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  1. Undergrad Ed School: University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Major (GPA) // Minor (GPA) : Biology (3.58) with 2 minors in Chemistry (2.9) & Psychology (4.0) Cumulative Undergrad. GPA: 3.68 Science Undergrad. GPA: 3.58 Post Bachelor GPA: N/A Age at application time : 22 1st GRE - V: 141 Q: 150 W: 3.0 // I unfortunately scheduled the GRE after taking 2 summer finals (Physics and Psychology of Individual Differences) so this score is pretty much a baseline for how I would do with minimal / no studying. 2nd GRE - V: 149 Q 161 W: 3.0 // The GRE prep I used was Magoosh and they did not have an analytical practice section so my AW score was the same, but my verbal and quantitative scores improved tremendously! Magoosh usually has pretty good sales for a 6 month subscription for $125 (regular price of 1 month subscription) around January and July. Direct Patient Care : (Patient Care Technician / CNA) Cerebrovascular / Diabetic floor (2 years ~2,500 hours) Float pool / Anywhere in the hospital (~500 hours) Extracurricular / Leadership / Research Activities: Greek organization // Junior and Senior scholarship committee Pre-PA club // Treasurer 2 full terms UTC Medical Society // Member Volunteer for local hospital, Adult and Children's Emergency Room (200 hours) Children's Believe Campaign and St. Jude Up till Dawn participant (~25 hours), Girls on the Run (~10 hours) Supporter of various organizations such as Ronald McDonald House, Make A Wish foundation, TC Thomson's Children's Hospital, Girl Scouts of America LOR PA in Neurosurgical and Spine Unit (Shadowed 150 hours) RN who's director/manager of Neuroscience (Known for 2 years) RN Clinical Staff Leader (Known for 1 year) Professor who I had 3 classes in Microbiology (B) , Immunology (A), and Microbial Ecology (A) Saving one more recommendation request for a potential PA or MD Personal Statement Topic: I talked about my personal childhood struggles with many health issues in my family & how I wanted to pursue a career that provides access to healthcare . I then weaned into my work experience at the hospital and mentoring. Ended it with a description of the PA I shadowed and all the qualities that I believe I had to be an important asset in healthcare. Schools Applied: Six. UTHSC, South College - Knoxville, South College - Nashville, Lincoln Memorial University, Lipscomb University, and UAB Application Submitted Date: 06/03 for UTSHC, LMU, and UAB Late June for South College Knoxville and Lipscomb Mid August for South College- Nashville Schools Received Application Date: Most of the schools received my application in less than a week after it was verified. Verified 2 days after I submitted my CASPA application. Interview Invites: LMU Denied: UTHSC Waitlisted: UAB Accepted: N/A Attempts: 2nd (Applied pretty late 1st cycle to 1 school because of graduation/deadline issues so this theoretically would be my 1st real application cycle) Plan B if all else fails: 1. Pursue an accelerated Masters in Pharmacology to compensate all this waiting since most of these PA schools matriculate in August 2019 2. Take the MCAT. Some PA schools allow MCAT scores and would be a good refresher in basic prerequisite courses. 3. Shadow MD's, PA"s, NP's, PT's .............................. I would greatly appreciate all the strengths and weaknesses in my current application. Any other ideas to improve my application would be helpful as well. Thank you guys so much!
  2. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1bfeXsKdTNp6R4RWsQHyedFQAwqg2kFjt1R-PD5KyZM8/edit?usp=sharing It is still a work in progress. Any feedback is welcome! Thanks!
  3. 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!!!
  4. Hello, I have a relatively rough draft that I was hoping someone could take a look over. I feel like I could use some help making it flow and also ordering the topics that I am writing about. Of course, any and all feedback is welcome and appreciated (seriously, if it's terrible please just shred me over it because I'll redo the whole thing if I have to) Thank you so much in advance! This forum has been a massive help with the application process. -Ethan EDIT: I don't want to post it publicly just since I've heard stories about anti-plagiarism software catching stuff from this website.
  5. Hi guys. I was hoping I could get some good critical feedback regarding my PS. I would appreciate it if you were harsh and picky with your criticism. I know it is a little long and I am planning on cutting back "fluff" and trying to get to the point I really do appreciate the help, you guys are the best and I love all the help this forum has provided. I remember the day like it was yesterday. The alarm is sounding and I am rushing through endless corridors until I reach the Emergency Department at the Alberta Children’s Hospital. This was my second year as a volunteer at the hospital and I had loved every moment of it, and this day definitely reinforced my desire to work in medicine. Code Pink or otherwise known as Cardiac Arrest or a Medical Emergency was something I had been trained for but never actually experienced. As a volunteer I was thrown into different areas of medicine from birth to the terminally ill. It was a job that tested my mental psychy and overall attentiveness and this day did exactly that. A drunk driver hit an oncoming vehicle and caused severe head trauma to a 7-year-old boy. The doctors quickly rushed the child to surgery and I was basically a gopher running between doctors, patients and families. Coordinating with them all was a tall order but the doctor in charge knew me well and knew I was more than capable of the challenge. While my volunteer shift usually lasted for 4 hours, today I stayed close to 8 hours to help with what I could. My duties ranged from replacing saline bags to comforting family members and distracting younger siblings - I was hired mostly for the latter. During all this I began to see how immersive and rewarding the field of medicine was. The Nurse Practitioners were working so fluidly with the Doctors, but they were far more patient centered. I became influenced by one of the NR’s and started following her routine throughout the next week until the little boy was discharged. She was so dedicated and compassionate to her patient and would often work late to go above and beyond to call of duty. Her empathetic demeanor and drive to further improve her patients’ quality of life really inspired me. While researching her profession I came across the role of Physician Assistants and knew this was my calling. My love for biology started when I was in Junior High battling my first ever migraine. These were beyond debilitating for a 13 year old, but even then I was ambitious and determined to find the cause of my migraines. I began doing my own experiments, manipulating different variables of my daily routine and keeping notes throughout the day. This was my first experiment where I myself was the test subject and it was incredible. In University I took multiple anatomy and physiology courses to learn more about the human body and the incredible processes that occur throughout my body. It was then that I knew that my passion was biology. A pivotal experience that led me to health care was spending 4 days in the hospital. In my third year of my undergrad I suffered a sub-arachnoid brain hemorrhage while playing basketball and was sidelined from all sports and academia while recovering from severe concussion symptoms. While in the hospital I met a number of physicians and caretakers but it was the Nurse Practitioners that really impressed me. There was a routine to each day, which included CT-scans and bloodwork, but amidst all the testing, my days were always exciting because of the NP’s. They would come in everyday with a great big smile on their face and play cards with me (testing my memory) and knowing my love for medicine would go into great detail explaining the properties of each drug being administered or what they were testing. They had such compassion and although I did see a doctor here and there, it was them that really cared for me. That feeling couldn’t be duplicated. Wanting to gain more patient-centered experience, I worked in an optometry clinic for roughly two years during my undergrad performing preliminary diagnoses and treatment plans for patients. It was such a great feeling helping others in need and being able to educate people on their eye health. I had a patient who had a partially detached retina and we had to act quickly and methodically to help save her vision. The doctor and I worked alongside each other as a team and we were successful in getting the patient into surgery as quickly as possible. The following months she had follow-up visits every week with me and I was able to track her progress and eventual full vision recovery. On her last follow-up appointment she gave me a hug and was tearing up as she thanked me profusely for saving her vision. There was no better feeling than seeing a person so happy that they couldn’t hold back the tears. My desire to help others was compounded by my Aunt being diagnosed with cancer. I am generally a very levelheaded individual, except for when rallying my teammates as hockey captain, but when I heard the news, I was flooded with a range of emotions. I felt angry and helpless. As a third year student in my bachelor’s degree what could I do? I knew that I couldn’t physically help her, but I knew I could still make a difference. So I chased down a distinguished researcher at the Southern Alberta Cancer Research Institute and offered my time and knowledge as a volunteer in his lab. He was so impressed with my devotion, willingness to learn, maturity and diligent work that he offered me a paid position in his lab as a researcher. I worked in his oncology lab as a research student for 9 months. While furthering research in the DNA repair response to cancer, I also optimized the protocol for an alpha particle irradiator for human samples. One of it’s first. I have thoroughly enjoyed my work; especially working alongside incredible scientists and participating in cutting-edge new research. My job felt very fulfilling helping large masses of people and furthering research in the ever-growing field of oncology. While rewarding, my work did not satisfy my desire to serve people, a service only able to be realized in healthcare. After working in the theory aspect of medical research, I now know that I am destined to work in the practical portion. I thoroughly believe that I will become an excellent physician assistant. My strong desire to learn and unparallel devotion to helping those in need will translate into a successful career in health care. As a PA, my strong interpersonal and communication skills alongside my ability to work independently or collectively as a team will result in outstanding patient-centered care. Upon completion of PA school I would love the opportunity to work in pediatrics or emergency in under-served, deserving areas. I only wish that one day I could give my patients the care and compassion I received when I was in the hospital.
