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Hi I would appreciate some advice. I graduated from Ohio State in 2009 with a bachelor's degree in biology with a minor in psychology. My overall gpa was a 2.903 and my science gpa was a 2.55. I originally was going to apply to PA school. I shadowed some PA's and took the GRE. Because of my gpa I felt that I wouldn't of been a competitive applicant so I decided not to apply. Eventually I decided to apply to a respiratory therapy program in order to raise my science gpa and to get some real hands on HCE experience. I just finished my first year in the program and my gpa in the program so far is a 3.93. I really do like respiratory therapy and would like to continue doing it for a couple of years at least. The only thing is all of my science pre-reqs are going to expire in 2016. If I were to decide to go to PA school I would need to apply sometime next year or I would have to retake all of my science classes again. Am I considered to be a competitive applicant now? My current gpa is a 3.08. It's on the low side but I have raised it. My GRE score is also an 1140. I'm not sure what my score is on the new scale. Also does clinical hours count as HCE hours?

 

Thanks!

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The hours during school do not count. I don't know what state you are in, some states have student licenses after the first year.  See if any hospitals around hire students, and see if you can get a student license.

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You may want to consider schools that don't have "expiration dates" on prereqs. A few years of practicing as a RT will strengthen your knowledge base as a PA, as well as your application.

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Seems to me it really depends how many credits you've taken since undergrad.  If a lot, then many schools will accept your trend as a substitute for the cumulative GPA.  If few, then you'll want to take more to "prove" yourself.  As for hours, some schools will accept intern hours during resp. therapy training as HCE and some will not.  Some actually calculate HCE using training hours as 1/2 x hours as a metric of equivalency.  It really varies from school to school.  

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Thanks for the input. We are able to get a limited permit and work as a student tech. I would apply for one but I already work full time at a hospital. Since I work.full time they are paying for a part of my schooling. Unfortunately I can not work full time and have a student tech position.

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I've taken an additional 40 credits hours since undergrad so far. By the time I finish the respiratory therapy program I will have taken an additional 38 credit hours. That would be great if some schools will accept some of my clinical hours as HCE. I will look into that. Thanks!

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If you graduate with an A average over almost 80 credits of medically-related graduate work, I can't imagine schools could ignore that turn-around.  I've only just applied and am waiting to hear about interview invitations, but I've already found many schools sympathetic to this sort of turn-around.  (I'm a bit like you...Bs undergrad (few sciences) and As for the last 50 credits or so (mostly sciences).)  There is hope for us!  Just find the schools that are looking for a person like you.  There is just so much variation among schools--some want 5000+ hours (MedEx NW) and some don't require any (Franklin Pierce) and many in between.  Some look at recent GPA (Pacific, Franklin Pierce, U of WI Madison, etc) and some don't at all (U of Philadeliphia).  I'm a licensed acupuncturist, and several schools have considered my intern year as valid experience (i.e. DeSales U, OHSU, etc) and some (which I didn't apply to) only consider it as half (i.e. U of Bridgeport in CT).  I obviously didn't apply to any who told me my experience is invalid (either as a student or because I'm a CAM practitioner).  You can learn so much from the schools' website FAQs followed by a phone call to admissions.  Don't waste your time on schools that will disqualify you before an interview.  Find the ones that like you before you apply!  Take that with a grain, since I've not even been accepted.  But that's at least the strategy I'm hitching to this application cycle! 

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The GPA is one part of your overall submission to a program. Your personal statement, letters of recommendation and attention to detail will be taken into account. Don't forget that there are quite a few programs that do not require a GRE score. As well, should you decide to apply and accept an interview appointment you may display a quality that appeals to the admission board.

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