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Need serious advice about become a PA (science pre-reqs)

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Before I begin, let me start by saying the PA profession is something I have wanted to do since my senior year of high school. I am about to be a senior in college and am still a PA-hopeful but my science prerequisite grades are what's stopping me from continuing on this long journey.

 

I have failed two, not one, but TWO prerequisites: statistics and chemistry. I have received two D's and a few C's and a few W's. 

 

Something in me says to keep trying by retaking those courses. I am willing to put in as much time and money as it takes to get to where I need to be in order to apply to PA school. I am doing awesome in my other courses which suggest perhaps I should pursue other professions before straining myself with the science courses. 

 

I'm just wondering if any of you think I still have a shot at this point. Given that I will take several years after college to retake those courses, get my science GPA up, log in those HCE hours, volunteer, etc, etc. But will admission officers even look at my application given my horrendous track record? Not so sure...

 

Thank you all in advance.

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Why did you do so poorly in the prerequisites? Have you made an honest assessment and formulated a plan for doing better the second time around?

 

If so, you've got a difficult but not impossible task in front of you. If not, you don't have a prayer and are wasting your time and money. 

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You absolutely need to retake the pre-reqs and get A's in them.  If you aren't ready to get A's in them, wait until you are.  Taking a pre-req 3-4 times just to get an A will not look good.

 

Depending on what classes the D's and C's are in you need to evaluate how those will look on your app.  It's not impossible, but I'm sure they didn't help your overall GPA any and they may need to be retaken if they are science courses.

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There are lots of success stories of people doing poorly early on in school and then turning it all around. I think your focus should be to figure out how to be more successful in school, and that might not be solved immediately. Ask for help from professors, academic advisors, etc. If you can figure out how to study more effectively and get better grades in your pre-reqs when you retake them, you'll be alright. Your overall gpa and science gpa will probably be on the low side considering the other grades but as long as it meets the minimum requirements for the school you still have a shot. You'll need to beef up your HCE, letters of rec, etc considerably but if you are able to do all this and you're positive you still want to pursue that career, you still have a chance. Considering your gpa, you really want to make sure those HCE hours and volunteering experiences are MEANINGFUL, not just "logging" them in. In any interviews they'll likely ask you about your gpa so you want to make sure you can really spin a positive light on yourself by highlighting your experiences and that will be much easier if you have meaningful experiences to talk about.

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Thank you for all of your help so far. As for the reasons why I did so poorly in my science classes: my university is notorious for having impossible science classes to "weed out" pre-medical students. The classes were difficult, and I was very distracted. Say if I were to take those classes at a smaller school and commute from home, my grades would have been significantly better. I am trying to re-take some of the courses now but honestly feel like I am not ready. I am just not sure what to do at this point. 

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I'm sorry, but the "weed out" difficulty excuse has been used since Plato gave his first F in philosophy 101. Unless no one has ever received an A any of your courses, the anecdote doesn't hold water.

 

My CASPA cGPA was a 3.02. I struggled. They were my struggles, not artificial barriers created by faculty.

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Yea a lot of my school's general science courses were 'weed out' courses for pre-med students, too.  For a majority of us, it still was not difficult to get A's.  I imagine that's true for most schools - if it's weed out for pre-med, consider it weed out for PA as well...if you can't hack it there, you've got a long, hard road ahead.

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If you don't feel ready, try to get out of the classes. I don't know what school you go to and whether you're in the classes currently or planning to take them next year but if there's any way you can get out of them (without a W) then do it. If you feel you still need some time to figure out an effective studying plan, don't take your pre-requisites now, you can always switch gears and focus on the other aspects of your application. You may want to either take time off from school altogether or finish your undergrad with as strong a gpa as possible and then tackle those other classes at a different university when you are ready. In the meantime you could start getting HCE or shadowing or volunteering, etc.

 

There is no specific timeline or order for getting things done. You will need to get HCE eventually anyways and so you can use it to your advantage to spend a year doing that and then going back to school work. It'll give you a break from school and a chance to really deeply reflect on what you can do to not be so distracted next time.

 

Any school that has a significant amount of pre-med students is going to have weeding classes. Just because you don't do so great in those classes doesn't mean all hope is lost. If you give up and accept that you can't make it, the theory behind weeding out has worked. If you decide that you still want to be in the medical field and truly have a passion to do so, going back and trying again and trying harder and succeeding beats the system. That willpower and dedication is telling to adcoms of how passionate you are about the career.

 

Best of luck to you, I believe in you, believe in yourself and just get ready for a couple years of really hard work and I think you'll be just fine!

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Before I begin, let me start by saying the PA profession is something I have wanted to do since my senior year of high school. I am about to be a senior in college and am still a PA-hopeful but my science prerequisite grades are what's stopping me from continuing on this long journey.

 

I have failed two, not one, but TWO prerequisites: statistics and chemistry. I have received two D's and a few C's and a few W's.

 

Something in me says to keep trying by retaking those courses. I am willing to put in as much time and money as it takes to get to where I need to be in order to apply to PA school. I am doing awesome in my other courses which suggest perhaps I should pursue other professions before straining myself with the science courses.

 

I'm just wondering if any of you think I still have a shot at this point. Given that I will take several years after college to retake those courses, get my science GPA up, log in those HCE hours, volunteer, etc, etc. But will admission officers even look at my application given my horrendous track record? Not so sure...

 

Thank you all in advance.

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Most helpful response out of anyone. Thank you for your encouragement as this was just what I needed!

 

If you don't feel ready, try to get out of the classes. I don't know what school you go to and whether you're in the classes currently or planning to take them next year but if there's any way you can get out of them (without a W) then do it. If you feel you still need some time to figure out an effective studying plan, don't take your pre-requisites now, you can always switch gears and focus on the other aspects of your application. You may want to either take time off from school altogether or finish your undergrad with as strong a gpa as possible and then tackle those other classes at a different university when you are ready. In the meantime you could start getting HCE or shadowing or volunteering, etc.

 

There is no specific timeline or order for getting things done. You will need to get HCE eventually anyways and so you can use it to your advantage to spend a year doing that and then going back to school work. It'll give you a break from school and a chance to really deeply reflect on what you can do to not be so distracted next time.

 

Any school that has a significant amount of pre-med students is going to have weeding classes. Just because you don't do so great in those classes doesn't mean all hope is lost. If you give up and accept that you can't make it, the theory behind weeding out has worked. If you decide that you still want to be in the medical field and truly have a passion to do so, going back and trying again and trying harder and succeeding beats the system. That willpower and dedication is telling to adcoms of how passionate you are about the career.

 

Best of luck to you, I believe in you, believe in yourself and just get ready for a couple years of really hard work and I think you'll be just fine!

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A couple things to keep in mind.... when your GPA is evaluated on CASPA, even if you retake your courses and get As, there is no grade forgiveness and the poor grade is always factored into GPA.

 

If I were you, I'd sit down and see what would need to be done to have a minimum of a Science GPA.  If it means retaking everything, plus extra classes... you may want to pursue a different route- or work really hard at PCE for the next 5 - 10 years.

 

If taking a few classes will get you to a Science GPA of 3.0, then maybe it is worth it.

 

Something to think real long and hard, If you failed these science courses... will you be able to handle the rigor of the didactic year?  I am not saying that you won't, but just saying you should soul search.

 

If I were in your shoes and I was totally set on PA, I would keep taking science classes- well past required courses and make sure to ace them all.  I'd also become an EMT.  EMT is a short program, and it can be an invaluable portion of PCE.  Do that for 3 - 5 years, while taking science, science and more science- and you'd probably do really well

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