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Help! Advice on getting into PA School

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I am a 26 yr old career (paid) Firefighter/EMT-B with just about 2 years of HCE hours due to my EMT portion of the job. 

I have a bachelor of science (non science) from back in to 2007-2011 with an overall gpa of just over a 3.0)... I did however minor in Psychology so I have all of the Psych classes and the Statistic classes taken care of. While in college I took human biology and environmental biology *Both with labs* and did not do so great (freshman year was a mess) received a 'C' in both of those classes.

It looks like I would have to take 5 or so pre-req classes in order to apply to most schools. (chemistry/a&p/etc)

The department i work for now has offered to send me through ALS school in order to obtain my EMT-I and P starting summer 2016. All in all this should roughly take about 2 years to complete all the coursework and training required thru my department.

HERES MY QUESTION: Should I hold off on taking pre-reqs and accept the offer to Medic school? spend 2 more years getting HCE and boosting my rep from a EMT-B to a Paramedic and THEN take the pre-reqs and apply? (By this time ill be 29 or so years old - so by the time i finish the 5 prereqs ill be looking at 31-32 yrs old at time of application)...
OR
Should I hold off on Medic school and start taking the prereqs immediately and bank on using my EMT-B HCE hours to meet school requirements? Does EMT-B vs Medic hours really make a difference? (If i did it this way i would be able to finish pre-reqs by 28-29 years of age and apply)

Is my overall GPA of a 3.0 too low anyways? > Will my pre-req classes add into my overall GPA (raising it hopefully - even if i Aced all pre-req classes it still would only bring my GPA to around a 3.4 or so)?
Will schools count my two biology classes (that i got "C"s in) as "science GPA classes" and disqualify me because it isnt above a 3.0? or will they only focus on my recent pre-req science classes?

Lots of questions, I appreciate all and any reasonable responses.

 

M

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I say if they're paying for you to get your medic, go get your medic. Check and see if their training program grants college credits for the program. If so, it can boost your cGPA. It's also HCE, and a plan B in case too many hurdles to PA school crop up along the way.

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Do you want to be a medic or a PA? I say go take your prereqs and apply. Make sure to ace them all in order to boost your GPA as much as possible of course. Your 3.0 GPA is low but its still possible. I dont know if medic HCE is going to make that big of a difference than your current EMTB HCE. I would say no. Two years of EMTB is pretty good to me and ive seen people accepted with much less in HCE in terms of quality and quantity.

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I agree with MyNameWasUsed.  If you want to be a PA, don't waste your time going to paramedic school, get your prerequisites done and apply to PA school.  If you want to be a paramedic, remain with your FD and go to school for that.  Two completely different career paths with completely different training.

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Thank you all for your timely responses.

 

I understand the view point you both have regarding Medic school. I have been trying to decide if going to medic school would give me the extra boost I need for admissions since my GPA is low. It seems that it would just delay the inevitable.

 

Id love to hear some more thoughts!

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Does the paramedic program count for college credits? Through which school? Does it include a&p 1&2 (a lot do)? How many credits is the program worth? If you get straight A's in the medic program, how much will it boost your cGPA and sGPA? How many prereqs will it knock out while you are being paid to take them versus paying to take them?

 

There is a vast amount of difference in scope between EMT-B and EMT-P.

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Normally I would say that it's up to you and it just depends on when you want to go to PA school.  But.....your Achilles heel is your GPA. 3.0 makes getting in hard.  If the P school you are going to go for grants real credit, it is a great way to boost your cGPA.  I got a 3.88 or something like that in P school and it gave me a nice little boost.  A little raise in overall GPA may lessen the blow of a B in something like O'rgo Chem.

 

Good luck

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as a former emt, er tech, and paramedic I HIGHLY recommend going to medic school, especially if you can do it for free and you have any desire to practice emergency medicine as a pa. the skills, judgement, and multitasking you learn in medic school will put you way ahead of the game in pa school and in a later career in emergency medicine and your medic experience will be counted as "top tier" HCE at most programs along with RN and resp therapist and will set you apart from the thousands of applicants with emt-basic, cna, and scribe experience. PM me for more reasons to go medic before pa school if you like. I still get jobs after 20 years as an EM PA based on the fact that I used to be a 911 paramedic...

