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Where Can I Improve Before Next April?

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So I applied to 5 in-state programs at the end of August. I haven't heard anything back yet, except links to the supplemental applications. I don't know what my chances are for this year, but I want to know what I can do to improve before I apply again in April.


These are my current stats:



Bachelor of Science in Nutrition from North Carolina State University (graduated fall of 2014)

CASPA overall gpa: 3.28

CASPA science gpa: 3.54

Dean's List Last Four Semesters: 2013 Spring, 2013 Fall, 2014 Spring, 2014 Fall

-Not the best, but I did have a huge upswing.



Verbal: 166 (96th percentile)

Quantitative: 161 (80th percentile)

Analytical Writing: 5.0 (93rd percentile)


Health Care Experience:


Clinical Assistant: 700 hours (will go up ~35-40 hours a week)

My job is basically that of a medical assistant (bringing patients back, patient hx's, vitals) but I also do a lot of hands-on things like vaccinations/flu shots, EKGs, Spirometry test, etc.

Certified Pharmacy Technician: 1,800 hours (this will continue to go up ~15 hours a month)

Internship under a Registered Dietician working with cardiac rehabilitation patients at local hospital: 100 hours





Cardiology PA - 8 hours

Primary Care/Sports Medicine Physician - 8 hours

Primary Care Nurse Practioner - 8 hours


I don't have any volunteer experience. I'd like to work on this, but don't know how much time I can devote to it. I'd want to do something long term, so I can actually make a difference.

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I agree with UGoLong that a bit more shadowing might help, but do be sure not to overdo it.  Another 200 hours (ack!) is not going to be much more helpful than another 12-20.


* Volunteering long term is good, but a long prior history of volunteering is much better than last-minute box checking.

* Consider international experience.  Do you have any? If not, can you get any?  Doesn't have to be medical, but getting outside the US is a plus.

* How about underserved population experience?  Volunteer or paid, how have you helped the indigent, under-reached, ets?

* Practice interviewing skills

* Make sure your LORs are well-aligned with what your programs want and superlative.

* Improving grades and HCE is always a good thing, but your HCE is going up fine now anyways, and at your GPA it takes a lot of effort to move it upwards much, so I'd focus on classes that might actually help you work as a PA (primary goal), that also might raise your GPA (secondary goal).  I had 17.33 hours of psych/counseling courses... and I still don't think that was enough.


Best wishes!

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The only way to truly understand the role of a PA is to do some more shadowing.


Other than that, you look fairly competitive (especially with the high GRE scores).


I would focus on "selling yourself". How will you convey to an admissions committee the worth of your clinical experience? How will you demonstrate your desire to enter the profession of medicine? How will you get across that you have done your homework and understand the role of a PA?

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