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lotuseo

What are my chances of getting into PA school?

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I'm a third year pre-med PA student and my grades including fall semester of 2017 are an overall gpa of 3.43 and overall science gpa of 3.45. My overall gpa is the same as my overall science gpa because I took 22 dual credit courses during high school and ended up getting a mediocre gpa. I also received a B- and C+ in general chem but I retook both semesters and received an A. My freshman gpa was a 3.16 and my sophomore gpa was a 3.5 so my grades have been going up. My grades this year so far are an overall gpa of 3.66 and overall science of 3.65. I have around 500 hours in HCE which I got by working as a medical assistant during my sophomore year and working with doctors overseas. I'm hoping to get all A/A- in the rest of my science courses this semester and am planning on graduating a semester early to gain more HCE. What are my chances of getting into PA school?

I'm also planning on trying for DO or NP if I end up not getting in to any school. I would probably have a better chance of getting into those schools, right? 

Edited by lotuseo
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If I can get into PA school with a cGPA of 3.3ish and sGPA of 3.1ish you should be able to get into a program with your respective GPAs.  It is more than just GPA though, for example, I know of an individual that applied to the school I will be attending, both of their GPAs in 3.9 range and was not accepted.  I would also stress that it is a good idea to make the right choice if you want to be a PA or not.  Saying that you are going to apply to DO school (you can't apply to NP school unless you are a nurse) if you do not get accepted into PA school appears fickle.  If you want to get into PA school it will happen, but you have to commit to the dream and not abandon it if things do not work out the first time.  

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Agree with above. Have you done any shadowing to make sure that PA is the right route for you? Perhaps do some with some PAs and with some DO's and see the difference, then you can make a more informed decision on which path you want to commit to. Keep in mind that with either option there is a greater than 50% chance that you will not get in your first time.

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From your post, it sounds like you aren’t sure what career path is right for you yet. Is NP possible for you without a nursing degree? I don’t think one can just go into NP school without a BSN but I may be wrong because it may vary from state to state. You need to prove to adcoms that you’re serious about PA. There are so many people out there that want to be a PA but why should they choose you when you say you might do DO or NP if you don’t get in? It doesn’t make much sense to me. Be sure that the PA route is the route you want to commit to and it’ll show in your essay and application.


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On 1/12/2018 at 5:35 PM, Ket131 said:

If I can get into PA school with a cGPA of 3.3ish and sGPA of 3.1ish you should be able to get into a program with your respective GPAs.  It is more than just GPA though, for example, I know of an individual that applied to the school I will be attending, both of their GPAs in 3.9 range and was not accepted.  I would also stress that it is a good idea to make the right choice if you want to be a PA or not.  Saying that you are going to apply to DO school (you can't apply to NP school unless you are a nurse) if you do not get accepted into PA school appears fickle.  If you want to get into PA school it will happen, but you have to commit to the dream and not abandon it if things do not work out the first time.  

If you dont mind me asking, where did you get accepted? Also, what were your stats for PCE/HCE? 

Im in the same GPA range as you but im debating whether or not I should apply 

Thank you

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On 1/12/2018 at 7:55 PM, PACrankset said:

Agree with above. Have you done any shadowing to make sure that PA is the right route for you? Perhaps do some with some PAs and with some DO's and see the difference, then you can make a more informed decision on which path you want to commit to. Keep in mind that with either option there is a greater than 50% chance that you will not get in your first time.

I have done shadowing on both a PA and DO and understand the difference between both of these professions. I heard that DO schools are less competitive than PA schools and my goal is to be able to treat and diagnose patients anyways. Both professions do so, which is why I'm open to both options. A lot of premed students try to apply to PA schools as a back up if they don't get into medical school anyways, why can't I do the same for DO schools? 

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On 1/12/2018 at 5:35 PM, Ket131 said:

If I can get into PA school with a cGPA of 3.3ish and sGPA of 3.1ish you should be able to get into a program with your respective GPAs.  It is more than just GPA though, for example, I know of an individual that applied to the school I will be attending, both of their GPAs in 3.9 range and was not accepted.  I would also stress that it is a good idea to make the right choice if you want to be a PA or not.  Saying that you are going to apply to DO school (you can't apply to NP school unless you are a nurse) if you do not get accepted into PA school appears fickle.  If you want to get into PA school it will happen, but you have to commit to the dream and not abandon it if things do not work out the first time.  

Did you have a lot of HCE or any other extracurriculars? I understand it is more than GPA and factors like the interview and personal statement are important as well. 

