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Left with some options. Would like your opinion on what to do.


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I've been feeling depressed lately about not getting into PA school. With this upcoming cycle, it will be my third time applying. I've listed the options I'm considering and would like your input. I'm open to other suggestions too. Here are my stats...


BS in Biological Sciences 2014. Licensed Pharmacy Technician. Science GPA 2.95 and Overall 3.10 About 4000 healthcare experience hours. 1500 from Patient Care Technician mainly on an Orthopedic/Surgical Unit. 500 from Pharmacy Technician. 1800 from Patient Transport. 200 from Physician shadowing. GRE: 155 Verbal, 157 Quantitative, 4.0 Writing.


Some other information about me. My GPA does show an upward trend. I didn't do so well during the beginning of my undergraduate but started taking school seriously later on and showed improvement. I have been taking postbacc courses to boost my application and getting As in all of them. I didn't seriously study for the GRE. I just took it so I can have a score to apply for schools. I am confident that if I'm going to retake it, I will seriously study and do better. When I first applied I only got 1 interview and denied. Last cycle when I applied, I got 0 interviews. This has been very depressing.


Option 1) I have been accepted into Touro Nevada MSMHS program. This is appealing to me because there is a guaranteed interview into their PA program if I satisfy their requirements. Considering my low GPA, I think feel that this is my only chance of getting into PA school considering my repeated failures unless someone can argue that I still have a chance with such an applicant profile. After doing my research, it seems that these postbacc programs are frowned upon and a waste of money.


Option 2) Continue to do an informal postbacc to boost my application. I have been retaking courses at community college to boost my profile. I can also continue to work as a patient care technician, maybe retake the GRE, and other various things to improve my application. This option allows me to accumulate more HCE hours and income.


Even though I've been doing option 2 since I finished my BS, I feel like it is not going to help much since my stats are so poor it's going to be hard to fix. I would like to pick option 2 if someone can convince me that there is a chance I would get in even with my poor stats. If option 1 is my best chance at getting into PA school then please say so. I am still going to reapply this upcoming cycle regardless of what option I pick. I just need to start planning now if I should do the MSMHS program or not. Thank you for your input


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First things first: patient transport and definitely shadowing don't count as HCE.  So to apply for the third year with only 2000 hrs of HCE (only 1500 of which might be considered PCE) with your GPA means you've got a long way to go.  It doesn't sound like you've really done a whole lot to be improving your app each cycle.  More HCE is a given so it doesn't count for much when showing programs you've made effort to improve.

 

Regardless of whether you do option A or B you need to be taking classes to raise your GPA and you need to be getting more PCE.  A lot of both.  Honestly, don't even apply this year.  Save your money and wait until your app is competitive.

 

(Your GRE is fine.  You've got bigger fish to fry.)

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Have you thought about an accelerated BSN program? It offers 3 options; (1) a well-paid job with excellent experience(s) post graduation, (2) improved stats (if you do well, grants bragging rights to say you can handle an intense fast paced program), and (3) the ability to pursue either PA or NP education instead of just one.

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You may not be the strongest candidate but I still feel like there is a program out there for you. How many schools have you been applying to and are the geographically diverse? I wouldn't get a degree an additional degree you aren't passionate about if it is just serving as a stepping stone but that is just me.

 

 

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You may not be the strongest candidate but I still feel like there is a program out there for you. How many schools have you been applying to and are the geographically diverse? I wouldn't get a degree an additional degree you aren't passionate about if it is just serving as a stepping stone but that is just me.

 

 

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I have applied to a diversity of schools. Selecting the ones that don't have the 3.0 sGPA requirement since that has disqualified me from a lot of other schools.

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Have you thought about an accelerated BSN program? It offers 3 options; (1) a well-paid job with excellent experience(s) post graduation, (2) improved stats (if you do well, grants bragging rights to say you can handle an intense fast paced program), and (3) the ability to pursue either PA or NP education instead of just one.

I've recently started looking into them. Do you know people who have taken that route specifically for PA and how did that turn out for them?

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I've been feeling depressed lately about not getting into PA school. With this upcoming cycle, it will be my third time applying. I've listed the options I'm considering and would like your input. I'm open to other suggestions too. Here are my stats...

BS in Biological Sciences 2014. Licensed Pharmacy Technician. Science GPA 2.95 and Overall 3.10 About 4000 healthcare experience hours. 1500 from Patient Care Technician mainly on an Orthopedic/Surgical Unit. 500 from Pharmacy Technician. 1800 from Patient Transport. 200 from Physician shadowing. GRE: 155 Verbal, 157 Quantitative, 4.0 Writing.

Some other information about me. My GPA does show an upward trend. I didn't do so well during the beginning of my undergraduate but started taking school seriously later on and showed improvement. I have been taking postbacc courses to boost my application and getting As in all of them. I didn't seriously study for the GRE. I just took it so I can have a score to apply for schools. I am confident that if I'm going to retake it, I will seriously study and do better. When I first applied I only got 1 interview and denied. Last cycle when I applied, I got 0 interviews. This has been very depressing.

Option 1) I have been accepted into Touro Nevada MSMHS program. This is appealing to me because there is a guaranteed interview into their PA program if I satisfy their requirements. Considering my low GPA, I think feel that this is my only chance of getting into PA school considering my repeated failures unless someone can argue that I still have a chance with such an applicant profile. After doing my research, it seems that these postbacc programs are frowned upon and a waste of money.

Option 2) Continue to do an informal postbacc to boost my application. I have been retaking courses at community college to boost my profile. I can also continue to work as a patient care technician, maybe retake the GRE, and other various things to improve my application. This option allows me to accumulate more HCE hours and income.

Even though I've been doing option 2 since I finished my BS, I feel like it is not going to help much since my stats are so poor it's going to be hard to fix. I would like to pick option 2 if someone can convince me that there is a chance I would get in even with my poor stats. If option 1 is my best chance at getting into PA school then please say so. I am still going to reapply this upcoming cycle regardless of what option I pick. I just need to start planning now if I should do the MSMHS program or not. Thank you for your input

 

I second what MT2PA said, you REALLY only have about 1500 PCE hours after you remove the shadowing, pt transport and pharmacy hours (most programs won't consider pharm tech as pce). If you work full time + pick up shifts here or there you could easily add 2500 hours this year. You seem to know exactly what your weaknesses are, so it's time to decide if you really want to do what it's going to take to get in to school. If I were you I would take the guaranteed masters acceptance and run with it. Who knows where it will lead you...

 

Another option you could look into includes 1 year masters programs (e.g. University of Nebraska Med Ctr. has a 1 year masters of medical anatomy). I wish you the best of luck! 

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