  6. Hello, I am a pre-PA student currently approaching the "finish line" with regards to the pre-requisite courses I have been needing to complete for the PA programs I dream of applying to and one day attending for 2016. I will be applying this upcoming April or a couple months after depending on the amount of hours I am able to acquire by that time, but have been wondering like so many other students, what my "odds" are in terms of not only having my application looked at, but also being offered an interview. I do have transcripts available for viewing, along with several hours of shadowing various PAs, am currently working as an ED Scribe, and will be a CNA hopefully by mid-January. Apart from experience, I realize that GPAs are extremely crucial along with everything else that enables an applicant to truly be well-rounded. If at all appropriate, I would be very eager to share my transcripts via email/privately and discuss anything regarding what I have thus far! Thank you very much, prePA3.
  7. Exhausted, I looked up to see the 17th mile marker of the Twin Cities Marathon. I could barely place on foot in front of the other, let along pick up the pace, as I could tell I was slowing down. I rounded the corner to cross over the Missisippi River and thought "there's no way I can keep running up this hill to get over the bridge....I've got to stop". My legs felt like I had 20 pound weights on them and I began to sink my chin down into my chest. At that moment, I caught a glimpse of a picture of my dad that I had pinned to my jersey....It was then that I began to cry as I realized how much suffering had happened in the past 10 years to get me to this place. Ten years prior, I experienced death for the first time: I walked into the sterile hospital room and immediately ran over to the bed. I placed my warm, sweatyhand on his clammy hand and just squeezed. I then laid my head on his chest and look up at all the machines. They were no longer beeping and flashing; they were silent. The room was quiet as I pressed my face into his chest hoping, praying and wishing I would feel something, anything. It was then that I knew he was gone. My dad, my jolly-go-lucky, bear-hug giving, smiley-guy dad had gone to heaven. He had succumb to the Leukemia Dr. Gail Bender had diagnosed him with 8 months prior. As I pushed myself to run faster and keep my head up, I clutched the picture of my dad and reminisced about the care he received and the ups and downs my family and I experienced during his treatment. What stood out the most, and what continues to stand out the most is the personal, humane and forthright care he received during treatment byt he nurses and by his main doctor, Dr. Bender. She would eagerly walk into the room with a smile on her face and a gently look in her eyes, no matter what the news was that she had to share. she always took into account the comings and going of my siblings and me and excitedly asked us how our swim meets or hockey games went. She was a solid-rock foundation for my family throughout the emotionally-draining time my dad spent int he hospital. THe compassion she had for her patients was undeniable and the empathy she expressed mad ethe days not so bad. As a pharmaceutical sales representative, I've had the opportunity to witness multiple clinical settings for the last 8 years. I have been able to work closely with providers to give patients the best care possible and have had the ability to assist in adjusting treatments and suggesting alternatives to help patients reach the best clinical outcomes for their specific disease. During my tenure as a representative, I have been bleseed to shadow multiple providers, and the most memorabl ewas shadowing a cardiologist. Dr. Mahowald allowed me to shadow him in the hospital and it was there that I was able to witness his exceptional care and his ability to emulate the care my dad received by Dr. Bender in the hospital. One particular patient he was trating needed a pace maker. We met with the patient in the cath lab waiting are and then proceeded to get scrubbed-in in order to perform the procedure. Dr. Mahowald allowed me to stand to the left of him and to the left side of the 76-year-old grandma who was about to become a great-grandma. she lay on the table under general anesthesia as the doctor cut open her chest and placed the pacemaker int he cavity. After hooking up the leads and adjusting the settings, it was time to allow the device to do its job. As Dr. Mahowald stepped away from the operating table, the PA stepped in to finish suturing the patient. It was at this moment that I realized how closely the providers were to performaing faith-based healing here on earth. It was undeniably amazing! Since that day, I've had a yearning to get closer to direct patient care. I want to be able to deliver the compassionate care that Dr. Bender and Dr. Mahowald delivered.
