Jump to content

What are my chances straight out of undergrad?


Recommended Posts

I am a senior in college (graduating in Dec 2017) and am currently preparing to apply to PA programs this cycle. I have read and been told that it is very uncommon for students to be accepted to PA programs directly after undergrad and I'm wondering if that is for any other reason other than those students usually don't have enough hours of HCE. If anyone could evaluate my stats and give me some insight on my likelihood of acceptance I would really appreciate it! I am also a bit confused about what is acceptable (and preferred) HCE. I have been working as an EMT since August 2015 and have accumulated approximately 1,500 hours. I have read that volunteer EMS is not as good as paid work because generally volunteers are just "errand boys." However, my entire EMS agency is a volunteer agency - no one is paid - and we provide BLS care (NOT interfacility transport) to my university campus, the surrounding area, and with the entire city's 911 response. We are a fully functional collegiate EMS agency in a large metropolitan city. So, I am wondering if PA programs will see that I am a volunteer and dismiss my HCE as insignificant. I am also the supervisor for quality assurance for this agency which will hopefully augment my application. 

Would it benefit me to apply to schools with low HCE hours requirements (like 0-500) instead of schools that require 1,000-3,000 hrs?

Age: 21
Gender: female
Overall GPA: 3.54
Science GPA: 3.49
HCE hours: 1,500 
GRE: have not taken it yet 
Major: Biology
Minors: Chemistry, Spanish

Research Experience: 1 year and continuing in scientific research lab (not clinical, metabolic disease research)

 

*Shadowing: Have shadowed two physicians and one PA - hoping to shadow more before applying

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's hands-on, direct patient care. Most programs should accept that, but you'll have to do the leg work to actually check each school's requirements for hours and whether paid vs volunteer matters. I know my school states volunteer EMS is acceptable, but that might not be the case for all programs. And 1500 is low, but still above the minimum required for most programs these days.

 

Your other numbers look fine. Do well on the GRE, write a good essay, and secure good LORs. Maybe do some shadowing. Don't see much reason to not apply. You have exactly a ZERO likelihood of getting accepted if you don't try.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some programs like younger applicants, like the program I'll be attending has an average age of 23 and many of my future classmates are still in undergrad. My only reservation would be getting burned out. I tip my hat to the folks who can push through 6-7 years straight of school, I couldn't do that. A few gap years has given me a lot of personal growth and made me much more prepared for PA school, so to each his own in that regard. The applicant pool seems to get younger each year so I'd say you should go for it as long as you can check off all the requirements and feel this is the right time. Worst case scenario is that you get a practice round of applying/interviewing under your belt and you'll just be better prepared for reapplying!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The majority of students where I went and now the school at which I teach come right out of school. Obviously schools differ on their requirements.

 

You look good from your outline. I'd say it's worth a try, if you research the requirements of individual schools.

 

Good luck!

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wouldn't let your age and time out of undergrad discourage you from applying. The program I'll be entering has a very diverse class. So far, it looks like I'm the youngest sitting at 22 years old. The oldest I've seen in my cohort is in their 40s. I applied right out of undergrad and the 10 or so interviews I attended never questioned my maturity. I was also in the low HCE group (~1100 hrs) and I was just find getting accepted and being interviewed for program that required at least 1000. Just as long as you have the requirements completed, it's worth a shot for many programs. Work on getting at least the 50th percentile for each section of the GRE, rack up some shadowing hours (at least 20 should be fine), and acquire some quality letters of recomendations (at least one being a PA). Good luck!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi!

 

I was very similar to you as far as my HCE, GPA, etc. I graduated last December and was accepted to every program I interviewed at (and received four other interviews which I didn't attend because I had gotten into my perfect school). So it is definitely very common for people to be accepted right out of undergrad. I 100% agree that a lot of people graduate undergrad without getting a lot of HCE, or they may just not know they want to be a PA immediately coming out of undergrad.

 

As far as whether your HCE is good quality, 100% yes it is. I've been an EMT for a year and have worked exclusively at volunteer rescue squads. You are definitely not at a disadvantage, and I am living proof. Feel free to message me if you want to talk more!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Welcome to the Physician Assistant Forum! This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn More