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  1. Before I begin, let me start by saying the PA profession is something I have wanted to do since my senior year of high school. I am about to be a senior in college and am still a PA-hopeful but my science prerequisite grades are what's stopping me from continuing on this long journey. I have failed two, not one, but TWO prerequisites: statistics and chemistry. I have received two D's and a few C's and a few W's. Something in me says to keep trying by retaking those courses. I am willing to put in as much time and money as it takes to get to where I need to be in order to apply to PA school. I am doing awesome in my other courses which suggest perhaps I should pursue other professions before straining myself with the science courses. I'm just wondering if any of you think I still have a shot at this point. Given that I will take several years after college to retake those courses, get my science GPA up, log in those HCE hours, volunteer, etc, etc. But will admission officers even look at my application given my horrendous track record? Not so sure... Thank you all in advance.
  2. Ok so I have one semester left and a summer class to do. Approximately (12-16 credits) left depending on some courses. My GPA is at a 3.627 and I want it at the 3.6 range for these programs. I am just wondering about the GPA most students get in. The programs say one GPA,but I know they get in at a way higher GPA.
  3. How do you think my chances are? I have a 309 combined GRE score 3.17 cGPA 3.3 sGPA 3.6 (last 60 hour GPA) Bachelor's in Health Science Paramedic for 4 years 13,000 Patient Care Hours 24,000 HCE hours 35 shadowing hours (PA) 800 volunteer hours (scout leader) I'm concerned about my lower cumulative GPA...what do you think?
  4. Hi PA Forum community! I stumbled on this website during my research about the PA profession about a year ago and would read through these forums on the daily, but I never had much courage until now to actively seek out some help! I really want to get into PA school but I don't have the most stellar GPA. I will be graduating Stony Brook University next week but I had a first 2 years in college, unfortunately leaving me with only a 2.7 GPA :( My grades did, however, increase my last two years of undergrad. I have been a pharmacy technician for almost a year and a half, but I know that doesn't really count towards HCE. I will be starting work as a medical scribe in the next few weeks to help me get HCE for the next year or two. I've also been on a medical mission during my undergrad as well, and I've been shadowing one of my professors who's also a PA. I can't decide on how to help myself raise my GPA. Some forums say that applying to post-bacc programs are not worth it, but some say they are. Some forums say that I should just take non-matriculated classes. I just really want some solid guidance as to how I can pursue the next few years of my time to gear myself up for PA school, academically. If you guys also know of any programs that would be helpful for me on Long Island, or NYC that would be really helpful as well. I'm really determined and I work really hard. This is something I really want for myself and I just want the best advice. Please don't tell me not to pursue this career path. I've shadowed PA's and I really can't see myself doing anything else. Thank you so much to everyone in advance for your help!
  5. I'm changing career, and need a blunt assessment before I even begin applying. My undergrad GPA is around 3.35, for both cumulative and science. I have the appropriate HCE for select schools (Peace Corps). The problem is my MPH GPA (3.2). I was working (data analysis and biostatistics, doing it for 9 years) while attending a top 10 school. Not the smartest decision, but I had to pay the bills. This doesn't change my overall GPA, but as I've heard grad grades are considered inflated and downward trends are app killers, should I even bother applying to PA schools?
  6. Hello, I graduated with a very low GPA due to nothing but poor study habits. After retaking a few classes since graduating, I've raised my CASPA cGPA to 3.3 and sGPA to 3.1. Because this is still very low compared to the average accepted PA applicants, I expect to get a lot of rejections from many schools. With Western U's grade replacement, my cGPA is 3.48, sGPA is 3.52, and pGPA is 3.56! This puts me around the average of the school's accepted applicant stats. My question is, will the grade replacement really put me on the same playing field as people who have CASPA GPAs of ~3.5, all else being equal? Will it prevent my application from being automatically discarded and help give me a shot at an interview? I have ~1100 as a Medical Assistant Any feedback/advice/encouraging anecdotes would be appreciated. This school is my top choice - I absolutely loved the environment during my visit and I know an awesome PA who graduated from here (the one I'm getting the letter from!).
