Jump to content

**Please Give Me PA/Allied Health Program Advice**

Recommended Posts

Please give me any advice you think would be beneficial to augmenting my student/professional record as well as directing me towards a PA program or a particular Allied Health field. What will make me a better candidate?

What I’m doing now:

Taking prerequisites (at a community college) for PA/Nursing/Allied Health programs (e.g. Human Nutrition, A&P, Medical Terminology, Healthcare Ethics, etc.). I have been thinking about doing an accelerated BSN program, but I am not entirely sure yet. I am considering becoming a CNA next semester to get more experience around nurses to see if I really should apply to an accelerated BSN program or at least get experience for a PA/Allied Health program instead (e.g. occupational therapy, etc.).


I’m unsure what program to apply to and what programs I will be competitive for, mostly because of my GPA and experience. It seems that most programs, A-BSN or Allied Health programs, require at least a 3.0 GPA to get looked at, but overall I’m just above that (see specifics below). I’m not looking to get into the best school, just get into a school that will provide me with a good, accredited, education that will help me enter a career that I will find personally and professionally satisfying. Furthermore, in the last couple of years I developed an autoimmune disease so I am less comfortable with constantly working around infectious/communicable people since I take an immunosuppressant (although I am not worried about working with the infectious diseases in a laboratory setting because I have more control over being aseptic, sterile, etc.). Also, because of the autoimmune disease, I find it is now harder to work a long day (10+ hours) without needing a full day (that feels wasted) of rest to regain my energy. I also recently read a couple of research articles that listed nursing as one of the top professions where people in that career die of autoimmune diseases at a higher rate than other professions. I really like healthcare and biological sciences. The experiences I’ve had within various parts of those fields have really helped me figure out what I find fulfilling within them, leading me to PA/Nursing/Allied Health. Now I just need to find what particular PA/Nursing/Allied Health career will fit with my background and needs. The good news is while I am in my 30s now, I can take my time getting to where I need to be because my spouse and I don’t have children to support.


University of California (Double major, a little over 10 years ago.)

-B.S. Biology with thesis honors (Molecular/Cellular focus.)

-B.A. Psychology with honors

Social Service Award at Graduation


-UC Overall GPA: 3.13

-UC Science GPA: 2.81

-UC Non-Science GPA: 3.58

I had a couple of major personal crises that caused me to go from As & Bs to Bs and Cs (with 1 F), which is why my science GPA took a hit. I think I would have to take 8 science classes and get 8 As to raise the Science GPA to 3.0…

-Community College GPA: All As so far.


-1 in a science journal

-1 in a public health magazine


-Chiropractic Assistant (70% patient care, 30% office work, under this chiropractor the CA duties tended to be more like assistant PT work, helping with a lot of patient active/passive therapies – this is where I learned that I really like working with patients, as well as doing patient education.)

-Retail Management

-Drug Rehab Behavioral/Mental Health Research Assistant

-Microbiology Lab Research Assistant (I like lab work, but I want to know that the lab work I’m doing will be tangibly helpful to someone and I do not want to be grant dependent.)

-College Sport Coach

-Public Health Organization Intern

-Teaching Assistant during undergrad (I learned I really enjoy teaching people science-related topics.)

-In high school I did a nursing volunteer/internship (I learned I feel very comfortable in a hospital-environment.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think Rev's point (and correct me if I'm wrong) is that PA is an entirely different world than nursing which is an entirely different world from the careers that qualify as allied health.  The point being - you have essentially said that ALL of healthcare is an option.

You need to narrow it down.  Saying you want to find something you're competitive for that will lead to a career with reasonable hours and limited exposure feels like you're looking for a job, not that any of these things particularly interest you.

Frankly, you have a lot of research to do; we can't do it for you.  Based on what you've said here, I think you should aim for medical lab scientist - it's lab work in hospital/clinical settings (not grant dependent, "every sample is a patient") and fairly easy to find 8 hr shift work jobs.  Outside of that, your information here is confusing - you might want to do a BSN but then you say that you can't handle 10 hr shifts (nursing is long shifts and hard, physical work.  This is not a desk job) and are afraid of working with sick patients (healthy people aren't usually in the hospital....).  You need to figure out what you want.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It will be hard to find a job in healthcare that doesn't require you to work long shifts.  I currently work as a PCT at a dialysis unit and I average 12-16 hour shifts and I know this is not going to change when I start PA school next year.  Only time I didn't work over 10 hours was as a medical scribe, and that is not a life sustaining job.  I worked in an industrial clean lab before becoming a PCT, 10-16 hour shifts on average.  My girlfriend is in nursing school and is currently doing 12 hour minimum clinical hours, this is day after day, no recovery day until the the preceptor's schedule ends.

I would advice you that even if you plan on working in an area in medicine that provides you little exposure to infectious disease (not sure where that would be because it is healthcare), it is going to happen at some point or another.  Just yesterday I had a patient asking me to put vaseline and bandaids on his shingles.  Yes, shingles.  

Main idea is that finding a healthcare job is going to be difficult with the standards you have set.  You mentioned you like teaching, why not do that if you really enjoyed this?

If bent on going into healthcare, I would just continue what you are doing.  Working full time while going to school part time and getting only A's is what got me into PA school.  My science GPA was low as well, but I got it to a 3.18 from a 2.9 or so in a year.  



Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...

Important Information

Welcome to the Physician Assistant Forum! This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn More