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  1. This is my first time on the forum, so hopefully I'm using this correctly! I am looking for shadowing opportunities in the Raleigh/Durham/CH area of NC. Thanks!
  2. This is copied from paadmissions "Ask a PA Admissions Director." I found it hiding in the bowels of that forum (page 81), and I figured placing it here would make it very handy for those perusing personal statements and seeking advice. Posted 20 May 2014 - 02:46 PM Hi guys! I've put together some hints for writing a good personal statement below. These hints were gathered from several medical school websites and from our own experience with our program. Hope this helps! The personal statement is required as a part of any application to PA school. Many applicants make writing a personal statement a daunting task, but it does not have to be. Below are helpful hints and topics to avoid that can help you write a good personal statement. Topic: Why you want to be a PA? Personal Statement Helpful Hints: · Engage the reader and create interest. · Get to the point. There is a character limit for personal statements. One page is usually all it takes to make your point. · Avoid using flowery language and/or big words throughout your statement. · Make sure the statement is structured in a logical order and flows nicely so it is easy to read. · Do not restate your resume. · Incorporate how your healthcare experience and non-healthcare experience (academics, volunteer, and leadership positions) prepared you for PA school. · Be insightful and analytical about your understanding of the role of the PA. Use your clinical experiences to draw this conclusion. · Call out the elephant in the room. If you had a “hiccup” in your academic career, you should BRIEFLY address it (i.e. death in the family, immaturity factor, poor study habits), state what you did to overcome it, and what you have done to sustain an upward trend in your academic performance. · If you have a strong desire to enter a certain field of medicine, explain why. For example, if you want to go into primary care, what have you done to prepare yourself for this field (i.e. clinical experience opportunities, skill sets, are you from a disadvantaged background, etc.), and the challenges PAs face, if any in the particular field. · Have more than one person review your statement. An advisor, career services representative, or a writing center are good resources to utilize. · Avoid contractions. · Avoid acronyms that the common person would not know (this is especially true for military applicants). Qualities to Portray · Maturity · Reflectiveness · Honesty and integrity · Clarity of thought · Passion · Individuality · Positivity · Logic · Distinctiveness · Commitment · Ability to relate to diverse people · Insight into the chosen health profession · Compassion and empathy · Genuineness and sincerity · Leadership · Insightfulness · A realistic perspective · Lessons learned · Self-awareness Themes to Avoid · Clichés: Avoid starting a statement with a famous quote or with cliché’ filler statements like: “I want to be a PA because I like science and I want to help people...” “Ever since I was five I played with my mom/dad’s doctor’s kit..” “I loved to play the game Operation as a child and that sparked my desire to be a PA...” “As I watched my beloved family member pass away, I knew then I wanted to be a PA...” · Restating your resume’: We have already read the majority of your application up to this point, so do not retell your life story again. · Story Time: Limit your personal stories about a patient or incident in the clinic to ONE no more than TWO. The statement should focus more the topics mentioned above. · The “epiphany into medicine”: Your pursuit of the PA profession should be based on your adult experiences up until this point, NOT an instantaneous realization. · Manifest Destiny: You have not always known you want to be a PA and the fact that someone tells you “you’ll make a great PA one day” does not justify why you should be a PA. · Grandiosity: Claiming that you plan to eliminate all the healthcare problems in an area is not realistic and shows a grave lack of understanding of the profession. · The “humble brag”: Of course you’re special, but claiming “you probably do not see many applicants like me” is not only arrogant, but is likely untrue. We’ve seen it all! · Remember your audience: Remember people do have other biases and views that may not agree with yours so avoid controversial topics and statements that could offend someone. Also, remember the admissions committee can be made up of all types of members of the healthcare team. Avoid statements like “I want to be a PA because PAs spend more time with their patients in comparison to physicians.” These types of situations are not always true and you do not want to stereotype an entire profession when you’ve only been around .00000001% of them. · “I am a victim”: Victims are never attractive applicants and any difficulties along the way should be dispassionately addressed. These explanations should be brief and also address what you have done to overcome the situation and what you learned from it. · Excuses: Never, ever blame anyone else for difficulties in your life or academic career. Topsy's 2 cents: Show, don't tell. Don't tell me you're great at multitasking. Show me! Describe it instead: "Despite having to care for my ailing mother at home, work the graveyard shift at the hospital, and help victims of abuse at the women's shelter, I still managed to keep my by grades by merely studying instead of sleeping." What makes the PA profession personally meaningful to you. Do not reiterate catch phrases like autonomy, flexibility, and all those other words that you can find on countless websites/blogs. Do mention personal things you've seen! Like the time you shadowed a PA talking to a family who was strapped for cash, and the PA was sensitive and attentive enough to notice the dilemma and was kind enough to provide their family with ample samples. Again, show, don't tell. Overall, a great personal state can be achieved by getting the reader think - yes. I want to meet the person who wrote this.