  8. I just finished my first draft. Are the ideas in my personal statement too general? Any feedback would be appreciated, thanks! Feel free to message me feedback or post it on this thread, anything you can offer would be great. Here it is: I work in a psychiatric hospital. When I mention this to those outside the always locked double doors, it often conjures up the widely adopted vision of sterile, concrete hallways and shackled beds. They think of needles, caretakers reminiscent of Nurse Ratched and some kind of indefinite, twisted eternal fate reserved only for the “insane.” We hear about the aggression, the suicide, the psychosis; we discuss the dangers of working with the mentally ill, and as a public body, chastise the treatment options that are available. As a technician on a psychiatric medical floor, I find this reputation repulsive; not only does it foster a misunderstanding of what we seek to accomplish, it instigates a negative attitude that promotes the public to treat those afflicted with mental illnesses differently. Often, the stigma associated with mental illness blinds people from understanding what being afflicted with mental illness means. We often don’t hear about are the difficulties that these people face in living with their illness; beyond medical histories, these are real people with their own joys and families and stories. Consider the man with Huntington’s, wheelchair bound for his own safety, whose father and brother were similarly afflicted with the disease, or the self-harming 30-year-old, arms covered in long, thin scars, whose psychological stressors eventually led him to a life on the streets. There’s the deeply religious mother of four amidst the throes postpartum depression, unable to even feed herself. When we step back, we do not see the whole picture, but instead the violence and injustice and sickness that exists. What people often miss is that psychiatric hospitals do not seek to confine these people, but instead aim to allow them to thrive. Amidst the darkness of mental illness, it can be difficult to find hope, to remember that people support you, and to recognize your own strength. It can be difficult to see, and sometimes impossible to believe, that there is hope, even in the most disparate of situations. The most rewarding aspect of working in this field is restoring that hope that has been lost within the throes of mental illness. It can be difficult to imagine the chronic despair of depression or constant torment from auditory hallucinations without experiencing them personally. I hope to never know what it is like to experience their pain, but what I do understand is that feeling listened to and cared about is perhaps the most effective medicine of all. There’s nothing better than seeing the eyes of a depressed woman light up as she reunites with her children upon her discharge, or finally meeting the man who was locked into a catatonic state for weeks, or helping a once bedbound patient walk again for the first time. This is why I love working in healthcare, and why I am pursing the physician assistant profession. As a physician assistant, I hope to become more effective and more highly involved in the treatment of my patients, and continue to develop my clinical skills. I consider myself a continuous learner and have many interests inside and outside the medical field: I am a former collegiate athlete and a future marathoner, an advocate for environmentally responsible farming, a front-porch enthusiast, and an aspiring Francophone. Professionally, I am interested in several medical specialties, including pediatrics, psychiatry, and child psychiatry, international medicine, emergency medicine, and medicine for the underserved. These specialties in particular present social challenges in addition to medical ones, and through my mental health background I have gained a passion for lessening these barriers. My goal is to provide my patients with care that benefits them not only from a medical standpoint, but also form a relationship that allows patients to feel valuable and involved in their care. Working in mental health, my understanding of wellness has changed significantly. It seems that the distinction between physical and mental health is an abstract one, and that the complexity of medical treatment goes beyond the medicine itself. Ultimately, it is this understanding that drives me to become a physician assistant—there would be no greater reward than to be able to do meaningful work healing the wounded, emotionally and physically.
  9. If anyone can please give me some helpful feedback it would be much appreciated! My friend that just got into PA school said I should focus more on aspects of why I want to be a PA vs. just medicine in general so I may change it a little but I would love any feedback! My passion for medicine arose from one of my other greatest passions: surfing. One day while I was surfing I looked back and saw a large wave about to crash on me, as it did I felt a horrific pop in my knee. When I reached the surface I immediately noticed a deformity of my patella. I floated helplessly in excruciating pain as waves crashed on me, and I screamed for help. Another surfer came and carried me to the beach where a man was waiting. He stated “I’m an ER doctor, I’m here to help you.” He proceeded to calm me down and explained that If I wanted, he would pop my patella back into place. I told him to do it and immediately I was relieved from the pain. At that moment I realized I wanted to help people like this man helped me. Out of high school I did not get into a university that I wanted to attend. I decided to stay in my hometown, attend community college, and continue to work as a kitchen supervisor. My mother was a respiratory therapist since she was 19 so I looked to her for advice to acquire some health care experience. She suggested that I volunteer at the local hospital. As a volunteer I did small tasks like bring patients food and blankets and often I would talk with patients who were alone in the emergency room and wanted to be comforted. This is where I began to realize how important showing patients attention was, and how much they valued this. After two years back home, I moved to Los Angeles and attended a community college in hopes of having a better chance at getting into UCLA. In need for a job, I decided to get my phlebotomy certification so I could maintain that patient interaction which I enjoyed. After being certified, I volunteered for a month at the clinic where I completed my externship. The clinic was in a very low-income area where the patients where primarily spanish-only speaking. With a decent background of Spanish, I was able to continue communicating with patients while also improving my Spanish. While looking for jobs, I received a call for an interview for a job as an ER scribe. I was excited at this opportunity because I had heard great things about the vast amount of information and exposure that scribes acquire in the ER. 2 months later I was accepted to UCLA as a biology major. Working as a scribe is where I really learned about the practice of medicine, and the role of a PA. After over 2 years in the ER I have seen over 4,000 different cases ranging from lacerations and fractures, to STEMIs and strokes. I was able to observe and document the entire patient stay from initial interview and exam, procedures, diagnosis, all the way to disposition. I would work with some physicians who would see up to 40 patients in an 8-hour shift, while others would see under 10. It was easy to see that patients were much more satisfied with their stay when they physician spent more time with them. As a scribe I was able to help with this immensely because the physician would spend less time charting, and more time with the patient. Often I would also reassess the patient for the doctor and report back to the physician. For the last 6 months as a scribe, I worked as a lead scribe, and helped implement a scribe program in a hospital that had never had scribes before. I loved this experience because I was able to teach physicians and PAs how to exactly utilize their scribes in order to be more efficient. Once the providers realized how much we could help them, it was great to feel like a valuable member of the team. Another exciting thing about working in this new hospital was that I had never worked with PAs before. This role was very appealing to me because as a scribe I enjoyed working closely with physicians, but at the same time I admired the decision-making and critical thinking skills that the ER PAs employed. I also realized that many of the PAs made an effort to spend a lot of time with the patients because they realized how much the patients valued this. The PAs made an effort to personalize with the patients and this was something I enjoyed doing as a volunteer and a phlebotomist. Another observation in the ER was that many of the patients did not have PCPs, and so they used the ER as a clinic. Occasionally I saw PAs come to the ED who were PCPs for patients, and this seemed like an ideal solution for the shortage of primary care physicians. All of these experiences have led me to the desire to practice as a PA. As a scribe I was able to be part of a team that effectively not only treated, but satisfied patients. The flexibility of practicing as a PA would give me the ability to fill the need for primary providers but also still have the option of practicing in the ED. As a PCP I could maintain a strong personal connection with patients over a long time span. Practicing in the ED I could service a larger quantity of patients while maintaining a similar connection with patients with urgent needs. Whatever scope of medicine I fall into, it will be practicing as a PA.
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