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AspiringPA21

Need advice after being waitlisted

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Hey guys,

So this cycle I was waitlisted for an interview at 2 schools and I did an interview at one where I ended up waitlisted. In preparing for next cycle, should I do paramedic, or should I take extra classes to boost my GPA (cGPA: 3.10 and sGPA: 3.24). There aren't many science classes being given around my area schools for cheap but in private universities, the cost of one science class would be around $3-$4,000. I do not have the GRE yet but if I do paramedic I don't think I would have time to study for it. I have about 6000 hours as a volunteer EMT, 1000 hours paid EMT and 1000 hours as a ER Tech. I would definitely do paramedic in the future but I'm only thinking about it because I've been an EMT-Basic for 7 years and an ER Tech for almost one and I'm kind of tired of being lowest in the chain for so many years. I want to learn more medicine - especially before PA school.

Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you

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I believe you should try to improve your GPA. As PA school becomes more competitive with each passing cycle, the minimum GPA requirements are only going to be increased. If you haven't been bouncing around universities, then try a community college like Patricia said. Adding one resume to send into CASPA isn't going to make a difference. Unless, you have been to like 7 different colleges. Your HCE looks pretty good though.

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7 hours ago, Patricia5827 said:

Theres no community colleges that can offer the classes?

I've taken all the science courses at my local one. None of them have science courses that would really help me in PA school. I've been trying to find Pharmacology or Immunology but none of the schools that I've looked at have it. Only one does but it's private so it's the finances that make me hesitant to take it. Only one school I know has nutrition as a bio course and bioethics or a private university which does have Virology, Histology and Immunobiology

6 hours ago, SilentPA said:

I believe you should try to improve your GPA. As PA school becomes more competitive with each passing cycle, the minimum GPA requirements are only going to be increased. If you haven't been bouncing around universities, then try a community college like Patricia said. Adding one resume to send into CASPA isn't going to make a difference. Unless, you have been to like 7 different colleges. Your HCE looks pretty good though.

1

I've been to three schools already, one being a CC. Two were postbacc. Also I have a bachelors degree and have taken postbacc so even if I take three courses my GPA won't go that high and due to finances I cant take more than three. I can only take one if I do have to take it a private university and the private one does have Virology, Histology and Immunobiology. This would be my 4th school, would that look bad? I've already taken Patho, Micro, Genetics, Orgo, Biochem, Physics. So classes that I need are limited too.

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Some food for thought, if you do a paramedic program (typically 6 months at the shortest or a year part time) you will likely spend most of the coming cycle in classes or clinicals. That is not to say that getting your Paramedic is not useful but it is highly unlikely that you will gain any meaningful HCE over the next year, as most PA school will not consider clinical hours as part of school HCE. 

On the other side of this Paramedic school when taken through a community college is a massive chunk of credit hours. If you are able to ace it this has the potential to make a significant bump in your GPA. Just know that you are not going to gain anything on the hours side of things.

Also might be worth considering if you will burn any bridges. If you go the Paramedic route and then get into PA school you will likely only work as a medic for 3-6months. If your system is anything like mine that would not go over well and could potentially damage your chances of getting hired as a PA in the area.

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15 minutes ago, PACrankset said:

Some food for thought, if you do a paramedic program (typically 6 months at the shortest or a year part time) you will likely spend most of the coming cycle in classes or clinicals. That is not to say that getting your Paramedic is not useful but it is highly unlikely that you will gain any meaningful HCE over the next year, as most PA school will not consider clinical hours as part of school HCE. 

On the other side of this Paramedic school when taken through a community college is a massive chunk of credit hours. If you are able to ace it this has the potential to make a significant bump in your GPA. Just know that you are not going to gain anything on the hours side of things.

Also might be worth considering if you will burn any bridges. If you go the Paramedic route and then get into PA school you will likely only work as a medic for 3-6months. If your system is anything like mine that would not go over well and could potentially damage your chances of getting hired as a PA in the area.

I actually wanted to do paramedic as perdiem in the future as well while being a PA. You think I should focus on boosting my GPA and getting into PA school and think of paramedic after graduating PA then? You do make a good point with the hours since i'll learn more hands-on rather than class time.

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The thing I don't see being addressed is why you got waitlisted after your interview. I think you should be thinking about how you come across (in the interview, the essay, and your PORs). Your grades are OK and your experience is good for most places. 

Before you re-engineer your life, see if you are really working the real problem.

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21 hours ago, UGoLong said:

The thing I don't see being addressed is why you got waitlisted after your interview. I think you should be thinking about how you come across (in the interview, the essay, and your PORs). Your grades are OK and your experience is good for most places. 