  7. I really want to apply this year and see if I get in. My GPA is very low with a cGPA of 3.19 and pGPA of 3.09. I have 500 hrs as a pharm tech, 200 hrs as a volunteer, 50 hrs as a CNA Seeing this, I know I would have to work on my HCE 2-3 years in order to get into PA school. My question is, even if I put in the commitment of working 2-3 years and accumulating HCE, will it be worth it??? Seems like the average GPAs to get into PA school are getting higher and the average HCE among applicants are getting lower.. I am also considering going into nursing first and working a few years to get experience, raise my GPA, and pay off my undergrad loans before applying to PA school. Please let me know what you all think.
  8. Hey everyone! I am a currently as senior Biology major, getting ready to graduate this upcoming December. I'm starting to get everything together for the CAPSA application that is getting ready to open up. I'm been stressed a lot about whether or not I will be able to get into PA school so I wanted some input on if I have a chance of getting in. I currently have a 3.96 GPA and if everything goes as planned I should be able to graduate with at least a 3.9. All of my prerequisite courses for PA school are done and I made A's in all of them except for 1 B (Ochem 1 lecture). As far as "clinical experience" I have about 500 hours as an ER scribe but no actual hands on patient care. I am trying to volunteer at a local clinic which will allow me to take vitals etc to at least give me a little more experience. I am going to be completing a shadowing program this summer that will be around 120 hours, although I will only be shadowing physicians. If anyone has gotten into PA school with only scribing and shadowing hours please let me know! I haven't been able to shadow a PA yet and I was wondering how crucial this was to the application process. I have a strong recommendation letter that I can get from one of my professors but I'm not sure what to do about the other 2. Also, for those of you that have been scribes in the past have you asked the doctors you have worked with for recommendation letters or your chief scribe? I was just curious. Sorry for all the details and questions. I've just been really stressed out about this lately and wanted to hear from others who have gone through or are going through the process. I am planning on applying to Methodist university, East Carolina University, Eastern Virginia Medical School and possibly South University. If anyone has any schools they know of that accept scribing hours please let me know!
  9. Hey everyone, I'm currently preparing for the upcoming application cycle, and have been anxious about my chances due to a couple of lower grades on my transcript. While I have all As in my biology courses, I got a C and C- in Organic Chem 1 and 2 respectively. I didn't retake them because I got an A in Biochem, and I know many programs will take Biochem OR Orgo. But now I'm starting to worry that these grades will stand out and that I may be "weeded out" of the application pool. I plan on applying broadly, but would like any input anyone may have. Thanks in advance!
  10. Hi everyone! After reading every day for the last 2 years I finally decided to make an account and post. I am in a tough spot right now in terms of when to apply, or what my next step should be. I'll post my stats below. Undergrad Ed School: University of Pittsburgh, B.S. Natural Sciences (Graduating this Spring) Cumulative Undergrad. GPA: 3.15 Science Undergrad. GPA: 3.05 Just a bit of a background on my low GPA...I sucked my freshman year. Absolutely lazy. But I've stepped it up since and have A/A-/B+ in the upper level courses (Ochem, A&P I & II, Patho, Micro, Nutrition, Med Term). Age at application time : 22 if I apply this coming cycle 1st GRE: 301 (4.5) 2nd GRE: Definitely taking after graduation Direct Patient Care : Nursing Assistant at a Assisted Living facility - 700 hours and counting I have volunteer experience in a special program that does involve patient contact. The University of Pittsburgh PA program accepts this as direct patient care. - 150 hours and counting Extracurricular/Research Activities:​ 3 years in non-clinical Obstetric research, abstract presentation at a professional health conference - working on my own paper now that I hope will get published, President of my school's PA program, multiple volunteer activities/events, regular hospital volunteer - 60 hours, 20 hours shadowing. My issue is that I don't know if I should even bother applying this cycle. My GPA is so low and the averages at some of these schools are much higher. Should I retake the basic pre-reqs or continue with upper level courses? Also I would like to switch up my patient care experience. The assisted living facility is nice, but very repetitive. I was considering clinical research that would involve some phlebotomy? Here's the job description to a job I'm considering applying to: ​"As part of the Obstetrical Specimen Collection Unit, this research assistant will be responsible for attending births in the labor suite and operating rooms, collecting and processing placental and cord blood samples, and drawing and processing maternal blood" Let me know what you all think! Thanks so much :)
  11. Recently I've decided to pursue the path of becoming a PA, however I am in need of a few pointers in getting the right direction from here. I currently have a 3.5 GPA and 4.0 in science GPA (however I have only taken a handful). I'm hoping to graduate with a 3.7GPA. It would have been higher by now but I had to deal with a few very hard family and personal matters which hindered my GPA for one semester. My major is a bachelor of science in psychology. I'm well aware that it would have been better to have a science degree, but I've heard you can get in with any major as long as you have requirements filled. I have a bunch of volunteering hours outside of mental health (community events etc), and some shadowing from a PA. As for a letter of recommendation, I already have one from a professor. Also have a few extra curricular activities with the national leadership society. My main problem is that I'm lacking on hands on experience with patients. I'm not sure what jobs would help fulfill that requirement with my unfinished degree. One medical student recommended to start as a medical scribe. If needed I can take a year off after I finish my BS in psychology and work as an assistant in psychology. I'm just very unsure where to get most of this hands on experience without getting some sort of medical certification (which I'm not opposed to). Another problem is that I'm from a rural place in the US, so I'm not sure if schools would look down on that aspect. As you can probably tell I'm mostly interested in mental health. I like psychology, however I found myself drawn more to the medical aspects rather than just therapeutic methods. Right now I have around 2 years left to build any lacking experience for applying. That's calculating in the time to take classes that are required for applying. If any of you guys have any extra tips you can give me that would be great!
  12. Hello, I hope this finds everyone well. I am now 38 and decided on a career change and thus have been taking prerequisites at a pretty decent community college in NYC, which I am almost done with. I have several issue at the moment: 1. Every time I look at the program of my choice website, a new prerequisite appears; last year they were different than this year so there are always classes I am missing and can not apply 2. I want to work with patients already and a phlebotomy program is opening up and thinking of registering but it is not cheap and do I really need it? 3. I have about 65 hrs of shadowing and the doctor trained me as a medical assistant: cleaning the room, taking temp, BP, simple eye chart exam, this is pediatrics 4. Feeling inert and stuck, just want to move forward already, still taking 2 chem classes 5. my gpa is 3.909 for about 60 creds (mostly pre-reqs, science + others ) but my bachelors in art gpa is only 3.3 Should I proceed and register for the phlebotomy course? I need something to happen. Getting a little depressed waiting for 3 years already with the fall semester still to go. Any advice? I feel that although my gp is high, the schools are so competitive and need to have some extra skills. So tired of waiting, getting old here:(
  13. Hello all, I'm planning to apply for 2016-2017 cycle. Just wondering: 1) Is there a way for me to calculate my CASPA GPA ahead of time before registering/using the CASPA website? I've seen the CASPA GPA site calculation and it is a bit confusing to me. Does anyone know a simpler explanation of how I can calculate? I have a bit of a low GPA and just want to be sure I am hitting the program minimums. I have a 4 yr university bachelors GPA, and have taken/retaken some prerequisites at a city college. How would I calculate my GPA including the grades from both of these colleges to get a single cumulative GPA and science GPA? 2) As for Letter of Recommendations, are there certain components/prompts for what the author of the LOR must include in the LOR? I've been looking at PA program websites and don't seem to find any "prompts," but just the amount of LOR's required. If there are no guidelines whatsoever, are there any recommendations anyone has on what kind of things I should request in a LOR?
