knew of an RN/EMT who took a 3 month bridge course and became a paramedic. Depending on your system, if you were an EMT basic, it is possible that the medical director could become your collaborating physician and let you ride and treat at your PA skill level. After all, MDs do occasionally hop on board and take over care at their level even though they aren't EMTs or paramedics. Just a thought. Good luck!
  4. Reading between the lines (or maybe overreading, in case I'm way off base) but perhaps you should consider some counselling to help you sort things out. Add about a decade to your age and that's about when you would become a doc. It's probably been done but it's an even bigger sacrifice and would probably preclude making some other life changes for a while. Would you want your tombstone to read "He never really had a personal life but he became a physician at age 63"? My guess is that you're one of the good guys and it's time to make some calculated changes. Perhaps you are somewhere now where you are underappreciated. Maybe it's also time to make some time for a social life and see what happens. Just being your age is a plus when it comes to dealing with patients. You talked a lot about your life this last post and perhaps you need to see if you can spice that up while you're applying to school, or maybe just find a kid who needs a mentor. One of my life lessons has been that dissatisfaction has actually been a good thing: it's often the only signal I had that I was way off-course. Then it's time to explore and take a few steps down a new path if only to see where it might lead. Best wishes.
  5. If your GPA didn't meet the minimums, I'm not sure why applying to that program made sense. Often GPA (both cumulative and science) are hard cut-offs that are screened by administrative staff and noncomplying applications often don't get to a faculty member for review.) Having a ton of experience -- for example -- often won't get you past a low GPA since the latter is judged as a better guide to how well you would do in a PA program. That said, there is no harm applying to places now with future cut-offs if you meet their criteria. This might also be the time to take an impartial look at your qualifications and decide what you can do to improve them. That might include taking some more coursework since it sounds like your grades might be a weak point. Another -- if you're older and some of your classes are old too -- is to look for schools that weight the most recent 60 or so credits more strongly than the older ones. Best wishes.
  6. While applying to PA school is competitive, I know of no statistics that show that acceptance is under 1 percent! There are lots of paths to medicine and nursing is certainly one of them and so is medical school. On the other hand, PA applicants who meet or exceed the requirements of their prospective programs, get decent experience, have good recommendations, and can carry on conversations with strangers during the interview process seem to do fairly well. Coupled with the fact that many applicants apply to multiple schools and may apply in more than one year, I suspect their chances of ultimately getting in aren't all that bad.
  7. We use the ACC/AHA (American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association) guidelines for preoperative clearance for noncardiac surgery. It hasn't changed since 2014. Here is a link to the pdf. If you have trouble with the link, you can search for "ACC Guidelines" and get to it. I don't believe you have to be an ACC member to read it or download as a pdf: https://www.jacc.org/doi/10.1016/j.jacc.2014.07.944?_ga=2.147267639.182671638.1634460817-1223100178.1633263420 Eye surgery (and surgery without requiring a general anesthetic or more extensive hemodynamic impact) are considered lower risk but there are still some things to look for. Take a look at this and it should steer you in the right direction, plus make you look like a star because you are following the guidelines. Best wishes on a long and happy career!
  8. Current Western University PA student class of 2023’ here. I had a hell of a journey getting into PA school. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to reach out! I’d love to help you out with the application process and give you insight to what it is like in PA school. I know what it’s like and would love to share my knowledge. 

    1. UGoLong

      Thanks but I graduated from PA school in 2006.

  9. As a PA, you will have to establish rapport quickly with a stranger. So, for the most part, the interviewers probably care less about your specific answers than they are about how able you are to think on your feet. Decide what you want to say when these questions are asked and then just do it. You've been crawling over broken glass to become a PA: I've got to think that, deep down, you probably know why you are doing that. Decide what your story is when they ask "tell me about yourself." They want to like you; give them a reason in 30 seconds or so. Good luck!
  10. It's just one guy's journey but I hope it helps!
  11. The requirements for patient care hours varies a lot by school. Where I teach, 500 hours would still let you be considered. What would likely derail you is the sub-3.0 science GPA. Many applicants are in at least the mid-3s. Some schools judge that your science GPA is the best indicator they have that you can do well in PA school. Schools have to report the number of students who fail out, etc. and they often don't want to take chances. At least you know where to start working. Good luck.
  12. This happens frequently. I would just tell them something like "Some family responsibilities have come up that I need to deal with right now. I look forward to reapplying next year." [You are a member of your family, right?] I wouldn't burden them with your health issues, whether they be mental or otherwise: none of their business. It's a wise move getting things together before a couple of years of drinking from a firehose! Good luck to you.
  13. I doubt that a higher GRE would help get past a hard 3.0 cut-off and you really don't have to repeat all of your Cs. You might consider taking some more advanced science classes and doing really well. Either way, it has the same effect on your GPA and taking something new might be more fun than retaking a class. I would suggest that you take a look at your GPA as your science GPA and your overall GPA (so you get two numbers) and see where you stand in each. Then do the same just for the last 60 credits. Then you can get a better idea of where you stand and what it would take to improve things. At the time it might seem like it, but 53 really isn't that old. I took my first prereq at 51, started PA school at 58, graduated at 60, and I'm still working (part-time) at 75. The time will go by no matter what you do so I would recommend doing whatever it is that you would like to do. Looking back, I remember the journey -- hard as it was at times -- more than the destination. And, if you don't like where you're working now, you could look around for a change there too. Good luck!
  14. Your pain comes through in your post. I think you've done a good job understanding the issue; the schools I know of do have a GPA hurdle you have to get over to be considered, usually 3.0 from what I've seen. Their rationale may be that PA school is hard and the best way they have of judging your ability to get through the coursework is to see how you've done in the past. Once you clear that hurdle, your drive, perseverance, and medical experience can come to bear on their admission decision. There is a lot that your few hundred words can't tell me, like when got your bachelors, if some of the lower grades are recent or in the distant past, if your low grades also extend to your science classes, and how many credits are involved. Theoretically, you could take more classes (if you can afford them; they can be in community college) and try to pull up your averages (overall average and science average). To do that for either of those categories (assuming they're both 2.53 now), you would need 47% more A credits to pull up your grade. Another option is to look at schools that weight your last 60 credits as being more important than your total averages. This is sometimes the case with older students who -- like a lot of people -- took time to find themselves. I know these programs exist but I don't know which schools do that. You may be able to search this forum and find them. In any event, from one older ex-EMT and paramedic to another, my best wishes on whatever you decide to do.
  15. Good advice above. Also find a PA or two and start shadowing. Like many f us, you've already changed directions so make sure you have a good handle on where this direction might take you.
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