Undergrad Ed School: University of Connecticut
Major: Bachelors in Dietetics
Cumulative Undergrad. GPA: 3.36 Science Undergrad. GPA: 3.34 Age at application time : 23 GRE taken June, 2014: 152 V (53%), 155 Q (61%), 4 W (54%) Direct Patient Care : (type & hours)
Clinical Dietitian at a hospital - 2,400 hours
Emergency Medical Technician - 600 hours
4 PAs (Gastroenterology PA, Geriatric PA, Surgical PA, and a private practice PA)
Schools Applied (10): Tufts, Yale, Quinnipiac, Pace, Weill Cornell, NYIT, UC Davis, Touro in CA, Duke, University of Florida Application Submitted Date: 6/28/14 Interview Invites (8): Tufts (attended), Yale (attended), Quinnipiac (attended), Cornell (attended), Pace (attended), UC Davis (declined), NYIT (declined), UF (attended)
Still waiting to hear from: Touro
Denied: Duke (no interview invite), Cornell (after interview)
Waitlisted: Tufts, Yale Accepted: UF and Pace! Still waiting to hear from Quinnipiac - will update
Few words of advice if you care:
First of all, make sure you REALLY want to become a PA. Your motivation should be deep within your heart and this will be evident in your application and interview. Research the career. Research PA schools ASAP and look into their mission/admission requirements/statistics, etc to make sure they are a fit for you. (FYI admission requirements may change year-by-year and you may not qualify for the next year even if you did before so continually check). Shadow as many PAs as you can to get a good feel for what you're getting into.
Second: With a lackluster GPA and GRE score, I wasn't sure if I would get an interview invite to even one of the schools. However, I did not let this bring me down. I planned WELL in advance (two years before I submitted the application) and made sure my other application aspects were much superior. I wrote a moving essay from my heart that conveyed my sincere commitment for this career, my maturity, and my personality. I made sure I volunteered and worked as much as my time allows so my health care experience was competitive. I built a strong rapport with my references well before I requested them to write it for me (kept in touch with them over time, gave them a thank you note if they allowed me to shadow them as well as after they wrote the recommendation letter). I retook particular courses that I did not do very well in during the summer breaks (yes you, biochemistry!). I read some books that help prepare for PA school application (Ex: The Ultimate Guide to Getting into Physician Assistant School and How to "Ace" the Physician Assistant School Interview by Andrew Rodican). I applied as EARLY as I can (3+ months before the application deadline).
Last but not least: BREATHE and "enjoy" the process. Don't let any feelings of premonition stress you out. Though being anxious and stressed can be a natural response, I realized this is futile so I made sure I wasn't stressed too much from PA school application. This helped me feel very comfortable during the interview and be myself.
I strongly believe a combination of the above helped me get an interview invite to 8 of the 10 schools I applied to so far! I'm not anyone special and if I can get into PA school, you most surely can as well! Please don't hesitate to ask for any questions. I was in your shoes only a moment ago and before you know it, we'll be practice PAs saving lives!