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  1. Hello, I am a high school senior that is interested in becoming a PA. I‘m currently in the process of applying to colleges and would like to know what major would be the best for me to pursue. For a little bit of background, I had originally planned on majoring in Biology because I read that it was the most common route taken for PA school( I’m also quite fascinated with biology itself). However, after researching again, I now plan on getting a BSN so that I'll have a backup job in the medical field just in case everything doesn't go as planned. I've read that majoring in Nursing unfortunately doesn't look good because PA schools will question the student's commitment to the PA profession. Personally, I am certain that I want to become a Physician Assistant but I also want to be able to secure a job in the medical field after receiving at least my bachelors. It also seems as though the medical-related jobs that I could get with a Biology degree wouldn't be very patient care related, which is something that I wish to have in a job. Overall, I feel as though I would prosper in a more health-centered major because it relates more to my passion. So ultimately, my questions are: 1. Between majoring in Biology and Nursing, which is the more advantageous route to take in order to become a PA? 2. Is there any true disadvantage to having a BSN when it comes to applying to PA schools? 3. Are there any other majors that would be a better choice to study than Biology or Nursing? I would greatly appreciate it if anyone can get help me out!
  2. Hello, everyone. I know it may seem like this would be a bit of a biased place to ask for an opinion on this, but this forum seems really open-minded and overall really respectful with people asking these sort of questions compared to *cough* SDN *cough* other websites. I'm in a bit of a dilemma and I know ultimately this is only a choice I can make myself, but I'd like to get some opinions from others who are ahead of me on their medical journies as a little guidance. I'm 29 years old and a graduate of Arizona State University, where I majored in Biological Sciences with a minor in Psychology. I always wanted to go the PA route, but the closer I am to finishing my undergrad, the more I'm concerned about possibly regretting the decision to not go ahead and commit to becoming a doctor. One of my biggest concerns with med schools is that I completed my degree online, although I did all my science labs in-person by flying out to the ASU campus. Long story short, I still think I have a good chance at med schools that accept online credits, but I'm unsure if it's what I should do. A quick rundown of my stats: - Non-traditional, white male, 29 years old - 3.91 GPA, 3.85 sGPA - 510 MCAT - 650+ hours volunteering for a suicidal hotline company. 200+ volunteer hours as a phlebotomist (mostly school blood donating events), and donated $2,000+ in crowd-funded scholarships to students throughout the state with a small company I started in 2015. - 3,000+ hours as a Certified Surgical Technician at an orthopedic surgery center - Strong LOR's from 2 orthopedic surgeons, a CRNA, a very well-respected professor, and 2 more from my volunteer coaches - 40 hours shadowing an Anesthesiologist and CRNA I feel as if I'm a strong candidate for med school and PA programs, but I'm older. I'm 29 now. I used to work in construction, then aviation, and even ended up leaving a Fortune 500 company (that paid extremely well) to pursue a career in medicine. I made a lot of sacrifices, but it was all worth it. I love my patients and couldn't imagine myself doing anything else in life. I also want to marry my long-time girlfriend. She's 25, so by the time I'm actually a doctor, she would be around 33. I graduated high school with a 2.3 GPA, suffered from depression for years, considered suicide many times, etc. I went through a lot (as I'm sure a lot of people have) and another one of my main goals is to write books about my experiences and to help motivate others. If I can graduate high school with a 2.3 and go on to become a doctor, I think it would be an awesome story in terms of my writings and would help a lot of people, outside from my patients. With all this being said, I think the career of being a PA will still satisfy my wants to help people in medicine. My biggest concern so far is that I'd regret not going to med school, but I hear a lot of horror stories about divorces, not being able to see your kids as much when they're younger, residency stories, and etc. The debt is also a big concern, because I would be 37-ish before I could really start paying my loans off. I don't know if it's worth it for me and my age, although I'm not that old. I just want to ask openly - if you were in my shoes, what would you do personally? I know everyone is different, but I'm just looking for some insights from different perspectives. Thanks for the read and sorry to type out so much.
