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Plan B re-applications

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Age: 29

Applied 7/21, Verified 8/11


Undergraduate (graduated 2010) GPA: 3.4 as my school calculates, but with CASPA's re-take policy it is 3.09 :( lots of re-takes from a slight 'hiccup' very early in my college career.  B.A. in History/Pre-Law.

sGPA: 3.25

BCP: 3.33

Last 60 cr: 3.48

Pre-req's only GPA: 3.4

(these should go up slightly with A's in upper level pathophys. and a 5 cr. upper div. microbiology ending in 2 weeks)


Pre-reqs taken: Gen Chem I & II w/ Honors Lab, A & P I & II w/ lab, Bio I & II w/ Lab, Genetics w/ lab, Microbiology w/ Lab, Pathophysiology, Immunology, Developmental Psych., Stats


GRE: 310 & 4.0


Wilderness EMT-B since 2010 with 6,300 hours as a paid professional ski patroller.

I have also worked as a high school social studies teacher in a private, therapeutic wilderness academy/mental health facility for at-risk teens. (~6 mos. FT with periodic subbing after).


Auxillary for local, very rural EMS.  Volunteer for a local search & rescue team.

Various outdoor certifications like Avalanche Level I & II, ropes rescue trainer, n some other stuff

Volunteer as snow safety consultant in charge of snow safety hazards for the ski portion of an annual large penthathlon race in steep alpine backcountry terrain.


Shadowing: 6 hours with a local DO, and ~30 hours with a PA in Gen. Surg./Wound Care


--I know this is a little low, but I had work or school 7 days a week all Fall/Winter. Happened to have a major knee injury on 3/24 that threw a monkey wrench into my ability to do some shadowing I had lined up after ski season.  Had surgery 5/15- shadowed for 3 straight days on crutches as soon as my doc cleared me to leave the house in July.


This knee injury kept me out of a full course load in the Spring 2014 semester for 4 full weeks of classes.  Missed 2 exams in each class.  TBH, It was pretty miraculous I was able to even finish, let alone with a 2.9.  Definitely not up to my personal standards I hold myself to, but I tried to explain that as best I could.  I do think the experience helped me understand what many people go through every day as patients.



My questions are as follows:

1.  I applied to 10 schools, rejected by 3 so far, and have seen on the forums many of the remaining 7 have sent out many interview invites, or have had all of their sessions already- and I have not heard.


         Has anyone had this happen and gotten a late interview session that was outside the publicly listed interview dates?  I feel like I only have one decent chance left from the one school I had with an 11/1 deadline that wouldn't interview until later this winter- not enough of a window to avoid spending $$$ on Plan B courses.


2.  For Plan-B:  I am currently enrolling in my EMT-Advanced, as well as a number of alphabet soup courses (ITLS, PHTLS, AMLS, PEPP, PEARS, ACLS for sure and GEMS, EPC, ECG if I can find them).


          This cert. would give me the EMT-A on 5/9/16, but that is right around when I would want to be submitted again.  Thoughts on accruing the 1000-2000 more hours patient care under this higher cert. and applying 2017?   


3.  Do you think I need to take Organic, Biochem, and Medical Terminology to open up more options for next application?  I am pretty drained financially after attending/commuting to 4 colleges in 4 semesters to get these pre-requisites done, but if it needs to happen it needs to happen.  How hard would Biochemistry online be without Organic Chemistry?


4.  Obviously I need to get more volunteer hours and shadowing hours.  Does anyone know if medical volunteering is that much better?  I get paid to give prehospital care to folks, and I love my job so much, but would love to have some variety for volunteering.


Thanks for any replies, sorry that was long winded!




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1 - If there are no more listed interview dates - you're not getting one.  It is not uncommon for schools to interview and then send out rejects/accepts to ALL applicants after interviews are over and decisions are made.  That means you probably have some rejections forth coming.  It does not mean there is one magic interview day left.  I had schools that I applied to, saw interview invites out there, and then heard in March that I was not accepted (obviously, because I never interviewed).


3 - Yes.  These are courses that are required for a LOT of programs and if not required, usually highly recommended.  Which means that most applicants have them, so if you don't, it's one more thing for schools to use to compare you to each other.  I understand the financial issues, but maybe that means taking a year and not applying again until 2017.  If you didn't get any interviews this year and don't have much time to improve your app before 2016 opens, take the extra year and give yourself a better chance in 2017.

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^ agreed. It's not common for applicants to apply without any organic, biochem, and/or med term, so not having these in your arsenal, or even lined up to be taken soon, is a big disadvantage. Beware of online chem as well; although med term can be knocked out online, many programs will not accept lab courses taken online.

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2. Apply next year, but find and fix the problem in your current application.


You're stats aren't the greatest, but they should be rejected out of hand.  Yes, your cGPA is 3.09.... but you have 6300 hours of paid HCE! You applied plenty early... so you may have a problem with your application.  Suspects in order:

* Personal statement.

* LORs: weak, wrong sorts of authors, or is there a poison one in there?

* Aiming too high. 10 schools is pretty broad... but were all of them ones that expect a 3.6+ GPA?


There's only so much you  can do to move your cGPA up, but that's still another area you want to master.  More paid HCE is almost certainly not your problem.


4. Moot in light of my answer to question 2.

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@rev ronin,

So you think it'd be a waste of time/money to go from a Basic EMT to Advanced EMT?



Quoted EMEDPA from another thread on this subject, but it seems consensus is split on Orgo/Biochem.


FWIW there is no orgo and very limited bio chem in the pa school curriculum and none on pance or panre. I never took either. If I had to I would have just applied to medschool. that was one of my decision points and I made the wrong choice.

Hopefully I can submit next year in the first two weeks of CASPA next cycle.
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Quoted EMEDPA from another thread on this subject, but it seems consensus is split on Orgo/Biochem.


Hopefully I can submit next year in the first two weeks of CASPA next cycle.


The usefulness of org/biochem IN PA school isn't the issue.  It's that you don't have the pre-reqs and most applicants do because it is often required.  It is potentially something that is putting other applicants ahead of you when comparing side-by-side.  If that doesn't concern you, then sure, don't take them.

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I do get that.  Fortunately none of the programs I applied to this year, or will next year specifically require it.  Chemistry is just not my strong suit.  I get A's in labs and understand the material, but have suffered in lecture with nonstop clicker questions.  I can struggle through UNE's online med. biochem class, or I could try to improve with another subject.


My pathophysiology professor invited me to take a graduate level Advanced Pathophysiology class with him next semester, do you think that in light of this, I could be viewed as competitive without having to struggle through a biochem. class to get a B or B+?

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I don't see anything alarming in regards to what you posted. It's probably your LORs and personal statement. Your GPA is fine. It's not awesome but it will get the job done. It could be because you lack organic chem and biochem, but if a school doesn't require a specific class for acceptance then I doubt that's really the issue. You need to call every school to find out why you didn't receive an interview. 

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