Undergrad Ed School: University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Major (GPA) // Minor (GPA) : Biology (3.58) with 2 minors in Chemistry (2.9) & Psychology (4.0)
Cumulative Undergrad. GPA: 3.68
Science Undergrad. GPA: 3.58
Post Bachelor GPA: N/A
Age at application time : 22
1st GRE - V: 141 Q: 150 W: 3.0 // I unfortunately scheduled the GRE after taking 2 summer finals (Physics and Psychology of Individual Differences) so this score is pretty much a baseline for how I would do with minimal / no studying.
2nd GRE - V: 149 Q 161 W: 3.0 // The GRE prep I used was Magoosh and they did not have an analytical practice section so my AW score was the same, but my verbal and quantitative scores improved tremendously! Magoosh usually has pretty good sales for a 6 month subscription for $125 (regular price of 1 month subscription) around January and July.
Direct Patient Care : (Patient Care Technician / CNA)
Cerebrovascular / Diabetic floor (2 years ~2,500 hours)
Float pool / Anywhere in the hospital (~500 hours)
Extracurricular / Leadership / Research Activities:
Greek organization // Junior and Senior scholarship committee
Pre-PA club // Treasurer 2 full terms
UTC Medical Society // Member
Volunteer for local hospital, Adult and Children's Emergency Room (200 hours) Children's Believe Campaign and St. Jude Up till Dawn participant (~25 hours), Girls on the Run (~10 hours)
Supporter of various organizations such as Ronald McDonald House, Make A Wish foundation, TC Thomson's Children's Hospital, Girl Scouts of America
PA in Neurosurgical and Spine Unit (Shadowed 150 hours)
RN who's director/manager of Neuroscience (Known for 2 years)
RN Clinical Staff Leader (Known for 1 year)
Professor who I had 3 classes in Microbiology (B) , Immunology (A), and Microbial Ecology (A)
Saving one more recommendation request for a potential PA or MD
Personal Statement Topic: I talked about my personal childhood struggles with many health issues in my family & how I wanted to pursue a career that provides access to healthcare . I then weaned into my work experience at the hospital and mentoring. Ended it with a description of the PA I shadowed and all the qualities that I believe I had to be an important asset in healthcare.
Schools Applied: Six. UTHSC, South College - Knoxville, South College - Nashville, Lincoln Memorial University, Lipscomb University, and UAB
Application Submitted Date:
06/03 for UTSHC, LMU, and UAB
Late June for South College Knoxville and Lipscomb
Mid August for South College- Nashville
Schools Received Application Date: Most of the schools received my application in less than a week after it was verified. Verified 2 days after I submitted my CASPA application.
Interview Invites: LMU
Attempts: 2nd (Applied pretty late 1st cycle to 1 school because of graduation/deadline issues so this theoretically would be my 1st real application cycle)
Plan B if all else fails:
1. Pursue an accelerated Masters in Pharmacology to compensate all this waiting since most of these PA schools matriculate in August 2019
2. Take the MCAT. Some PA schools allow MCAT scores and would be a good refresher in basic prerequisite courses.
3. Shadow MD's, PA"s, NP's, PT's
I would greatly appreciate all the strengths and weaknesses in my current application. Any other ideas to improve my application would be helpful as well. Thank you guys so much!
If you are reading this you are likely looking at Bethel University as an option for PA school. Before you decide to follow through, please make sure that you take all things into account. Many 2nd and 3rd year students have had major issues with clinicals - these are hard to see as a first-year student.
Please excuse grammar and formatting - this was written quickly, but after much consideration and continued frustrations.
Here are some of the issues with the school after the first year:
There are only 2 staff members setting up rotations for both the 2nd and 3rd year students (around 100 total). As a result…
More than half of the students have been COMPLETELY setting up their own rotations (5 months into rotations at this time for the 2nd year students). This is because Paris, Jackson, and Nashville cannot house 50 (much less 100) students from Bethel.
You are forced to set up your rotations because the school does not have connections outside of that 2-3 hour area (don’t let them fool you!). Several students have found out they are relocating STATES with as short as 4 day’s notice.
They lie, flat out. There are 2 in particular that will not be mentioned by name, heavily involved in the clinical years, that will tell you they have reached out to your contacts when they have not- that your paperwork has been sent when it has not– that you have “nothing to worry about” when you don’t have a rotation set up for next week’s start date – that they are working “as hard as they can”, yet take time off at the drop of a hat while you are freaking out about not having a rotation in place.
The school cannot admit where and when they are wrong. They have a justification for every issue they have and do not take suggestions on how to resolve those issues. The school will listen to you, but no action ever follows the conversation. They will feed you what you want to hear to calm your frustration, but they will not fix the underlying issues.
We have lost 2 clinical recruiters in the last 6 months. The program director has put in a resignation for next month. There is no stability in positions that are critical for your success!
If this is the only school that accepts you, please take it! The opportunity to become a PA-C is worth it, in my opinion. BUT, if you are accepted into another school, I strongly suggest considering those other options if you do not want to deal with the disorganization, lies, and absolute frustration during your clinical years.