  3. So I just finished my second semester of my second year and it has been the hardest thing I have ever had to face. All throughout highschool and my first two years I have always gotten A's and B's in all my classes. However this semester, I got an F in BIO 100(which at my school is a course equivalent to a 300 level class at other schools so it was hard on its own) and a NC in chem(I'm retaking it this summer because my professor offered it to me and I know for a fact I can get an A in that class) and a C in calculus. Let's just say that this semester, life decided to bury me with everything that would ensure I could not focus on my studies. My parents were fighting DAILY and used me as their buffer/middle man and decided divorce was the answer (and a nasty one at that). Because my parents were too busy fighting, they forgot that they had 3 kids to look after but we're so caught up in what they were doing I ended up doing all the cooking/cleaning/shopping for the house. I had to take up a second job as well because I had to pay for things for my siblings and the house that I couldn't afford on just the one job. I had class three days a week from 7am-10pm which meant I wasn't home from 5am-midnight because I have a horrible commute. And I worked the other 4 days. (2 jobs) so I would get all my studying in during my little breaks at school and let's just say I didn't really sleep this semester. I obviously want to go into PA but I don't think I can now with how horrible my grades were this semester. My GPA is still above a 3 but it is no longer competitive. I'm really scared for my future because I cannot retake BIO 100 because I also pay for my own tuition and I can't afford to retake the class. I can only afford to move forward. I start orgo and lab in the fall and I'm excited bc I love orgo and I'm actually good at it. And a few other classes that go towards my human bio major that I'm not worried about. Despite what my grades show, sciences and maths have always been my strong suit and honestly, I'm not changing my career path. I know I'm a smart cookie, and that I can get an A in the rest of my classes as long as I think of myself for a bit. And Ik that's selfish but it's true.I had no choice but to be there for my family this semester and my grades suffered greatly for it. I know that is no excuse and it won't be for PA School but I don't know what to do now. I'm at a loss and I'm genuinely slipping into depression from all thats happened. I feel like I just ruined my future... Is there a shot at me still getting into PA School? I GENUINELY cannot see myself doing anything else. Maybe in the future I can retake BIO but for now I have to think of my possibilities for without retaking it. Any insight would be IMMENSELY appreciated. Thank you in advance All the best, Mariam
  4. I'm attending Arizona State University online. I live in Georgia and I'm 24 years old. ASU is a quarter-based system, which means I get college credits on a quarterly basis instead of a semester basis. All PA and AA schools (I'm interested in both) require a certain amount of prerequisite hours, but at ASU, I would be about an hour or two short in a lot of them, like biology, chemistry, organic chemistry, etc. So, me getting a degree in biology from ASU is kind of pointless, because I'd have to take some additional prerequisite classes at my local college anyways. I should also mention I have a job (in aviation) that pays pretty well - about $60,000 a year. I am also in the process of getting my Surgical Technician certifications, but this will take a year or so. With this being said, I have two options: A: Get my Surgical Tech school done and take a really low course load at ASU for Biology to ensure I maintain as close to a 4.0 as possible. Get about 60 of 120 credits from ASU (amount needed to transfer), then transfer to the University of Georgia. Finish my degree in biology, but live off loans. Try to find a part-time CST job while in Athens to keep them as low as possible. Continue with a low class load to keep a good GPA. This way, I'm keeping my grades high, but still getting some crucial clinical experience. Eventually graduate from UGA, a highly respected school in Georgia, with a degree in Biology. Then apply to programs. Most will be far away, so if I get accepted into one of those, I'll also probably have to live off loans for the two years of AA or PA school. Lots of debt, but better undergrad, experience (in life and classwork), and higher caliber school. B: Buy a mobile home for a great price ($13k practically brand new) - a home right next to my parent's. In 3 years, it'll be paid off and cost me half as much as renting. Continue my degree at Arizona State University (online) in something like psychology, since my prerequisites won't count the same anyways. Minor in personal health. Get my Surgical Tech school done and work part-time while attending ASU. Finish my psychology degree, then take the right prerequisites at my local college. Don't live off any student loans until I get accepted into AA or PA school. Option A seems nice. I can go to UGA, graduate with a degree in Biology, have that prestigious college (at least for my state) attached to my degree, finish everything on a physical campus, have easier access to volunteering in research studies at the campus, have 100% of my focus on my school and GPA (this is important as grades don't come naturally to me), and pretty much devote my life to making sure my prerequisites and overall GPA are top notch. The bad - I'd live off loans and accumulate a lot more debt and UGA is harder (could be a good thing for preparation) in their expectations. A lot of good, but the two bad are related to more debt and harder to get a good GPA. Option B seems good too, but not as appealing. I'll undergrad in psychology and minor in personal health (biology/chem/etc not available). Take all the right prerequisites at a local college that should be easier to pass versus UGA's standards. Save money by working as a Surgical Tech and paying $500/mo in a mortgage payment versus $1,000/mo for an apartment. SORRY TO RAMBLE. What's your opinion?
  5. Hey guys, my name is Alex Miller! I will be applying to PA programs next year, and wanted some feedback on my chances of getting into some schools. Sooooo... I'm am currently a junior at Virginia Tech (21 yrs old) studying towards a BS. in Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise, with Spanish minor Pre-reqs: (future) 3.8 (C in Organic Chemistry) (also, Gen Chem I/II and labs all taken at community college, finished with A's) (future) sGPA: approx. 3.3-3.45 (future) overall GPA: 3.5-3.6 GRE: taking in the summer, expecting 80-90% percentile in all sections HCE: 5,000 hrs as EMT-Basic (member of 3 emt squads) Shadowing: 50 hrs w/ Trauma Surgeon; 20 w/ ICU nurse; 25 w/ ER PA Volunteering: 100 hrs. ED volunteer Other: Pulmonary Research Lab job w/ Cardiothorastic surgeon (300 + hrs) (Also, I have high faith that I could talk my way out of any huge blemishes in my application if given the chance to interview!) I'd really love to go to a school such a Penn State, GWU, Wake Forest, UNC, but I realize that my GPA is wayyyy below average, and I may be shooting too high. Anyone have some opinions to share? Please be brutally honest, anything helps!!
  6. About 2 months away from finishing my undergraduate degree last December, I kind of switched directions from thinking I wanted to do medical research, to now pursuing a career as a PA. Because of my late decision though, I'm a little behind on the prerequisites and I'm concerned about my chances of getting into a program. I double majored in Biology and Chemistry with an overall GPA of 3.61 and a science GPA of 3.51. During one of my summers off school I worked as a phlebotomist (about 500 hours), so I figured that I could just continue phlebotomy as my HCE and make sure I get at least 2000 hours before I apply..however as I'm researching a little more, I haven't found anyone who has said they've gotten into PA school with phlebotomy as their HCE. I don't have a great GRE score: 149 verbal, 150 quant, and 4.0 writing. I also have not yet taken anatomy and physiology, but I would definitely make sure I have completed those before applying. I have 68 shadowing hours and have just started volunteering at my local hospital. I also have a total of 1 year experience in undergraduate medical research if that means anything. I know I don't have the greatest GRE or HCE, but I was hoping that the fact that I maintained a good GPA while obtaining a double major from a science and engineering school (SD School of Mines) and while competing in a Division II sport, it would set me apart and kind of make up for my other lacking areas. Do you think I still have a chance to get in? I'd be open to retaking the GRE, but it would be difficult for me to get a different form of HCE since just about everything requires certificate which can take quite a while to obtain.