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Does the paramedic program count for college credits? Through which school? Does it include a&p 1&2 (a lot do)? How many credits is the program worth? If you get straight A's in the medic program, how much will it boost your cGPA and sGPA? How many prereqs will it knock out while you are being paid to take them versus paying to take them?

 

There is a vast amount of difference in scope between EMT-B and EMT-P.

I am not sure about the college credits. I will look into that. 

 

It would be the the local community college.

 

No to the A&P 1&2 ... They make us take a 4 credit lecture A&P at the general level. It would not count towards prereq classes.

 

The courses that I would have to take throughout EMT-I and P are as follows:

NAS 150 - Anatomy and Physiology

HLT 250 - Pharmacology

EMS 205 - Advanced pathophysiology

 

All other courses are hands on/clinical classes. So, essentially zero pre-req classes would be taken care of. Also, I am not sure if these courses could be added into a regular BoS GPA since they are on a "certificate" level - not Post Bacc.

 

Let me know what you think.

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Normally I would say that it's up to you and it just depends on when you want to go to PA school.  But.....your Achilles heel is your GPA. 3.0 makes getting in hard.  If the P school you are going to go for grants real credit, it is a great way to boost your cGPA.  I got a 3.88 or something like that in P school and it gave me a nice little boost.  A little raise in overall GPA may lessen the blow of a B in something like O'rgo Chem.

 

Good luck

Thanks for your response!

 

I understand that the 3.0 overall GPA is low. However, starting from my freshman year 2.5 to my senior year 3.5gpa I constantly improved (with ending with a 3.07) - which im sure will look good to admissions.

 

Plus - I would have to take about 5 or 6 pre-req classes for admissions... these should give me the opportunity to boost my GPA before applying.

 

By the time I am finished with my pre-reqs I would also have another 2 years or so of HCE hours under my belt to total 4 years. Maybe this would offset some of the "he has a low gpa" chatter?

 

Let me know what you think!

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Also, I am not sure if these courses could be added into a regular BoS GPA since they are on a "certificate" level - not Post Bacc.

 

 

I think that will depend on how your institution awards the credit. I did my initial paramedic training through a continuing education program at a community college. No academic credit was awarded, so none of it was calculated in my GPA. I also had academic credits for EMS classes I took for an AAS degree. Since academic credit was awarded, those classes counted. Basically, you need to know whether the institution awards academic credit (at any level, certificate, associate's, bachelor's post-bacc, etc) for the training or not.  

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Thanks for your response!

 

I understand that the 3.0 overall GPA is low. However, starting from my freshman year 2.5 to my senior year 3.5gpa I constantly improved (with ending with a 3.07) - which im sure will look good to admissions.

 

Plus - I would have to take about 5 or 6 pre-req classes for admissions... these should give me the opportunity to boost my GPA before applying.

 

By the time I am finished with my pre-reqs I would also have another 2 years or so of HCE hours under my belt to total 4 years. Maybe this would offset some of the "he has a low gpa" chatter?

 

Let me know what you think!

It is good that your GPA is showing an upward trend. However, the extra 2 years of HCE cannot combat a mediocre GPA. Now, the average cGPA and sGPA is around 3.5 if not higher.  Also, if you really want to be a PA and you want that as a career, then why go to medic school? Although it is good HCE to have, it won't make much of a difference to admissions committee. Plus, you can get your pre-reqs done in a semester or two. If you take classes in spring and summer, you should be done and can apply in summer 2016 if you work really hard. I would encourage you to finish pre-reqs and apply as early as possible since the acceptance rate is going down really fast each year. In fact, one school I interviewed at had ~3% acceptance rate. 

 

Bottom line:

Good/Decent GPA with two years of experience- higher chances of acceptance. Mediocre GPA with 4 years of HCE- chances are low. My two cent. Good Luck!

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