I'm not saying that I will give up trying for PA school if it does not work out the first time. I just wanted to keep my options open since I am still young. I know I would need to be a nurse to apply to NP school and some DO schools do not require the MCAT if your cGPA and SAT scores are high enough. I actually applied for PA school this year because my school has an accelerated program. I'm competing against around 30 other students for the remaining 20 seats so my chances are pretty high, but my grades aren't as great as others (cGPA 3.6-3.8). 

 

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1 hour ago, lotuseo said:

I have done shadowing on both a PA and DO and understand the difference between both of these professions. I heard that DO schools are less competitive than PA schools and my goal is to be able to treat and diagnose patients anyways. Both professions do so, which is why I'm open to both options. A lot of premed students try to apply to PA schools as a back up if they don't get into medical school anyways, why can't I do the same for DO schools? 

These are two different profession, independent and dependent professions with one end goal (helping patients), but it goes way beyond that. PA is not a easier alternative to medical school and visa versa. You need to do some reading about why you want to be a PA and not just "I want to help people." Sounds all fun now, but you might not be happy as a PA-C or D.O., you need to do a lot more reading and talking with PA's and physicians. I would suggest that you sign up as a student member to the local PA state chapter as well as MD/DO chapter(s) and go to the meetings. You will be able to network and speak face to face with PA's and Physicians. Good luck!

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2 hours ago, camoman1234 said:

These are two different profession, independent and dependent professions with one end goal (helping patients), but it goes way beyond that. PA is not a easier alternative to medical school and visa versa. You need to do some reading about why you want to be a PA and not just "I want to help people." Sounds all fun now, but you might not be happy as a PA-C or D.O., you need to do a lot more reading and talking with PA's and physicians. I would suggest that you sign up as a student member to the local PA state chapter as well as MD/DO chapter(s) and go to the meetings. You will be able to network and speak face to face with PA's and Physicians. Good luck!

Agreed, you say you have shadowed but obviously don’t understand the differences between the two professions. I think what I am trying to get across is that neither path is easy and DO school have roughly the same acceptance rate as PA. I get that you want to help people but you need to decide if you want to be an independent practitioner or dependent, they are not interchangeable.

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3 hours ago, PACrankset said:

Agreed, you say you have shadowed but obviously don’t understand the differences between the two professions. I think what I am trying to get across is that neither path is easy and DO school have roughly the same acceptance rate as PA. I get that you want to help people but you need to decide if you want to be an independent practitioner or dependent, they are not interchangeable.

I know that a DO is an independent practitioner and a PA is a dependent practitioner. It would be stupid of me not to know anything about PA's and decide I want to become one. I also know both paths are not easy, especially since PA school is basically 2/3 of med school in half the time. I have already decided that I would rather become a PA because they can be flexible and switch to different specialities as long as they have an independent practitioner to be dependent on. I wouldn't want to be stuck working in one speciality for the rest of my career. I also like that a PA has someone to guide them with their career and ask questions to.

If I don't get in the first time I'll try again, but I have to keep my options open because I know not everyone can get in. I don't think everyone knows for sure that a certain career is right for them until they've become one. I've met a doctor that has regretted their decision to go to medical school and a PA that was a doctor in their home country but had to settle with being a PA.

Also, since I see you're a PA student, I hope you're not this condescending to patients in real life. You shouldn't assume what I obviously don't know.

I also don't think the acceptance rates are around the same. Samuel Merritt University's PA program, for instance, had only a 3% acceptance rate in 2016 while according to the Applicant and Matriculant Report on the AACOM website, there were 6,778 matriculants out of 20,720 applicants in 2016. So about 33% for the matriculation rate. The acceptance rate is probably a lot higher. 

It's not about the acceptance rate anyways. A lot of PA students that I've talked to are just as qualified to become a DO or even MD with their stats. Many DO students are often the applicants that weren't qualified enough to get into MD schools. 

 

 

Edited by lotuseo
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24 minutes ago, lotuseo said:

I know that a DO is an independent practitioner and a PA is a dependent practitioner. It would be stupid of me not to know anything about PA's and decide I want to become one. I also know both paths are not easy, especially since PA school is basically 2/3 of med school in half the time. I have already decided that I would rather become a PA because they can be flexible and switch to different specialities as long as they have an independent practitioner to be dependent on. I wouldn't want to be stuck working in one speciality for the rest of my career. I also like that a PA has someone to guide them with their career and ask questions to.

If I don't get in the first time I'll try again, but I have to keep my options open because I know not everyone can get in. I don't think everyone knows for sure that a certain career is right for them until they've become one. I've met a doctor that has regretted their decision to go to medical school and a PA that was a doctor in their home country but had to settle with being a PA.

