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Hello All

 

I recently applied to four PA schools this October (Drexel, Philadephia College of Osteopathic Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, and Chatham university). I recieved letters from two schools notifying me that I did not get accepted. My cumilative GPA is 3.44 and my science GPA is 3.27. I currently have over 1000 hours of HCE in research, but during my time of application I had a little over 500. Being that I haven't heard from my other schools I'm assuming I probably will not get accepted, but im still trying to remain optimistic. I am currently finishing up my pre-reqs and plan to be done at the end of the summer. I'm just wondering how most schools look at students who have reapplied to the PA program? Should I try to raise my science GPA to increase my chances?

 

I plan to apply earlier and to more schools this time to increase my chances of getting in...I am just trying to take all the necessary steps to make sure I get in this time. Please Help!! :smile:

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1) Submit your application in June or July

3) Apply to 6+ schools

2) Take a couple science classes to boost your GPA

4) You say your HCE is in research, are you sure programs accept this as direct patient care experience? If so, continue to increase those hours, if not, get a CNA cert ASAP and start working as a nursing assistant.

5) Shadow a couple PAs for a few hours

 

The important thing is to show you are making an effort to improve your application. (Be sure to write a brand new narrative!) My GPAs were similar to yours but I also had 2000+ hrs direct PCE. I still had a hard time getting accepted. I do suggest reapplying to the schools you applied to this cycle, but you also need to apply to a few more. I would say at least 6 but if you have the money, then apply to at least 10.

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I think the major problem is the direct HCE. You basically have none. Are the schools you are applying to looking for students with no prior HCE? Don't put all your eggs in one basket.

 

I think it's too early to give up just yet. You have two schools that you have yet to hear from. If they do not offer you a seat, use your time to get some quality HCE, write a new narrative as suggested, and you should have a much better chance!

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Don't give up... but don't sit still! If there was one piece of advice I could give to every PA applicant, it would be "Have a plan if you get in this year, but have a plan to improve your application for next cycle if you don't"

 

Improve your patient care experience and science GPA. Get and read Rodican's book... or browse the forum for a while, and you'll get most of the same advice for free, just not as concisely.

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Thank you so much for your responses, my hope has been restored..a little! Just to clarify my HCE in research I would consider to be direct patient because I am working with patients to acquire data for clinically based trials, as well as observing PAs, doctors, and nurses in the process. Maybe I should be more specific when I reapply so that this is clear. I am also going to try to look for oppurtunities where I can gain experience on actually caring for patients.

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I attended a couple of PA-CME conferences before applying... this is something that isn't necessary, and the timing happened to be right. But it was nice to network with some PAs and I believe it was a plus for my application and subsequent interview.

 

Remember to get a GRE score over 1000.

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Just acquiring patient data??? Most schools might not consider that high quality hce. On top of it your hrs were low and still are. Low hrs, low quality and low sGPA, now you see where you have to improve. How/why did you apply b/f finishing your prereqs? You have a long road ahead of you, esp in the hce dept. I hope you call the schools ahead of apply to see if they consider that high quality hce, be sure to explain exactly what you do in your PS.

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I think what a couple of people have said above are true - you don't appear to have much HCE. 1000 hours is just over a year (year and a month?) and if you applied with 500 hours, that could be a starting point to consider improving your application. How much do the schools you're applying for require? I've seen several that consider 2000 hours to be the minimum. (The school I'm going to starts at 4000 hours.)

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Just remember to apply as soon as the CASPA application comes out this year and make sure you improve on something or everything, because your interviewers will most likely ask you how you have made your application better this year. Do not give up hope! I got in this year and it was also my second time applying. (first time I put my eggs all in one basket)

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Just acquiring patient data??? Most schools might not consider that high quality hce. On top of it your hrs were low and still are. Low hrs, low quality and low sGPA, now you see where you have to improve. How/why did you apply b/f finishing your prereqs? You have a long road ahead of you, esp in the hce dept. I hope you call the schools ahead of apply to see if they consider that high quality hce, be sure to explain exactly what you do in your PS.

 

Thank you for your response...All of the schools I applied to allowed you to submit an application with no more than 12 credits of pre-reqs before the start of the program. Also, all of the schools accepted research as HCE, but like you said they might not consider it to be high quality. In your opinion what would you consider "high quality" hce for someone who has no certifications or training in direct patient care?

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I think what a couple of people have said above are true - you don't appear to have much HCE. 1000 hours is just over a year (year and a month?) and if you applied with 500 hours, that could be a starting point to consider improving your application. How much do the schools you're applying for require? I've seen several that consider 2000 hours to be the minimum. (The school I'm going to starts at 4000 hours.)

 

Yes, it seems as though my biggest hurdles are more HCE and increasing my sGPA. One of the schools I applied to only asked for 200 hours, the rest were only 500.