  14. I am a 26 yr old career (paid) Firefighter/EMT-B with just about 2 years of HCE hours due to my EMT portion of the job. I have a bachelor of science (non science) from back in to 2007-2011 with an overall gpa of just over a 3.0)... I did however minor in Psychology so I have all of the Psych classes and the Statistic classes taken care of. While in college I took human biology and environmental biology *Both with labs* and did not do so great (freshman year was a mess) received a 'C' in both of those classes. It looks like I would have to take 5 or so pre-req classes in order to apply to most schools. (chemistry/a&p/etc) The department i work for now has offered to send me through ALS school in order to obtain my EMT-I and P starting summer 2016. All in all this should roughly take about 2 years to complete all the coursework and training required thru my department. HERES MY QUESTION: Should I hold off on taking pre-reqs and accept the offer to Medic school? spend 2 more years getting HCE and boosting my rep from a EMT-B to a Paramedic and THEN take the pre-reqs and apply? (By this time ill be 29 or so years old - so by the time i finish the 5 prereqs ill be looking at 31-32 yrs old at time of application)... OR Should I hold off on Medic school and start taking the prereqs immediately and bank on using my EMT-B HCE hours to meet school requirements? Does EMT-B vs Medic hours really make a difference? (If i did it this way i would be able to finish pre-reqs by 28-29 years of age and apply) Is my overall GPA of a 3.0 too low anyways? > Will my pre-req classes add into my overall GPA (raising it hopefully - even if i Aced all pre-req classes it still would only bring my GPA to around a 3.4 or so)? Will schools count my two biology classes (that i got "C"s in) as "science GPA classes" and disqualify me because it isnt above a 3.0? or will they only focus on my recent pre-req science classes? Lots of questions, I appreciate all and any reasonable responses. M
  15. What fields are of these positions found in? I am guessing mostly in the emergency room? Are there any other fields that have schedules like this? Whats your work/life balance like?
  16. I'm a first-semester student in a fairly new PA program. I had a 4.0 GPA for all my postbac coursework (40+ credits), but I'm struggling just to keep my head above water. I'm not failing any of my classes, but I'm afraid I might wind up with below the minimum 3.0 GPA this semester and be on probation. My program allows you to be on probation only once during the entire program....if you fall below a 3.0 a second time, you're out. At least, that's the policy as stated in the student handbook. So I'm wondering: if I do wind up on probation, do I cut my losses and leave the program at the end of the semester? If it seems I'm at risk of dropping below a 3.0 a second time and getting booted, this would seem like the best option rather than to waste more time and tens of thousands of dollars. On the other hand, I do know that: 1) other students are struggling with grades, and 2) from all I've read, PA programs will do everything possible to not lose students. Our cohort has already lost two (ostensibly, one for career choice reasons and the other for health reasons) in the first 7 weeks. Can anyone (especially those of you who are done or nearly done) shed any light on this? Thanks!
  17. Hey all, new to the forums and I had a question regarding PA admissions, PA school, GPA, etc. To give a little background, I'm not your typical applicant. I graduated from college in 2004 with a BA in Economics and Business, and then spent 8.5 years in the Army as an Officer. I got out a few years ago and went private sector, but realized the business world wasn't for me. I had long been interested in PA (mostly due to my overwhelmingly positive experiences with them in the Military) but I thought that without having a science or medical background, I was just too far off the beaten path. Enter my cousin in law, who is older than me but has a very similar background: Commissioned Army Officer straight out of College, had a BA in a decidedly non-science or medical major (world history, I believe), no medical experience besides combat life saver (CLS) courses in the Army, but he got out of the Army, went to school for his pre-reqs, got into PA school (with basically no HCE besides shadowing), and is now a practicing PA. Here is my question: I'll be the first to admit I wasn't the greatest student when I was in College 11-15 years ago (I sometimes joked that my major was "I need a degree to become an Officer"), and although I graduated with about a 2.87, that was because I re-took several courses and my school took the higher grade (and I know CASPA will factor in both grades). However, now that I am back in school taking pre-reqs, my grades have been excellent (all A's and B's for science courses). So my question is: considering that my academic performance right now is excellent but it wasn't 14 or so years ago, how badly is that going to affect my chances? I know much of it is automated, but wouldn't admissions offices pay attention to the fact that I'm a significantly better student now than I was over a decade ago, or is it all the same to them? Thanks for everyone's help!
  18. Hi everyone, I could not find it in the forums, but how do PA schools look at pass/fail courses. There is this one course I would like to take as pass/fail during my last semester of my undergraduate career. I simply want to take it for interest without it affecting my GPA. It's not a requirement for any of the schools I am applying to. Should I avoid taking a class as Pass/Fail? How would this affect my caspa GPA? I noticed in their website that a pass would be considered a 3.0, but I read somewhere else in the caspa website that it does not affect the gpa. I am a little confused which one it is. Thanks!
  19. Hello all, Just to start I really love this site and it helps me put things in perspective for PA School and its feasibility. But I have a dilemma on my hands. I'll get to the meat of it now. The bad news first. I was a terrible student in college a few years ago (graduate of 2013) and now I have a loooow GPA. It's 2.22 with 139 credits from a Biology BS. After putting in all my grades to and online GPA calculator it told me in order to raise my cGPA to the bare minimum 3.0 I would need to take an additional 113 credits. As you might know this is about what is needed to actually obtain a whole other degree. I am going to take some courses that I have taken before and some for the first time. All of which are 'challenging'. I am okay with taking 60 credits and taking higher lever classes than the ones I did poorly in, here is my plan in no order: Biochemistry 1 & 2 + labs Molecular Biology Anatomy & Physio 1 & 2 Genetics + lab Organic 1 & 2 and labs Immunology + lab Microbiology + lab Calculus 2 Classes of ____Adv. Psych Statistics Medical Terminology Medical Ethics Nutrition The thing that kills me is that even is I get a 4.0 in all of these post-bac classes my GPA will not be over 3.0. While I have never felt more committed to a profession in my life I am feeling a little hopelessness. Which bring me to the good news of my application. Here is fully my 'stats' GRE: 159V,163Q 5.0WR United States Peace Corps Service as a Health Educator (counted as HCE = 2,600hrs) Work as a Surgical Patient Assistant at a large hospital (HCE = 4,680 hrs) 110 hrs PA Shadowing (25 hrs from a primary care PA) 50 hrs MD shadowing 50 hrs Volunteering teaching refugees Medical Terminology, ESL, Health Promotion 10 hrs Juvenile Diabetes Foundation Volunteering 3.5 years as a Food & Nutrition assistant in a large hospital EMT Basic Training 100 hrs County Public Health Volunteering Spanish Bilingual LOR available from Surgeons, other MDs, A&P Professor, PAs, and NPs I am considering doing research work as well in international public health education efficacy I am currently looking for work in public health/hospital project coordination/community health outreach With all of this in mind I would like someone else's perspective on what the holistic situation is. I have been trying to reach out to schools themselves but I have not had any quality responses. Please tell me what you think and I will be very grateful.
  20. Just like many in this forum, I'm a little nervous about how to approach my education and experience in the most productive and fulfilling way... so here's my info... Cons: I have a BA (Art History, as a single mother) with a low GPA (2.7) from 10 years ago... it feels like a lifetime ago. Pros: I went back to school and have a 4.0 GPA on all my pre-reqs: Anatomy, Physiology, Microbiology, Eng1A, Intermediate Algebra, Stats, General Chem, Organic Chem, Psychology, Nutrition, Sociology. Also, I'm currently 1. a volunteer at hospital (was awarded a scholarship which includes this "vip" access volunteering experience). 2. finishing my Medical Assistant program (4.0 GPA as well) Future plans: 1. volunteer in community clinic (focus on hispanic, low income) 2. volunteer in clinic at Santiago, in the Dominican Republic (my father was dominican) 3. work as M.A. for at least 1.5 yrs before PA school Demographics: I'm a bilingual (spanish/english) woman from Puerto Rico, 35 y.o., living in Northern California. Member of various clubs and associations (academic and professional) What else can I do to become a PA with my low BA GPA? Recommendations are more than welcome (Including more fitting schools). Thank you.
  21. Hi all, I find it very confusing that many schools list minimum GPA requirements as low as 2.75 or 3.0 however now schools will not even consider you if you do not have at least a 3.4! Yes, I understand that it is more competitive now, however if the schools will not even look at an application that meets the requirements, they should really update their websites so that students understand what the school wants. Can you guys list the schools with these "real" GPA requirements? (e.g. I know Western now will only consider students with 3.4 or higher).
