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Assistance in Application Planning please :)

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Hello everyone,

I am finishing up my pre-req's to apply for admittance to the Jan. 2013 class. I was wondering if anyone could offer advice or suggestions to add to my qualifications and experiences for my application. Looking for criticism on what I might be missing that they don't quite tell you on the "admissions requirements" portion of the website.


I have a bachelors (BA) in psychology and masters (MS) in counseling psychology. My patient care hours as a mental health therapist will count as the 500 required for the program. In addition I spent a summer as a volunteer at St. Clair hospital on their oncology floor and currently work as an anesthesia aide there as well. I was accepted to both the psychology and counseling honors societies in college and also passed the National Counseling Examination which is required for state license. I also hold certification from the international sports science association as a certified personal trainer. My science GPA seems to be shaping up pretty well (around 3.5 upon completion if my last semester goes well) my undergrad GPA was a 3.0 and graduate a 3.97. I have done one day of shadowing a PA in a surgical setting and plan on several more. I also plan on taking the GRE's in the next month or two.



Any help is appreciated!




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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Danielle!

I am starting Pitt's PA program in couple weeks so hopefully I can give you some guidance. I would say your qualifications are excellent but definitely spend another few days shadowing in different areas. I would also say to get a few more volunteer hours in to show that your service was not a one time thing but an ongoing commitment. When you write your letter of recommendation, make a list of qualities that you believe a PA should have and use a few of your past experiences to show how you would make a good one instead of rattling off everything you've done.

I'm not sure what your responsibilities are as an anesthesia aide, but it seems like most of us starting in 2012 have had contact such as being a nurse, ER technician, CNA, or EMT/medic (i.e. dealing with bodily secretions). Also be sure to explain why you're changing from your strong background in counseling and exercise science to wanting to be a PA. A great website that helped me so much was www.gotophysicianassistantschool.com. "Dave the PA Coach" has really excellent advice and his free videos always kept me motivated.

I'm not sure what else to say for the "what they don't tell you on the website" question. I met a few of my fellow classmates a couple nights ago and I can tell you that that everyone was well spoken and very friendly. Show them in your essay that you're ready to make a full time commitment to this program for 2 years and that you will rise to meet every challenge.

It is also smart to make an appointment with Marsha LaCovey, the administrator (her email is under the faculty/staff tab on the left hand side of the website), to see/tour the campus. Bring a list of questions for her and also go to the open houses by SHRS (the school the PA program is housed in at Pitt). Get your face in their minds so they recognize your name when they receive your application.


If you have any other questions leave your email and I'll drop you a line :)

Good Luck and hope this helps!

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  • 5 weeks later...


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