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Found 121 results

  1. Hello all! I just started thinking about PA school recently. I graduated in Fall 2015 in Biology and Psychology. I'm 23, and I'm trying to figure out my life course. I'm wondering what people on this board think about teaching abroad for a year in China before I apply to PA school. I feel like I'm young and I want to see the world a bit before I commit. Has anyone done this before? Would PA Programs look down at this for any reason? I have most of the pre-requisite classes, I would just have to take Anatomy, Physiology (the 2 big ones haha), and perhaps Medical Terminology; I would probably want to take these courses online before my expected departure date of early September, and then apply next April for the 2020 cohort. I have spent the last year in the mental health field doing rehab worker duties, which I believe counts as direct patient care hours (at least for some schools), so I would have that under my belt as well. I would love some advice for what people did before applying, that may not be related to the medical field, and your thoughts on those experiences. Thanks so much.
  2. Hello there, I am a non-traditional student aspiring to get into the SMU PA program. I'm currently an EMT in Oakland and taking my prereqs at CSUEB. I have a little over 1,000 hours HCE. My GPA is not stellar however the latest 60 units of hardcore science curriculum I have maintained a 3.7 GPA in my Microbiology/ Biomedical Laboratory Science major. I am reaching out to the people who have already gotten accepted to please chime in and tell us some of your achievements leading up to your acceptance into the program. Any help would be truly extraordinary in helping me to hone in on what I need to improve as an applicant and as an individual. Any advice is welcomed and truly appreciated. -Best, Humble Student
  3. Hello! I was wondering what chemistry grades people have received and whether they were able to get into PA school with them. I have currently an A in gen chem 1, a B- in genchem 2 and orgo 1, and a B in orgo 2. Should I retake any classes? Or will I be able to get into a PA school with these grades? (Just a note my overall science gpa is 3.5). Sorry for the annoying question, but any advice is greatly appreciated, thank you! -Maylily7
  4. Hello! I was wondering if anyone accepted into Boston University's program could share or message their application stats (gpa, HCE...), I want to know whether, if I were to apply in a later cycle I could be considered a competitive applicant. Thank you for reading this and thank you for your time, I appreciate it a lot! -Maylily7 P.S. I'll put my stats here if ya want to comment on my chances of acceptance: cGPA 3.7, sGPA 3.5, Dean's List 7/8 semesters (currently in my last semester), about 100 hours volunteering for my school's EMS. I don't have a lot of Patient care hours but I am hoping to take a gap year and work on that. I also hope to retake the GRE to improve my score as well. Again, thanks so much!
  5. Hello! So I am definitely reapplying this year. Last year was my first time applying and I made the mistake of sending my application in summer instead of when the portal opened. Since then I have taken a few extra courses, acquired more HCE (almost doubled) and am planning on changing jobs to get a different experience. I was wondering how I should adapt my essay to this new cycle? Obviously I do not want to send in the exact same essay, but my feelings about being a PA are still the same. I was interviewed by a few top ranked programs but did not get in because of the large applicant pool (according to the admissions offices). I usually do well in job interviews so I would hope my interviewing skills are not terrible, but maybe they just don't stand out as much when there are many others because I'm not a complete extrovert? I'm not really sure what exactly went wrong there. Also, should I reapply to the programs that interviewed me and rejected me as well? I would appreciate all the advice I can get! Thanks! :)
  6. Hello, my name is Maylily7! I really want to become a PA and apply to PA school upon graduation. What I would appreciate is advice to secure an acceptance and the likelihood I can get into one of these programs. Also, if you have any personal admissions stories I'd be happy to hear them! I just want to know if this is achievable for me. Also, if you have any schools/programs I might be a good fit/candidate for, please don't hesitate to mention them, I'd love to check them out! Info about me: Biology major with a psychology and chemistry minor. 3.7 overall GPA, 3.5 Science GPA Graduating in May 2018, have made Dean's List 7/8 semesters (still waiting to see how I do this semester) Currently volunteering with my school's EMS unit and as of right now have about 100 hours. I don't have much health care hours but I am a certified EMT and plan to take a year off to gain experience as well as learn more about the field. Thank you for your time and advice, I appreciate it a lot! :D Maylily7
  7. Hi, I'm a pre-pa student but I'm working as a medical assistant part time but honestly it feels like full time.(I'm also a full-time student taking 5 classes this semester) I work at a facility that uses paper trail and EMR. So everything you write on paper you have to also input into the computer. Prior to this job I worked as an ophthalmic technician where we used ipads and computers pretty much and everything went 10 times smoother and faster. So working at this new facility I have to do so much extra work on the paper trail and then transfer everything to the computer so I work much longer hours trying to get a significant amount of charting done. So when I'm finally done and ask my manager if I can leave (This is usually around 6:00 pm) she will ask me to do other Medical assistants charting who work with completely different providers that I've worked with. This event now usually leads to me staying longer(which is usually around 7:30 pm mind you I arrive to work at 7:45 am or 8:00 am). I don't enjoy the set up of this office at all but as everyone knows April around the corner and I need a letter of recommendation from one of the providers that I work with. We get along very well and I'm very confident that she would write a nice letter for me when I need it. The big question is do you think it would be bad if i got the letter of recommendation and waited a month and quit? I just can't see myself working in this office very long. BTW I also noticed a lot of the staff (including providers) come and go.
  8. Hi this is my first time posting on this forum and I wanted to know if anyone can assit with giving me some advice or just their overall opinion of me as a candiate for the new cycle coming up for 2018. I just turned 20 this month and will be applying in May after I come back from my medical brigade in Nicaragua. Do you think schools will ignore my age or see it as a setback? I've always been the youngest person in my class and I did dual enrollment in high school which is why im going into my senior year this spring. My biggest issue right now is my scienc gpa. My major is health science and I'm in the honors college at my university. I dont see anyone in the stats section with a gpa like mine so please help! My cumulative gpa at the moment is a 3.72 and I see this increasing. My science gpa at the moment is sadly a 3.3. It a major gap from my cumulative. I only have 1 C in biology 2 and withdrew from lab because of a family members death. I dont know if I plan on retaking biology 2 lecture because I barely notice a change in the science gpa after my calculations. Please keep in mind my science gpa does not include genetics,chem2/Lab, and Orgo1/Lab. Bio1 B (4) Bio2 C (3) Bio2 L (Spring 2018) (1) Chem 1 A (3) Chem 1 L A (1) AP1 B (4) AP2 A (4) Microbiology B+ but capsa looks at it as a B only (4) Genetics (Spring 2018) Chem 2 and Lab ( Summer 2018) Orgo1 and Lab (Fall 2018) Stats A Precal A Nutrition A Epidemiology (Spring 2018) 100 Volunter hours Health Care Experience: 1,574 (Will Be most likely over 2000 by the 2018 cycle opening date) (Hours include working as a opthalmic technician,medical assistant for primary care and pain management facility(Job now),physical therapy aide) Shadowing: 50 hours from Primary Care PA, Dermatology PA, Urgent Care PA ( Will most likely have 100 by the 2018 cycle opening date) I believe i can get my science gpa to a 3.4 and if that doesn't work it will be a 3.3. I have providers around me who are truly sweet and I know they wouldn't have a problem writing me a LOC when the time comes so that not a big issue. Also I haven't taken the GRE yet but most of the schools I'm applying to don't require it. I will most likely take it just to expand my selection process. Main questions are: Do you think my science gpa and age will hold me back?
  9. What would you do differently? How would you manage your time 6-months prior to applying?
  10. Hey all, I'm having some trouble deciding between becoming an RN or becoming a PA. I know there are many differences between the two professions, but that only seems to make my decision harder. Recently I just got accepted into my schools nursing program, but I'm not sure if I want to go through with it. For a very long time now I have wanted to be a PA but pretty much ruled it out because I thought the path it took to get there would be too hard. I have never been a straight A student (A's and B's with a rare C), and I know GPA is a heavily weighted factor in even getting considered for a PA program, not to mention the work you have to do if you get accepted! I am a very tenacious person. I know getting to PA school would be a challenge, but with all that considered, PA school is always on my mind. I feel like the only reason I am currently going for nursing is because I'm scared I would not be able to get into PA school (and if I don't then I'm kind of stuck). If anyone has any advice I would love to hear it!
  11. Hi Everyone! Hope your day is well and thank you for taking the time to help me. I'm going to post my stats to get that out of the way. cGPA: 3.22 (I know.. I'll explain below) sGPA: 3.51 Pre-req GPA ranges from 3.67-3.89 Past 60 GPA: 3.89 GRE: V 158, Q 150 (I considered retaking because of my Q score) , AW 4.0 HCE: Hospital generalist laboratory scientist with daily phlebotomy component - 9,000 + hours Volunteer experience: Hospital ED: 79 hours Oncology pediatric fundraising organization: 36 hours Working with burn survivor pediatric patients: 208 hours Shadowing: 32 hours ED PA Recommendations: Two clinical laboratory supervisors, Pathologist I work directly with Leadership: President of laboratory committee 3 years running, Member of The National Society of Leadership and Success Honors/Achievements: Multiple semesters on dean's list, and president's list Member of 5 honor societies I also received what I would consider very good feedback without my mentioning of my essay from two of my interviewers, I feel relatively confident in it. I have already applied this cycle to 18 colleges, I have received five interview invites and so far have been waitlisted at 3 waiting to hear back from two. GPA- My cGPA is lower than desired because I started out very shaky (over 10 years ago), since then I have greatly improved my grades as shown in my past 60, even 90 credit hours. If I am not pulled from a waitlist this cycle I plan on reapplying once again for the next CASPA cycle. I am planning on starting EMT Classes this next semester which I would complete in May 2018. My question is would it be more beneficial to start a EMT program and finish this spring, or to simply shadow A TON since I will no longer be in school? The CASPA cycle would have already started (End of April) before I even sit to take the EMT certification exam when classes are done. Would this show the schools that I am trying to gain more direct patient care, and experience more outside of phlebotomy and laboratory diagnostics? A part of me wants to experience that regardless, but I dont know if since I wouldn't accrue any hours being an EMT (Assuming I find a job/volunteer opportunity) at the time of the new CASPA cycle if it would be all that impressive? I'm open to any and all suggestions, Thank you for your help!!!!
  12. Please give me any advice you think would be beneficial to augmenting my student/professional record as well as directing me towards a PA program or a particular Allied Health field. What will make me a better candidate? What I’m doing now: Taking prerequisites (at a community college) for PA/Nursing/Allied Health programs (e.g. Human Nutrition, A&P, Medical Terminology, Healthcare Ethics, etc.). I have been thinking about doing an accelerated BSN program, but I am not entirely sure yet. I am considering becoming a CNA next semester to get more experience around nurses to see if I really should apply to an accelerated BSN program or at least get experience for a PA/Allied Health program instead (e.g. occupational therapy, etc.). Problem: I’m unsure what program to apply to and what programs I will be competitive for, mostly because of my GPA and experience. It seems that most programs, A-BSN or Allied Health programs, require at least a 3.0 GPA to get looked at, but overall I’m just above that (see specifics below). I’m not looking to get into the best school, just get into a school that will provide me with a good, accredited, education that will help me enter a career that I will find personally and professionally satisfying. Furthermore, in the last couple of years I developed an autoimmune disease so I am less comfortable with constantly working around infectious/communicable people since I take an immunosuppressant (although I am not worried about working with the infectious diseases in a laboratory setting because I have more control over being aseptic, sterile, etc.). Also, because of the autoimmune disease, I find it is now harder to work a long day (10+ hours) without needing a full day (that feels wasted) of rest to regain my energy. I also recently read a couple of research articles that listed nursing as one of the top professions where people in that career die of autoimmune diseases at a higher rate than other professions. I really like healthcare and biological sciences. The experiences I’ve had within various parts of those fields have really helped me figure out what I find fulfilling within them, leading me to PA/Nursing/Allied Health. Now I just need to find what particular PA/Nursing/Allied Health career will fit with my background and needs. The good news is while I am in my 30s now, I can take my time getting to where I need to be because my spouse and I don’t have children to support. Degrees: University of California (Double major, a little over 10 years ago.) -B.S. Biology with thesis honors (Molecular/Cellular focus.) -B.A. Psychology with honors Social Service Award at Graduation GPAs: -UC Overall GPA: 3.13 -UC Science GPA: 2.81 -UC Non-Science GPA: 3.58 I had a couple of major personal crises that caused me to go from As & Bs to Bs and Cs (with 1 F), which is why my science GPA took a hit. I think I would have to take 8 science classes and get 8 As to raise the Science GPA to 3.0… -Community College GPA: All As so far. Publications: -1 in a science journal -1 in a public health magazine Experience: -Chiropractic Assistant (70% patient care, 30% office work, under this chiropractor the CA duties tended to be more like assistant PT work, helping with a lot of patient active/passive therapies – this is where I learned that I really like working with patients, as well as doing patient education.) -Retail Management -Drug Rehab Behavioral/Mental Health Research Assistant -Microbiology Lab Research Assistant (I like lab work, but I want to know that the lab work I’m doing will be tangibly helpful to someone and I do not want to be grant dependent.) -College Sport Coach -Public Health Organization Intern -Teaching Assistant during undergrad (I learned I really enjoy teaching people science-related topics.) -In high school I did a nursing volunteer/internship (I learned I feel very comfortable in a hospital-environment.)
  13. I'm in my senior year of high school and I will soon be applying to colleges/universities, but I have a lot of questions: I know (or at least I've been told, so correct me if I'm wrong) that if someone is planning to become a physician and go to medical school, that medical schools essentially view their undergrad years in a similar manner as colleges/universities view high school years. Is this the same for those on track to become a PA? To confirm, my question is: Does where I go for undergrad matter to physician assistant master's programs/PA schools as long as I have a good GPA? Is it better to enter a physician assistant program right out of high school, or does it not really matter too much? I ask this because I worry about competitiveness in the future when trying to find a job, and I want to be able to get a good job when I graduate and not be scared that I won't. So, the bottomline of what I'm asking is: What do employers specifically look for when selecting employees in this field and how could I make myself stand out? Financial aid is iffy for my family's financial situation because my dad makes 125K+ a year. However, due to the very high taxes, a high mortgage, and other expenses that my family has to pay, money is becoming more and more of a worry now that college applications are coming up fast. Additionally, I will be taking 5 AP exams in May ($470), there will be yearbook and senior picture fees to take care of, etc., and my family has only saved up a little over $10,000 dollars in my college fund. So do any of you know a way to save money in college and on physician assistant programs? This kind of adds onto #1 because if I can go to a less expensive undergrad to save money that would be really great. Other than GPA what are the requirements (or anything else that they look for but don't necessarily require) for applying to a physician assistant master's program after getting my bachelor's? Do you know of any specific schools that are good for this field? What should I major in? Those are really all the questions I can think of for now. Thank you to anybody that takes out the time to help me with this, because it really is a nerve-wracking time right now and I need to figure out my plans. Any other related information is gladly appreciated as well!!!
  14. Hi guys, I am hoping ya'll could give me some feedback as to where I stand as a PA school applicant. I haven't taken the GRE yet, but plan to 1-2 years from now (depending on the quality of my app). - currently a junior, recently switched majors from bio to healthcare studies - started research first semester of freshman year (have accumulated 2 years work so far but will hopefully have 3-4 yrs upon application to PA school) - rough time in sciences, especially ochem. current cgpa : ~3.6 and sgpa: ~3.2 . Am hopeful that sgpa will increase next year, but where do I currently stand with these stats? - I have quite a bit of hospital volunteering, have done 200 hours thus far and 50 hours shadowing, will probably have these doubled before I apply. - I have worked in a clinical research site as a data coordinator, so i think I could make that seem applicable to healthcare, and am now working as a pharmacy technician trainee (to start accumulating clinical hours). I may take a gap year to maximize clinical experience before I apply - not sure. - Working on leadership; I had a couple minor officer positions last year, and I am extremely involved in campus orgs. Im trying to narrow down my involvement and focus on quality rather than quantity if that makes sense. Right now I am an officer for a pre-health club that is pretty new so I think I have a good chance of contributing a lot through that. I want to be at least a VP in an org I care about before I graduate. So, assuming I improve upon several of these factors, what are my chances? My grades have me worried. I feel like I'm studying and working hard, yet yielding little results where my grades are concerned . I'm trying to stay positive, and continue working towards my goal. Any input you guys have would be greatly appreciate, thank you!!!
  15. Hello everyone, I'm new to the forum but was hoping to get your advice on my PA application plan. I graduated from undergraduate in May 2015. I applied for several PA programs to begin Fall 2017, however, was not accepted. I have gathered over 1200 direct care hours, over 500 research hours, over 200 shadowing hours. I believe that the flaws were: 1) my Science GPA being below 3.0 2) applying early 3) GRE I am currently enrolled at Hunter College as a non-degree student and I am taking post-bacc courses individual. I am ineligible for their Post-bacc certification program since their program only applies for pre-medical students. my plan is to individually re-take all the core sciences to boost my science GPA, then take the GRE's, and re-apply to PA programs early for programs beginning 2020. The only new course I would be taking is Biochemistry. Would you think it is detrimental that this is not a degree program or that I will not receive a certificate for re-taking these courses? Thank you again, David
  16. Hi, I am a psychology student in my first year. After shadowing my aunt and her PAs, I have decided to pursue a career in that. I looked at a couple programs including USC's, Loma Linda's, Davis', Western Uni's, Northeastern's, and Cornell's. I'm aware that shadowing doesn't count for many of these programs (but it does in loma linda where my aunt works at their hospital). My mom works as a caregiver at an assisted living. Could I get my patient care hours there working as one? I have also started finding volunteer opportunities at hospitals and retirement homes nearby,
  17. Hi everyone, this forum has been a great resource for the path to PA and I would like some advice from you all. I am currently 35 years old and have been in business administration my entire adult life. A year ago, I decided to explore different career options and since I have always wanted to be in medicine, spoke to and shadowed different fields. It was during this time that I learned about Physician Assistants and various Therapist jobs available such as physical, occupational, radiology, speech and respiratory. Out of all of them, PA spoke to me. However since I have to start from scratch (the PA school here requires a Bachelor's) I needed to find a way to support myself while pursuing this path. After weighing the cost vs. pay in the very low-paying Midwest area that I live in, respiratory therapy seems to be the best investment to make a living (due to the short-term AS degree) while racking up HCE with the end of goal of PA. However, due to having a family and not being able to relocate, I only have 1 local option for PA school that has over 400 applicants a year and only accepts 32 students. There are 2 other schools 4 hours away, but this would be my 1st choice. The average GPA is 3.6, with the majority having a BS Biology degree. I've taken only about 30 hours of community college classes over 12 years ago with a GPA of 2.35 due to letting life get in the way of studies but it is my understanding that CASPA will weigh this with the "newer" GPA even though I will have to retake all classes that qualify as prereqs. My question is do you think I even have a chance for the local PA school with these plans? A. Pursue RT associates (2 year program), achieve license, continue 2 more years for Bachelor's in RT while working and racking up HCE. Attempt to get all A's. 4.0 for at least 90 credits could squeeze out a 3.6 GPA. Age around 40 when applying to PA school. (However, is a BS in RT even worth getting or should I pursue a different degree altogether?) or I could B. Pursue BS in Biology (3-4 year program), attempt to get all A's as above plan to get a 3.6 GPA, get EMT license and work for HCE that way. Age 40 when applying. I am wondering if acceptance into the PA program is even a possibility. RT seems like an interesting career but from what I read there's a ceiling and also a limited number of jobs, especially where I live and moving is not an option. I want to be in the medical field, but also need to be financially realistic and if there's no chance for PA, then I need to find another career option. The PA advisor did stress that they take volunteer work in rural areas into high consideration (which I already have started) and that a BS in biology doesn't guarantee acceptance and if anything, they like diversity. I would really appreciate your thoughts from experience on this matter, thank you in advance!
  18. So I started applying to schools and I honestly applied being hopeful, wishful, and a little naive. I've heard mixed reviews about retaking some courses (General chemistry and biology) and people say it's a good idea but then others say take other sciences courses to increase my science GPA. I got C's in them (rough freshman year start) My other backup plan was to get a masters in public health to maybe increase my chances of getting in seriously need some advice! Thanks in advance!
  19. Hello and good evening, My name is Nikki, and I am an LPN. Currently, I attend an online program through Excelsior College (mostly known for its LPN-RN bridge online). I am majoring in Biology at the moment. This includes courses in Chem, Physics,Statistics and the like of course; however, the program is exclusively online/distance learning. All labs are done electronically through either computer simulation and discussion, or through lab kits shipped to your house. (For example, the A+P kit included a real pig for dissection and you were required to video and photograph the activities.) I am able to take most (if not all) pre-reqs for PA programs with Excelsior and am wondering if the lack of "on ground" lab would be detrimental to my acceptance to some of the programs near me (Western Florida)? Would I be better off switching schools, or programs to the ADN program? My eventual goal was always to be PA, NP, or MD. Any advice would be really appreciated, as I am just starting out and what to do things right.
  20. I am currently about to finish my undergraduate degree (B.S. General Biology). I have 16 more units left and then Im done. I have a 2.969 cGPA and 3.02 sGPA. I recently decided that I want to become a PA and I am realizing that I will need to retake courses to increase my GPA sadly my 0.03 points if I am lucky. I have a lot of research experience, 1 publication pending (second author) and 1 I am currently in the process of writing (1st author). I am 23 years old and have over 5,000 hours of research experience (medical chemistry and regenerative medicine). Sadly, I know that this probably does not account for much when applying to PA school. I still need to work on my healthcare experience and in the mean time I know that I should probably work on the grades 1st. So normally when you retake courses in your undergrad, the letter grade is replaced therefore helping your GPA. However I have been told that once you graduate and decide to retake courses, the letter grade is not replaced and instead added onto your GPA. Is this true? Please help, I really want to get into a PA program and I want to know the truth about my situation.
  21. I am shadowing an Emergency Medicine Resident PA in the next few days and am looking for some advice. I have not met the PA I am shadowing yet but I just want to make sure I do my best and I am as helpful as possible without overstepping. I understand the obvious things one would never do but am wondering if anyone has any helpful advice or tips from their first shadowing experience, or if any current PAs have suggestions that they look for when a student is shadowing. Any stories, tips, or advice, is welcomed and appreciated!
  22. Hi all, I am 26 years old, interested in applying to PA school next April. I would like advice from current PAs, other PA school applicants, and current PA school students regarding my chances in getting accepted. Education: MPH in Epidemiology (cumulative GPA 3.77) BS in Biology (cumulative GPA 3.64) Certifications: Certified in Public Health (CPH) Work Experience: Current Research Coordinator in Oncology/Genetics field (full-time, 2+ years) Research Assistant in Oncology/Genetics field (full-time for 6 months) Scribe in Primary Care office (1.8 years, ~2600 hours) Scribe in Emergency Dept. & Ophthalmology clinic (1.25 years, ~2500 hours) Volunteer Experience: Two medical/dental mission trips to Honduras (2 weeks, ~100 hours) Hospital volunteer in Emergency Dept. & Pediatric unit (1 year, ~500 hours) Research Experience: 1 peer-reviewed publication, second author 1 oral presentation, first author I plan to take A&P I/II over the next year at a community college (since I did not take this in undergrad) and will be retaking my GRE (old scores were 152 verbal, 153 quantitative, & 3.5 writing). I am considering becoming certified as a Phlebotomist or CNA and work part-time (along with my research coordinator job) to up my HCE experience - would this improve my chances? Thanks in advance!!
  23. I know its saturated due to many schools. But when looking for a job near Philly... Is General Healthcare Network and Einstein Healthcare Networks good places to start. Any thoughts on this?
  24. 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.
  25. Below are my total stats including my GRE scores. I am concerned because my analytical writing percentile rank is just barely below the 50th percentile mark I've heard is need to be "competitive" when applying to PA programs. Taking my application as a whole into consideration do I need to retake the GRE, even if it's primarily just to get a better writing score? Degree: BA in Biology w/ minors in Chemistry & Human Services from University of Northern Iowa Cumulative GPA: 3.69 Science GPA: 3.53 Age at Application Time: 24 GRE Scores: 156 - Verbal (72nd percentile), 157 - Quantitative (67th percentile), 3.5 Writing (42nd percentile) Direct Patient Care: CNA at Nursing Home (PRN position, 2 yrs)- 1000 hours Personal Care Attendant for Quadriplegic Man (4 yrs) - 900 hours Patient Care Technician on Cardiology Unit at Hospital (2 yrs) - 2200 Total - 4100 (approximately for current total hours, still accruing more) *When I apply I'll include another year of full-time work with patients so I'll probably be around 6300 or so* Extracurricular/Research Activities: 1 year of Genetic Research Summer (3 months) of Neuroscience Research in Taiwan 1 semester of being a Teaching Assistant for Anatomy & Physiology Lab Vice President/Co-founder of still existing college ministry student organization (1 yr) Student Leader in campus ministry organization prior to helping start a new one (2 yrs) Director of Professional Development for professionally focused student organization (1 semester) Consisted volunteering at local church (2 yrs) Volunteer in In-Patient Pharmacy of local hospital (1 yr) *Have received awards for academic performance, leadership in student organization, and scientific research* Shadowing: 53 hours in the specialty areas of ER, Hospitalist, Occupational Health, & Family Practice. I applied for the 2016-17 application cycle to 8 schools and got interviews at 3 with one resulting in a spot on an alternate list. This next year I am planning to apply to the same 3 schools I've already interviewed at, as well as, 17 or 18 other programs across the country. A big part of my selection process for other programs is their total class size (I figure larger class sizes might benefit my chances of acceptance) and whether/how much they preference students based on certain state residency or undergrad schools. Any advice on whether I need to retake the GRE to improve that writing score, critiques of my plan for applying for the 2017-18 cycle, or general critiques of my stats would be appreciated!