  22. Hello all! I was hoping to get an opinion or two as to my efforts preparing for PA school application process. First off, I am a medical rep that was blessed to have hands on patient time as a rep in the realm of sleep disorders and another opportunity to work as a rep with chronic lung disorders and neurological disorders that lead to respiratory problems/ failure. I am currently a rep for a home health company where I have taken that knowledge I gained and designed specialty programs for COPD/ restrictive lung disease patients, trying to reduce hospital readmission rates, and neuromuscular patients. So far I have amassed over 350 hours of clinical shadowing in the fields of Orthopaedics and Neurology. This fall I will be an intern / volunteer that is allowed direct patient contact at a local hospital. It is a yearlong program where I am rotated every quarter into a different department. The departments they would like me to consider thus far are Acute care, ICU, PACU and Surgery. I will also have completed 60-100 hours in the community working with special needs children and wounded warriors. I have a BA in Business and am just shy of an AA in Biological Sciences. My shadowing is still ongoing until they become tired of me. ;) My concern is my undergrad GPA from 15 years ago.....Its right at a 3.0 but there are some nasty marks scattered here and there. Thankfully all my sciences had expired so I could retake them and currently have a 3.5 science GPA with 3 classes left. I'm hoping that an admissions panel will be able to discern that I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life at the age of 18 while pursuing my undergrad. Thus, I had no passion for my studies and frankly worried more about the social aspects of college life than academic life but at 39 I finally realized what I wanted to do when I grew up and that ignited a passion within me. I know that is not a stellar GPA but was wondering if a panel may take other aspects into account like the fact that I am working a 45-50 hour a week job, taking 10 hours per semester while helping to raise two young daughters, one with special needs. On top of that, my wife is an NP in MedOnc and HemOnc, and due to the stress and demands of that field, has more than her fair share of MS exacerbations these days. :( At risk of sounding like a country song, I'm wondering if a panel will take into consideration that if I can pull a 3.5+ science GPA with all this going on imagine what I can achieve if I'm able to remove work from the equation and devote that time to a PA program. My fear is that my mediocre undergrad GPA will get my application immediately tossed into the garbage without a chance to explain! My family and I are prepared to move states in order for me to attend a program; whatever it takes. Will any of this help or be taken under consideration? I have not taken the GRE yet. Opinions, good or bad, are greatly appreciated. Suggestions as to how to continue to become a more competitive candidate are most valued as well. Thanks for reading my Novella!
  23. Hello everyone! I am thinking about applying in 2016 or 2017 and just wanting to know what I can do to improve my application. I graduated from BYU in 2013 and attended a CC to get my certificate in medical assisting. Some pertinent info for application: 3.06 Overall GPA 3.11 Science GPA Over 2000 hours of medical assisting experience (IM, FM, and urgent care) at time of application 1 excellent LOR from medical assisting instructor 1 excellent LOR from a PA Will have close to 100 shadowing hours Various volunteer experience but nothing substantial I live in the Pacific NW and would love to stay in this area but am open to attending school in almost any state. I would love some suggestions/guidance!
  24. Any advice to burn roughly a grand of CME money very quickly? Already using the free trial for AD, do need some new scrubs, I have a littmann cardiology III but it is getting some major wear and tear by now. Not interested in conferences. Any advice?! Thanks all.
  25. I realize its getting pretty late (had to take a pre-req this summer and the schools I'm applying to deadlines are 9/1), but as I read on this forum more and more I'm starting to wonder if I should even bother applying or take another gap year. I just finished my undergrad and will be taking one gap year working as a CNA, but I just got the job and haven't worked more than 100 hours yet, and I only have another 250 hours from volunteering (hospital and hospice). So very little HCE and only about 20 hours shadowing an MD. If accepted I will have well over 1,000 hours by the time I matriculate, but I know CASPA wants my current hours. My Overall GPA is 3.65 and science is 3.55 and GRE is 159 V, 153 Q, and 4.0 W. My application is just about complete (including LOR). I'm wondering if my grades can make up for my lack of experience? Also, if I don't get in will a poor application hurt my chances of applying next cycle? Any advice is greatly appreciated!
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