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Hi there!

 

I am planning to reapply to PA schools for the third time now for the 2014-2015 cycle. First time I applied, I got one interview and unfortunately didn't get in. Second time I applied very late in the application cycle and didn't get any interviews. 

 

I have a B.S. in Biology from a CUNY, Science GPA of 2.98 (which sucks because many schools want 3.0 and higher), overall GPA 3.25 (after CASPA calculations). I have taken all of the pre requisites for the program. Planning to take a GRE since that increases the number of schools I can apply to. I do have an "F" on my transcript and I did retake the course and ended up with a "B-". I got an "A" in Anatomy and a "B-" in Physiology in college so I thought taking an A&P course at a local college in CA will help me boost my GPA. I got a "B" and that didn't really help. I have about 2 years of experience of working as a physical therapy aide in NY, ICU/PACU nurse duty volunteer (6 months)  plus shadowing an orthopedic PA for 4 months also in NY. I have recently moved to CA and have been working as a surgical scheduler/back office assistant at a surgical practice for the past year. I volunteer at a local soup kitchen as an assistant to the cook/food server. Recently found a PA to shadow in the Bay Area.

 

I really want to become a PA and need to figure out ways to better myself as an applicant. Please help!

 

If you have any suggestions, I would greatly appreciate your advice!

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I would recommend making raising your science GPA your primary focus. Less than a 3.0 in a science degree will be tough to overcome. Be thinking Genetics, Immunology, Virology, Neoplasia, etc. Also consider that anything less than an A in each new course will cement your GPA into the lower ranges, so be careful.

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I am planning to reapply to PA schools for the third time now for the 2014-2015 cycle. [...] Second time I applied very late in the application cycle and didn't get any interviews. [...] Planning to take a GRE since that increases the number of schools I can apply to.

Again, with the first post from a new user where it's difficult to tell if the poster is trolling, or just so clueless as to be indistinguishable from trolling.

 

* "Apply Early" is a basic principle.  For you to have applied late after not getting in the first cycle shows a lack of initiative at best. "In the J's" works for med school... use it for PA school, too.

* GRE is required for so many programs that it's puzzling that you wouldn't have taken it already.

* You must get a 4.0 in any new class you take, period.  Anything less is simply creating inertia around your current GPA, and one class is not going to noticeably move your GPA.

* Your stated HCE seems fine, and shadowing fine to overkill.  It's not going to be what holds you back.

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* "Apply Early" is a basic principle.  For you to have applied late after not getting in the first cycle shows a lack of initiative at best. "In the J's" works for med school... use it for PA school, too.

* GRE is required for so many programs that it's puzzling that you wouldn't have taken it already.

* You must get a 4.0 in any new class you take, period.  Anything less is simply creating inertia around your current GPA, and one class is not going to noticeably move your GPA.

I am definitely going to apply early for the upcoming cycle, it was a huge mistake on my part not to before. 

As for the GRE, when I was applying for the first time, I was many targeting schools in NY most of which did not require a GRE. I am planning to target more schools this time around and will definitely take the GRE.

Should I retake science courses that I did not do well on or take different ones like Baroneous in post #2 suggested? 

 

I appreciate your input. 

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There are different schools of thought:

 

* Take new, higher division classes to show you have the ability to master more advanced work.

* Take the old classes again to demonstrate that you "get it" this time.

 

Either one doesn't have a particular effect on GPA, because retakes don't replace old course grades, they just average in.  One other thing to be aware of, however, is prerequisite currency requirements.  Most places want A&P completed within the last X years, where 7 and 10 are some common numbers.  If you risk having any prerequisites become too old for one of your targeted schools, then retaking those is required anyways.

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Ditto on Rev Ronin's posts. Also, you need really great letters of recommendation, starting with the orthopaedic PA you shadowed. The letters need to state your passion for the PA profession and why you would be a great PA. Use your surgical experience, if possible, in your personal statement.

My general advice to anyone who wants to be a PA is PLAN every step of the process and scrub and polish all your credentials until they shine. START EARLY. A bad GPA is hard to fix after the fact. If you don't make a solid impression on people you work with, they can't really give you a good letter of recommendation. Write several personal statements. Choose the best one and rewrite it as many times as necessary. Get other people to review it and rewrite it some more. Spend time preparing for interviews. Etc.

 

Sent from my Kindle Fire HDX using Tapatalk 2

 

 

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Thank you JohhnyM2, I think my letters of recommendation are pretty good. One was from the Ortho PA, one from a Doctor of Physical Therapy (one of my past employers) and I can get 2 of the surgeons that I currently work for to write really good letters for me. They both want me to succeed on becoming a PA. Since I have used that Ortho PA's letter of recommendation twice, I am planning to shadow another PA and hopefully make a good impression so he/she can potentially be a reference as well. As for my personal statement, the first one was really great, The opening was a scene from a hospital where a patient expired in front of me and I mildly addressed my GPA issues in it. In the second one I showed that I have made improvements in terms of new HCE, volunteering with underprivileged, taking classes at a local college and organizing a huge event all of which strengthened my character. However, since I was applying late I didn't have many people review the second one. I am currently working on making that plan that yo have mentioned. 

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Thank you JohhnyM2, I think my letters of recommendation are pretty good. One was from the Ortho PA, one from a Doctor of Physical Therapy (one of my past employers) and I can get 2 of the surgeons that I currently work for to write really good letters for me. They both want me to succeed on becoming a PA. Since I have used that Ortho PA's letter of recommendation twice, I am planning to shadow another PA and hopefully make a good impression so he/she can potentially be a reference as well. As for my personal statement, the first one was really great, The opening was a scene from a hospital where a patient expired in front of me and I mildly addressed my GPA issues in it. In the second one I showed that I have made improvements in terms of new HCE, volunteering with underprivileged, taking classes at a local college and organizing a huge event all of which strengthened my character. However, since I was applying late I didn't have many people review the second one. I am currently working on making that plan that yo have mentioned.

Sounds good. Generally you can only submit three LORs. Can you get one of the MDs to say that he/she currently works with a PA and regards you as exactly the kind of person they would hire in the future?

 

Sent from my Kindle Fire HDX using Tapatalk 2

 

 

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I am reapplying and need some advice. What is the thought on the CASPA narrative? Should I completely re-write a new statement? Is it ok to re-use the old one? I am planning on applying to some of the same schools I applied to this year, does that matter?

 

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I am reapplying and need some advice. What is the thought on the CASPA narrative? Should I completely re-write a new statement? Is it ok to re-use the old one? I am planning on applying to some of the same schools I applied to this year, does that matter?

 

http://www.physicianassistantforum.com/index.php?/forum/441-pre-pa-general-discussion/

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