Before you re-engineer your life, see if you are really working the real problem.

I did not ask the school yet because they said they start choosing off waitlist from January to August. I was not sure if I should have asked the moment I was waitlisted. I have a feeling it was my interview. Their questions were: (why PA, why the bad grades & how did I better my grades, and about their mission and values). I was also in one of the last batch of students to interview due to applying late so I'm not sure if that contributed.

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Good! You feel that the interview didn't go the way you wanted. A good place to start!

You need to know your answers to questions like that: why the bad grades and what did you do about it? Why do you want to be a PA? And did you look over their website so you knew where they were coming from?

Lessons learned, right? You don't have to quit your job or go back to school, or whatever. Just know who you are, where you're going, and why. After 1 interview, you have learned a ton that you can apply the next time.

Don't give up and make sure you are working the right problem (not taking $3k classes that will bring your GPA up only minimally, for example.)

Good luck!

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On ‎1‎/‎1‎/‎2018 at 8:24 AM, AspiringPA21 said:

I actually wanted to do paramedic as perdiem in the future as well while being a PA. You think I should focus on boosting my GPA and getting into PA school and think of paramedic after graduating PA then? You do make a good point with the hours since i'll learn more hands-on rather than class time.

That is an ok thing to do as well. I would say take one thing at a time though. Obviously you can get an interview so work on you interview skills and get accepted. The Paramedic thing can be done at a later date if it is still something you want to do. Some states will let you challenge the Paramedic exam if you are a higher level provider, alternatively there are accelerated programs that are around 2 weeks for advanced practice providers. Creighton is the one that comes to mind. Pennsylvania also has a pre-hospital physician extender certification as well that lets you practice as a PA in the field and gets you your Paramedic cert as well.

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7 hours ago, UGoLong said:

Good! You feel that the interview didn't go the way you wanted. A good place to start!

You need to know your answers to questions like that: why the bad grades and what did you do about it? Why do you want to be a PA? And did you look over their website so you knew where they were coming from?

Lessons learned, right? You don't have to quit your job or go back to school, or whatever. Just know who you are, where you're going, and why. After 1 interview, you have learned a ton that you can apply the next time.

Don't give up and make sure you are working the right problem (not taking $3k classes that will bring your GPA up only minimally, for example.)

Good luck!

What if during the interview for next cycle (incase I don't get in this one) they ask what I did to better my application from before though? I know getting more volunteer, PCE and shadowing hours would suffice as an answer but should I take a class or two such as bioethics and nutrition to add into the answer? (those two courses will cost less since it's not a university course but it is BIO subject so it'll count towards my sGPA).

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4 hours ago, PACrankset said:

That is an ok thing to do as well. I would say take one thing at a time though. Obviously you can get an interview so work on you interview skills and get accepted. The Paramedic thing can be done at a later date if it is still something you want to do. Some states will let you challenge the Paramedic exam if you are a higher level provider, alternatively there are accelerated programs that are around 2 weeks for advanced practice providers. Creighton is the one that comes to mind. Pennsylvania also has a pre-hospital physician extender certification as well that lets you practice as a PA in the field and gets you your Paramedic cert as well.

That's interesting, I never knew that! For now, should I take another class or two or should I keep adding more PCE, shadowing, community service hours and not take any more classes? It's just the financial situation of taking classes at a university compared to a college but the colleges close by don't have any good classes I can take that'll help with PA school. I've done my post-bacc after graduating in 2014 so I've taken a lot of extra classes already.

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You do need to move forward and maybe those classes are interesting for you and would be a good idea. My original point is to do something that fits with your life and resources.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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37 minutes ago, UGoLong said:

You do need to move forward and maybe those classes are interesting for you and would be a good idea. My original point is to do something that fits with your life and resources.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Your original post has definitely made me steer on a clear path to look into resources to better my interview skills for the future. Thank you very much for your help!

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On 1/2/2018 at 8:45 PM, AspiringPA21 said:

That's interesting, I never knew that! For now, should I take another class or two or should I keep adding more PCE, shadowing, community service hours and not take any more classes? It's just the financial situation of taking classes at a university compared to a college but the colleges close by don't have any good classes I can take that'll help with PA school. I've done my post-bacc after graduating in 2014 so I've taken a lot of extra classes already.

If I were you I would look into the interview practice and take some classes. I know that they are expensive but your GPA is on the lower end and increasing it a little could increase your chances of getting interviews.

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3 hours ago, PACrankset said:

If I were you I would look into the interview practice and take some classes. I know that they are expensive but your GPA is on the lower end and increasing it a little could increase your chances of getting interviews.

