I wanted to put my (shortened) story out there and stats to see what everyone's opinion or feedback might be for reapplying the 2nd time. Last cycle I applied to 7 programs in California, Oregon and Washington which have all rejected me, no interviews. It obviously left me feeling a little hopeless and wondering if I should pick a different healthcare path. However, like many of you I'm sure, I realized that nothing worth having comes without a fight and that becoming a PA is undeniably my life goal.
My overall GPA is 3.07, just grazing the minimum for most programs. It's the weakest point of my application, I'm sure.
My post bac science GPA is 3.43, which I'm proud of and reflects the upward trend of my grades after not taking my undergraduate seriously at times.
GRE scores are 155 quant, 159 verbal, and 4.5 analytical. I had previously taken the GRE and received a 144 in quant, I'm hoping admissions will see that I was able to improve my quant score significantly and that it will speak to my academic abilities and perseverance.
I have 4000 hours of PCE working as a PT aide, and have recently switched to a medical scribe job at a Stanford Health Care affiliated Pediatrics clinic. My healthcare related volunteer hours are limited.
3 LOR's from my microbiology professor, a physical therapist I worked closely with, and a PA that I shadowed.
Another note: I submitted my applications at the end of September for all programs
My game plan and questions for you guys:
1. The medical scribe job - I'm not sure if I should keep this job or switch to something more hands on such as a CNA, MA or even a patient care technician job at a dialysis center. I feel that my ability to learn new things and face challenges is beginning to plateau as a scribe, however since I have 4000 hours of PCE as a PT Aide would it be strategically smart to invest time and money into CNA or MA training?
2. Medical mission trip - Since I have a low GPA, I know it's crucial to make other areas of my application shine like a star. I'm thinking a 2 week trip to an underserved country would bolster my volunteer hours and also serve inspiration for my personal statement. It's also something I'm able to arrange and do in a short amount of time, which leads me to my next point...
3. APPLY EARLY - I plan to have applications submitted by late May. Does anyone think this is too early, or is there any other guidance on best times to submit applications?
4. Revamping my personal statement - I reached out to an online editing service specifically for PA programs and received truly useful feedback and suggestions. I plan to make edits and add in sections reflecting my time as a scribe and my determination as a re-applicant.
5. Updating some LORs - Hoping to receive a letter from the doctor I scribe for. I also plan to write a cover letter to recap my prior experiences and relationships with the LOR writers, as well as adding updated information as a re-applicant.
With such a low cumulative GPA I'm terrified that perhaps PA school just won't work out for me. I'm hoping, however, that AdComs will really see how much I want this as reflected in my PCE, volunteer hours, personal statement and LOR's.
Thanks so much for lending the time to read this, I am grateful for ANY insight/advice/comments anyone has :)