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thekingofswing

Another Chances Post

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Hello, so I have already applied back in July to 11 programs. I realize that this post is irrelevent but it may provide me with peace of mind. So here it goes...

 

Degree: B.A Biology from a small private insititution that is pretty well regarded.

 

CASPA cGPA: 3.24

CASPA sGPA: 3.15

GRE: 157V 147Q 4.0AW

 

Experience consists of 1200 hours as a CNA in assisted living and 1600 hours as a CNA in a large urban university hospital on an ortho unit. So total around 2800 hours direct patient care.

 

Volunteering includes 50 hours as a physical therapy volunteer at a rehibilitation facility and 88 hours on a church mission trip to Haiti.

 

Shadowing hours are around 35 hours of PA shadowing in various settings.

 

My 3 LOR are from a former biology professor and advisor, a chruch pastor who supervised the mission trip and my former nurse manager who is now director of nursing at another hospital.

 

I had a C in animal physiology which was my upper-division physiology class but took a human physiology this past July and received a B. My post-bach GPA, all of which are science classes, which consists of 13 credits including the human physiology stands at 3.7. I did receive a C in genetics and a D in O-chem 2.

 

Any feedback would be appreciated thanks!

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Most schools require a letter from atleast a PA, a physician is also a decent option many places.  It's going to be easy for them to say you aren't ready though with messing up those important classes so recently and just go with the safe guy with a 4.0.  Not to put you down but a recent C and D in science courses wont look good.  I'm very held back by poor grades from 2008, and they aren't even science classes!

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Out of the many, many programs I researched, only a couple actually required a LOR from a PA.  That being said, I don't disagree that it's desirable.  However, a good LOR from someone reputable, who knows you well and can speak positively and knowledgeably about you and your abilities, is far better as a reference than a LOR from a 'random' PA who doesn't.  e.g., there's a thread on this forum where an AdComm member commented about an excellent LOR that came from a soccer coach.  I did not have an LOR from a PA.  I only had 16 hours of shadowing a PA (my exposure to PAs was not via shadowing) and that PA certainly didn't know me well enough to write as good an LOR as my microbiology professor, an NP, and an MD that I worked with for considerably more hours.  

 

With respect to particular classes, in my experience, if you are offered interview(s), be prepared to explain why you did poorly in the classes you referenced (what you did 'wrong' and what you learned from it).  I had some courses (quite a few years ago) with Fs and a number of Ws.  It was a topic of discussion, but I expected it.  I have no doubt that more recent academic performance overshadowed most of it.  It didn't keep me from getting multiple interview invitations (nor multiple acceptances where I did interview).  

 

Is there something particular about your profile that you're concerned about?  You'll find various posts on this forum from people that have had a checkered academic career (like me; see also Timon's posts); more (or less) HCE hours, etc.  

 

At the end of the day, getting accepted into PA school isn't about any one attribute (though some programs do put considerably more emphasis on one aspect or another).  It's much more about the total package - as long as you meet the minimums, and complete the prerequisites, for programs where you apply, average or below average 'stats' can be irrelevant if your personal statement is compelling ... and it's about being a fit for the program(s) where you apply.  

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True depends on the school, just like some schools put much more stock into your GPA than others will.  Do you mind sharing which 11 programs?  Have you heard anything back at all from anyone yet?

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To confirm I received the C in genetics and D in oc2 back in 2012 not recently. Sorry for the misunderstanding. I applied to touro California, Elon, Marquette, madison, Augsburg college, Duke, union college, wake forest, stony Brook, JCHS and another which escapes me at the moment.

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So I take it you haven't heard anything yet?  I think a lot of those schools including Duke have yet to send out interview invites.  I know Stony Brook has.  Nothing you can do now but sit back and wait with the rest of us haha

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other than the LOR issue you should be in pretty good shape.

your gpa is a bit low for Duke, wake forest, and SB, but you should have a shot at the other 8. good luck.

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Most schools require a letter from atleast a PA, a physician is also a decent option many places.  It's going to be easy for them to say you aren't ready though with messing up those important classes so recently and just go with the safe guy with a 4.0.  Not to put you down but a recent C and D in science courses wont look good.  I'm very held back by poor grades from 2008, and they aren't even science classes!

Fun fact: even the ones that "require" a letter from a PA or physician will still interview you if the rest of your app catches their eye enough.  I don't recommend counting or relying on this, but I gave it a shot for a program I couldn't NOT apply to - but just one.

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I'm interviewing at a school that "requires" a PA LOR...actually it's only required for the admissions decision and not the interview.  Very few schools have a hard lined policy about PA letters.

 

OTOH, your grades might do you in.  Cross your fingers for this cycle, start working on getting them up for next cycle.

 

I would also work on getting an LOR from a medical provider...you want someone to speak positively about your ability/potential as a care provider.  Nurse managers are, well, nurse managers. 

 

Hang in there.

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Just giving OP my opinion, I wouldn't apply without an LOR from a medical provider such as an MD, DO or PA.  Even when some schools don't "require" it there is definitely more value placed on a good letter from someone like this that can testify to your strength with patients and why you would be a good future provider.  I guess it's water under the bridge now because he already applied but food for thought if he has to go through another cycle.

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