Do you think they have to be science classes (virology, histology) or they could be under the BIO subject but classes such as bioethics and nutrition would suffice since these will still boost my sGPA?

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23 hours ago, AspiringPA21 said:

Do you think they have to be science classes (virology, histology) or they could be under the BIO subject but classes such as bioethics and nutrition would suffice since these will still boost my sGPA?

Think about it this way, obviously you want to be taking science classes. This way those classes boost both your cGPA and your sGPA. Personally I think the virology, immunology type of classes are more beneficial, because you are learning material that will help you even if only a little once you are in PA school. The bioethics, nutrition and those type of classes still boost both GPA's but may not be as applicable once you get into school. Hopefully that makes sense, sort of the two birds with one stone concept.

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43 minutes ago, PACrankset said:

Think about it this way, obviously you want to be taking science classes. This way those classes boost both your cGPA and your sGPA. Personally I think the virology, immunology type of classes are more beneficial, because you are learning material that will help you even if only a little once you are in PA school. The bioethics, nutrition and those type of classes still boost both GPA's but may not be as applicable once you get into school. Hopefully that makes sense, sort of the two birds with one stone concept.

I have been advised that but I can't find any schools giving these courses at a low tuition. Unfortunately, I'm a perdiem ED Tech so I don't make enough to pay $3-4 grand for 1 course for a minimum GPA boost. I will try looking at more schools and broaden my spectrum. Thank you so much for all your help!

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4 hours ago, PACrankset said:

have you tried online? most of those courses are offered for a fraction of the price you mentioned.

I have not tried online. I've been seeing a lot of courses taken online being looked down upon but i'm not sure if they were only pre-reqs that would be. Do you know of any that are being given online and which institute?

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30 minutes ago, AspiringPA21 said:

I have not tried online. I've been seeing a lot of courses taken online being looked down upon but i'm not sure if they were only pre-reqs that would be. Do you know of any that are being given online and which institute?

No one really knows if your coursework was completed online even in CASPA it doesn't ask and nor will anyone ask about it. I would advise doing any extra science classes at your community college to save money. One CC class here is like $300, 10% of one class mentioned. Look on CASPA and see what courses count towards your sGPA, you will be surprised! Also get out a calculator and determine how high you want to get your GPA, then determine the number of courses you would have to take to achieve that, is it even feasible? One course will not make a dent and would it even be worth it? 

You will see on the CASPA website that even classes you wouldn't think like nutrition and nursing count towards your sGPA, it could be true of your potential paramedic classes. So this way you can gain an occupation and raise your GPA that would also contribute to your sGPA. My one CNA nursing course was 6 credits and counted toward my sGPA. 

I think you can take away something from any class you take. I took classes from virology to cultural aspects of health to medical terminology. Every class was helpful in understanding a different aspect of medicine and sickness. It is what you take away from it and understanding socioeconomic factors and philosophical/ethical issues is important for understanding people, too. 

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45 minutes ago, ajames said:

No one really knows if your coursework was completed online even in CASPA it doesn't ask and nor will anyone ask about it. I would advise doing any extra science classes at your community college to save money. One CC class here is like $300, 10% of one class mentioned. Look on CASPA and see what courses count towards your sGPA, you will be surprised! Also get out a calculator and determine how high you want to get your GPA, then determine the number of courses you would have to take to achieve that, is it even feasible? One course will not make a dent and would it even be worth it? 

You will see on the CASPA website that even classes you wouldn't think like nutrition and nursing count towards your sGPA, it could be true of your potential paramedic classes. So this way you can gain an occupation and raise your GPA that would also contribute to your sGPA. My one CNA nursing course was 6 credits and counted toward my sGPA. 

I think you can take away something from any class you take. I took classes from virology to cultural aspects of health to medical terminology. Every class was helpful in understanding a different aspect of medicine and sickness. It is what you take away from it and understanding socioeconomic factors and philosophical/ethical issues is important for understanding people, too. 

The local CCs in NYC have no upper-level science courses such as immunology, virology or pharmacology. I've taken genetics, micro and patho already at my local CC. This is why I'm looking into nutrition and bioethics. They're both 3 credit courses so I know it won't boost my gpa a lot but it's to show that I didn't just sit around waiting for the next cycle to open. Not sure how else to better my application since I'm already getting more PCE hours as an EMT and ER tech and I do community service. 

You make a great point that any class will be helpful to understand different aspects of medicine. I've already done a post-bacc so I'm not very keen on taking or paying for too many undergrad classes as a nonmatriculate - I've done that for a year and a half. 

I will take these classes and relearn A&P on my own and better my interview skills for next cycle. Thank you very much for your feedback!

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