Also, since I see you're a PA student, I hope you're not this condescending to patients in real life. You shouldn't assume what I obviously don't know.

I also don't think the acceptance rates are around the same. Samuel Merritt University's PA program, for instance, had only a 3% acceptance rate in 2016 while according to the Applicant and Matriculant Report on the AACOM website, there were 6,778 matriculants out of 20,720 applicants in 2016. So about 33% for the matriculation rate. The acceptance rate is probably a lot higher. 

It's not about the acceptance rate anyways. A lot of PA students that I've talked to are just as qualified to become a DO or even MD with their stats. Many DO students are often the applicants that weren't qualified enough to get into MD schools. 

 

 

Lotuseo,

I'm sorry if I offended you in any way. It does now sound like you have done your research and come to the decision that best suits you and your career aspirations. You are right in that the prerequisites are now very similar to that of an MD or DO program. recently I did some research for a post I did, the overall acceptance rate for PA school is around 25%. That is if you applied to every single school that holds an accreditation, so it is slightly harder but not much. If you look at individual DO programs you will find a fairly similar acceptance rate to that of an individual PA program. For example my school has both an MD, PA and NP program. The MD program acceptance rate is 2.58%, the PA program is 2.74% and the NP program is not available.

I think your GPA's show a good upward trend, you clearly meet the minimum requirements for all schools based on GPA alone. It is great that you have some HCE and working as a Medical assistant is a great way to get more experience. It sounds like you are planning on working more once you graduate, aim for around 2000hrs of HCE. This way you will meet pretty much all the minimums and for schools with only a 500hr minimum you are well above it. The other statistic would be GRE, have you taken it yet? If not aim for the 50th percentile as a minimum in all categories. When you accomplish all of this you will be competitive, I would guess that you will get some interviews. It just depends where you plan on applying, if you apply broadly to 12-15 school you should receive at least one if not more interviews. Remember interview invites aren't all about statistics though, make sure you work on your personal statement as it is the only really human element in the application process.

Good luck. Again I apologies if I offended you, that was not my intention.

 

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23 minutes ago, PACrankset said:

Lotuseo,

I'm sorry if I offended you in any way. It does now sound like you have done your research and come to the decision that best suits you and your career aspirations. You are right in that the prerequisites are now very similar to that of an MD or DO program. recently I did some research for a post I did, the overall acceptance rate for PA school is around 25%. That is if you applied to every single school that holds an accreditation, so it is slightly harder but not much. If you look at individual DO programs you will find a fairly similar acceptance rate to that of an individual PA program. For example my school has both an MD, PA and NP program. The MD program acceptance rate is 2.58%, the PA program is 2.74% and the NP program is not available.

I think your GPA's show a good upward trend, you clearly meet the minimum requirements for all schools based on GPA alone. It is great that you have some HCE and working as a Medical assistant is a great way to get more experience. It sounds like you are planning on working more once you graduate, aim for around 2000hrs of HCE. This way you will meet pretty much all the minimums and for schools with only a 500hr minimum you are well above it. The other statistic would be GRE, have you taken it yet? If not aim for the 50th percentile as a minimum in all categories. When you accomplish all of this you will be competitive, I would guess that you will get some interviews. It just depends where you plan on applying, if you apply broadly to 12-15 school you should receive at least one if not more interviews. Remember interview invites aren't all about statistics though, make sure you work on your personal statement as it is the only really human element in the application process.

Good luck. Again I apologies if I offended you, that was not my intention.

 

It's alright, I just didn't want to seem like I knew nothing on here.

Thank you for your advice! I applied for the PA program at the school I currently attend during summer and since I am an internal applicant I am only competing against the other 30 students that were accepted for an interview. There is no GRE requirement so I have not taken it yet. I find out if I got in at the end of this month, so hopefully I will get in but I will keep what you said in mind if I do not. I'm expecting rejection honestly, but I'll take this application process as a learning experience for the next time I apply to PA school. 

 

 

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On 1/12/2018 at 4:35 PM, Ket131 said:

If I can get into PA school with a cGPA of 3.3ish and sGPA of 3.1ish you should be able to get into a program with your respective GPAs.  It is more than just GPA though, for example, I know of an individual that applied to the school I will be attending, both of their GPAs in 3.9 range and was not accepted.  I would also stress that it is a good idea to make the right choice if you want to be a PA or not.  Saying that you are going to apply to DO school (you can't apply to NP school unless you are a nurse) if you do not get accepted into PA school appears fickle.  If you want to get into PA school it will happen, but you have to commit to the dream and not abandon it if things do not work out the first time.  

where did you go?

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