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!
I'm looking for feedback on my personal statement. Any feedback and harsh criticism is welcome!!!! Here is it:
Junior year preseason was approaching as fast as my previous two years of college had flown by. I spent all summer preparing myself to finally play on the soccer field as a starter, but what I didn’t expect was the whirlwind of events that led to the end of my collegiate athletic career in soccer and track. It all started with what the athletic trainers thought were muscle spasms due to overuse and possible dehydration from the hot and humid weather, but it turns it out was much worse than what we thought. I was transferred from doctor to doctor and diagnosed with diseases such a mononucleosis and chronic fatigue syndrome. I was forced to stay in bed for long periods of time because of the fatigue and struggled to complete my activities of daily living. After several months of doctor’s visits and blood work, the doctor’s confirmed I had Lyme disease. They suspected I had it when I first walked through their office, but the bloodwork didn’t confirm the diagnosis and I was left with unanswered questions. This chronic disease took a lot away from me, but I continued each day to fight back. Doctors told me I wouldn’t be able to run track or play soccer competitively anymore and so I was forced to resign from each team and focus on my studies because my GPA suffered as a result of my illness.
For me, being diagnosed with a chronic disease was a blessing in disguise and it drove my motivation to become a physicians assistant even more. What stands out to me the most in the PA profession is the flexibility to work in different medical specialties. Previously, I had the opportunity to shadow a pediatric PA as well as other PAs in emergency medicine, orthopedics and geriatrics from my time as a volunteer. I spent most of my time as a volunteer watching how doctors, PAs, nurses and technicians interacted with patients and it reminded me of teamwork. The field of medicine, just like soccer, uses teamwork as a key component of patient care. I noticed that the PAs had more time to spend with patients discussing rehabilitation options and infection preventions after their surgeries all while having the partnership with a physician to collaboratively work to treat patient. Lyme disease sparked my interest in diseases and as a PA I could play a role in developing a plan of action in regards to treatment that considered multiple influences and multiple methods for treating and preventing diseases, while also advocating optimal health and well-being.
From volunteering to shadowing to working two jobs and still finding time to work out, I learned to manage my time and keep myself focused on my goals. Because I got sick, my GPA suffered and although I worked hard to maintain the grades I had that semester, I didn’t get the end result I ultimately wanted. Although I was no longer involved in athletics, I maintained the mindset to improve my grades as well as becoming more involved at my school. I decided to change my Spanish minor to a major to utilize my language skills in different healthcare settings in addition to adding a public health minor. Aside from academics, I volunteered more at St. Luke’s Hospital and Grace Park Senior Living and became more involved in the community. With a heavy course load semester by semester, I never lost track of where I wanted to be and improved my grades simultaneously. Volunteering has given me the opportunity to be exposed to different fields all while putting me out of my comfort zone. Through my experience as a volunteer at St. Luke’s I wasn’t positive if I could juggle the chaos that it brought. When I shadowed a PA at St. Luke’s Kids, it was calm and quiet, much different than the environment of the emergency room. I was able to watch a PA perform light procedures such as stitching and rectal exams. Another PA allowed me to feel more involved as she showed me her daily routine of obtaining medical history of the patient, performing physician examinations and discussing reasons for visit with the patient as she analyzed the condition. As a volunteer, I was lucky enough to be exposed to different settings within the emergency room that I became fascinated with the PA position.
With a career as a PA, I know my answer to “how was your day” will always be, “life changing.” During my time as a volunteer, I was fortunate enough to change lives in similar ways as the PA I strive to be. Outside of my qualifications on paper, I have been told I am compassionate. Years from today, through my growth and different experiences as a PA, I will evolve to be a role model for someone with the same qualities and professional objectives as I have today. I chose PA because I love the flexibility it has and working as a team. As a volunteer, helping others made me feel like I had a purpose and as a PA there is no other profession I would rather be in. Admittance to a respectable program is not the beginning or end of my journey, but rather my next step to become a reflection of who I loo