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Any suggestions on how to strengthen my application??

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Major Psychology graduate Fall 2012(December)


GPA's below are providing I get straight A's this semester (My last 2 semesters have been straight A's)

Cum. GPA= 3.33

Science GPA= 3.4

Last 74 credits = 3.56

Major GPA= 3.66


Patient Care Technician Hours at a Hospital: 622 Hours (will have over 1000 Hours by May)


Shadowing Hours: Pulmonology/Critical Care Management 12.5 hours

Neurosurgery 10 hours


Will obtain more shadowing hours by May. (any suggestions on how many shadowing hours to obtain?)


Volunteer Work:

Shand's Jacksonville ER volunteer 25 hours

First Coast No More Homeless Pets 4 hours

Clean Green Earth 2 hours

Recycle-mania UNF 4 hours


I also have volunteer work from High School not sure if I should add them to my application.


I plan on applying to DUKE, GWU, UF, NOVA, Samuel Merritt, PACE, Weill Cornell, and NYIT!

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Keep going with the PCT hours and your classwork.


I think it's great you're volunteering, but putting 2 hours down on your application is really not impressive. Volunteering is meaningful if it's consistent and/or substantial. If you're able, pick one of those organizations and start putting in time every week, even if it's only a couple hours. When you apply, even if the numbers aren't huge, you'll be able to say you've been going every week for 8 months or however long it is. It shows you might actually care about what you're doing. Slapping down every 15 minutes you spend doing something for someone else just makes you look like you're doing it for the application. As for high school, only put it in if it's substantial or you're still doing it. If it was 2 hours, don't bother.


I think shadowing is a humungous waste of time. You're a PCT, at a hospital no less. Don't you get interaction with physician assistants at work? Unless the school requires a specific number of hours or you just really like to shadow, I'd stop right where you are. I shadowed a couple days because at my first interview they asked me why I hadn't done it (I still got in), but I resented having to take time off work to watch a PA when I could have been treating patients with a PA. Just to jump through a hoop.


I think you're in pretty good shape. I don't know anything about those schools, but you should get in someplace if you apply to places that are a good match for you.

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Working in healthcare >>>> shadowing. Shadowing helps a person figure out if PA is the right career by allowing him/her to observe a "day in the life". Once you've done that... the only value I see in shadowing tons of specialties is if you're trying (already) to narrow your focus post-grad. But you'll still have to do the same core clinicals as everyone else and get the same exposure to those fields of medicine.


You have good work experience going for you; articulate what you've learned from seeing the wet, sticky, non-glamorous side of medicine and you'll be set.


Someone around here has a hilarious tagline about shadowing and watching the food network. I wish I remembered it.

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