  3. Ive noticed on Nova Southeastern's website that the PhD degree is held almost more prestigiously than the DHsc. Anybody know why? I did notice that the DHsc has an option to enter the PhD program but the DHsc also does not have a dissertation. Just curious because the online masters and DHsc are tempting offers considering campus visits are not required. .unless you do the dual MHS/DHsc program then I believe 2 campus visits are required. Any input is appreciated
  4. Ok guys, I need some guidance and advice. I applied to about 15 schools this year, a bit late in the cycle (verified in August, but submitted from August-September). I definitely wasn’t prepared for how competitive the application process was, I had the bare minimum in terms of patient care experience and shadowing, and I had a really difficult time getting professors and managers to submit letters of recommendation on time. Needless to say, the best news I got was a “waitlist to interview” from two schools, and rejections from the rest. Here are my stats so you get a better idea: Undergraduate degree: B.A. in Biology, double major in Dance CASPA cGPA: 3.48 CASPA sGPA: 3.34 Age at application time: 24 GRE: Quantitative 154, Verbal 158, Analytical Writing 4.5 Direct patient care: ~1000 hours at application as a CNA/Clerical assistant on a cardiology unit at a hospital, (had only been employed for 6 months at time of application) but still currently working full time Shadowing: 24 hours Cardiology PA LOR (5): Physiology professor, assistant nurse manager, charge nurse, PA I shadowed, and MD whose mother I cared for as a CNA. However, all except the professor I hadn’t known for very long, so I feel like the letters were not as strong as they could have been Extra Curricular activities/ other employment: Former professional ballet dancer, camp counselor/group director, dance teacher for children ages 5-17 Research: my senior thesis project was on muscular imbalances/injury prevention in dancers, not sure if it applies to PA school. So my current game plan is this: Continue to work full time as a CNA to get more patient experience (aiming for well over 2000 hours by next cycle). I also accepted a PRN position as a telemetry technician and will watch the heart monitors occasionally. Increase shadowing hours, hopefully shadowing a physician as well Work on volunteer hours: I already have some days scheduled at our local food bank next week, will continue there and am considering volunteering at another hospital Apply EARLY. Aiming for May 1 Take a medical terminology course online, possibly a developmental psychology course to open up more schools I can apply to I’m a little concerned about my GPA, especially considering I had a rough time dealing with some anxiety issues junior year and received a C+ in anatomy, which I feel is a pretty important prereq. In all my other classes I received As and Bs, except for OChem 2 (C+), which isn’t considered a prereq for the programs I applied to. Do you think I should retake Anatomy to get a higher grade in it, since my GPA is a bit on the low side? It will be stressful with working full time and taking those other 2 classes/volunteering/shadowing, but if it is going to make or break my second round of applying I’m willing to do anything. Or if anyone has thoughts on what they think my main focus should be for next cycle, I’m open to any and all suggestions. Sorry for the long post, whoever has made it to the end of this, God bless you.
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