  7. Hi everyone!! I was looking for some advice on what I should do before I apply to PA school next year. I am graduating this year with a bachelors in biological sciences and have done the basic prereqs for the schools I plan to apply to. Here is my background: Undergraduate degree: Biological Sciences Science GPA ~ 3.56 Overall GPA ~3.66 GRE ~ I have not taken it yet, but I plan to this summer HCE ~ 300 hours as a hospital volunteer so far The PA schools that I plan to apply to require at least 2 courses in chemistry. Since I was a biology major, I was not required to take many chemistry classes, so I have only taken 2 courses for general chemistry and a course in organic chemistry. I technically meet the requirements, but I am worried that I do not look very competitive. I have taken other medical related courses such as immunology and various neuroscience classes as I specifically want to work in the neurology department. As for HCE, I plan to work as a medical lab technician after I graduate while still volunteering at the hospital. I am also about to shadow a PA and will try to shadow more before next year. Going back to my question, I was originally thinking of taking biochemistry at a community college in the summer after graduating. The issue is that it may not transfer as a biochemistry credit and instead as a biochemistry elective. I could take it at a university, but it will definitely be more expensive and I am not sure that I can afford it right after graduation. Do you think I should take the biochemistry course at a community college or should I just concentrate on my HCE instead? If I take the class, it will delay me from working as a med tech for a couple of months. If I work as a med tech directly after graduating, though, I will likely have 2000+ HCE hours by the time I apply to the schools next year. The schools I was looking at only require 500 hours, so I will be well over that, but do you think having more HCE will cover for not taking other chemistry classes? Thank you in advance!!
  8. Hi everyone! I am currently taking some biology and chemistry classes right now at a college and planning to take organic chem over the summer. I am doing great in chemistry class, like A+, however in biology classes, I'm more of a B- or C student. I'm just worried that since my biology grade isn't so well, would that affect me getting into PA school. I heard it is very competitive and everyone getting in has like a 4.0 gpa!! I am also planning to volunteer over the summer at a local hospital so that I can fulfill some HCE hours. What's a good way to keep track of Hours? Plus, is PA school that competitive? Would getting some A's, B-, and C's and with lots of experience help me get into PA school? Any advice on how to study for biology? Any advice would help. Thank you!! Twixxiwt
  9. Hello everyone! So I'm having a bit of a dilemma. In my freshman year I took Biology along with lab. Unfortunately due to sleeping problems and poor time management I ended up with a D in lecture my 1st semester and with a C my second semester. However, for the lab component I remember I did just fine and either received A's or B's. I am now a senior and definitely going to retake Biology lecture. The problem is that at my school, when I took biology my freshman year the lab component contributed 20% to the total biology lecture grade. It was not listed as a separate grade on my transcript. Recently this has changed at my school and the lab now counts as a separate component, but I do not think the staff are willing to help me out in my situation. I was told that I might want to retake the lecture AND lab component since most schools may assume I received a D and C in the lab component as well. I was also told that I ought to contact PA schools about this. However, there is a chance for me to go back to my old biology professors, who have my lab component grade somewhere in their system. I really would like to avoid retaking the 3hr biology lab component (especially since I did fine in lab during my first year), as I remember it was one of the most time-consuming courses at my school. Because of my sleeping problems, time management, and serious family situations that came up my freshman and sophomore year, I am now taking a serious courseload for my senior year in order to play catch-up with my GPA. I'm worried that if I sign up for the lab component, I have a strong feeling that my grades in other classes will take the hit. Do you guys think I should retake the biology lab component? If I can get evidence/proof of my lab component grade from my professors and a statement from them, do you think it would be possible to send this to PA schools even though it's not on an official transcript? I have taken Microbiology Lab and received an A+ in it if that helps any... I would also inquire PA schools about this, but I'm not sure how to...Do you just send the school an email? I am very new to this and not really sure how this works in terms of inquiring PA schools about information... Thanks in advance for the help, it's much appreciated!
