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I need help deciding what my best options are for getting into PA school! Please Help!!


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Hi,

 

My name is Tori and I will soon be graduating from college with a major in Biology. I took all of the necessary classes to be a PA, my g.p.a is above 3.0(although not by a lot), and I have a little volunteer experience in the health field. Since I felt like I was likely not to qualify to get into PA school (although I'm still going to try), I decided to sign up for a one-year Masters of Biomedical Science program. Now, here's my dilemma, I can't decide whether it is worth it going to a MSBS program or if I should get more work experience. Do you think that going to this kind of program will be beneficial? I plan on working and going to school so either way I am going to get healthcare experience. This program also offers an externship in the spring where I would have to complete around 120 hours. I want the best chance at getting into PA school. Also, right now I am working as an Administrative Medical Assistant at a dermatology office. I was wondering if that work counts as direct patient care? A lot of people have told me that it does, but I want to hear that from a few people who have applied and gotten into PA schooling. Thank you, and please respond soon!

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As far as completing that masters of biomedical science, that is definitely a way to show PA programs that you are prepared to handle masters level coursework, especially if your undergrad GPA isn't fantastic. With that being said, it is very important that you pick a masters program that will still be useful and something that you will enjoy doing if perhaps you don't end up getting in to PA school. The good news is it sounds like you can still acquire patient care hours while in this masters program which is awesome. Just make sure your grades stay as high as possible so you can prove you are ready for PA school.

 

As far as your patient care hours go, "administrative medical assistant" makes it seem like a lot of what you are doing is paperwork and phone calls. This may not really be considered direct patient care experience. They call it "hands on patient care" for a reason. Are you actually laying hands on patients to aid in their care? Some people may even split up their hours by saying half the time they do paperwork/billing while the other half of the time they get vital signs, room patients in clinic and assist in procedures. You really just have to go through the CASPA guidelines (which are strictly just guidelines) and most importantly the requirements page for the prospective programs in which you want to apply.

Just my .02

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Hard to figure out what you've actually taken and what your grade point really is from your submission. You are probably going to need a heck of a lot more than 120 hours of an externship and in something more hands-on dealing with patients.

 

If it were me (and it's not), I would take some relevant science classes to boost your average but focus on getting more work experience. That shouldn't require another degree.

 

Good luck!

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I agree with UGoLong. Masters programs are expensive and I think you can make up for your lower GPA by scoring well on the GRE and gaining a lot of HCE (>1000 hours). Many full-time positions offer tuition remission/reimbursement so you could take some high-level science courses while working to show your academic capability. I would not think that Administrative Medical Assistant would count towards HCE, but the best bet is to email programs with a description of the position and ask. Best of luck to you!

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