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xNeferpitou

Should I apply this cycle?

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Good evening everyone, I plan on applying this cycle and I just wanted everyones opinion on if I should do it this cycle or next. I apologize if this is in the wrong forum. I tried reading on the website to try and figure out where the right place to post this was... but I couldn't find an answer. Also, I saw a lot of similar posts to this one on this thread..and that's why I thought this would be the appropriate place to ask this. IF this is not the right thread please let me know and I will take it down. Here are my stats. Please let me know if you find me competitive

 

I am 21 years old and I will graduate on May 2017. I am applying to schools that require students to receive their bachelors PRIOR to matriculation. I am also applying to schools that only "recommend/prefer" HCE hours instead of having a minimum. I am appyling to schools in Oklahoma, Texas, and Kansas. These schools do not have rolling admissions, so I do not think applying early will give me a better chance at receiving an interview (CORRECT ME IF IM WRONG please) :). This will give me the chance to submit my transcript after my summer school classes end (Which end July 29th and I can hopefully have my application in sometime in August). The application deadline is October 1st. I am an Oklahoma resident and I have a strong dedication to work in the rural/underserved populations. I talked about this in my PS, and I made sure to emphasize how much this means to me. I went to the writing center a couple of times and had two different advisors read it, so I think it will be okay. I also have really great LORS (doesnt everyone?)

 

ANYWAYS... onto the stats (TL;DR)

 

Degree: Microbiology/Cell and Molecular Biology

Science GPA: 3.54

Cumulative GPA: 3.63

Last 60 hours: 4.00

GRE: 306

 

1600 hours as a volunteer medical assistant at a neurology clinic. (I went ahead and asked OU if this counted as HCE and they said it did)

600 hours as a swim instructor

300 hours of shadowing a variety of PAs 

100 hours of being a volunteer lab assistant, I eventually submitted a research proposal and won the Wentz research scholarship

400 hours shadowing 2 neuro MDS

I shadowed a PA student at the OU-OKC campus for the day, and I went to their advisement session.. I hope this shows how committed I am to going to their program. 

 

If anyone has any advice or opinions regarding my stats let me know. IF anyone here has applied to schools in Oklahoma, Texas, or Kansas, PLEASE let me know how the process went and what you experienced. I don't think I am forgetting anything to add to this post. Once again, if this is in the wrong thread i sincerly apologize and I will remove it asap. Do you think I should apply this year or just wait to apply once I get my bachelors? Once I graduate and receive my bachelors my GPA would be around a 3.72 cum, and a 3.61 science, and I will have more hce hours. Anyways... please let me know what you all think. Thank you for reading this.

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Applying early is always better.  Even if a school doesn't do rolling admissions doesn't mean it doesn't start reviewing apps and holding interviews before the deadline.  Just means they typically have one big acceptance batch after interviews are completed but even those schools can/will offer a few acceptances to highly desirable candidates after an interview.

 

Just because OU will count volunteer hours as HCE doesn't mean all the programs you want to apply to will.  Some programs want paid experience.  Even if programs don't *require* HCE, you will be likely applying against applicants who HAVE HCE so just keep that in mind.  You may want to check with each program you plan to apply to and see if they count volunteer hours as HCE before you waste the money.

 

Based on all that info, only you can decide if it's worth it to apply this year.  Even if you do, I'd recommend finding a paying HCE job in case you have to apply/reapply next year.

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Applying early is always better.  Even if a school doesn't do rolling admissions doesn't mean it doesn't start reviewing apps and holding interviews before the deadline.  Just means they typically have one big acceptance batch after interviews are completed but even those schools can/will offer a few acceptances to highly desirable candidates after an interview.

 

Just because OU will count volunteer hours as HCE doesn't mean all the programs you want to apply to will.  Some programs want paid experience.  Even if programs don't *require* HCE, you will be likely applying against applicants who HAVE HCE so just keep that in mind.  You may want to check with each program you plan to apply to and see if they count volunteer hours as HCE before you waste the money.

 

Based on all that info, only you can decide if it's worth it to apply this year.  Even if you do, I'd recommend finding a paying HCE job in case you have to apply/reapply next year.

ATTENTION: If this is way to long to read then please just read the bold. Thank you so much for your response. I am in the process of completing my CASPA application, so I will go ahead and submit it as close as I can to when the application for the school opens (which is June 1st). I am going to submit early.. so hopefully my application will be at the top of the list. (I don't really know how that works) They mentioned at the advisement session that if I get offered an interview in January, then I can bring in an offical and unoffical transcript of my updated grades for the fall semester. With my upward trend, I am confident that my cGPA will be a 3.72 and a sGPA 3.6 with the last 60 hours being a 4.0 by the time I am interviewed. If I get an interview, I hope these improvements will increase my chances. That is if I even get an interview. I am literally trying so hard to make sure my PS as perfect as it can be, and I also hope my personality fits with what type of students they want.  My 3 LORs are from a professor, MD, and academic advisor. The professor has taught me cell and molecular biology, medical mycology, and eukaryotic genetics, which I made A's in all classes. The next one is from the MD I volunteered for. He has literally taught me so much about neurology. and I am really grateful that I got to be apart of his team. The last one is from my academic advisor. She has seem me grow from freshman to Junior year, she has witnessed me at my lowest and my highest. She knows how much of a hard worker I am.

 

The reason why I have so many volunteer hours is because I had a hard time finding a direct hce paying job. Literally no one would hire me. I had no certifications, and I was really focused on my academics to take any sort of certification test. Also, I live in a small town.. so If i wanted to take some sort of class to get certified then I would have to drive an hour each day to the city. I know that doesn't seem bad, but I didn't have time to fit that in my schedule. I was taking 18 credits hours each semester with very hard science classes. I know these might sound like excuses... but I am not a perfect person.

 

Anyways, when I volunteered as a Medical Assistant at the neurology clinic, I took vitals, I ran EEG tests, I gave neuropsych test, neuroanalysis, nerve conduction velocity test, and checked patients in and out. Now this clinic closed at 5pm every weekday, so I took the extra time I had during the summer to volunteer at the hospital during the evenings and weekends. I volunteered in the ER and I gave mandatory hearing screenings to the new babies being born. I know that I didn't get paid for what I did, but I feel like.. I have learned so much about the healthcare field. The skills and the knowledge that I learned will be with me for the rest of my life and it is something I can tell the admissions committee during the interview. I knew I loved being involved in the healthcare field, but these experiences have made me fall in love over and over again with each time more and more (cheesy I know) What do you think about my volunteer experiences? Do you think they are good? 

 

I am going to go ahead and apply. The main program that I want go get into is OU. I know I shouldn't put my eggs in one basket.. but none of the other schools excite me as much as this school does. I mean if I got accepted into the other schools then that would be wonderful.. but I have basically built my application off of what OU wants. I went ahead and emailed them these specific questions that I asked in my first post, so hopefully that will give me some helpful guidance.

 

If I don't get accepted to any programs this cycle, do you think I should take post bac classes to raise my GPA or try and get ceritifed and work full time? Thank you once again for reading this. 

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Your GPA is fine. You need real HCE for the rest if the schools that require it. Plain and simple. Good luck OP.

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Your GPA is fine. You need real HCE for the rest if the schools that require it. Plain and simple. Good luck OP.

Thanks for your response. I know it may be plain and simple to others, but to me I am having a hard time grasping the concept of HCE. I believe that I am receiving good quality HCE, as I perform tests and look after patients. Is it only considered "real HCE" if I am getting paid for it?

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Good HCE: you are actually responsible for some aspect of patient care. You are a part of the system and understand how it all fits together. You have cared for people when they weren't at their best and still feel you want to be in healthcare.

 

HCE is not just a block to be checked; it's evidence that you know what you will be getting in to.

 

Good luck!

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Good HCE: you are actually responsible for some aspect of patient care. You are a part of the system and understand how it all fits together. You have cared for people when they weren't at their best and still feel you want to be in healthcare.

 

HCE is not just a block to be checked; it's evidence that you know what you will be getting in to.

 

Good luck!

I don't know why I didn't do this before, but I looked on CASPAs website and it tells you what is considered patient care experience and health care experience, whether it is paid or unpaid. I know that some programs require paid HCE, so it would probably be my best bet not to apply to those. I hope my message didn't imply that I am "checking HCE" off my list. I was just looking for some advice from this forum. I understand how health care works and I understand the roles of other healthcare providers, I was just confused on how admissions or CASPA considered it so I wanted some opinions from the community. I consider my experience patient care experience because I perform procedures and I am reponsible for there course of treatment. I feel kinda bad for asking now.. 

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You're right, it's not that your volunteer MA hours aren't HCE, just that some programs want paid HCE.  Check with schools before applying and you'll be fine.

 

If you don't get in this cycle, as others have said, your GPA is fine.  Take the time to get more HCE (and, if possible, the time to get paid HCE).  Even if it's a pain to get certified, being able to apply to schools that want paid HCE the second time around will be helpful.

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My first 10 years of HCE were all volunteer before I went part-time paid with a different 911 service. No one gave me any trouble with those first years.

 

Some schools care if you were paid or not. Otherwise go for quality.

 

Good luck!

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