  10. Hello everyone! So I'm having a bit of a dilemma. In my freshman year I took Biology along with lab. Unfortunately due to sleeping problems and poor timemanagement I ended up with a D in lecture my 1st semester and with a C my second semester. However, for the lab component I remember I did just fine and either received A's or B's. I am now a senior and definitely going to retake Biology lecture. The problem is that at my school, when I took biology my freshman year the lab component contributed 20% to the total biology lecture grade. It was not listed as a separate grade on my transcript. Recently this has changed at my school and the lab now counts as a separate component, but I do not think the staff are willing to help me out in my situation. I was told that I might want to retake the lecture AND lab component since most schools may assume I received a D and C in the lab component as well. I was also told that I ought to contact PA schools about this. However, there is a chance for me to go back to my old biology professors, who have my lab component grade somewhere in their system. I really would like to avoid retaking the 3hr biology lab component (especially since I did fine in lab during my first year), as I remember it was one of the most time-consuming courses at my school. Because of my sleeping problems, time management, and serious family situations that came up my freshman and sophomore year, I am now taking a serious courseload for my senior year in order to play catch-up with my GPA. I'm worried that if I sign up for the lab component, I have a strong feeling that my grades in other classes will take the hit. Do you guys think I should retake the biology lab component? If I can get evidence/proof of my lab component grade from my professors and a statement from them, do you think it would be possible to send this to PA schools even though it's not on an official transcript? I have taken Microbiology Lab and received an A+ in it if that helps any... I would also inquire PA schools about this, but I'm not sure how to...Do you just send the school an email? I am very new to this and not really sure how this works in terms of inquiring PA schools about information... Thanks in advance for the help, it's much appreciated!
  11. Hello everyone! New to the forum and glad to be here! I'm very interested in a career as a PA and I'm trying to figure out which path I should take. I am getting ready to transfer to the University of Washington with the intent of earning a BS in general biology in order to meet my pre-req requirements and hopefully then a) getting an entry level medical job or b) joining the Air Force and go for Pararescue, both in order to gain some experience and to have some funding before going to PA school. I'm wondering if this is a common path that I can be confident in and run with, or if I should reconsider my options and change my degree while it's still relatively early. I'm running short on time, so any input is greatly appreciated! Thanks!
  12. I am starting PA school in June, and am currently taking general biology 1 (ending in May) and working part time. (This course isn't a prereq I'm required to complete). However, if I dropped it, I would get a "W". I have heard different opinions on what to do before school starts (i.e. relax, family, friends, vacation, leisure reading, brush up on your A&P, etc.) It has been 5+ years since I've taken anatomy, physiology, and micro. I'm concerned whether or not I should spend the rest of my time before school reviewing that material since I'm kind of rusty...and DROP my biology course? Or, should I KEEP my biology class while studying A&P as well? Do you think I can use a lot of the material I learn in bio to help with my PA classes or not? The last thing I want is to have study burnout or not be prepared before the program begins!! Also, any other tips/suggestions about how to prepare or what to do before PA school would be great! YOUR ADVICE IS GREATLY APPRECIATED. THANK YOU!!!
  13. Hi there, I am starting college this fall and am having some questions about my major. As of right now I am majoring in Human Development and Family Studies and minoring in Biology. The minor in Biology will fulfill my pre req cources for PA school. My question is how will my major affect (positively or negatively) getting into PA school? Thanks!
  14. I had questions regarding how schools look at applicants having a masters degree.......I will be graduating in the fall with my masters degree in public administration with an emphasis in public health and I wanted to work a couple of years on the administrative side of the medical field before applying to pa school. I currently have a 4.0 GPA, but my undergrad GPA is what worries me. I will be taking my the required anatomy classes in the fall at a community college and with the addition of these classes, my undergrad GPA will barely meet the 3.0 min cutoff. Any suggestions on what I should do or are there programs that take into consideration non-biology master degrees. I have tons of volunteer hrs so I am not worried about this area, just the low undergrad gpa.
  15. Could really use some assistance from you guys! My girlfriend was studying communication sciences and disorders, with the intention of then going on to audiology school for the next four years. She is a rising senior in the program and will graduate next April. Just recently, she has been thinking she'd rather go to PA school. How complicated would you guys think this transition would be? Her plan would be to take a year off after graduation to work at a hospital and accrue the 500 hours most schools require. However, she has only taken one semester of biology, one semester of chemistry, and all of her anatomy/physiology courses are specific to speech and hearing. Would really appreciate any thoughts on this, as well as the competitiveness of PA school compared to other graduate programs such as SLP and Audiology!
  16. I am currently pursuing a degree in chemistry as an undergrad, and I was wondering what the difference was between biochemistry and biological chemistry. Also, which course do you guys think would prepare you more for PA school?
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