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As the others have said..more HCE. Did you interview a patient to find out about their life? For example:

Age, previous medical hx, previous surgeries, family medical hx, current medications, allergies, average level of daily activity, occupation, hobbies, eating habits, smoking habits, drug use, alcohol use, what sort of medical intervention are they currently seeking, desired outcome, willingness to comply with agreed upon care pathway

 

Can you write a basic physical exam documenting apparent nourishment status, mentation, skin assessment, vital signs, gross neurological exam including DTR's? Know what DTR's are? gait, speech pattern, respiratory exam including lung sounds, cardiac exam including ECG reading? Any organ enlargement? Lymph nodes? Distal pulses? ROM? Know what ROM is? Grip strengths, facial grimace? Arm drift?

 

Ever draw blood? Start an IV? Give meds while knowing the generic and brand name, the desired affect, duration of affect, side affects and possible allergic reactions? Splint? Cast? Fit someone with crutches? Give discharge instructions to anyone? Perform follow up interviews via telephone? Perform wound care/dressing changes? Document clarity, color, amount of a bladder void? Bowel movement? And understand the importance of said documentation? Perform a rectal exam, or at the very least understand WHY care providers perform a rectal? Check the stool for blood using a bedside lab test? Know how to examine for an inguinal hernia? Understand how one develops? Insert a foley? Perform skin assessment on bed ridden patients and document your findings? Perform skin care for decubitis ulcers? Pack an open wound? Control rapid blood loss? Perform CPR? Close a body bag? Transport a corpse to the morgue? Watch an autopsy? Hold a child after their parent just died? Face a parent after their child died?

 

If you have MAKE SURE YOU EXPLAIN IT IN YOUR NARRATIVE. If you haven't...well...now you have a few things to work on. The school I applied to requires 4000 hours of direct patient care...knowing that there are 40 hours in a normal work week, 52 weeks a year, we'll call it 2000 hours per year of full time work (for simple math and allow for a vacation) So your application went out to the schools while you did not have all your pre reqs completed, so the school does not know how your final grade is going to be. Your HCE was light in the hours and the description of gathering data just doesn't speak very loud. You are asking schools to take a gamble with you...We're in the middle of a recession. Everyone, myself included, is back in school. When is the last time you DIDN'T see some article on how HOT PA schools are right now? Schools don't need to make gambles when they have such a huge applicant pool. My questions above about HCE ranges from mild to a bit extreme, but gives you an idea of what your competition has done. Gotta step up your game a bit.

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Yes, it seems as though my biggest hurdles are more HCE and increasing my sGPA. One of the schools I applied to only asked for 200 hours, the rest were only 500.

 

Keep in mind also that while schools may list 200 hours as their requirements, most of the students getting in are well beyond that, many in the thousands and tens of thousands. Don't just meet the requirements, surpass them. Again, the HCE must be of better quality. Perhaps you may consider becoming certified to gain the HCE you need. Good luck to you.

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...1000 hours is just over a year (year and a month?) ...

 

2000 hours = roughly a year

 

OP- I'd 2nd the opinion to rack up more hours and continue taking courses. I would definitely double check to make sure that your research hours count as quality HCE (if not get a CNA cert). Your GPA looks average/slightly above average. Do your programs (or the programs you will apply to this cycle) require the GRE? If so, start studying NOW if you need to take it for the 1st time or if it's a retake of a score <1000 (I would consider 1100+ ideal).

 

If you can contact each program once their app cycle is completed to find out what you can do to make yourself more competitive. Maybe browse through the school threads to get a feel of stats.

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Like everyone said.... up your HCE hours. I only had about 800-1000 when I was accepted but my GPA was around 3.75-3.8. Also I would think about doing some community service. I had non medical community service on my application and was asked about it multiple times in interviews. Make yourself stand out on paper and they will want to interview you. DEFINITELY shadow a PA and have them write a letter of rec.

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Thank you for your response...All of the schools I applied to allowed you to submit an application with no more than 12 credits of pre-reqs before the start of the program. Also, all of the schools accepted research as HCE, but like you said they might not consider it to be high quality. In your opinion what would you consider "high quality" hce for someone who has no certifications or training in direct patient care?

EMT/Paramedic, RT, LPN/RN... HCE is HCE, and there is very little high-quality HCE that is available without "certifications or training in direct patient care". The easiest route to get hands-on patient care experience is CNA. If you can find a job as a medical assistant or physical therapy assistant, those are reasonably appropriate jobs, too, but finding a job is not as easy as for a CNA.

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That can be the case, however the OP can put an ad in the newspaper for private duty w/o going through an agency. I've seen it in our newspaper and I know those cnas are very busy.

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